Tuna pasta bake in an oval baking dish with portion out

Tuna pasta bake

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(185 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 6

Whip up this cheap treat using storecupboard ingredients, tinned tuna and sweetcorn

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal752
  • fat26g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs99g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre4g
  • protein37g
  • salt1.43g
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  • 600g rigatoni
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 250g strong cheddar, grated



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

  • 2 x 160g cans tuna steak in spring water, drained
  • 330g can sweetcorn, drained


    sw-eet corn

    Also known as corn on the cob, sweetcorn is composed of rows of tightly packed golden yellow…

  • large handful chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  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.

  4. Cook for 1 min, then gradually stir in 600ml milk to make a thick white sauce.

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

  6. 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.

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

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

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Comments, questions and tips

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maggiebleksley's picture
31st Dec, 2019
This is a good recipe, but I think no.4 of the method should give more details of making a thick white sauce, i.e. bringing to the boil and stirring continuously. This may be obvious to most of us, but, looking at the comments, some people don't seem to realise you have to do this. Everybody has to learn sometime. As for blandness, it tells you to season, so if it's too bland, you didn't put enough seasoning in. I added a fish stock cube to the sauce.
Amber Moore's picture
Amber Moore
26th Dec, 2019
This recipe is AMAZING if you need something quick and easy for the family! The only tip I’d add is to season it otherwise it’s too bland.
Richard Crowther's picture
Richard Crowther
17th Nov, 2019
Pasta bake as the Tuna disappears! Agree the seasoning is bland, I halved the liquid as I like a creamy sauce, 2/3 the pasta volume double the tuna replace half the milk with double cream, now that is much better!
maggiebleksley's picture
31st Dec, 2019
If the seasoning is bland, surely that's because you didn't put enough in!
7th Aug, 2019
Cheap and cheerful, feeds an army! Massive quantity feeds an army. Needs more seasoning and good very strong cheddar. A bit floury and sauce a bit fiddly hence three stars. Would serve with more fresh parsley and thick seasoning. Some cherry tomatoes added to the mix would be a nice touch!
19th May, 2019
Very nice, have followed this recipe 2/3 times now family love it
Dexter Byrne's picture
Dexter Byrne
7th Dec, 2018
making this for food tech at school and it looks kinda mad styll
Georgia Martin's picture
Georgia Martin
21st Nov, 2018
I'm not the best cook but I do try my best, and I thought id give this a shot. Oh my god, the sauce, it turned out in big gloopy lumps , it was horrendous, I had people coming over - but luckily I have a hand blender, so before I gave up , I blended it and it saved the day ! The kids seemed to enjoy it, it does need a lot of seasoning but overall, it was quick and easy and edible.
shilpatij's picture
9th Jul, 2018
I made this last night and it was very good! I kept a third of the pasta and the chesse sauce aside for a veggie version and added 230g of tuna to the rest (160g just didn't seem enough). I used farfalle instead of rigatoni and seasoned well with salt and pepper. My husband and daughter liked it very much and we had some left over for lunch!
Joe Ball's picture
Joe Ball
12th May, 2018
Hands down, the WORST thing I have ever eaten. Consistency of dried out cement, tasteless, and very very bland even after dumping a tonne more seasoning in (which consisted of anything to mask the flavour of flour. I mean, I know it’s to thicken up the ‘sauce’ - if you can call it that - but that much? Even after I reduced the amount it was still dry.) Absolute travesty of a pasta bake. I would rather eat my own arm, than this ever again.


10th Nov, 2019
Does 1 portion cost £1 or less?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2019
Thank you for your question. The price will vary depending on the supermarket but it does refer to the cost per portion. You can compare different supermarkets using the shopping tool underneath the main recipe image.
Ana Rkman's picture
Ana Rkman
22nd Apr, 2019
Is it important to add parsley and sweetcorn/ do you need to?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Apr, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can leave these out if you prefer.
4th Nov, 2015
Can this be frozen?
Ana Rkman's picture
Ana Rkman
22nd Apr, 2019
No, but it can be refrigerated.
5th Jul, 2017
Possibly, but reheating it afterwards would probably not be recommended, as the tuna will have been heated twice already (once before it was put in the can, and once in the pasta bake) so probably shouldn't be heated a third time. Without the tuna (or if you use raw fresh tuna and cook it yourself) then it would be fine (though may get a little mushier than before it was frozen). If you do use raw tuna and cook it yourself in order to be able to freeze it then you'd probably also need to check that the tuna hadn't been prefrozen by the supermarket or their suppliers before it was sold as fresh tuna (the packet usually tells you if it has been).
17th Jul, 2013
would it be possible to swap tuna for sardines?
5th Jul, 2017
I don't see why not, except that the dish would then contain a potential choking hazard from the small bones, unless extra prep time is spent thoroughly picking out every last fragment of bone from the sardines first.
Tyburn Gate's picture
Tyburn Gate
21st Feb, 2019
utterly bland and dry...forget the sauce described, and definitely its thickener of even more bland flour, and use any bottled white(lasagne) sauce, add a LOT of seasoning, like mixed Italian or Knorr, and, for the 600g of pasta described, double the amount of all of butter, sauce, tuna, and veg, and go to 4x mustard powder - then add decent pepper and chilli to taste...otherwise this is basically a tasteless British school dinner from the 60s, or comfort food when you have flu! For a more fun family dinner follow above!
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