Tuna Pasta Casserole – a classic pantry dinner. This tomato-based tuna pasta casserole is made with penne pasta, vegetables, and top with Monterey jack for the perfect comfort food. Perfect for busy weeknights!
How to Make Tuna Pasta Casserole
- 454g / 1lb mini penne pasta (or other pasta of choice)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 poblano pepper or bell pepper, diced
- 800g / 28 oz crushed tomato
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian mixed herbs, or other dried herbs of choice
- 1 tablespoon knorr chicken flavor bouillon
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Four (142g/5 oz) cans Chunk Light Tuna in Water, drained
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 cups (200g) shredded, Monterey jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, or any melty cheese of your choice.
Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour the water into the pot and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sugar, and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickens, about 30 minutes or until desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as necessary.
Add the tuna and stir it into the sauce. Then stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Stir in the cooked pasta until they’re coated. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and transfer the pasta mixture to the dish.
Top the casserole with the cheese and bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining parsley. Serve piping hot.
To make ahead: Assemble the Tuna Pasta Casserole and refrigerate, unbaked, up to 24 hours before baking. Allow an extra 10 to 15 minutes of baking time if you put it in the oven cold.