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Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake

by Adrianne

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake is creamy, spicy and deliciously cheesy! An easy baked dish with spicy Mexican flavours that has corn, black beans, tuna and pasta.

Wooden Spoon with Tuna Pasta bake close up shot

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake is creamy, spicy and deliciously cheesy!

HOLD THE CREAM. I kid you guys not, this is the creamiest, cheesiest, Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake that you will ever make and it has NO CREAM IN IT!

A creamy, cheesy baked dish with spicy Mexican flavours that has corn, black beans, tuna and pasta 

A long time ago now I started substituting greek yoghurt for cream. Not for every dish. but for savoury dishes where I used to use either sour cream or regular cream.  I haven’t actually missed it for a second. In fact, I had take away Mexican at one stage and had to double take on the taste and flavour of the bowl of sour cream as I hadn’t had it for so long.

I have come to prefer using greek yoghurt in these instances and I am sure you will too. The Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake that we are making today is creamy. It is cheesy. It is just a little bit spicy and it is DELICIOUS. The texture of the dish is the same as if we used cream but this version of tuna pasta is good for our diet in a way that creamy tuna pasta is not.

We don’t actually need cream to make the best recipe for creamiest tuna pasta bake there is!

By now you might have some questions about the recipe that I can answer. Let’s do it 🙂

How many calories are in a Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake?

There is approximately 630kj per serve.  The recipe card at the bottom of the post displays the Nutritional information for this recipe so you can have a read.

Can you freeze tuna pasta bake?

Yes, friends, you can!

What is even better is that you can freeze it before or after you cook it (see question 4).

Is Tuna Pasta Good for a Diet?

Like every dish we eat, we need to be mindful of eating in moderation. This recipe has pasta so that means carbohydrates. However, that is not a bad thing. It would be if we ate the whole thing in one sitting (don’t worry your belly won’t have room for that). 

If we exercise portion control and eat a balanced diet then we don’t need to worry as much as it is the overindulging or not knowing we are full that does the damage.

There are a couple of things you can do though if you are wanted reduce your calorie intake for this recipe:

  • Reduce the cheese in the pasta bake sauce
  • Reduce the cheese on top of the pasta bake 
  • Add peas to the recipe and reduce the quantity of pasta

Do you have to boil pasta before baking?

Yes, you do. I mentioned in question 2 to refer to this question. The reason being you can boil the pasta so it is cooked and add it to the rest of the ingredients before freezing it. You can also bake the dish and then freeze it.

The pasta does need to be boiled and properly cooked before the fiesta tuna pasta is oven baked.

When I think Mexican food, I have memories of eating at a place called Montezumas, where you would be delivered a plate of cheesy, beans, corn, rice and chicken topped with sour cream and green onions. SO YUM!! Mexican at home can be just as tasty and delicious

I love making pasta bakes as they are such family friendly meals and can be in the oven when the homework is getting done. This ridiculously cheesy tuna pasta bake ticks the Mexican night of the week with a bit of variety from your standard Mexican rice dish.

 

Macaroni in a bowl for Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe

What does the Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake taste like?

This recipe tastes like a creamy, dreamy, cheesy pasta with hints of salsa. Simply put, it tastes delicious!

I know some families have kids with picky eaters. This recipe wins even them over as there is enough colour and texture to keep them interested as well as having THE YUM FACTOR.

The taste is like a plate of food that you would get at a Mexican Restaurant with salsa and taco seasoning that everyone at the table will enjoy!

What to serve with Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake

You might find that a bowl of this delicious cheesy goodness is enough and you don’t want anything to go with it. That is completely understandable.

A friend of mine loves to serve her pasta bakes with garlic bread as she has so many mouths to feed. The best thing about that serving suggestion is that it can be in the oven at the same time as your tuna pasta bake! 

Pasta Bake Sauce

It is easy to grab a pasta bake sauce from the grocery store. If that is your jam, go for it!

The sauce we make to use with this pasta bake is easy to prepare!

We use greek yoghurt, salsa, taco seasoning, onion flakes and mozzarella cheese. These ingredients get combined and mixed together to create a cheesy, creamy, spicy sauce.

I find it easy to throw all of the ingredients into a large glass jug to mix them together.

Salsa comes in mild, medium or hot, you can choose how spicy you want to go!

Ingredients for Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake Sauce

Fiesta, Mexican, Creamy Tuna Bake

A regular tuna pasta bake generally uses cream as the sauce or sometimes cream and cheese together. 

This Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake is packed with flavours to recreate the taste sensation that is Mexican Food. 

You can tell your family or friends you are serving them Mexican Tuna Bake, Spanish Tuna Bake or Spicy Tuna Bake. Essentially these are all the same dishes and will give them the idea that they are in for a tasty dish which is filled with flavours!

 

Ingredients for Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake Recipe

Easy Tuna Bake Recipe

It is entirely possible to make this dish on a week night.

The tuna, black beans and corn are all canned. The pasta will take less than 10 minutes to cook. All you need to do then is mix the ingredients together for the sauce, pop some cheese on top and put the tuna pasta bake in the oven

 It will take about 10 minutes for your cheese to bubble and melt and if you want to sit in front of the oven and watch,  that is totally ok!!

A couple of other easy pasta recipes that you may want to include in your weekly meal plan are:

Week night meals need to be easy, tasty and not have a lot of clean up involved!

Kitchen antics

I have to admit I am not a huge fan of washing up!

With each recipe I develop, I test out ways to reduce the post cook clean up. Whist the idea of a one pot tuna pasta bake is appealing. I found that I would need to use a huge saucepan to cook my pasta and then use that for stiring. An option but it would take extra time for the extra volume of water to heat. Or accept the fact, which I ended up doing that after cooking the pasta, I needed to use a mixing bowl as well.

If you have a hack that lets us make this type of recipe in one pot I would LOVE to hear it.

 

Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Bake in a mixing bowl

Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Bake in a silver bowl

 

Everyone likes dinner, but everyone LOVES dessert

I understand that sometimes it can be hard to be creative on a week night. Perhaps these recipes will inspire you to give them a whirl on the weekend:

Puff Pastry Tarts are simple, easy and delicious, perfect for a quick after dinner dessert! 

About the recipe:

  • The tuna bake is best served hot
  • Coriander (cilantro) is a great garnish for the dish
  • The pasta will cook in less than 10 minutes
  • The dish is oven baked for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts
  • The pasta bake sauce can be used for other pasta bakes eg chicken

Your quick questions answered:

  1. The fiesta tuna pasta bake can be frozen before melting the cheese
  2. You can use a variety of pasta types for this recipe 
  3. To lower calories reduce the cheese both in and on top of the pasta bake
  4. The spicy taste is not hot but full of flavour
  5. This is an EASY recipe to make

Dinner for a crowd

We have talked about using garlic bread with your tuna bake if you are looking to provide a balanced meal between the dish and a side dish. If garlic bread isn’t your thing, you might like to try one of the following sides:

Alternate options

If you were drawn to my photos but would like to try recipes with different flavour combinations. Then these recipes are a good place to start:

Wooden Spoon with Tuna Pasta bake close up shot

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake is creamy, spicy and oh so cheesy! An easy baked dish with spicy Mexican flavours that has corn, black beans, tuna and pasta.
5 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Australian, Inernational
Keyword: easy pasta bake, fiesta tuna pasta bake, pasta bake, tuna pasta bake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 653kcal
Author: Adrianne

Ingredients

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake

  • 2 cups macaroni pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 400 grams corn kernels drained and rinsed
  • 400 grams black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup greek yoghurt low fat
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa medium heat
  • 200 grams tuna in oil drained
  • 30 grams taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion flakes Also called dried onion
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

Instructions

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake

  • Preheat oven to 220C/425F (standard) ) or 200C/390F (fan-forced).

  • Spray baking dish with cooking oil (See Note 1)
  • Bring a medium saucepan 3/4 filled with water to the boil, add macaroni and olive oil, cook for 8 mins. Drain and set aside. (See Note 2)
  • Make pasta bake sauce by adding greek yoghurt, salsa, taco seasoning, onion flakes and mozzarella to a large jug and stir to combine
  • In a large bowl combine cooked macaroni, corn, beans, tuna, past bake sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Pour pasta bake into baking dish and top with grated cheese (See note 3)
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and turns a light golden brown

Notes

  • NOTE 1: The baking dish I used for this recipe is: 6.5cm(H) x 19cm(W) x 30.5cm(L). This size dish or bigger will be fine. Smaller will not fit the recipe. 
  • NOTE 2: I like using macaroni for pasta bakes, but you can use any pasta you like. 
  • NOTE 3: use the cheese sparingly on top so you can see the ingredients underneath, you also need less cheese this way. 
  • If you really prefer you can use cream, however, trust me and try the greek yoghurt combination as it is less calories and tastes SO GOOD!! 
  • VEGETARIANS can omit the tuna for this recipe and create a vegetarian fiesta pasta bake

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 1421mg | Potassium: 856mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1225IU | Vitamin C: 6.5mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 4.9mg
Did you make this recipe? Share on Instagram!It makes my day when you make my recipes! Tag @sweetcaramelsunday

Fiesta Tuna Pasta Bake in pink baking dish

Wooden spoon filled with tuna pasta bake above pink baking dish

Modern Cookery – Busy Families

I know many famillies these days are pushed for time and need to find quick and easy dinner solutions. Luckily my friend Kylie over at Kidgredients has a recipe for her Roasted Veggies and Bacon Pasta Bake which uses a Heinz sauce. This is an option for a similar recipe where you don’t have to make the sauce from scratch.

If you love the sound of this recipe and you are a Thermomix convert, then don’t worry, I have a Tuna Pasta Bake Thermomix recipe suggestion for you as well. You can find that over at the lovely Lucy’s Bake Play Smile for her Tuna Pasta Casserole – Thermomix Method.

I totally understand that time needs to always be of the essence in our lives. 🙂

Show me your dishes!

I get a great thrill from seeing the recipes from the blog being recreated by the readers. I also love hearing from you and sharing my passion for food and cooking.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

Food Blogging brings me happiness as I get to share my recipes with you (and no longer spam my friends with food pics!!).

If this is your 1st time on Sweet Caramel Sunday, welcome! It is my intention that you love the recipes and drool all over the computer when you are looking at the pics.

Adrianne xx

P.S. Give me a shout of you have any questions!

My top 3 recipes on the blog ranked by readers are:

  1. Crispy Chicken BLT Salad (recipe is here)
  2. Orange Cacao Bliss Balls (recipe is here)
  3. Vegan Brown Rice Noodles (recipe is here)

My personal favourite recipe on the blog is:

If pasta recipes are your thing, then check out some more ideas in this selection of dinner recipes:

56 comments

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56 comments

Katie May 26, 2019 - 3:08 am

5 stars
This looks SO dang good!!!! My family will gobble it up…. which is saying something for my 9yo LOL!!! Thanks for all the details about freezing it and how to lower the calories.. it’s always helpful to have those tips in my back pocket. PS: your sous chef is adorable… mine is orange and is obsessed with carrot greens!!

Reply
Adrianne May 26, 2019 - 3:14 am

Oh hello fellow cat lover!! Yours sounds very handsome or pretty and quirky no doubt. No problems Katie, thank-you I am glad you enjoyed the read, cheers!!

Reply
Dannii May 26, 2019 - 1:58 pm

5 stars
I love a tuna pasta bake and this is such a great twist on it.

Reply
Adrianne May 26, 2019 - 7:44 pm

Thanks Danni! Appreciate your feedback.

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Nicolas Hortense May 26, 2019 - 2:38 pm

I usually am not a fan of pasta bakes but I absolutely love how you made this!!

Reply
Adrianne May 26, 2019 - 7:45 pm

Cheers Nicolas!

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SHANIKA May 26, 2019 - 4:38 pm

5 stars
Never thought about adding tuna to a Pasta Bake. This looks so delicious! YUM!

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Adrianne May 26, 2019 - 7:46 pm

Thanks for the input Shanika!

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Sara May 26, 2019 - 4:58 pm

5 stars
This looks like an award winning recipe! Can’t wait to give this a try for dinner tonight! Yum!

Reply
Adrianne May 27, 2019 - 9:52 am

Thanks Sara and I hope you love it!!

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David May 27, 2019 - 11:41 am

5 stars
yum! I like the sound of this cheesy pasta. I also like to find ways to get the creamy pasta effect going without heavy cream. I’ve been using pureed roasted cauliflower with good results, will have to try the Greek yogurt idea!

Reply
Adrianne May 27, 2019 - 12:32 pm

Oh nice David. The pureed roasted cauliflower sounds awesome. I am intrigued. Thanks

Reply
kim May 27, 2019 - 12:00 pm

5 stars
What a great recipe! I love how easy and delicious this is!

Reply
Adrianne May 27, 2019 - 12:32 pm

Cheers Kim for sure!

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Demeter May 27, 2019 - 12:09 pm

5 stars
A fantastic dinner AND less to clean up?? Looks like a winner to me!

Reply
Adrianne May 27, 2019 - 12:33 pm

Yes Demeter!! No one likes cleaning up!

Reply
Danielle Wolter May 27, 2019 - 12:53 pm

5 stars
i need this in my life! i just love a good tuna casserole and the flavors in this sound incredible. I can’t wait to try it!

Reply
Ivana May 27, 2019 - 1:06 pm

5 stars
Made this without the beans (I’m intolerant) and it still turned out great. Was a hit with everyone and I have leftovers for lunch.

Reply
Adrianne May 27, 2019 - 7:12 pm

Great to hear Ivana! Good thinking removing the beans. Cheers

Reply
Terri May 27, 2019 - 7:58 pm

5 stars
This sounds awesome – I’m always looking for tuna recipes, especially ones that are lighter. Love the use of Greek yogurt!

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Adrianne May 28, 2019 - 9:51 am

ME too, thanks Terri, who needs cream? (Well, not all the time at least).

Reply
kim May 27, 2019 - 10:14 pm

5 stars
Yum! Such a great recipe that I will make again and again!

Reply
Adrianne May 28, 2019 - 9:52 am

Great to hear Kim, thanks!!

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Claire Cary May 27, 2019 - 10:41 pm

5 stars
Drooling just looking at these photos! Sounds SO good!

Reply
Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 10:15 am

Thanks Claire!!

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Anita @ Daily Cooking Quest May 27, 2019 - 10:42 pm

5 stars
Such a simple yet delicious recipe. I like how the ingredients are super common pantry items so this can go into rotation often enough. 🙂

Reply
Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 10:16 am

Indeed Anita, it is on rotation in my house too!!

Reply
Sara Welch May 27, 2019 - 10:54 pm

5 stars
Making this for dinner this evening and am looking forward to all the flavors in this delicious casserole! Looks splendid!

Reply
Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 10:14 am

Great to hear Sara, cheers! Hope you enjoy it.

Reply
Jacqueline Debono May 28, 2019 - 2:17 pm

5 stars
This pasta bake looks seriously good. I love using tuna in pasta but have never made a pasta bake with Mexican flavours! Can’t wait to try it!

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 10:15 am

Thanks Jacquline, great feedback, the Mexican flavours are good, cheers!

Reply
Beth Neels May 28, 2019 - 7:52 pm

5 stars
Such an easy, delicious one pot meal that has all of the food groups covered! I can’t wait to give this a try! My gang will love it!

Reply
Adrianne May 28, 2019 - 8:39 pm

Cheers Beth! Love your positive vibes.

Reply
Aleka May 28, 2019 - 8:06 pm

5 stars
This sounds amazing! Such a great idea to use tuna and Mexican seasoning! Def putting this on my weeknight menu!

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Adrianne May 28, 2019 - 8:38 pm

Perfect sounds great Aleka! Thanks for your feedback.

Reply
Alina | Cooking Journey Blog May 29, 2019 - 10:34 am

5 stars
Looks so cheesy and delicious, I will be making it for dinner!

Reply
Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 10:41 am

Thanks Alina, Hope you love it!!

Reply
Romina May 29, 2019 - 11:55 am

I love tuna pasta bake, and this looks awesome!

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 12:03 pm

Thanks Romina for your feedback!!

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Meghna May 29, 2019 - 12:11 pm

5 stars
This tuna pasta bake is so cheesy so delicious and super easy & quick. I am making it tonight!

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 12:22 pm

Great to hear Meghna!! Hope you enjoy it.

Reply
Julia May 29, 2019 - 1:00 pm

5 stars
I make similar tuna bake but without beans. Will add them next time I make mine. Thanks for inspiration 🙂

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 6:11 pm

No worries Julia. Inspiration is my middle name haha!

Reply
Chichi May 29, 2019 - 1:57 pm

5 stars
Definitely adding this to our weeknight rotation. So yummy.

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 6:11 pm

Great to hear Chichi!

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Julie @ Running in a Skirt May 29, 2019 - 2:11 pm

5 stars
YUMMM!!! Totally adding this to my must try list. Looks like a really simple and delish dinner idea.

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Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 6:12 pm

Yes indeed Julie. I love having easy dinners for busy weeks!

Reply
Brian Jones May 29, 2019 - 4:42 pm

5 stars
That looks so good, you can’t beat a good pasta bake, so simple and delicious!

Reply
Adrianne May 29, 2019 - 6:49 am

Absolutely Brian, thanks, I feel the same way!

Reply

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