Tuna Pasta Bake Italian-style

Must-try Italian Tuna Pasta Bake

Tuna pasta bake is by no means an Italian recipe. Americans came up with it in the 1930s because it was cheap and had a good protein content. So why is an Italian making this, you ask?

Tuna pasta casseroles have been trending recently, so I got curious and looked into a few recipes. I suddenly realized that many modern versions, especially European ones, start off similarly to one of my family’s recipes. It’s a tuna pasta sauce recipe that was given to my grandma by her brother; then my grandma showed it to my mum, so I grew up eating it; and now I sometimes cook it myself.

Hence why this recipe is called Tuna Pasta Bake Italian-style because it’s an Italian tuna pasta recipe that I turned into a pasta bake for extra taste, cheesiness and crunch. If that sounds good, keep reading. I think you are going to love this one.


cutting smoked caciotta cheese


What nutrients are in tuna pasta bake?

Tuna Pasta Bake is a balanced meal that offers a variety of essential nutrients:

  1. Protein: Tuna is a high-quality source of protein which is vital for building and repairing tissues, making hormones, and supporting immune function.
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Tuna is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to promote heart health by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
  3. Complex Carbohydrates: Pasta provides a substantial amount of complex carbohydrates which are essential for energy production.
  4. Fiber: If whole grain pasta is used, it also contributes significant dietary fiber which aids in digestion and helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
  5. Vitamins and Minerals: Cheese adds calcium for bone health, and the use of vegetables in the sauce (like tomatoes or spinach) can contribute a variety of vitamins and minerals. For example, tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, and spinach provides iron and calcium.
  6. Healthy Fats: The cheese and any oil used in the recipe provide healthy fats, which are necessary for absorbing certain vitamins and for overall cellular health.


I would never make this recipe thinking, or worst saying this is a healthy recipe, but it all depends on what one views as healthy.

When I say it’s not healthy I mean it’s not a salad and fish with a simple olive oil dressing; it’s neither a 5 ingredient pasta; it has a lot of cheese; and it’s not low in calories.

However, it’s a homemade meal made with high quality ingredients that are all genuine, so if you don’t mind the extra calories, it can be considered a very good meal. Just don’t have this if you are trying to loose or maintain your weight, or have it as a treat every now and then.

This disclaimer comes from the fact that tuna pasta bakes have been trending as a healthy food to be eaten on a diet. If you want that kind of tuna pasta just stick to a pasta made with gnocchi (fresh gnocchi are low in calories), veggies, tuna, a little EVOO.

And if you want, you can make the sauce with the vegetables soffritto, add capers, and even olives, and the passata. Then, crunch it under the grill with a little cheese on top. That’s much simpler, healthier and lower calories. That’s the kind of recipe you can eat multiple times a week in my opinion, although I am not a nutritionist.


Easy Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe Italian-style

Now that I have answered most questions about tuna pasta bake let me share my recipe with you.

tuna pasta bake

Tuna Pasta Bake Italian-style

Fancy a tuna pasta bake? Try our easy and flavourful Italian recipe. It packs veggies, it's also zingy, and very cheesy.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 3 portions
Calories 850 kcal


  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 chopping knife
  • 1 medium pan
  • 1 medium large pot
  • 1 pasta ladle
  • 1 silicone spoon


  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 cans tuna in brine
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 glass white wine water glass
  • 750 ml Italian tomato passata
  • 400 gr Calamari pasta
  • 100 gr smoked scamorza regular scamorza will do but the smoked one gives the tuna pasta bake extra flavour
  • 3 tbsp pre-grated pecorino or grate yourself or Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp Belmorso Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Peel and slice the onion and carrots finely.
  • Sauté the veggies with the celery stalk in the EVOO. Use all 3 tablespoons.
    soffritto for tuna pasta bake
  • Add the tuna and caper after a couple of minutes, and toss together.
  • After another couple of minutes you can add the wine; leave to evaporate.
    adding tuna for tuna pasta bake
  • Now, add the tomato passata, mix well, lower the heat, and leave to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
    tuna pasta sauce
  • In the meantime, boil the water for your pasta with plenty of salt.
  • When it boils, add the calamari pasta for the tuna pasta bake. Cook following the packaging instructions.
    calamarata pasta
  • Take your sauce off the heat and drain your pasta. Leave some cooking water just in case.
  • Add the pasta to your pan if large enough, or vice versa the sauce to your pot. Mix the pasta with the sauce well.
    mixing calamarata pasta and tuna sauce
  • Transfer to a baking dish and add the Scamorza cheese into large pieces scattered throughout the dish.
    cutting smoked caciotta cheese
  • Top with the grated Pecorino or Romano cheese and breadcrumbs, distributed evenly.
    topping tuna pasta bake with pecorino and breadcrumbs
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven and serve with a little drizzle of Belmorso EVOO. Buon appetito.
    tasting tuna pasta bake
Keyword tuna pasta bake


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Love Tuna? Make These Other Tuna Recipes

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Italian Tuna Rice Salad

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15 Minute Spicy Tuna Pasta Recipe



Author: Alessia


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