Creamy tuna pasta bake is the perfect weeknight dinner. This tuna casserole is ready on your table in 35 minutes, it has an easy 7-minute prep and easily feeds a family of six.
This tuna casserole is an easy to make dinner made with canned tuna, sweetcorn, broccoli and cheese. Also great for meal-prep and freezer-friendly!
How to make tuna pasta bake
First, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. About 5 minutes before the end, add in broccoli florets that you have previously divided into small pieces. This way you save time and one pot.
Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius) and prep the rest of the ingredients for this tuna pasta bake: Drain sweetcorn and tuna. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream, half and half and about an ounce of shredded cheese.
When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain the water. Transfer them back into the same pot or a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except for the rest of the cheese). Mix everything well to make sure that when the tuna casserole is ready, the flavors are distributed evenly.
Pour the mixture into a Pyrex, casserole dish or any oven-proof dish, top with the leftover cheese and bake until ready.
How to cook tuna pasta bake?
It depends on the recipe you choose. This tuna pasta bake with cheese, broccoli and sweetcorn needs about 20 minutes in the oven – until the cheese is nice golden brown and sauce is bubbling away.
Note that every oven cooks slightly differently, which means you might need less or more time. All the ingredients are cooked ahead so you just want the half and half sauce to cook a bit and the cheese to melt to your liking.
Can you freeze tuna pasta bake?
Yes, you can. Simply bake it until ready, take it out from the oven and let it cool down completely. Then, divide into portions. This is important – don’t freeze the whole tuna noodle casserole. Divide it into small portions so you can easily take out as many as you need and enjoy it whenever you want to.
How long does tuna pasta bake last in the fridge?
This canned tuna pasta bake will last for 3 days in the fridge. Just make sure you, keep it in an air-tight container with a lid on at all times. Without the lid, it would dry out.
Do you cook pasta before baking?
Yes. If you didn’t you would have to add a lot of liquid to the casserole and you would also have to increase the baking time.
Pasta – feel free to use any kind of short pasta. Rigatoni, Penne, Bowtie pasta or Ziti are great options.
Herbs de Provence can be substituted with oregano. Or a mixture of rosemary, thyme and oregano, if you have these dried herbs on hand.
Broccoli – I personally enjoy this creamy tuna pesto bake with broccoli the most. However, you can use peas instead (either canned or frozen). When using canned peas, just drain it and stir it into the pasta altogether with the rest of the ingredients. When using frozen peas, cook it in the same pot with pasta. Check the package instructions for cooking time and add it towards the end as it will take less time to cook than pasta.
Cheese – I like using either cheddar block and grate it myself or sliced mozzarella or a combination of these two. They both melt nicely. Please feel free to use any cheese you like.
I only use half a teaspoon of celery salt to season this creamy tuna pasta bake and a quarter of teaspoon of black pepper. This was plenty as the cheese, herbs and the rest of ingredients added.
However, keep in mind that it is important to cook pasta and broccoli in salty water. I recommend tasting the pasta while it is cooking to see if it’s salty enough. If not, add more salt.
It is also important to mix the tuna pasta bake mixture well so that you won’t end up with some areas of the bake over-seasoned while others will be under-seasoned.
More easy recipes to try:
Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake
- 10 ounces short pasta (300 grams), see note 1
- 1.5 cup broccoli florets (75 grams), see note 2
- salt for pasta, see note 3
- 1.5 tablespoon herbs de provence
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 ounces canned sweetcorn , drained (150 grams)
- 7 ounces canned tuna , drained (200 grams)
- 7 ounces cheese ,shredded or sliced (200 grams), see note 7
- ¾ cup half and half
- ½ cup sour cream
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. 5 minutes, before the end, add broccoli florets. Cook until both the pasta and broccoli are ready. Drain when ready.
- While waiting for the pasta to cook, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius). Then, mix together about an ounce of shredded cheese with half and half and sour cream. Set aside.
- Put the pasta and broccoli back into the same pot (but if too full choose a larger one or a large bowl instead). Add herbs de Provence, celery salt, black pepper, drained sweetcorn, drained tuna and the sour cream mixture. Mix until well combined.
- Pour into a casserole dish or any oven-proof dish, large enough to hold the mixture. Cover with cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius) for 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice golden brown and you can see the sauce bubbling away.
- Pasta – use any short-shaped pasta like penne, rigatoni, bow tie pasta or ziti.
- Broccoli – I used about 1.5 cup of small fresh broccoli florets. This is about 2.6 ounces (75 grams). You can increase the amount to 2 cups, if you like.
- Salt – it’s important that the pasta has enough salt so it’s not bland. Taste one to see if you like the level of saltiness.
- Herbs de Provence can be substituted with oregano.
- Half and half (US) = Single cream (UK).
- This recipe can be easily doubled or halved.
- Cheese – I used about an ounce of shredded cheddar and 4 ounces of sliced mozzarella on top. Use either of them. Gouda is also a great option.
- Tuna Pasta Bake keeps well in the fridge (stored in air-tight container) and will last for up to 3 days. It can be also divided into individual portions (stored in air-tight containers or Ziploc bags) and kept in the freezer for up to a month.
- The overall time (prep + cooking) takes less than 35 minutes, as some of the prep is done while waiting for the pasta to be cooked. However, some pasta takes longer to cook, than others. I cook mine 8 minutes max. TIP: If you want to save time, check the pasta cooking time when in store and choose the quickest ones.
- For more tips, substitutions or if in doubt, I recommend reading the full post (above this recipe card).