Tuna pasta bake in an oval baking dish with portion out

Tuna pasta bake

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(187 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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27th Mar, 2019
What a sad story! Hilarious though. I think you need to cook the flour and butter mixture for quite a bit longer, till it looks dry and is beginning to go brown, to lose that raw flour flavour. Try adding extra milk if it's too dry, and some mustard to give it oomph, if you ever feel like maklng something like this again. Mushrooms and spring onions would also enhance it.
27th Jan, 2018
As I was only cooking for two, I halved the ingredients but kept the sauce as the full amount after reading the comments about it being dry. I also added some small broccoli florets when cooking the pasta for a minute. We thought it was tasty but it made quite a lot so I would reduce the amount of pasta next time.
23rd Jan, 2018
I chose this recipe as a quick, simple midweek dish. I thought the bake would be too dry so reduced the quantity of pasta to 450 g. I didn’t have any fresh parsley to hand so I added a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the white sauce and sliced 6 ripe tomatoes to the top of the bake before sprinkling on the cheese to give it more flavour. We will have it again but add a crisp green salad as a side dish.
7th Jan, 2018
My 11 year old son made this for his tea. He halved the quantities and it made enough for tea, with left overs for his lunch the next day. He added 0.5tsp chilli powder which he said worked well and used fusilli pasta.
Hanszinderfaan's picture
24th Aug, 2017
Made this today. I used fusilli as the base and scaled down the ingredients for two. Some cheeses are off the menu for me so I substituted Parmesan for cheese flavouring and fresh chopped Basil for Parsley. Salt is now a taboo here for health reasons. I was happy with the result barring the fact that Parmesan does not brown in the oven like Cheddar. I will be making this again but with a sprinkling of Paprika for colouring and flavour
ilovemesomepie's picture
15th Aug, 2017
I made this for dinner for my family last night, and it turned out really well. I used penne instead of rigatoni, and it worked very well. This was my first time making white sauce, and it took me more than half an hour to do, because I couldn't get the right thickness- but I eventually got it right, and the end result was delicious. Great recipe :)
5th Jul, 2017
I have cooked this recipe a dozen times or more, and it has become my signature dish when I cook for friends. I find it has enough flavour for me, and my friends seem to love it too, but I did try it once with garlic butter instead of ordinary butter, and that was absolutely delicious. The other thing about this recipe is that the sauce making step never worked out properly for me before, as I'd always end up with a tiny amount of flour paste lumps that were swimming in milk, but today I found a video that explains it much better, in that 'gradually' is an extremely important word in the step, and that the sauce should be cooked for up to five minutes once all the milk is in and before the cheese is added. The video is here (you'll need to copy and paste). https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-make-bechamel-white-sauce
5th Jul, 2017
I have made this recipe a dozen times now, and it has become my signature dish when cooking for friends. Until I did the dish again today I was having problems with the sauce making step, as I ended up with a small amount of lumpy flour paste that was swimming in milk, but it tended to sort itself out when I added the cheese and melted it in. However I have found the following video that explains the step more clearly, and essentially the 'gradually' in the instruction here really mean 'very very gradually whilst still on the heat' and should be followed with leaving the sauce mix on the heat for up to five minutes before adding the sauce. Here's the video anyway https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-make-bechamel-white-sauce On one occasion I used garlic butter as I couldn't get ordinary butter, and it was absolutely delicious, so I would recommend that idea for those that have previously written that this recipe does not have enough flavour for them. For me personally it does have a great flavour as it is, but I don't usually add salt to my cooking in any case, and am not a fan of things like curry and chilli, so I am not used to heavily seasoned foods, I just like to appreciate the flavours of the ingredients themselves, which this recipe allows me to do.
22nd Jun, 2017
Really disappointed with this. I used 100g less pasta that directed as I was worried there wouldn't be enough sauce. I still found it quite dry and very very bland - i seasoned and seasoned but there still wasn't much flavour to this.
25th Jan, 2017
I do love tuna pasta bake, but we always crush up a packet of ready salted crisps and sprinkle those on top for a crunchy crust. Lovely! A great, quick and tasty recipe.


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