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Stovetop Tuna Mac and Cheese

A quick and easy kid-friendly pasta recipe, this Stovetop Tuna Mac and Cheese is sure to be a family favorite weeknight dinner!

stovetop tuna mac and cheese hr

As any mom of toddlers knows, mac and cheese is always a hit with little ones. When it comes to feeding my kids, I care less about total calorie counts and more about the quality of ingredients I’m feeing them.

Homemade stovetop mac and cheese is one the easiest and most versatile recipes you’ll ever learn. As I demonstrated in the video above during a Facebook Live, homemade mac and cheese is nothing more than a little butter, flour, milk, and cheese poured over pasta.

Easy Mac and Cheese with Tuna and Peas - a kid-friendly pasta recipe

We love changing up our mac and cheese with various mix-ins like pureed winter squash, pumpkin or cauliflower but this time I stuck with a childhood favorite of mine: tuna and peas. To take it up a notch, I use Genova albacore tuna packed in pure olive oil.

An excellent source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, combining whole wheat pasta and tuna fish is the ideal way to give my kids long-lasting energy without the refined-carb sugar crash. Above all, tuna packed in olive oil is always more decadent and flavorful than fish packed in water.

Easy Mac and Cheese with tuna in a pot

To save time throughout the week, I like to make a batch of this during lunch on Sunday so that we have lunch ready to go throughout the week. Knowing that I have a homemade lunch on hand that the kids will both love and only takes minutes to reheat? Priceless.

Your fork is waiting.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Tuna and Peas a fast dinner recipe 1 640x853 1

Stovetop Tuna Mac and Cheese

4 stars average
A quick and easy kid-friendly pasta recipe, this Stovetop Tuna Mac and Cheese is sure to be a family favorite weeknight dinner!
COOK: 20 mins
TOTAL: 20 mins
Pin Recipe
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 can albacore tuna in olive oil (drained)


  • Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  • While pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce in a medium saucepot by melting the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook until flour dissolves into the butter, about 60 seconds, whisking frequently.
  • Pour in the milk and bring the mixture to a low boil, whisking occasionally.
  • Add in the shredded cheese and stir until melted; remove from heat.
  • Drain pasta and return to large pot. Pour in the cheese sauce and stir until pasta is evenly coated.
  • Stir the peas into the pasta as well as the tuna and heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
  • Divide between four bowls to serve.

Recipe Video


Calories: 541kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 31.5gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13.7gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 793mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 5.3g
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Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.


  1. OMG, right?? When it comes to my kids, the MORE calories the better. Those scrawny little monsters need everything I can throw at them. And yes, you are totally right, when it’s quality ingredients I’m all for them having seconds, or 8ths! ;) This looks totally delicious, Liz!

  2. When we first got married my husband made something he called “tuna goop”, which had tuna, noodles, cream of mushroom soup, & topped with potato chips. It seems like this recipe could easily take the place of that one. We love mac & cheese, but I didn’t love “tuna goop”. I think I’ll have to try this (when I have a stove again).

      1. I’d probably have liked it better with the yogurt. If I ever get brave enough again to let him make it, I’ll suggest adding yogurt.

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