Whole wheat brown pasta, plenty of tuna, sweet tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and a crisp cheesy top, this is my tuna pasta bake recipe. Made from scratch with store cupboard essentials but you won’t find any packet mixes or jars of sauces used in my recipe. This tuna pasta bake is made from scratch.
Feel free to add other veg such as mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, sprouts, cauliflower, spinach or courgettes. Sweetcorn and root vegetables will make this pasta dish more difficult to tolerate and so it’s best to stick to lower carb vegetables if possible.
I use whole wheat pasta in this dish, but there are lots of different higher protein and lower carb pastas that you could try instead.
For those that enjoy normal (white) pasta and are worried about making the change to whole wheat (brown) pasta, please don’t worry, it tastes exactly the same as white pasta, so much so I only ever use whole wheat pasta for my family. It just takes slightly longer to cook – 12 minutes.
TOP TIP: Don’t waste your broccoli stalks! I chop all the florets off a head of broccoli and then finely chop the broccoli stalks to add into the pasta bake. This means getting much more flavour and reducing the amount of waste making the dish more economical too!
Reheating cooked pasta helps to lower the glycemic index and may make pasta dishes more tolerable. Therefore if you struggle to tolerate pasta, try making a dish like this, allow it cool, refrigerate it overnight and then try a small portion reheated to see if you can tolerate it better!
Pasta dishes such as this can be very difficult to tolerate if the protein and extra fats are removed. The tuna, black olives, cheese and cream all help to pair the carbs from the pasta and vegetables. Fish does not pair carbs as well as meat, so this is a more risky recipe alongside the pasta, tomatoes and peppers that should only be tried if you tolerate pasta well as a carb, or if you have better tolerance to most foods.
In this recipe I use 3 tins of tuna. You can use whichever tuna you prefer. I use tuna in spring water, but tuna in brine or sunflower oil works fine too. I prefer to use tins of drained tuna steak as you then get nice larger lumps of tuna and the tins are so much easier to open without getting stinky tuna water everywhere!
- 250 grams whole wheat pasta
- 350 grams broccoli (1 head of broccoli)
- 1 whole yellow pepper diced
- 1 whole red pepper diced
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 100 grams black olives halved
- 50 grams capers (optional)
- 800 grams tinned chopped tomatoes (2 tins)
- 1 whole clove of garlic crushed
- 330 grams tuna (3 tins drained weight)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 150 ml double cream
- 150 grams grated cheddar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter for greasing the ovenproof dish
- Preheat oven to 180°c (fan)
- Put the whole wheat pasta in a pan of salted water to cook
- Chop the broccoli so that it's cut into small florets and finely dice the stalk, then add broccoli into the saucepan with pasta when the pasta has 5 mins left to cook
- Add the olive to a large deep pan on medium heat, then add the finely chopped onions, cooking until softened
- Add the chopped peppers and crushed garlic clove to cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes, add the tuna, sliced black olives, capers, dried oregano and black pepper and stir well. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes then add a handful (approx. 50g) of grated cheddar, stirring well to combine and melt into the sauce
- Once the cheese has melted, pour in the cream and stir through
- Drain the pasta and broccoli once cooked, then add into the sauce. Mix well to coat all the pasta and broccoli. The pasta can be eaten at this point, or you can continue to create a pasta bake with a crispy top (the best bit!)
- Pour the coated pasta into a butter greased large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and the cheese is bubbling