Creamy Tuna Pasta In 30 Minutes Or Less

Jan 27, 2020 | Fish and Seafood, Pasta, Quick Meals, Recipes

When I was around 12 my mom had a friend who had children that closely matched the age of my sisters and me. She lived right by our school. Occasionally, when mom had to go into town we would go to this friend’s house for dinner. It was one of these days when I first experienced tuna casserole.

My mom’s friend’s version of tuna casserole, as I now know, was pretty classic. It was tuna, pasta, and vegetables in a cream of mushroom sauce, covered with crushed potato chips and baked. My mom was a great cook but for whatever reason had never made anything like the tuna casserole I had that day. It made such an impression on me that I remember it more vividly than almost anything else from that period of my life. Interestingly enough, to this day that is the only tuna casserole I’ve ever had.

It was that tuna casserole I had in mind while I was creating this creamy tuna pasta recipe. Essentially, I wanted to make an updated version of that tuna casserole I ate well over 20 years ago. Gone are the crushed potato chips, cream of mushroom soup and long baking time. Now, we can all have that flavour and experience in under 30 minutes. Let’s take a look at how to me my…

Creamy Tuna Pasta In 30 Minutes or Less

12:45 – Getting Started

I made this creamy tuna pasta for a late lunch and started cooking at 12:45. The first thing I did was get a big pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta. Next, I put a frying pan on the stove over medium heat for the sauce. With that, it was time to get down to the real work.

For the sauce I started with a base of carrot, onion, and celery, I peeled and diced 1 onion and 1 carrot, then sliced 1 celery stalk.

12:49 pm – Start cooking

By the time I was done cutting my vegetables my pan was nice and hot. I added in 1 tbsp each butter and olive oil. I used butter for the flavour and the olive oil to help prevent the butter from burning. Once the butter melted I added in the vegetables.

12:50 pm – Garlic

While the vegetables were cooking I peeled and sliced 2 cloves of garlic. I also diced about a 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper. I added roasted red pepper because I just happened to have it in my fridge. You don’t have to add this but I did find it added a nice sweet tone to the overall flavour.

I gave the carrot, onion, and celery a stir then added in the roasted red pepper and garlic.

12:54 pm – Tuna

While the garlic and peppers were cooking I opened up my can of tuna. I drained the liquid right into the frying pan. This added a really nice subtle tuna flavour to the pasta that you won’t get from the tuna itself. The pan was hot enough that the juice evaporated very quickly.

12:55 pm – Cream

After the tuna juice mostly evaporated I added in 1 cup of whipping cream and a 1/2 cup of frozen peas. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t skimp out on the cream here. If you use blend cream, coffee cream, half and half, or milk, it will curdle and it will be gross. If, for some reason you want a lighter version of this, take the time and make a bechamel. Otherwise enjoy the rich delicious flavour of full fat, 35% whipping cream.

Once the cream and peas go into the pan bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer.

12:57 pm – Pasta in

Around this point, my pasta water was boiling and yours should be too. Add the pasta in and cook it according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking chop about a 1/2 cup of parsley.

1:05 pm – Drain Pasta

Once the pasta is cooked drain it as you normally would. While it is draining, add the tuna into the sauce and stir to break it up.

1:06 pm – Finish the creamy tuna pasta

Add the pasta into the sauce along with the parsley. Toss or stir the pasta to coat it with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve by itself or with a green salad.


The first bit of this pasta took me back to that dinner at my mom’s friend’s house all those years ago. I hope that you have a similar experience with it.

If you aren’t a big fan of tuna you could add canned or fresh salmon, chicken or ham instead. No matter what, it will be delicious. But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.

Thank you as always for reading and stay tuned for Wednesday when I am launching my free 10-week basic cooking course “Kitchen Clueless to food independent” and remember to subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post.

Creamy Tuna Pasta

A new take on the old school Tuna Casserole. A quick meal your family will love.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30 minute meals, 30 Minutes or less, Fish Recipes, pasta, pasta recipes, Tuna, Tuna Casserole
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 can Tuna In Water 170 g
  • 1 box Rotini 500 g
  • 1 sm Onion, diced
  • 1 med Carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup Diced Roasted Red Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Parsley
  • 1 cup Cream
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Put a large pot of salted water on the stove on high for the pasta.
  • Put a large frying pan on over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil and butter into the pan.
  • Once the butter has melted add in the carrot, onion and celery.
  • Sauté until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic and roasted red pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Open the can of tuna and drain the liquid into the pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the cream and peas. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Put the pasta into the boiling water and cook as per the directions on the box.
  • Add the tuna into the sauce.
  • Once the pasta is cooked drain it and add it into the sauce along with the parsley. Toss to evenly coat the pasta.
  • Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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