Tuck into this comforting Creamy Tuna & Sweetcorn Pasta Bake. This kid-approved classic sees tuna, pasta and sweetcorn smothered in a deliciously creamy sauce, perfect for a cosy midweek dinner!
Pasta has to be one of my children’s favourite meals and this creamy tuna & sweetcorn pasta bake is right up there alongside this creamy bacon & mushroom pasta bake & the classic tomato pasta (which I’ve hidden veggies in… shh!!!), although they are big fans of this hot dog fried rice too!
This baked tuna pasta is an easy meal to prepare and it uses mostly store cupboard ingredients that you will normally have in your kitchen.
It can also be prepared in advance and then popped in the oven when you get home, so is great for busy weeknight meals.
I have added sweetcorn as it goes so well with tuna, but feel free to mix it up & add other types of vegetables too. I have given some more ideas further down in the post.
Trust me, with the tasty creamy, cheesy sauce, even the pickiest eaters won't be able to resist!
🥘 Ingredients You Will Need
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients you will need to make this tuna pasta bake. To find out how to make it allergy-friendly, simply scroll down to the section below this one.
✋ Be sure to double check all packaging for allergens. ✋
- Pasta - Use a thick tubular pasta like Rigatoni, which is what I have used. This allows the cheesy sauce to cling to the pasta. Fusilli or penne pasta would also work well.
- Tuna - Canned tuna is a great staple to always have in the cupboard. You can use tuna in oil, brine or spring water, whichever is your preference. Use any leftover tuna to make this air fryer tuna melt.
- Sweetcorn - My kids are sweetcorn snobs and will only eat Green Giant tinned sweetcorn so that is what I have used, but feel free to use frozen sweetcorn if this is what you prefer. There is no need to defrost it as it will cook in the oven.
- Cheese - Depending on how strong you like your cheesy flavour you can use mild, medium or mature cheddar.
- Butter - Salted or unsalted works, although you may wish to use unsalted butter if cooking for small children. This is mixed with the flour and the milk to make the sauce.
- Flour - Mixed with the butter to make a roux, which forms the base of the sauce.
- Milk - Use full-fat milk for a creamier sauce.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
🤔 How Can I Make This Pasta Bake Allergy Friendly?
- ✔️ Make It Dairy-Free: Swap the butter for a dairy-free spread, the milk for a plant-based milk like oat milk or soya milk and the cheese for a vegan cheese alternative.
- ✔️ Make It Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta and flour instead of the regular varieties.
- ✔️ Mix Up The Veg! - There are so many different vegetables you can add to increase your veggie count! Why not try frozen peas, red bell peppers, broccoli or baby spinach?
- ✔️ Get cheesy: Experiment with different cheeses! Use a mix of cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan for the ultimate cheese heaven!
✏️ How To Make - Step-By-Step Instructions
⬇️ Here you will find an overview of how to make the recipe. For full information on ingredients and quantities please see the recipe card at the bottom of the page ⬇️
Step 1: Begin by preheating your oven to 200˚C / 180°Fan (390°F)
Step 2: Cook the pasta, following the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Step 3: Melt your butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the flour, whisking away for 1-2 minutes until it forms a roux. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking to avoid any unwanted lumps. Let it cook and thicken for around 5-7 minutes, whisking regularly.
Step 4: Add about ⅔ of your grated cheese into the sauce, stirring until it has melted and thickened the sauce.
Step 5: Stir the pasta, tuna and sweetcorn into the cheesy sauce, then season with salt & black pepper to taste.
Step 6: Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
Step 7: Bake it in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown and bubbly.
💡 Tips & Tricks
- ✔️ Use tubular pasta. For best results use a pasta like rigatoni. The creamy sauce clings to the nooks and ridges of the pasta. Penne and fusilli work well too.
- ✔️ Add extra veg! Try adding in some peas, red bell pepper or baby spinach for some extra nutrition.
- ✔️ Warm the milk. Warming the milk a little before adding it to the sauce helps the sauce to cook faster and makes for a smoother sauce.
- ✔️ Make it ahead:Prep the pasta bake and store it in the fridge. Pop it in the oven when you walk in for a stress-free dinner.
🥡 Storage / Freezing / Reheating
For the guaranteed gooey cheese pull I would recommend eating the pasta bake straight from the oven, however, it is perfectly safe to store it and reheat it.
Cool quickly on the kitchen side and transfer the pasta to an airtight container. You can then store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Either reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes until piping hot throughout - stirring halfway through or put back in the oven at 180˚C for 10-15 mins, covering the dish with foil.
Store in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat as above.
💬 Recipe FAQ’s
Can you make this creamy tuna pasta in advance?
Yes! Simply make up the pasta bake to step 7 and store it in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow the pasta to return to room temperature before cooking, then cook for the same time as the original recipe. Alternatively, add 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
Make sure the pasta is well-coated with the creamy sauce. If the pasta still looks like it is drying out, cover the baking dish with foil for part of the baking time to retain moisture.
We love serving it with a crisp, fresh green salad and some dairy-free garlic bread.
📖 More Pasta Recipes
Still craving more pasta? Check out these other tasty dishes
If you loved this recipe, please leave me a 5🌟 rating or comment below. I really do appreciate it. 😊
Creamy Tuna & Sweetcorn Pasta Bake
- 300 g (10.5 oz) rigatoni pasta can be substituted for gluten free
- 220 g (7.5 oz) canned tuna drained
- 200 g (7 oz) sweetcorn
- 200 g ( 7 oz) cheese - grated can be substituted for dairy free cheese
- 50 g ( 1.5 oz) butter can be substituted for dairy free spread
- 50 g ( 1.5 oz) plain flour can be substituted for gluten-free flour
- 500 ml ( 17 oz) milk can be substituted for a plant based milk
- Salt and pepper to season
- Preheat your oven to 200˚C / 180°Fan (390°F).
- Cook the rigatoni pasta according to package instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for about 1-2 minutes to create a roux.
- Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens, usually about 5-7 minutes.
- Add about ⅔ of the grated cheese to the sauce and stir until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked rigatoni pasta to the mixture, along with the tuna and sweetcorn. Stir until each pasta piece is coated with the cheesy sauce.
- Transfer the combined mixture to a baking dish & sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
- Use tubular pasta. For best results use a pasta like rigatoni. The creamy sauce clings to the nooks and ridges of the pasta. Penne and fusilli work well too.
- Add extra veg! Try adding in some peas, red bell pepper or baby spinach for some extra nutrition.
- Warm the milk. Warming the milk a little before adding it to the sauce helps the sauce to cook faster and makes for a smoother sauce.
- Make it ahead: Prep the pasta bake and store it in the fridge. Pop it in the oven when you walk in for a stress-free dinner.