Creamy Tuna Pasta with Peas

This one pot pasta dish is very kid-friendly with canned tuna, peas, and a creamy cheese sauce.

Despite the simplicity of this meal of pasta with tuna and peas, it will still appeal to adults because there’s a good amount of garlic and a splash of white wine.

The creaminess comes from sour cream which I often use in recipes instead of heavy cream.

Sour cream lasts longer in the fridge and gives recipes a tangy flavor while still providing a creamy texture. To make this pasta even more creamy, use all milk instead of broth.

How to Make Creamy Tuna Pasta

Start by boiling water and cooking some pasta and peas.

I prefer my peas on the slightly mushy side so I cook them longer by adding to the water before it boils. If you like firmer peas, add them later with the pasta.

Scoop out a little bit of the pasta water and set aside. Then drain the pasta and peas. I place them in one of the bowls we’ll be eating of, so there’s one less dish to wash!

In the some cooking pot, heat olive oil and add in 1 tablespoon of crushed or minced garlic. Sauté for only 30-60 seconds over medium heat making sure not to burn.

Next, add a splash of wine or dry sherry and stir for another 30-60 seconds.

Now add a few tablespoons of flour and cook for about a minute, while heating up milk and chicken broth in the microwave.

Add the hot liquid to the pot slowly, whisking well so there are no lumps. Bring this mixture to a simmer, continuing to whisk. When the mixture thickens and becomes creamy turn off the heat.

The final step is to stir in the cooked pasta, peas, a can of tuna, a few tablespoons of sour cream, and a cup of grated cheese.

Season with salt and pepper. And a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water if desired if the pasta is too thick or dry.

Variations:

Not only is this dish easy to make, it’s very versatile. You can swap out the peas, cheese, and even the tuna with other ingredients, creating a whole new dish! See my suggestions below.

  • Chicken & Broccoli: Diced Chicken + Cheddar + Broccoli

  • Turkey & Mushrooms: Ground Turkey + Mozzarella + Mushrooms

  • Beef & Bell Peppers: Ground Beef + Cream Cheese and/or Cheddar

Next time you need a quick family dinner, or maybe your older kid wants to try their hand at cooking, give this recipe a go!

What My Kids Say:
11yo: I like the tuna in this pasta, and this dish is creamy and delicious. And it tastes just the way you’d want pasta to taste.
8.5yo: “It is chewy and soft.”


Joby's Test Kitchen plate with creamy tuna pasta and peas.

Creamy Tuna Pasta with Peas

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A kid-friendly pasta dish made with canned tuna, peas, and a creamy sauce. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 427 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1-2 cups (140-280g) frozen peas or mixed veggies
  • 1-2 tbsps (15-30ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (6-10 small cloves)
  • 2 tbsps (16g) flour
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) white wine or dry sherry, optional
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk
  • ¼-½ cup (60-120ml) chicken or veg broth
  • ¼ cup (60g) sour cream
  • 1 cup (28g) grated parmesan
  • 1-2 (4.5oz) cans tuna
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional Spices:

  • thyme, dried mustard powder, cayenne

Instructions
 

  • Bring water to a boil. Add in the peas and pasta and cook according to directions on the pasta package, about 9-11 minutes. Drain the pasta and peas in a colander, but reserve ¼-½ cup of the pasta water for later.
  • Place the empty pot back on the stove and add oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds over medium-heat, making sure not to burn. Then add the wine/dry sherry if using and stir for 30-60 seconds.
  • Next add the flour and cook it on low for another minute. During this time heat the milk and broth in a measuring cup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot. This can also be done in a small pot on the stove.
  • Add the hot milk mixture slowly while whisking so there are no lumps. Bring to a simmer, continuing to whisk. When the mixture thickens and becomes creamy turn off the heat.
  • Finally, add the pasta, peas, tuna, sour cream, and cheese, stirring well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. And a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water if desired if the pasta is too thick or dry.
Keyword cheese, kid-friendly, pasta, tuna

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