Make Ahead

Tuna & Noodles With Kimchi

April 23, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 (but can easily be doubled)
Author Notes

Tuna and kimchi (the spicy, fermented condiment that’s a staple in Korean cuisine) work so well together from a flavor perspective, both bold and assertive enough to get along without overpowering each other. Cannellini beans and kale bring their respective creaminess and freshness, and then a knob of butter, gochujang, and splash of kimchi liquid brighten and enliven the entire dish. Definitely reach for good olive oil–packed tuna for this dish. It makes all the difference. —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: The Pantry-ish Weeknight Noodles of My Childhood, All Grown Up. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 pound extra-wide egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • one 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • one 5-ounce can tuna packed in olive oil (no need to drain)
  • 3/4 cup kimchi (medium to finely chopped), plus a few tablespoons of kimchi liquid
  • 1/2 bunch bunch kale (Tuscan or curly), stems and ribs removed and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
  2. While noodles are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add cannellini beans, tuna, and kimchi, stirring well to evenly coat with the olive oil. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, to warm through and let the flavors mingle. Add kale, stirring well, and cook for another minute or two, or just until the kale starts to soften but still retains its shape.
  3. Scoop the noodles into the skillet with a big slotted spoon (or drain in a colander, reserving a little bit of the cooking water). Add the gochujang and butter, tossing until it melts and evenly coats the noodles, and a tablespoon of the cooking water, if needed. Season to taste with salt and adjust the acidity with a tablespoon or two of kimchi liquid. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TGard
  • Jessie Elvis
    Jessie Elvis
  • lastnightsdinner
  • gingerroot
  • Jillian Traskos
    Jillian Traskos

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

18 Reviews

Matthew1 April 22, 2023
We tried this tonight. I want to preface this with money is tight so I used what I had on hand at home. I substituted packaged tuna in water, pinto beans, canned kale, and quinoa spaghetti noodles. Did not have gochujang but added garlic and onions. My kimchi didn’t have much liquid and I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of pasta water to thin it out. No salt was needed as the kimchi and the canned food had enough sodium. I was extremely nervous as the canned kale broke up and made it look unappetizing but my son said it smells good and after tasting it, said he wouldn’t be opposed to eating it again and had seconds. Thank you for creating this recipe, it made use of some things in the pantry from donated items I didn’t know what to do with.
G March 21, 2021
Excellent. I never would have thought of this. It is a better version of tuna casserole. We sprinkled some sesame-seaweed topping on it. Being lazy, I also used a container of pre-washed baby kale.
Thirza L. February 9, 2021
Quick and easy weeknight dish. I somehow would never have thought of adding beans to noodles. I replaced the kale with spinach and omitted the butter and oil and it was still good because tuna, kimchi and gojuchang just work well together and the beans make it a bit creamy. Will make again.
TGard July 25, 2020
Super yummie. So simple and easy. I backed off the oil and butter but finished with a really good EVOO drizzle. And kale doesn't work in this family so I substituted chard and doubled the amount, 6 cups. Maybe could have added a bit more. This rivals my husband's week night tuna and anchovy pasta dish, our prior go to when too tired to cook or go pick up some take away. Thank you!
Polly October 29, 2018
Didn’t have any egg noodles so used sweet potato noodles. Used a bit more kale to avoid leaving three stems in the fridge. Garnished with chopped peanuts. Good, quick recipe. Thank you
EmilyC October 30, 2018
Glad you liked it Polly! Thanks for your note!
Jessie E. June 27, 2018
Hello Korean tuna casserole! Thank you for this! I will be adding this in rotation. I added roasted broccoli, sautéed red onions, subbed coconut oil for butter, extra kimchi and gochujang.
EmilyC June 29, 2018
Nice additions, and so glad it was a hit!!
lastnightsdinner June 26, 2018
We loved this! Thanks for another great recipe!
EmilyC June 27, 2018
Thanks so much, Jennifer! So happy you liked this. Thanks for letting me know! : )
gingerroot June 26, 2018
This is SO SO good, Em!!!! My kind of comforting tuna and noodles. So delicious and so easy. I actually had leftover Rancho Gordo beans and leftover fresh ahi that I poached in olive oil. This is going into the rotation. THANK YOU!! xo
EmilyC June 26, 2018
Jenny: I’m thrilled that you tried and liked this! I’ve only used canned beans and tuna so your version sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for your nice note.
Jillian T. June 14, 2018
What a hilarious little recipe - which I mean endearingly! Promise! It nails the comfort of my childhood tuna noodles without any of the blah. Extra kimchi for me. Delicious immediately, as well as chilled next day.
EmilyC June 17, 2018
So happy to read your comment, Jillian -- thank you! : )
FrugalCat May 29, 2018
I used spinach and it came out great. Spinach needs less cooking than kale so I added it later.
EmilyC May 31, 2018
Wonderful! So glad you like liked it!
Ross R. May 19, 2018
I’m usually not big on fusion type dishes but I thought this was excellent! I added a handful of cherry tomatoes and a trio of fresh cracked pepper (black, white, Sichuan) for flavor contrast.
Thanks for the great recipe.
EmilyC May 20, 2018
So glad you liked it, Ross! Thanks for your note!