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tin fish pasta bake

by | Mar 22, 2023 | what to make for dinner | 0 comments

This tin fish pasta bake is a delicious tomato-infused cheese stretching macaroni goodness. You will love this easy pilchard pasta bake recipe.

Do you boil pasta before making pasta bake? 

Yes, in this recipe boiling your pasta is an essential step to making a successful pilchard pasta bake. Boil your pasta using the packets instruction. However, keep an eye on your pasta, make sure to remove it when it is al dente.

Al dente

Al dente pasta is pasta that is has been slightly undercooked. Giving it a firm but cooked texture. The al dente pasta is then further cooked in the baking process.

How to make this macaroni and tinned fish bake?

pilchard pasta bake
  1. Start off by making the pasta according to the packaging instructions. Once the pasta has cooked and is al dente, drain and set aside.

Prepare your ingredients.

  • Chop the onion and pepper and set aside.
  • Dice the tomatoes and set aside.
  • Grate the cheese and set aside.

This shortens the cooking time.

2. Now that your ingredients are prepared, place a large non-stick pan on medium heat, and add the oil to it.

3. Once your oil has heated, fry your onions along with bay leaves and garlic, and fry until the onions turn golden brown.

4. Add the green, yellow, and red pepper into your pan and fry for an extra two minutes. Lastly, add the chopped tomatoes, onion powder, thyme, oregano, paprika and tomato sauce to your pan and stir well. Allow your tomatoes to cook by closing the pan for about 5 minutes.

5. Once your tomatoes have softened and cooked, add the tinned pilchards in tomato sauce into the pan and stir well. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes whilst continuously stirring your pan.

6. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius on bake and grill.


tinned pilchards in tomato sauce

7. Then add your pasta to the pilchard tomato gravy made and stir well. Once everything has been combined add the pasta to a medium-sized glass baking tray and level out your pasta well.

Make the cheese sauce

Melt butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add flour and whisk until an smooth paste is formed. Lastly add milk to your hot pan and stir well. Once a thick sauce is created add the grated cheese and stir well. 


tin pilchards in tomato sauce

Spread the cheese sauce evenly on the pasta and top it off with a generous amount of cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges have slightly crisped up and the cheese has melted

pasta bake
tin fish pasta bake recipe

tin fish pasta bake recipe

Tin fish pasta bake is a delicious tomato-infused cheese stretching macaroni goodness that is easy to make. Using tinned pilchards in tomato sauce reduces the time spent in the kitchen to 30 minutes. You will love this easy pilchard pasta bake recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine South African



  • 500 grams penne any pasta will work

Tomato relish with pilchards

  • 2 tsbp vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tin pilchards in tomato sauce


  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp brown sugar reduces the bitter taste.
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce

white sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 250 ml milk
  • 125 grams grated cheddar cheese



  • Make the pasta according to the pasta packet instructions. Once done drain excess water and set aside.

tomato relish with pilchards

  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once heated, fry your onions, garlic and bay leaves for 3 minutes or until the onions have slightly browned.
  • Add your tomatoes along with the rest of the spices into the pan and stir well. Continuously stir your relish to prevent burning.
  • Once your tomatoes have softened, simmer your relish for a further 5 minutes then set aside.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the relish and mix well, making sure that every pasta piece is covered in relish.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees on bake and grill.

cheese sauce

  • In a small sauce pot, melt your butter then add flour and whisk well. Then add milk to your hot pot and continuously whisk your sauce until it thickens.
  • Add half the grated cheese and whisk well. Season with salt and set aside.

how to assemble the pasta bake

  • Place the tomato pasta into a glass casserole dish and level it out well.
  • Spread the cheese sauce generously and evenly accross your pasta.
  • Lastly, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy.
Keyword pilchard pasta bake recipe, tin fish pasta bake


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