Cheesy tuna pesto pasta

Cheesy tuna pesto pasta

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(44 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
Throw together some storecupboard ingredients and pop under the grill for a simple midweek meal

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal696
  • fat27g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre4g
  • protein40g
  • salt1.5g
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  • 400g penne
  • 200g can yellowfin tuna in olive oil



    A member of the mackerel family, tuna are mainly found in the world's warmer oceans. They…

  • 190g jar basil pesto (or try a different flavour such as spinach, tomato or aubergine pesto)



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


  • 100g cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 250g punnet cherry tomato, halved


  1. Boil the pasta. Meanwhile, tip the tuna and its oil into a large bowl with the pesto. Mash together with a wooden spoon. Stir in a third of the cheese and all of the tomatoes. Heat the grill to high.

  2. When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss through the pesto mix. Tip into a shallow baking dish and scatter with the remaining cheese. Place the dish under the grill for 3-4 mins until just melted, then serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Oct, 2012
I'm surprised I haven't commented on this before, as it's one of my favourite meals and has been since I first came across the recipe. I usually use tuna in water rather than oil as otherwise it can be a bit greasy, and cook it in the oven to make sure it's hot all the way through. To save a small amount of washing up, I don't usually bother mixing the tuna, pesto, etc in a bowl - just wait until the pasta's cooked, drain it and put it back in the saucepan, then add everything else and stir. It's so easy, quick and tasty.
2nd Oct, 2012
For what this is, which is a simple, quick mid week meal, I'd give it 5 stars. So easy to throw together and suprisingly tasty.
mercuryzelda's picture
18th Sep, 2012
Really enjoyed this. I used tuna in spring water (didn't drain it), mozzarella instead of cheddar, and some tomato sauce as my husband and I don't fancy raw tomatoes. Turned out lovely.
16th Sep, 2012
Not a big fan of pasta bakes myself but this was lovely!! Everyone ate it all and any leftovers (There was a lot and filled us up!) are being used to go to work for dinnner!!
17th Jul, 2012
Quite disappointing. Didn't use all the pesto and still very greasy. Kids not keen either and they eat most things. Won't try again
25th Sep, 2011
worked well for a quick, last minute, Sunday dinner for 6. We used half the pesto, added a serving spoon of cream cheese and a bit more cheese and tuna. Also scattered fresh basil on the top (made it look quite posh)
24th Aug, 2011
Really is storecupboard ingredients hence cheap. Oh so easy to make, full of flavour enjoyed by all the family - loved it.
18th Aug, 2011
Made this tonight and it is now firmly one of my favourite storecupboard recipes. I wouldn't make it for a dinner party, but as a tasty and easy family supper it is excellent. I am not a huge fan of the usual tuna sweetcorn bakes - the tuna can be a bit overpowering - but the pesto and tomatoes go really well in this recipe. A big thumbs up!
6th Aug, 2011
Made this for dinner tonight and it really went down well! It was so quick and easy to make - will definitely make this again for a quick mid week meal. Instead of using penne pasta, I used some spinach pasta which made it look really interesting and added a slightly different taste. Next time I think I'll not mix in the tomatoes and just layer them on top with the cheese so that they get nice and grilled.
27th May, 2011
we have this all the time, made the first time exactly as above and was yummy but a little oily for my taste. Now we usetuna fish in brine - drain it and i mix the pesto with creme fraiche or low fat mayo top with motzella normally as lower fat... its lovely and my boyfriend demands it normally once a fortnight ... lovely cold for lunch too :D


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