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tuna mac and cheese in a skillet

Stovetop Southwest Tuna Mac and Cheese

A southwest inspired version of tuna mac and cheese with taco seasoning, black beans, yellowfin tuna and plenty of cheese. This creamy, spicy tuna mac and cheese recipe comes together in just 30 minutes and is packed with protein. Perfect for weeknight dinners, game day or anytime you have a comfort food craving!

Course Dinner, Seafood
Cuisine American
Keyword spicy tuna mac and cheese, stovetop tuna mac and cheese, tuna mac and cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 425 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 8 oz elbow noodles (or whatever noodles you'd like)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or sub regular flour or GF all purpose flour)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew or almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese)
  • 1 (1.1 ounce) packet taco seasoning (preferably organic)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (5 ounce) can yellowfin or albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and reserved for the topping (or about ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese)
  • To garnish:
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce, if desired


  1. First boil the noodles until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Once done cooking, drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are boiling, make a slurry: In a large oven safe skillet or pot add butter and garlic. Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour and onion powder and cook for 30 seconds until a paste forms. Slowly add in cashew milk, whisking away any lumps.

  3. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring every so often, until the sauce thickens up similar to a gravy

  4. Next add in 6 oz cheese and 1 packet of taco seasoning and stir until completely melted. 
  5. Finally fold in cooked noodles, black beans and drained tuna and mix until well combined. 

  6. Top with 2 ounces of shredded cheddar. At this point you can either serve the mac and cheese and just fold in the extra cheddar you just added, or remove from heat and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Serves 6. Top with cilantro and hot sauce if desired!

Recipe Notes

To make your own taco seasoning: mix together the following and add the mac and cheese: 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon paprika, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt.

To make dairy free: feel free to use my cashew cheese sauce instead of making the cheese sauce for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Stovetop Southwest Tuna Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 425 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 10.6g66%
Carbohydrates 40.8g14%
Fiber 6.6g28%
Sugar 1.6g2%
Protein 23.2g46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.