Tuna Mac and Cheese

Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet

Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet has only six ingredients. It’s simple to prepare, and makes a delicious, and simple, dinner from the pantry. This is a great recipe for a beginner cook because it starts with boxed macaroni and cheese. That means that you can make Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet in record time, and have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

I realize that there are boxes of tuna helper on the shelves in stores that make a cheesy tuna pasta, but Macaroni and cheese is something that lots of people in the United States probably have in their pantry, and based on how empty the shelves were in our local stores, I would say some of these people have A LOT of this. Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet recipe is a good way to create something different from your boxed macaroni and cheese.

Tuna Mac and Cheese

What will you need to prepare Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet?

From the Pantry:

  • boxed macaroni and cheese
  • canned peas
  • canned tuna
  • onion powder

From the Refrigerator:

  • Milk (You can substitute canned or powdered milk.)
  • Butter

As you can see from the list above, this recipe can be make almost entirely with pantry staples. You can use canned milk in place of fresh if you don’t have any. Also, extra milk can be used in place of the butter if you’re out.

Tuna Mac and Cheese

This recipe can be modified by changing the vegetable for something besides peas. It would also be good with canned corn or canned peas and carrots, or just canned carrots. The meat could be changed, too. You could stir in canned chicken or some leftover meat from the fridge that isn’t enough to feed the whole family on its own.

Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet

What do you think of this recipe for Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet? Do you think it’s something that your family would enjoy? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet

A simple 30 minute meal that begins with boxed macaroni and cheese. It's made primarily from pantry staples, so it's a great recipe for a Pantry Challenge. It's frugal, too. The total cost of this recipe is $3.79 or about $0.64 per serving.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 443 kcal


  • 2 (7.25 ounce) boxes macaroni and cheese ($1.96)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can sweet peas drained ($0.50)
  • 1 (7 ounce) can light tuna packed in water drained ($0.79)
  • ½-1 tsp onion powder ($0.12) (use more if you like more onion flavor)
  • cup milk ($0.10)
  • cup butter or margarine ($0.33)


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions in a large deep skillet, adding drained can of peas for the last two minutes of the pasta's cooking time.
  • Drain pasta and peas of any remaining cooking water and return to pot.
  • Add milk, butter, cheese sauce powder (from box), onion powder, and drained tuna to pan with macaroni mixture.
  • Stir gently until well combined and cheese sauce powder is well incorporated.
  • Serve.


I use a full teaspoon of onion powder in this recipe for added flavor, but not everyone likes that much onion flavor, so the recipe says 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.   If you aren’t a fan of peas,  you can substitute an equal sized drained can of any other vegetable that you like in place of the peas in this recipe.  You can also  substitute canned chicken for the tuna.  You can top the finished dish with some shredded cheese and cover it for a few minutes on the stove to allow the cheese to melt.  It’s easy to turn this into a casserole, simple put the prepared recipe into a casserole dish and top with some shredded cheese and heat in the oven until the cheese is melted. 
Keyword butter, canned peas, macaroni and cheese, milk, onion powder, tuna

The following nutrition information was calculated for 1/6th of the Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet prepared according to the recipe above as written. The calculations are based upon 2% milk and real butter.

Tuna Mac and Cheese Skillet

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com.  We make every attempt to ensure that this information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

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