Tuna pesto pasta is such a great weeknight dinner, flavorful, easy and filling. It's full of protein from tuna, texture from tomatoes and nutty, pesto in every single bite. You will love this combination, it's such a slam dunk of flavor and it keeps well.
Why Make This Recipe Tuna Pesto Pasta
This recipe is surprisingly one of the best combinations I have made. My husband loved this recipe and requested I make it for him to bring to lunch the following week. There is lots of protein from the canned tuna, the pesto is the flavor blast and mixes so well in the pasta. I add tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes, the two combined with the tuna and pesto just work so well. This recipe is so easy, the hardest part is boiling water and using your blender. You will love this one!
- Canned Tuna. Canned tuna is affordable and so packed with protein. I always use albacore tuna, It pairs great with this dish. I use Wild Planet Tuna.
- Pasta. Any shape will work, I like to use cellentani pasta but spaghetti, bow tie anything will work.
- Cherry Tomatoes. These add color and a little texture.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes. These are optional but i love them in addition to the fresh tomatoes. They go so well with the artichoke hearts.
- Artichoke Hearts. I personally use marinated artichoke hearts fo this recipe but canned will work great!
- Pesto. Use pre made if you would like, I always use my own Spinach Walnut Pesto Recipe.
Ingredients For Spinach Walnut Pesto
- Spinach. Fresh spinach only here!
- Walnuts. This is instead of expensive pine nuts. Walnuts are easier to find and more affordable.
- Lemon. Fresh lemon juice.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is always the best.
- Olive Oil.
- Basil. Fresh only. You can also use cilantro but I prefer the basil for this one.
- Parmesan Or Pecorino. This is to add flavor, salt, nuttiness to the pesto. You can also use this as a garnish over the pasta.
Steps To Make This Recipe
Step One. Start boiling the pasta according to the package. Cook it until al dente. Be sure to reserve some of the pasta water to thin pesto sauce. Next, chop the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and set aside.
Step Two. Make the pesto. Add all the pesto ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and blend. Set aside until pasta is finished cooking.
Step Three. Measure out your pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl. Add all the veggies, tuna and pesto. Mix in pasta water, a little at a time until everything is perfectly mixed. Top with additional parmesan for garnish is desired and serve.
FAQ's & Recipe Tips
Yes, tuna and pesto go incredibly well together. The salty basil flavors are great on any fish but canned tuna is a match made in heaven.
Yes, make this so much easier on yourself buy buying your favorite pre made pesto, although I can honestly say I prefer mine the best, I love it.
- Canned Tuna. Use canned or grilled salmon or canned or grilled chicken in place of the tuna.
- Cellentani Pasta. Any pasta shape will work. Spaghetti and bow tie are my next favorite with this recipe. Ad long as it isn't a huge pasta where the tuna and add ins get lost.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes. You can skip these if you's like and just use fresh tomatoes.
- Artichoke Hearts. You can use canned or marinated artichoke hearts.
This recipe is great on it's own and it covers a lot of the food pyramid however it would be great with my Air Fryer Garlic Bread or with
Tuna Pesto Pasta
- high speed bender only if you are making your own pesto
Tuna Pesto Pasta
- 2 - 5 oz cans albacore tuna
- 1 lb dry pasta *see notes
- ⅓ cup reserved pasta water *to thin the pesto
- 1- 12 oz jar marinated artichokes hearts *see notes
- 1 cup cherry tomatos sliced
- ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes *optional
- 1 cup pesto
Spinach Walnut Pesto
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2½ tbsp lemon juice fresh
- ¼ cup parmesan
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 3 cup fresh spinach
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Start boiling the pasta according to the package. Cook it until al dente *** (be sure to save some pasta water for later to thin our pesto). Next, chop the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and set aside.
- Make the pesto. Add all the pesto ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and blend. Set aside until pasta is finished cooking.
- Measure out your pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl. Add all the veggies, tuna and pesto. Add pasta water, a little at a time until everything is perfectly mixed. Add additional parmesan for garnish is desired and serve.
Chefs kiss! This was absolutely delicious and very easy to throw together.
This was excellent. Made it for Ash Wednesday. Very easy but so flavorful.
I am happy to hear this!
This recipe was SO GOOD. Never thought to have pesto with canned tuna. My husband and I ate the whole thing in one sitting.