A quick and easy kid-friendly pasta recipe, this Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Tuna and Peas is sure to be a family favorite weeknight dinner!
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 recently 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.
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.
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.
- 8 ounces whole wheat rotini pasta or pasta of choice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup green peas - fresh or frozen
- 1 can Genova 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 sauce pot 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.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl
Disclosure: Genova has compensated me for my time to develop this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Lemon Bowl possible. All thoughts are my own.
For more great dinner recipes, check out my Pinterest board!