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This healthy tuna pasta bake is the perfect sin-free meal. Pasta baked in a tomato, basil and garlic sauce packed with spinach, sweetcorn and mushrooms. The bake is topped off with low-fat cottage cheese to keep it light yet tasty. Not only that but as an extra bonus, everything is baked in just one dish meaning less washing up!
For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Pasta – you can use any type you like, but flatter varieties, like spaghetti, will result in a flatter looking result. Also, make sure you don’t buy quick-cook pasta or you will end up with a very soggy, limp dish.
- Tinned chopped tomatoes
- Oregano – or an Italian herb mix will also work well
- Garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- Tinned sweetcorn – you can alternatively use thawed frozen corn
- Baby spinach leaves
- Tinned tuna – use tuna in water or brine to keep the dish light
- Fresh basil leaves
- Fat-free cottage cheese
- Oven-safe baking tray – for 2 portions (the default recipe) aim for one around 1l / 1 quart in capacity – check out this set of 4 to cover all your baking needs (the second smallest one is the perfect size for this dish)
How to make it
For a more detailed list of instructions with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
- Add the pasta to a baking dish and pour over the chopped tomatoes. Mix in the oregano and garlic.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes covered with foil.
- Stir the sweetcorn, spinach, tuna and basil and then top with blobs of the cottage cheese. Place back in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Mushrooms can be added for some extra variety – add at the same time as you add the chopped tomatoes to the dish. Slice very thinly or they won’t cook quickly enough.
- Courgette, cut into small cubes or green beans sliced into small pieces. Again, add before the dish first goes into the oven.
- Mascarpone can be used instead of cottage cheese – although it will be higher in fat and calories.
Can I make it in advance?
Leftovers can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the oven. It’s also totally delicious cold, so it’s great for packing into a lunchbox for the next day.
Freezing is not recommended as the texture of the cottage cheese won’t hold up.
If you want to prepare the dish in advance then you can mix the tomato, water, garlic, oregano and mushrooms in a container and then mix the tuna, sweetcorn and spinach in another so you have everything ready to throw together when you make it. However, don’t mix the pasta with the tomato in advance as it will make the pasta turn out mushy. Also, don’t prepare the basil in advance as it will start to brown.
What can I serve it with?
While this pasta bake is more than enough to serve on its own, you can add some side dishes to add variety or make a more substantial meal. A simple crisp salad or crusty bread works well. Or you could try one of the following as an extra healthy addition:
- Roasted tenderstem broccoli
- Tomato and herb salsa
- Healthy kale coleslaw
- Mediterranean roasted vegetables
How healthy is it?
This pasta bake contains several great ingredients. Tuna, which is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids is also pretty low in fat. The addition of sweetcorn, tomatoes and spinach also provides 3 portions of fruit and veg.
There are also several things that make this recipe a little lighter than your usual pasta bake:
- A moderate amount of high-carb pasta (but not so little that you’ll feel cheated). For an even healthier option, you could swap standard pasta for whole-grain, brown pasta which is lower in calories and higher in fibre.
- The use of fat-free cottage cheese, which has around 5x less cholesterol than hard cheeses such as cheddar, nearly double the protein and is virtually fat-free.
The recipe contains just 370 calories for one full portion and only 2.5g of fat. However, it does have quite a high amount of carbs (50g) so isn’t ideal for anyone following a low-carb diet. But I’m sure if you were you wouldn’t be looking for pasta bake recipes!
Looking for more great healthy fish recipes? Try:
- Light tuna pasta salad
- Chopped salad with tuna
- Salmon burgers
- Sweet chilli salmon
- Pan-seared mustard salmon with lentils
- Light salmon tacos with cucumber a tomato salsa
Products that work well for this recipe:
Set of 4 Ceramic Baking Dishes
2 in 1 Garlic Press
Beeswax Food Wraps
Incredibly tasty yet really light, this healthy tuna pasta bake also only takes minutes to prep. Everything is cooked in one dish to save on washing up.
The default recipe makes 2 portions.
- 75g / 2.6oz fusilli pasta
- 400g / 14oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 100g / 3.5oz drained tinned sweetcorn
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- 160g / 5.5oz drained tinned tuna chunks (in brine)
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- 100g / 3.5 oz / 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
- Casserole/baking dish – around 1l in capacity for 2 portions (the default recipe). Check out this set so you always have the right size on hand.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Place the pasta in the bottom of the baking dish and then tip over the chopped tomatoes.
- Stir in the garlic and oregano and season well. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and stir in the tuna, basil, spinach and sweetcorn. Add spoonfuls of cottage cheese on top.
- Return to the oven, uncovered, for a final 20 minutes.
- You can use any type of pasta you like, however flatter pasta, like spaghetti, will result in a more flatter looking dish. Greati options are fusilli, rigatoni or farfalle.
- Use tuna in brine or water to keep this dish light, as varieties in oil will add extra calories and fat.
- Make sure not to use quick-cook pasta, or you will end up with a soggy result.
- For an even healthier option, swap standard pasta for brown, whole-grain pasta.
- Frozen spinach can be used instead of fresh. Defrost before adding so you can stir it through the pasta evenly. Defrosted frozen sweetcorn can also be used instead of tinned.
- While low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese keeps this dish really light, you can use cheddar or any other form of grateable cheese instead.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 370
- Fat: 2.5g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Protein: 38g
Keywords: tuna, fish, easy, one-pot, lunch, dinner, healthy, light, cottage cheese