This dish takes me right back to my childhood... my dad used to cook us a tuna pasta bake when we saw him (amongst several other stable dishes) and it was always a packet mix for the sauce- I loved it! In fact, up until a few years ago I couldn’t let go of the nostalgia And still used a packet mix sauce to make a tuna pasta bake.
However, I gave my own version a go and used another delicious recipe idea as a way to create a delicious comforting meal, packed with flavour and vegetables too. Onions, pepper, courgette, sweetcorn and the tomato sauce give this dish a solid 2 portions of vegetables in every serving.
Spiced with Cajun seasoning and paprika but with added creaminess from some cream cheese makes this one of my favourite comfort foods with a healthy twist. The torn mozarella and grated Cheese on top just finish it off beautifully.
This dish serves 4 but I LOVE having this as leftovers for lunches and would also make a good meal prep idea. Even after grilling, this re-heats perfectly and the cheesy topping is just as good second time around...
Cajun Tuna Pasta Bake
Takes 30 minutes- 10 mins prep and 20 mins cooking time
300g wholemeal penne
1-2 tsp oil
1 onion, finely choppped
1 courgette, chopped into 1cm chunks
1 yellow/red pepper, chopped into 1cm chunks
2 tsp Cajun spice
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
200ml vegetable stock
2 cans tuna, drained
1 can sweetcorn
2 heaped tbsp cream cheese
1 ball mozzarella cheese
100g grated mature cheddar or Parmesan
1. Cook your pasta according to packet instructions
Whilst that’s cooking you can make your sauce!
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and add your onion, courgette and pepper. Fry on a medium heat until softened, stirring continuously.
3. Add the Cajun spice, paprika and thyme and fry for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the tomatoes, purée and vegetable stock. Stir together, being to the Bould and simmer until the sauce is thickened.
5. Pre-heat your grill with your oven-proof serving dish (approx 30cm x 20cm) in the grill.
6. Drain your pasta. Add the tuna, sweetcorn and cream cheese to the sauce and stir together. Add the drained pasta.
7. Pour the tuna pasta into the hot serving dish. Scatter over torn piece of mozzarella and the grated cheese and grill until bubbling and golden for 3-4 minutes.
Serve with a vibrant green side salad! (And maybe some garlic bread!)