How to make tuna pasta bake for the whole family

by Bryony Firth-Bernard |
Published on

Tuna pasta bake is a great dinner choice for the whole family, as it’s rich in protein and packed with vitamin D, not to mention it’s easy to make too.

You can enjoy tuna pasta bake two ways, with a white sauce, either homemade or from a jar, or with a tomato sauce. Here, we show you how to make both.

How to make tuna pasta bake with white sauce

This recipe uses a homemade white cheesy sauce but if you're pushed for time you can always grab a jar from the shop and add cheese to it.


• 600g rigatoni

• 50g butter

• 50g plain flour

• 600ml milk

• 250g strong cheddar, grated

• 2 x 160g cans tuna steak in spring water, drained

• 330g can sweetcorn, drained

• Large handful chopped parsley


1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

2. Boil 600g rigatoni for 2 mins less time than stated on the pack.

3. To make the sauce, melt 50g butter in a saucepan and stir in 50g plain flour.
Cook for 1 min, then gradually stir in 600ml milk to make a thick white sauce.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in all but a handful of the 250g grated cheddar.

5. Drain the pasta, mix with the white sauce, two 160g drained cans tuna, one 330g drained can sweetcorn and a large handful of chopped parsley, then season.

6. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the rest of the grated cheddar.

7. Bake for 15-20 mins until the cheese on top is golden and starting to brown.

Mother&Baby tip: Why not add in some extra small chopped up bits of veg, like carrot, broccoli or peas, for an extra nutrient boost.

How to make tuna pasta bake with a tomato sauce

This recipe from Sainsbury’s uses fresh penne pasta, but any packaged pasta will do. It also uses a jarred tomato pasta sauce, but we've included a recipe at the end if you would like to make your own.


300g fresh egg penne

500g tomato and herb pasta sauce

3 x 120g tins tuna steak in springwater, drained and flaked

325g tin sweetcorn in water, drained

390g carton Italian chopped tomatoes

14g fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, washed and chopped

100g mature cheddar, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Drain. Tip the cooked pasta back into the pan and stir through the pasta sauce, tuna, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes and half the parsley.

2. Tip the mixture into a 1½-litre baking dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Cook for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Garnish with the remaining parsley just before serving.

Homemade tomato sauce recipe for your tuna pasta bake


• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 onion, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 400g can chopped tomatoes with herbs

• ½ tsp chilli powder

• 1 tsp sugar


Heat the oil in a pan, add in your onion and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, chilli and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and bring to the boil. Once bubbling, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

This recipe is from BBC Good Food.

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