This Pesto Tuna Pasta Recipe is made with tuna, pasta, basil, nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan, greek yogurt 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 greek yogurt. 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, greek yogurt 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.
Why should everyone eat tuna?
Canned tuna can be a convenient and healthy source of protein for a variety of reasons:
- Convenience: Canned tuna is a convenient food option that requires minimal preparation. You can easily incorporate canned tuna into a variety of dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
- Shelf-stable: Canned tuna has a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time. This makes it a great pantry staple to have on hand for quick and easy meals.
- Affordable: Canned tuna is generally an affordable source of protein, making it a budget-friendly option for many people.
- Nutritious: Tuna is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are important for overall health and well-being.
- Sustainable: Many brands of canned tuna are sourced from sustainable fisheries, which means that they are caught in a way that minimizes harm to the environment.
Why you will love this Tuna Pasta Recipe
There are many reasons why someone might make tuna pasta. Here are a few:
- Quick and easy meal: Tuna pasta is a simple and quick meal to make, making it a great option for busy weeknights or when you're short on time.
- Budget-friendly: Canned tuna is an affordable source of protein, making it a budget-friendly meal option.
- Versatile: Tuna pasta is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences. You can add vegetables, herbs, or other ingredients to the pasta to make it your own.
- High in protein: Tuna is a great source of protein, making tuna pasta a filling and satisfying meal.
- Healthy: Tuna is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health.
Tuna Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Pine Nuts
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Lemon juice
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Tuna Pasta Recipe
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 celery, tuna, ½ cup of pesto, greek yogurt, pasta, and lemon juice.
Enjoy this Tuna Pasta Recipe.
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.
Tuna Pasta Recipe Variations
Here are a few variations to the classic tuna pasta recipe that you may want to try:
- Tuna and tomato pasta: Add canned diced tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning to the pan while cooking the tuna, then toss with cooked pasta for a simple and flavorful meal.
- Tuna and lemon pasta: Sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, then add canned tuna, lemon juice, and parsley. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.
- Tuna and olive pasta: Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil, then add canned tuna, pitted and chopped Kalamata olives, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toss with cooked pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
- Tuna and caper pasta: Sauté garlic in olive oil, then add canned tuna, capers, and chopped fresh parsley. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.
- Tuna and broccoli pasta: Add canned tuna and steamed broccoli florets to cooked pasta, then toss with a garlic and olive oil sauce. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.
These variations can help you add variety to your tuna pasta dishes and experiment with different flavors and ingredients.
Check out this Pesto Rice if you are a pesto lover like me.
- Large pot: for boiling pasta.
- Colander: for draining cooked pasta.
- Wooden Spoon: for stirring the ingredients in the bowl.
- Food processor or blender: for making the pesto sauce. I love this food processor.
- Measuring cups and spoons: for measuring the ingredients accurately.
- Serving bowl: for tossing and serving the cooked pasta with the pesto tuna sauce
How to store Tuna Pasta
Tuna pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, depending on how fresh the tuna was when it was initially prepared. To store tuna pasta properly:
- Let it cool down: Allow the tuna pasta to cool down to room temperature before storing it. This helps to prevent bacteria growth.
- Transfer to an airtight container: Transfer the tuna pasta to an airtight container with a lid that fits tightly. Make sure to remove any air pockets and press the lid down firmly to create a seal.
- Label and date: Label the container with the name of the dish and the date it was made. This will help you keep track of how long it has been stored in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate: Place the container in the refrigerator and store it for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat before serving: To reheat, place the desired portion of the tuna pasta in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Pesto Tuna Pasta Recipe Top tips
Here are some top tips to make a delicious pesto tuna pasta:
- Cook the pasta al dente: Cook the pasta until it is al dente, which means it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and lose its texture.
- Drain the tuna well: Drain the tuna from the can and squeeze out any excess liquid. This will prevent the pasta from becoming too wet.
- Use a high-quality pesto: Use a good quality store-bought pesto or make your own from fresh ingredients. The flavor of the pesto will greatly affect the overall taste of the dish.
- Add fresh herbs: Add some fresh herbs like basil or parsley to the dish before serving for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can add brightness and acidity to the dish, balancing the richness of the pesto and tuna.
- Add Parmesan cheese: Top the pesto tuna pasta with grated Parmesan cheese for extra flavor and texture.
- 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