Last Updated on 20th July 2022 by Pauline Loughlin
If you have a can of tuna and a bag of pasta and you want a simple, quick dish to make, try putting together a delicious pan of tuna pasta bake. It cooks in about 15 minutes and will probably please the entire family.
How to Layer Pasta Bake
This is a dish where layering really isn’t the important. You can put the various ingredients into the pan in almost any order, which is quite different from the careful layering required for similar baked pasta dishes like lasagna.
The main ingredients are tuna and pasta, and you will be mixing them together.
There are no careful layers to construct here, making it a very simple dish and one I would recommend for inexperienced cooks who want something really tasty without a lot of work or skill required.
You should top it with cheese to give it the right look and texture, but most everything else can be put into the baking dish in any order.
How to Make a Tuna Pasta Bake
Let me share with you a recipe for making tuna bake from scratch. The most difficult part will be making the roux sauce, but it’s a skill every cook should have, and I’ll guide you through the process for that step by step.
- ¼ cup of butter
- 1 bag of macaroni pasta (about 300 grams)
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 can of tuna, drained
- ¾ cup of grated cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a deep baking dish.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions- in salted, boiling water until soft.
- Drain the pasta except for ¼ cup of liquid. Rinse the pasta off and add to the baking dish.
- Melt butter on medium heat in a saucepan. Add in the flour and stir together, cooking for about a minute.
- Take the flour mixture off the heat and add in milk, stirring constantly.
- Add the saucepan back to the heat and cook for about 4 more minutes, stirring frequently. When the sauce thickens and boils, it should be ready to use.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add in ¼ cup of cheese.
- Combine pasta, tuna, flour mixture and reserved cooking liquid in the baking dish. Mix slightly and then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
How to Make a Healthy Tuna Pasta Bake
For a healthier dish, you can make a few substitutions. Use reduced fat milk and low-fat cheese in place of full fat version. You can use tuna that was stored in water as opposed to oil.
Consider leaving out the flour and milk entirely and mixing together tuna, pasta, cheese, and an egg and then sprinkling cheese on top of that.
How to Store Pasta Bake
Now that you know how to cook tuna pasta bake, let’s talk about what to do with it once it is done cooking.
The tuna bake can store in the fridge for 5-6 days. Before you put it in the fridge, though, you should let it cool all the way down to room temperature. Then, cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the fridge.
How long does tuna pasta bake last in fridge? If you are storing it properly, it can last for up to 6 days, but temperature fluctuations will shorten its shelf life. It needs to have an airtight seal on it and be stored immediately after it cools.
What to Serve with Tuna Pasta Bake?
Knowing how to make tuna pasta bake is only part of what it takes to make a great meal. You should also know what to serve with it.
Most types of pasta benefit from having bread or salad as side dishes. These help to provide a contrast to the pasta and complement it very well. Consider serving a light salad with the heavy tuna bake, using light dressing as well, like Italian or a vinaigrette.
You could also serve up steamed veggies with your bake, including broccoli, carrots, green beans, or cauliflower.
Tuna bake goes very well with soup as a side. I like a creamy soup myself, like clam chowder, cheesy potato, or cream of mushroom, but acidic soups like a tomato-based soup would work well too.
These are just a few ideas of what you could make to go with your tuna bake, and there are plenty more you could pick. Let me know in the comments below how your tuna bake meal turned out.