Creamy Tomato Tuna Penne Pasta Recipe -
Creamy Tomato Tuna Penne Pasta Recipe
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Creamy Tomato & Tuna Penne Pasta
See a pasta dish that's based loosely on a classic diner lunch combo. See more
  • READY IN 30 mins

Creamy Tomato Tuna Penne Pasta

Recipe by  

"Believe it or not, cream of tomato soup used as a pasta sauce!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 ounces Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    30 mins


  1. Combine tuna and olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir and cook for 1 minute once oil begins to sizzle.
  2. Stir in cream of tomato soup and water. Increase heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne, and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just slightly undercooked, about 11 minutes; drain.
  4. Stir cooked pasta into soup mixture; stir in 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and tarragon. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Garnish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and red pepper flakes.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • May substitute mashed anchovy filets for anchovy paste

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 23, 2013

My husband and I loved this, but we made some substitutions along the way, mostly because we cannot afford some of the more expensive ingredients. We used a 5 oz. can of tuna in oil, substituted 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp. soy sauce for the anchovy paste, put in two large dashes of oregano and red pepper flakes, and added a dash of paprika as well. We also used two cans of Campbell's tomato soup, which is from concentrate, so we made the soup following the directions on the can, then used 3 1/2 cups of that for the sauce, so we didn't add the additional 1/2 cup of water. We substituted pre-grated Parmesan cheese for the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1 tsp. marjoram for the tarragon. And to finish, we garnished it with just some of the leftover Parmesan with no red pepper flakes. And although we weren't able to make this recipe exactly how it's supposed to be, we loved what we ended up with and plan to add this recipe to our list of favorites!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 21, 2014

Liking both tomato soup & toasted tuna sandwiches I had high expectations for this dish but was sadly somewhat let down. Maybe my expectations were unrealistic but this dish just didn't measure up as an alternative to the real thing. It isn't that the dish is bad -- far from it -- but that it just doesn't resonate with myself or my family like I had thought. My two girls thought that it had too much tarragon in it and that that flavor came to dominate the dish. This dish was good enough that I plan on making it again for another try but will cut the tarragon in half. Hopefully we'll like it better and, if so, I'll update my review accordingly. As a final thought, though, my recommendation is to stick with the soup and sandwiches for that flavor combination instead of this dish.


28 Ratings

Jul 12, 2012

I didn't have any soup, so I used homemade chicken stock, a little can of tomato paste and heavy cream with a dash of onion powder. No tarragon, so I used about 1/4 c. fresh basil from the garden instead. It had so much flavor! Don't skip the anchovy, it wasn't fishy at all.

Jan 16, 2013

I have to say I didn't really have high hopes for this, as I am not a huge fish person. But I do like traditional tuna casseroles, and this sounded good and different, so I gave it a go. WOW! I followed the recipe exactly, except for the tarragon. I swear I bought some, but somehow I didn't end up with it at home, so I subbed just a dash of fennel instead, which did lend a lovely flavor. This is surprisingly and amazingly delicious! The only non-condensed cream of tomato soup I was able to find was a tomato and basil variety, which was wonderful. I had 4 cups of it, so I added it all, since the only tuna in olive oil I found was in cans, and I had a little over 8 ounces of that as well. Yum, yum, yum! Will definitely be making this again and again (and will definitely make sure I get home with the tarragon next time too!). Thanks Chef John! :)

Nov 09, 2012

Simple and quick to make. I didn't use the Tarragon, but followed the rest of the recipe. Even my husband who when I mentioned can Tuna was like oh I'm not going to like that. He loved it, so did my teenage son. Will defitnaly make again. Oh, and loved the kick that the red pepper flakes gave it.

Apr 22, 2013

Very, very good recipe. Made it according to the directions except for the fact that I could only find tuna in olive oil in 4.5 oz. cans, so I used two. Also, I can't stand not to use all of something, so I used 16 oz. of pasta and entire 32 oz. carton of cream of tomato soup. Everything else according to the original recipe. So good I'm making it again tomorrow!!

Mar 16, 2014

This is by far my favorite pasta recipe. The boyfriend has been requesting it 3 weekends in a row! I used 2/3 Campbell Tomato soup, and 1/3 Campbell's Orange Harvest Tomato soup, and it came out a bit sweeter than if I had gone full Tomato soup. I definitely preferred the result!

Mar 26, 2013

This was a very good recipe and a nice vegetarian option. I followed other reviewers' suggestions and used basil and marjoram instead of tarragon, since I didn't have any. I also used 1/2tsp soy sauce and 1/2tsp Worcestershire sauce instead of anchovy paste. Everyone I served this to liked it!


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  • Calories
  • 1269 kcal
  • 63%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 202.3 g
  • 65%
  • Cholesterol
  • 62 mg
  • 21%
  • Fat
  • 22.1 g
  • 34%
  • Fiber
  • 9 g
  • 36%
  • Protein
  • 72.4 g
  • 145%
  • Sodium
  • 3019 mg
  • 121%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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