Raise your hand if you loveeeee mac and cheese.

As a child, my Dad would usually make me macaroni and cheese made with sharp or white cheddar, plus Lots and heaps of pepper. If I ended up lucky, he would incorporate peas (for the reason that I beloved them much more than any other veggie in the entire world.)

Now that I’m into complete-on #adulting, I Enjoy when my mac and cheese is packed with anything just a small bit exclusive: truffle mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, mac and cheese with a Ritz cracker topping, mac and cheese with brussels, BUFFALO cauliflower mac, or even a typical broccoli cheddar mac and cheese. Can mac and cheese be its own foods group still?

I thought I’d carry you a further special twist on mac and cheese that I’m certainly in really like with: Southwest tuna mac and cheese with spicy flavors and unique umami flavor. Trust me, I know that it sounds a very little ridiculous, but I promise you it’s one of the Greatest mac and cheese recipes you will at any time make.

Components in tuna mac and cheese

Not only is this tuna mac and cheese packed with taste, but it also takes advantage of uncomplicated components and pantry staples that you may previously have on-hand. The added protein helps make this a delectable, healthier tuna mac and cheese meal!

  • Elbow macaroni: you can use gluten free of charge, whole grain or normal noodles. I genuinely love the chickpea pasta because of the excess fiber but full grain is great, way too.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: I like to use a block of cheddar due to the fact it melts a lot less complicated. I do not suggest employing pre-shredded cheddar for this recipe but instead shred or cube it you.
  • Flour: I utilised entire wheat pastry flour to enable make a properly thick cheese sauce for the tuna mac and cheese. You can also use all goal or gluten totally free all reason flour!
  • Tuna: I AM IN Like with the tuna in this recipe. It adds an appealing savory umami taste that I cannot get more than enough of, not to point out tons of protein. You can use yellowfin or albacore tuna in this mouth watering recipe.
  • Taco seasoning: I made the decision to use a packet of natural taco seasoning to season the mac and cheese mainly because which is what I had in my cupboard, having said that, my Do it yourself taco seasoning is ideal for this recipe!
  • Black beans: these beans are a different cause I love this recipe. The fiber and protein in the beans help to continue to keep you total and include a southwest aptitude to the recipe.
  • Milk: truly feel absolutely free to use any milk you’d like in this recipe (whilst I wouldn’t use skim). When I to start with built this recipe I selected to use unsweetened cashew milk for the reason that it’s very creamy and adds astounding flavor to the mac and cheese.

Personalize your tuna mac and cheese

This quick tuna mac and cheese is excellent for customizing to your flavor choices and what you have on hand! Here’s what I can advocate:

  • Go gluten no cost: merely use your beloved gluten free pasta condition like this 1, as perfectly as gluten no cost all function flour.
  • Try out it dairy cost-free: alternatively of cheese you could incorporate my cashew cheese sauce for a dairy absolutely free alternative.
  • Include some veggies: truly feel totally free to fold in veggies like peas (so nostalgic) mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, or even diced jalapeño.

stovetop tuna mac and cheese in a skillet

Can I make it vegetarian?

Guaranteed! Only omit the tuna and enjoy the protein that black beans provide. Truly feel no cost to incorporate an extra can of black beans if you’d like.

How to make tuna mac and cheese on the stovetop

  1. Prepare dinner the pasta. Initial boil the noodles till al dente, then drain them and established them aside.
  2. Make a slurry. When the pasta is boiling, you are going to make a slurry (or a roux) by melting butter in a pot or skillet with garlic. Whisk in the flour and onion powder & stir right up until a paste types. Then slowly and gradually include in the milk, whisking absent any lumps so it is good and easy.
  3. Thicken the sauce. Boost the warmth and deliver your mixture to a boil, then decrease warmth and simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring each individual so generally, until finally the sauce thickens up comparable to a gravy
  4. Cheese it up. Subsequent, incorporate in the cheese and taco seasoning and stir until eventually wholly melted.
  5. Mix in the mac. Lastly fold in cooked noodles, black beans and drained tuna and blend until eventually nicely mixed. 
  6. Broil & provide. Top with the rest of the cheese, then either combine it in or position your skillet below the broiler for 1-2 minutes until eventually the cheese is bubbly and a bit golden. Prime with new herbs like parsley or cilantro and sizzling sauce if you’d like, and provide!

healthy tuna mac and cheese in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Storing guidelines

You can keep any leftover tuna macaroni and cheese in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Only reheat in the microwave.

I know you are going to appreciate this filling ease and comfort foods tuna mac and cheese. It is fantastic on a cozy night and great for reheating too. I advise topping it with very hot sauce and cilantro!

More cozy dinners you are going to appreciate

Get all of my dinner recipes in this article!

If you make this straightforward tuna mac and cheese recipe, be certain to leave a remark and price the recipe below letting me know how you like it. You can also add a photo and tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram! xo.

This submit was originally published on October 30th, 2017, republished on April 1st, 2020, and republished on September 28th, 2022.