Tuna Pesto Pasta

tuna pesto pasta FI

Tuna pesto pasta is an easy dinner that's hearty and filling. With minimal prep, you can make this main course in only about 20 minutes with 5 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper). 


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces (227 g) fusilli (or your favorite pasta shape)
  • two 5 ounce (142 g) cans tuna packed in oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (230 g) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) finely shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup (227 g) pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove. While the pasta water is coming to a boil, continue with steps 2 - 3.
  2. Rinse and dry the grape tomatoes. Cut each tomato in half vertically, set aside.
  3. Finely shred the Parmesan (if not using pre-shredded). Set aside.
  4. When the pasta water begins to boil, add a generous pinch of salt and stir in the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  5. Drain the pasta, but first reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  6. Return the drained pasta to the pot. Add in the tomatoes, Parmesan, pesto sauce, and two cans of tuna (add in the entire can, do not drain first).
  7. Gently mix the pasta together with the other ingredients until combined. Do not overmix as to avoid breaking the tuna apart too much.
  8. Taste the pasta and season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Optional - if you want the sauce to be thinner, drizzle in some of the reserved pasta water.)
  9. Serve with additional shredded Parmesan cheese on top.


Tuna packed in olive oil provides great flavor; otherwise, you can use any kind of tuna packed in oil.

If you can find it, look for tuna labeled "solid," such as "solid white albacore" or "solid light yellowfin." Because this tuna comes in larger chunks, rather than small flakes, this will provide lots of great texture to the dish. 

While tuna packed in oil provides the best flavor and texture (in my opinion), you can also substitute tuna packed in water. Drain away most of the liquid (some remaining is fine) before adding to the pasta. If you like, you can also add in 2 - 3 teaspoons of olive oil to replace what would have been added from the tuna packed in oil.

The nutrition information below is an estimate only, provided by an online nutrition calculator. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brand and exact amounts of ingredients used. This nutrition estimate should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.


Keywords: tuna pesto pasta, tuna pasta