A simple but delicious Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake with leeks and cheddar – so easy to put together but full of flavour. Perfect weeknight comfort food!
Comforting Tuna Pasta Bake
Perfect comfort food, a simple pasta bake can be a real crowd pleaser. I mean, who doesn’t love pasta smothered in delicious, creamy sauce and topped with cheese? Once it has been baked in the oven you get that amazing grilled cheese crust on top, which is obviously the best bit!
This creamy Tuna Pasta Bake is made with minimum fuss. You can have dinner ready in under 30 minutes. The leeks go perfectly with the tuna but you can also add in some sweetcorn or peas if you wish. The leeks are cooked with the pasta and once drained, you can mix all the ingredients in the same pot, avoiding excess dirty dishes!
I love this dish served with a simple green salad, but I also never say no to garlic bread with pasta!
Tinned Tuna – a Pantry Staple
The humble canned tuna is a staple ingredient in my kitchen – I pretty much always have at least one tin to hand in my pantry. It’s inexpensive but healthy and a great source of protein and can be used in a lot of different dishes.
Tinned tuna comes in a few different varieties. I personally always prefer to buy tuna which is tinned in springwater or brine, rather than oil. If using tuna in brine be conscious when seasoning your meal, as the tuna already contains salt from the brine.
When buying tuna you should always make sure it is MSC certified as this means it has come from a sustainable source. MSC Certified Tuna is easily available in most UK Supermarkets and being MSC does not necessarily make it more expensive!
Creamy Cheese Pasta Bake
Most traditional ‘creamy’ pasta sauces are made from a roux with flour, butter and milk. If you prefer, you can absolutely whip one up for this recipe. This recipe uses double or heavy cream here to cut out that step and make this dish super speedy (plus less washing up, always a bonus).
I always use a mature (or sharp) cheddar cheese – the flavour really compliments the rest of the ingredients. You can use a mild cheddar if you prefer, or swap it for mozzarella, Red Leicester, Swiss cheese or a mixture.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
Looking for more easy pasta dishes? Try one of these:
Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake
- Baking Dish roughly 20cmx30cm
- Pasta Pot
- 350 grams pasta ideally fusilli, penne or rigatoni
- 2 145g tins tuna in springwater or brine drained and flaked
- 2 leeks trimmed and sliced
- 150 grams mature or sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 200 ml double cream heavy cream
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley plus extra to garnish if desired
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- pinch salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 180°c/160 fan/350f and put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
- Add the pasta to the pot and cook for 2 minutes less than recommenced on the packet instructions. Add the leeks to the pot for the final 2 minutes of cooking.*
- Scoop out ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of the cooking water from the pasta, then drain it.
- In the same (warm) pot you used to cook the pasta, add the cream, the reserved pasta water, two thirds of the cheese (100g) plus the pepper, garlic powder and salt.
- Mix well, then add in the tuna, pasta and parsley and stir again.
- Transfer everything into a baking dish, give it another stir to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Sprinkle with some extra chopped parsley and serve.