Creamy Stuffed Shells With Tuna and Spinach
This simple baked tuna and pasta dish is a comforting one with a fun twist on everyone’s favourite classic tuna casserole. It has a made-from-scratch creamy sauce and a crunchy parmesan topping that puts this classic recipe over the top. It gets a fresh taste and a boost of greens from the spinach and a fun shape from shells cause we all love stuffed pasta! I’m a huge fan of dishes like these that can be whipped up in no time making it perfect as a midweek meal and made with simple pantry ingredients.
I made this recipe in partnership with Ocean’s and their Solid White Albacore Tuna in water. Their solid white albacore is my favourite - it’s subtle and versatile flavour is perfect for the classic tuna recipes you love and is always stocked in my pantry for my tuna salads, and sandwiches and this creamy bake up. Their tuna is ocean friendly tuna. As a company they are committed to the health of our oceans, they support responsible, sustainable and environmentally-friendly fishing methods to help keep our waters healthy. You can even track where the fish in your individual can of tuna cane from. Ocean’s has been kind enough to offer my followers on Instagram a giveaway of a case of their tuna. Makes sure and check out my post on Instagram for details and to enter to win.
I know there are hundreds of versions of this classic and there are many ways you can make this recipe your own and that is another reason I love a comforting and delicious baked pasta dish. This from scratch version of a classic tuna casserole is my favourite way to enjoy it. No canned soup mixes for me. I love making that creamy béchamel or cheese sauce. It’s got a lot of flavour in it from the onions, garlic and thyme and makes this dish so delicious. You know I will add spinach or kale to just about any dish and this one is no exception. Not only did we do the classic green peas in this one but also added spinach to add extra veggies and make this a bit heartier. A lot of classic tuna casserole recipes call for potato chips for the topping and although I’m not totally opposed to that as they add such an amazing crunch, I prefer mine with my Parmesan cheese and a seasoned bread crumb mix for the topping - simple and flavourful.
This is such a great recipe for those busy weeknights and definitely fancy enough for company. It’s nice and quick to make, your family will love it and it will definitely be on repeat. Enjoy! I have partnered up with Ocean’s to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ tsp fresh or dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
- 1 cup of frozen green peas
- 2 cans of Ocean’s Solid White Albacore Tuna in water, drained and flaked
- 6 ounces jumbo pasta shells (about 20), cooked according to package instructions to be al dente
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, chili flakes and thyme and cook until onion is translucent and softened.
- Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly, and cook until slightly thickened and bubbling, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat and set aside to allow sauce to cool slightly.
- In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Transfer half the mixture to a large bowl and combine with spinach, green peas, tuna, and half of the sauce; check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Fill each shell with the spinach mixture and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- Top with remaining sauce and breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake until sauce is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20-25 minutes.