Recipe: Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake

Anyone else in Australia feeling the cold these last few weeks? Turns out, we’ve been experiencing some of the coldest days on RECORD and so, in light of this, we thought that there couldn’t be a better time to share one of our favourite comfort foods to warm you and your family up this winter. This Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake has been modified from a recipe by Taste to have the Sunshine Coast Dietetics Dietitian’s “tick of approval” because it is quick and easy to prepare, made from readily available and affordable ingredients and is a great way of getting fish into your diet for that all-important Omega-3 source!

The use of tomato passata (tomato sauce that doesn’t contain extra ingredients), in conjunction with the Omega-3 content, makes for a heart-smart and anti-inflammatory choice. Plus, it freezes well and makes a great leftover lunch! But enough from us, keep reading to find out how to make it!


  • 300g penne rigate
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 700g jar tomato passata
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian mixed herbs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 425g can tuna in springwater, drained, flaked
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat tasty cheese (e.g. Bega Country Light)
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 200 C/180 C fan-forced.
  2. Cook pasta following packet directions, until almost tender (see note). Drain well. Return to pan.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat.
  4. Cook garlic and onion, stirring, for 3 minutes or until lightly golden.
  5. Add passata, herbs and salt. Season with pepper.
  6. Add chilli, to taste. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Pour sauce over pasta in the pan.
  9. Add olives and tuna. Toss to combine.
  10. Transfer mixture to a 12-cup-capacity baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
  13. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Looking for more healthy recipes for your family? Head over to the recipes tab on our blog page! Or, for tailored assistance managing your diet, get in contact with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians right away!