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Where Is My Spoon Main Dish Pasta and Rice Tuna Pesto Pasta

Tuna Pesto Pasta

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Tuna Pesto Pasta

Creamy tuna pesto pasta made with cupboard ingredients, ready in less than 15 minutes. And so delicious!

bowl of pesto pasta with tuna with parmesan grater and jar of pesto in the back

Really! This tuna pesto pasta dish is a life saver! No time to shop or to cook, but still want something healthy and thoroughly delicious? Try this pasta dish! All you have to do is to boil the pasta and mix a few ingredients in the meantime. And dinner is served.

Pesto pasta dishes are my go-to dish whenever I need a super quick dinner solution. I always have pesto in the fridge and in the freezer (mostly wild garlic pesto, but also basil, mint, carrot green, or parsley pesto), so I use it a lot.

Unless we want to eat a pure pesto pasta dish (which happens often enough), I add canned tuna, sometimes vegetables, sometimes anchovies, leftover chicken or ham, and so on.

What do you need?


  • Whatever pasta shapes you happen to have. Spaghetti or linguine are often recommended for pesto dishes, but fusilli or macaroni are perfect as well, the sauce will cling to them perfectly.


  • Canned tuna.
  • When it comes to taste, I prefer tuna in oil, the oil makes the dish slightly milder and creamier.
  • But tuna in water is the healthier alternative and it tastes delicious as well.
  • You decide both versions are great!

What kind of pesto to use?

  • Basically, anything you like. I use basil or wild garlic pesto most of the time.
  • Homemade is always best, but a jar of good quality bought pesto can be great as well. Just make sure you buy a brand you know is good.

Otherwise, you will need cream cheese, a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper to adjust the taste and some freshly grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top.

small saucepan with pasta with pesto and tuna fish on the table

How to make?

  • Set the water to boil. To make things even quicker, I fill the pot with really hot water from the tap or boil the water in a kettle before pouring it into the cooking pot.
  • Add the pasta and cook according to the cooking instructions.
  • In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Drain the pasta, but save about 250 ml/1 cup of the cooking water.
  • Add about 125 ml/ ½ cup of the cooking water to the sauce ingredients in the pan.
  • Heat gently for 1-2 minutes while stirring all the time. Add more cooking water to thin the sauce as desired.
  • Mix the pasta with the sauce.
  • Adjust the taste with lemon, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve immediately with Parmesan.
canned tuna, pesto, cream cheese in a saucepan and the resulting sauce

Possible additions:

  • Chili flakes
  • Lemon zest
  • Small, cooked broccoli florets
  • Finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • Crumbled feta instead of Parmesan
close up green tuna pasta sprinkled with parmesan and topped with basil leaves

More quick pasta dishes:

Creamy Vegetable Pasta

Green Onion Pasta

With Frozen Spinach

With Eggplant Sauce

Garlic Butter Noodles

close up green tuna pasta sprinkled with parmesan and topped with basil leaves

Tuna Pesto Pasta

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Creamy tuna pesto pasta made with cupboard ingredients, ready in less than 15 minutes. And so delicious!


  • 400 g/ 14 oz pasta (Note 1)
  • 6 tablespoons basil pesto (Note 2)
  • 5 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 cans tuna in oil, 195 g/ 7 oz each (Note 3)
  • about 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more to taste
  • fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons Parmesan


  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions.
  2. In the meantime, place the pesto, cream cheese, and drained tuna in a small saucepan.
  3. Drain the pasta reserving about 250 ml/ 1 cup of the cooking water. Add about 125 ml/ ½ cup of the water to the sauce and heat gently while stirring all the time. Adjust the taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix with the pasta and serve sprinkled with Parmesan.


  1. I used some kind of longer macaroni, but spaghetti, fusilli, or any other pasta you like is fine.
  2. Homemade or bought. I often use homemade basil or wild garlic pesto.
  3. Tuna in brine can be used instead, but oil tuna has more flavor.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 621Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 30g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Love pasta salads and tuna salads so this combination is perfect. Great salad!