30-Minute Comfort Food Dinner

Who doesn’t love pasta? No one, that’s who. Because this pasta is seriously delicious and loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and… cheese.

I announced (yes, it’s a big deal because it’s pasta) in a post earlier this week that I’d post a recipe soon. Voila – a delicious cheesy tuna penne pasta bake made with pantry ingredients.

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Sharp white cheddar, to be exact! It’s my all-time favourite for snacking, in eggs, and in pasta. I love bringing a little rectangle of cheddar to class to nibble with crackers, and grating it right into omelets or scrambles. What else is in here? Some tuna, lots of spinach, frozen peas and butternut squash, and roasted red peppers.

This awesome dinner was made up on the fly after a Power Yoga class with my new yoga friends, and since it was a Friday, I didn’t have much in the fridge. This is made entirely of pantry staples and turned out so well.

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I can’t wait to make this again! πŸ™‚

Easy Breezy Tuna Pasta Bake

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • minced garlic, to taste
  • dijon mustard, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped green onions
  • cubed butternut squash (I used frozen β€”> thawed in microwave)
  • around 1/4 cup peas (I used frozen β€”> thawed in microwave)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • spinach, as much as you’d like (I used three big handfuls)
  • 1/2 can tuna
  • 2 single-serving blocks of cheddar cheese (around 1/3 cup shredded)
  • more cheese for the top (I used goat cheese mozzarella)
  • breadcrumbs for sprinkling on top: OPTIONAL
  • uncooked pasta, I used whole wheat penne (enough for 2 servings)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Use salted water. Drain.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  3. Cook green onions until soft over medium heat.
  4. Whisk flour and milk together.
  5. Slowly drizzle flour and milk mixture into the butter. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
  6. Add garlic, mustard, salt, pepper. Taste and adjust.
  7. Add squash, peas, roasted red pepper, spinach, and tuna.
  8. Stir in the cheddar. Add the pasta.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Pour into baking dish and top with additional cheese and optional breadcrumbs.
  11. Broil until golden and crispy on the outside.
  12. Serve with parmesan cheese and freshly-ground black pepper.

Leftover pasta keeps well in my opinion. I don’t mind microwaving it the next day. This makes fabulous leftovers, but let’s face it… there wasn’t much left over. πŸ˜‰

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Makes two hearty and delicious servings but can easily be doubled and modified – add the veggies you like and remove the ones you don’t like or don’t have.Β This is my new go-to dinner for busy nights!

Lots happening lately, including soup by Mom at home in BC, henna with lotion (!), and Aunt Mimi’s wings night out. And Seline’s messages about what beauty is in 2016. She cracks me up!

Also, I found my photos featured on Princess Cafe’s Instagram page! Man, I really should make an Instagram…

And last but not least, Mission Nutrition! I’m part of this peer health education team that is responsible for lots of booths, fundraisers, and game nights for health and nutrition. I met some great people by joining this team. πŸ™‚

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That is it for today, guys, because I have loads of studying to do! Three midterms on Tuesday, two on Thursday, and another one the week after that. Oh my!

PS: I love blogging and meal-prepping as an excuse to procrastinate πŸ˜‰ But my “Clinically Oriented Integrated Anatomy” textbook is calling my name, so I’ll see you in my next post!

17 thoughts on “30-Minute Comfort Food Dinner

  1. When I stopped eating normal pasta to lose weight, my cravings for it kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda just died. I used to LOVE mac n cheese or spaghetti with a nice butter sauce! Now, I love eating zucchini noodles or this gluten free edamame spaghetti made of edamame soybeans, as well as this black bean penne pasta made of organic black beans! They taste AWESOME. This looks fantastic though, and I think my friends and family would love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like using pasta as a “condiment” of sorts, and use veggies or protein as the star ingredient. I don’t think I would like to have a big bowl of just pasta with buttery, cheesy sauce. πŸ˜› Oh my goodness, black bean penne?! Edamame spaghetti?! Where is this in my life? I will need to open my eyes even WIDER to find that kind of goodness!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, it looked so delicious. I will use your recipe to make the pasta sauce one day. You are so talented. I like the color of the dish. Also the cheese is the best part.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can never have too much cheddar cheese in your deli drawer. I love home made mac and cheese but I’ve never tried tuna in it.

    I did my pasta thing last weekend so it’s going to take a while to get it back into the menu cycle. I’m doing 3 days of Japanese themed dishes (okonomiyaki, inari sushi and chicken katsu donburi) and then I’m not sure what’s next. Waiting for inspiration. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “You can never have too much cheddar cheese in your deli drawer.” This quote needs to be framed and on my wall ASAP! I love it. πŸ™‚ I totally agree – but I don’t discriminate when it comes to cheese. Brie, goat, mozza, GET IN MY FRIDGE!
      You are always such a talented cook. Everything you make looks incredible and I really like how brave you are to try all sorts of things. You really inspire me in the kitchen to branch out! πŸ™‚ Okonomiyaki – yum, I bet your version is totally delicious! Can’t wait for photos.

      Like

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