This Pesto Tuna Pasta is made with tuna, pasta, basil, nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
This is such a simple easy dish that everyone will love. If you use store bought pesto, all you need is pesto, tuna, pasta and mayonnaise. I prefer making the pesto from scratch, because the flavor is so much better with freshly chopped basil. To make the pesto, all you need is a food processor or a blender. This pasta is perfectly paired with my Buttermilk Roasted Chicken and Air Fried Chicken Legs.
This is such an easy and tasty alternative and a dish for lunch. You simply add the pesto in with the pasta, tuna, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Pesto is an Italian sauce that can be topped on pasta, chicken or rice. It is made with fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil.
- Pine Nuts
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice
See recipe card for quantities.
In a food processor, add the basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic and process until minced. Slowly add the olive oil and cheese and process until smooth. This should yield about one cup of pesto.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the tuna, ½ cup of pesto, mayonnaise, pasta, and lemon juice.
Hint: Add more olive oil when blending the pesto if you like a more fluid pesto.
- Basil: You will need a lot of fresh basil for this pesto. I have seen many different variations of pesto like using spinach, parsley cilantro and mint.
- Pine nuts: Pine nuts are traditionally used for pesto, but I have seen many variations using walnuts, pistachios, almonds and even sunflower seeds.
- Lemons: For best taste, use real lemons and not store bought lemon juice.
- Garlic: I used fresh garlic although you could use garlic from a can and top with the prepared minced garlic.
- Olive oil: I used olive oil for this recipe, but you can try canola, vegetable or sunflower oil as well.
- Cheese: Traditionally, pesto is made with parmesan cheese. You could always use asiago, pecorino romano or grana Padano.
- Tuna: I love having tuna cans on hand in my pantry because it lasts very long and it is useful when you want to make something quick and easy.
- Pasta: I used macaroni pasta for this, but you can opt to using any bite sized pasta.
Cooking is a chance to be creative! Have fun with it and feel free to make your own variation.
- Spicy - Mix sriracha in the mayonnaise if you like spicy mayo.
- Deluxe - Use canned chicken or salmon instead of tuna.
- Kid friendly - Use fun shaped pasta that will make your kids love eating it.
Check out this Pesto Rice if you are a pesto lover like me.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides.
I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here!
This will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Add more olive oil when blending the pesto if you like a more fluid pesto.Print
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove