Home > Dinner > Cheesy Tuna Pasta Cheesy Tuna Pasta August 5, 2019 | 44 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. This cheesy and comforting Cheesy Tuna Pasta with peas can be made in one skillet and is ready in 30 minutes or less! While the pasta is simmering, whip together a quick side dish. This Olive Garden salad or kale avocado salad would pair nicely with this pasta and tuna dish. Cheesy Tuna Pasta Growing up, my mom frequently made a creamy tuna casserole; it was one of my favorite meals. Her version is quite a bit different than this one; she used cream of mushroom soup for the base and we usually had it over rice. Luckily, everyone else in the family loved it and the dish was easy to prepare (so Mom loved it). Needless to say, we ate that tuna-rice dish often. I wanted to make a dish close to that one, but with a healthier twist (no cream of mushroom soup) and simplified a bit. This Cheesy Tuna Pasta is made in just one skillet, with extremely streamlined preparation (no veggie chopping!). It’s great for a busy night, and with school starting up again, I’m sure every parent could use a dinner recipe like this one! What Pan To Use For Cheesy Tuna Pasta To ensure pasta and/or tuna don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, it’s important to use a nonstick skillet. Make sure the skillet has a fitted lid. I use a 10-inch, 3-quart (2.8-liter) nonstick skillet with a fitted lid for this recipe. (If you’re curious, here’s the exact pan used in this recipe). Too big or too small of a skillet, and you may experience some uneven cooking on this Cheesy Tuna Pasta. What Pasta To Use To ensure everything is cooked through evenly and within the time suggested in the instructions, you’ll want to use small pasta. For this Cheesy Tuna Pasta, I use miniature penne pasta (even though the pictures make it look regular-sized!). I also tested this recipe with small shells and elbows, both of which worked well, but the penne is definitely our favorite. Barilla® makes miniature penne pasta, which is usually the brand we use (not sponsored). Whatever pasta you choose, make sure the pasta can be cooked in 6-8 minutes and it should work in this dish! Cheesy Tuna Pasta tips Use good-quality ingredients: I like a good olive oil-packed tuna fish (Genova® is my favorite; not sponsored). Make sure to thoroughly drain the tuna before adding it to the skillet. I do this in a fine mesh sieve/strainer. Seasonings go a long way! There is no onion or garlic in this dish (we’re emphasizing quick prep!) so you’ll want to make sure to add the suggested seasonings and then adjust to personal preference. If you’re missing the onion flavor, try adding 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of onion powder. Add freshly grated cheese. To avoid clumping, I like to freshly grate the cheese (packaged grated cheese has a cellulose coating that keeps it from melting as smoothly). I also highly recommend sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar for maximum flavor. QUICK TIP If you don’t feel this Cheesy Tuna Pasta recipe has enough flavor, you may just be missing salt and/or pepper; don’t forget to add more as needed! Keep in mind that the pasta hasn’t been cooked in salted water, so it does need a good amount of seasoning. Add salt and pepper until the flavors “sing.” You can also add some freshness and flavor with some lemon zest or lemon juice. Dijon mustard is another great complementary flavor. Fresh herbs, like Italian parsley, can also add a lot to Cheesy Tuna Pasta. More One Pot Dinner Recipes: Lemon chicken and potatoes with carrots One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta Quinoa Chili with sweet potatoes and black beans One Pot pesto chicken tortellini reader’s favorite recipe! Easy Chicken Burrito Bowls in one pot with a cilantro-lime sauce FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Cheesy Tuna Pasta 4.96 from 25 votes - Review this recipe This cheesy and comforting Cheesy Tuna Pasta with peas can be made in one skillet and ready in 30 minutes or less! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Cheesy Tuna Pasta 4.96 from 25 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe This cheesy and comforting Cheesy Tuna Pasta with peas can be made in one skillet and ready in 30 minutes or less! Course Dinner, Main Course Cuisine American Keyword Cheesy Tuna Pasta, tuna pasta Prep Time 7 minutes minutes Cook Time 15 minutes minutes Total Time 22 minutes minutes Servings 4 servings Chelsea Lords Calories 692kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $5.76 Equipment10-inch nonstick skillet with fitted lid Ingredients▢ 2 cups miniature penne pasta (See Note 1)▢ 1 can (5 oz) tuna packed in olive oil▢ 2 cups whole milk (See Note 2)▢ 1 cup water▢ 4 tablespoons unsalted butter▢ ½ teaspoon EACH: dry mustard powder, paprika, roasted garlic powder▢ 2 cups sharp cheddar Cheese (See Note 3)▢ ½ cup frozen peas▢ Fine sea salt and fresh cracked pepper▢ Optional: fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped; hot sauceUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsPREP: Open the tuna and drain thoroughly. Fluff with a fork and set aside.ADD EVERYTHING TO A SKILLET: In a large 10-inch nonstick skillet (3-quart; 2.8-liter), pour in 2 cups of uncooked pasta; the drained tuna; milk, water, butter, and seasonings (dry mustard powder, paprika, garlic powder). Add salt and pepper to taste; I add 1 teaspoon fine sea salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.BOIL: Bring to a boil over high heat, stir, and then cover with the lid. Reduce the heat to low or just a few notches above low to keep the mixture lightly bubbling but not at a rolling boil.SIMMER: Allow to simmer until the pasta is completely cooked through and the liquid has evaporated (about 10-15 minutes, depending on your stovetop heat; check at 10 minutes). During the cooking time, stir the ingredients every 5-7 minutes to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom. While the pasta is simmering, grate the cheese.ADD CHEESE AND PEAS: Once the liquid is absorbed, remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the grated Cheddar cheese until melted. Once melted, add in the frozen peas and stir to warm through.ENJOY: Taste and adjust for any additional seasonings needed. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as any other additional seasonings (more garlic powder, paprika, etc.). Enjoy while hot. If desired, garnish individual plates and freshly chopped parsley and/or a drizzle of hot sauce. Recipe NotesNote 1: Pasta: Check the cooking directions and make sure the pasta you use can be cooked in 6-8 minutes. Note 2: Milk: Skim milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. were not successful in my recipe testing. Regular dairy milk needs to be used here; I recommend whole milk, but 1% or 2% will work (not skim). Note 3: Cheese: Cheese is a big part of this dish so choose a very flavorful cheese you love. I use and recommend sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. I recommend freshly grated, as the bagged cheeses can create a waxy texture when melted. Nutrition FactsServing: 4serving | Calories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 463mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2803IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 576mg | Iron: 2mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.