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Cheesy Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake

A spoonful of Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake being lifted out of the ovenproof dish, set on a black slate board.
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A different take on a family-favourite – Tuna Pasta Bake! The dish is transformed with the addition of pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Simple to make, budget-friendly and certainly full of flavour, our Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake is a fancier take on a more traditional pasta dinner!

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Humble Tin of Tuna

Tinned tuna is something we always have at home. There are so many things you can do with it:

So many recipes in our repertoire, but this tuna and pesto pasta bake has to be one of Seb’s favourites!

Tuna and Pesto Pasta bake served in a pale pink bowl, with the rest of the bake in a white ovenproof dish in the background.

Does Pesto Go With Tuna?

Pesto somewhat enhances the flavour of the fish, so this recipe is definitely for people who don’t mind strong-tasting fish. We love the pasta with the sheer amount of spring onions, mixed with rich basil pesto and topped with melted stringy mozzarella.

The idea to first make this dish was born when I tried a lovely salmon and pesto lasagne dish on our holiday in Venice. Fish and pesto was never a combination I used, but it seems to work perfectly with any oilier fish. I’ve opted for a simple bake to show off the amazing combination of tinned tuna and pesto. So here’s our 7-ingredient tuna pesto pasta bake!

Ingredients and Substitutes

  • pasta: choose the shape of pasta that has lots of nooks and crannies to catch all that pesto. We like fusilli or conchiglie, but penne will work too!
  • tuna: tinned tuna chunks in spring water or brine. Avoid tuna in oil.
  • lemon: you will use zest and juice, so choose unwaxed lemons.
  • green pesto: we used basil pesto.
  • cherry tomatoes: or baby plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • spring onions: finely sliced. Omit the spring onions if you don’t like onion flavour, or substitute with other fresh herbs, such as a mixture of parsley, chives and basil.
  • mozzarella ball: drained
Ingredients for Tuna and Pesto Pasta bake recipe.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than stated on the packet and drain, reserving approximately 100ml of starchy pasta water.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, drain the tuna and tip it into a large mixing bowl. Halve your cherry tomatoes and add to the tuna. Zest and juice the lemon into the same bowl too. Finely slice all of your spring onions, but only add about 2/3 to the tuna bowl. Reserve the rest for later. Finally add the pesto, some seasoning and mix.

Tuna, pesto and vegetables in a large metal bowl.

Once cooked, mix in the pasta and 100ml of pasta water.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish. Tear the mozzarella ball into pieces and scatter it across the top. Finally, scatter the remaining spring onions on top. Bake the tuna pesto pasta for 20 minutes until mozzarella melts and starts to brown slightly!

A spoonful of tuna pesto pasta bake being lifted off of the white ceramic ovenproof dish.

What To Serve With Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake?

If you are looking for side dishes for tuna pesto pasta, we have you covered. Try it with:

Other Delicious Pasta Recipes

If you like making pasta dishes for weekday dinners, you may be tempted by our other simple but delicious recipes:

If you want something a bit fancier, try making pasta yourself – here’re a couple of articles to get you started:

Recipe Card

A spoonful of Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake being lifted out of the ovenproof dish, set on a black slate board.

Cheesy Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake

A different take on a family-favourite – Tuna Pasta Bake! The dish is transformed with an addition of pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Simple to make, budget-friendly and certainly full of flavour, our Tuna and Pesto Pasta Bake is a fancier take on a more traditional pasta dinner!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine British, Italian
Servings 4 portions
Calories 615 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 280 g pasta fusilli, penne, or conchiglie
  • 320 g tinned tuna chunks in spring water or brine (2 tins) drained
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 190 g green pesto
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 100 g spring onions (approx 6-7) finely sliced
  • 125 g mozzarella ball drained

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than stated on the packet and drain, reserving approx 100ml of pasta water.
  • In a large bowl, mix the tuna, lemon juice, zest, pesto, halved tomatoes and 2/3 of spring onions. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked pasta and 100ml of pasta water.
  • Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish. Tear the mozzarella ball into pieces and scatter across the top. Finally, add the remaining spring onions. Bake for 20 minutes until mozzarella melts and starts to brown slightly.

Nutrition

Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 34gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 678mgPotassium: 515mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1503IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 247mgIron: 3mg
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6 Replies to “Cheesy Tuna Pesto Pasta Bake”

  1. 5 stars
    Omg, tuna and pesto are a match made in heaven! We loved this!!

    1. Thanks, Casey! So glad you like the combination 🙂

  2. Shadi+Hasanzadenemati says: Reply

    5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe like this, thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try it soon!

    1. Gald you found this! Let me know if you like it if you try it!

  3. 5 stars
    This quickly became a favorite at my house! So good and delicious!!

    1. Oh wow, Toni! This is the best compliment! Thanks so much 🙂

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