Bowl of tuna and tomato pasta

Tuna And Tomato Pasta Recipe

January 17, 2015 by Michelle

Tuna and tomato pasta shot
It’s winter, which means I’m looking for more hearty meals that warm me up from the inside out. At the same time, it’s the new year when there are all the resolution to eat healthier and be more conscious of the choices we’re making. Needless to say, that puts me in a little bit of a dilemma when choosing what to make for dinner sometimes. Last night I made my tuna and tomato pasta (again), and I realized one more time that this is a great mix for me.

Tuna and tomato pasta in the pot

This is one of those meals that can be whipped up in about a half hour. While you’re boiling water, you’re prepping the sauce so that by the time the sauce is done, the pasta is cooked and ready to toss with the sauce. Just… do it like the Italians and put the pasta directly in with the sauce and mix it there. I’m not sure what the chemistry is, but it always tastes a thousand times better when you place the pasta in the sauce and toss while it’s still simmering on the stove.

This pasta has plenty of veggies and uses Bumblebee Tuna as its protein. I love that the tuna comes in so many different varieties and forms like the pouch, but for this dish, I used two of the traditional 6 ounce cans of white albacore tuna.

Can of bumblebee tuna

This is one of those dishes that when I say I’m going to make it, my family looks at my funny. But then they try it, and it disappears. Last night? I made a batch of it to take to a friend’s house and left behind a huge container for my husband and Little Miss to enjoy when they got back from their activities.

I expected to bring leftovers home from my friend’s house, but four of us ate it all. When I got back to my house late last night, I saw takeout wrappings in the garbage and asked my husband why Little Miss didn’t eat the dinner I had cooked for her. He looked guilty as he explained that he didn’t realize that I had left any for her. He thought it was all for him to eat and… did. All of it. It was a quart size container that I had filled.

Tuna and tomato pasta closeup

Apparently, it’s that good. And apparently I need to make it more often. It’s just a bonus that the tuna is an easy way to get a lean protein with healthy fat, and important vitamins and minerals into a meal. Tuna is so versatile, and you wouldn’t at first think of a fairly fancy looking pasta starring Bumblebee Tuna, but this is gorgeous and delicious. It’s a perfect way to focus on creating a new you in the new year.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta

I love how quickly this light sauce comes together. It has great veggies to it, and the lemon juice and red pepper flakes give it just a little more depth of flavor that really make it something special. The key is to carefully fold in your tuna so that you still have visible chunks remaining after you’ve tossed your pasta. I used the Bumblebee Albacore Tuna packed in water, and it held together the exact right amount to make it easy to eat.

This is a perfect weeknight meal because you truly can get it on the table in a half hour. Start by filling your pasta pot with salted water and putting it on to boil. Heat a large pan on medium heat (I adore my bouillabaisse pot for making sauces and such like this) and add oil. Dice your onion and add it to your hot pan to let it sautee. While it’s cooking, mine the garlic cloves, being sure to add them near the end of the saute time because garlic will burn much more quickly than onion.

Sauteing onions

Once your onion has softened and turned a bit translucent, add the diced tomatoes, including the juices from their cans. Add the capers, and let it simmer while you add the pasta to your boiling water. I like using a long pasta that’s a bit thicker, linguine is my favorite for this dish, but you can use other pasta shapes as you prefer. You want your pasta cooked to al dente, as the pasta will absorb some of the sauce and you don’t want it to be overcooked.

Add capers and tomatoes

While the pasta is boiling, add the red pepper flakes and lemon juice and be sure your pasta sauce is just simmering lightly. Go ahead and chop your fresh parsley while you wait for your pasta and sauce. A minute or so before your pasta is done, open and drain your Bumblebee tuna and then add the tuna to your sauce along with all but a tablespoon or so of the parsley that you’ll want to reserve for garnish. Gently stir the sauce to distribute the tuna and parsley.

Adding tuna to the sauce

Once your pasta is finished cooking, drain it without rinsing and add to your pasta sauce. Use tongs to gently toss and ensure the pasta is coated with the light sauce.

Gently tossing pasta

Turn off the stove and let it sit for a few minutes while you set the table. Garnish with the last of the parsley and serve immediately.

Bowl of tuna and tomato pasta

Tuna And Tomato Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Tuna And Tomato Pasta

A quick and easy weeknight dinner that comes together in a half hour. Dairy free and kid friendly, this delicious pasta tastes as good as it looks!


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 c red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 T capers, drained and rinsed
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 6 ounce cans white albacore tuna
  • 1 lb linguine


  1. Start your pasta pot boiling with salted water.
  2. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat and add oil once it's hot. Chop your onion and add it to your saucepan with the oil. Sautee for 5-7 minutes. While it is sauteing, mince your garlic cloves and add them. Add your tomatoes and stir to ensure your onions are completely separated. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
  3. Add the pasta to your pot once it boils and cook for 7 minutes until al dente, then drain without rinsing.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, add the capers, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice and stir to combine.
  5. Chop your parsley and drain your cans of tuna. A minute or so before the pasta is finished cooking, add the tuna and parsley, reserving a bit of the parsley for garnish. Gently stir to combine and break up some of the tuna without losing all its chunks. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. When the pasta is done, immediately add to the pasta sauce and use tongs to gently toss the pasta with the sauce. Turn off the heat and let sit for a couple minutes to allow the sauce to absorb into the pasta and flavor it. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve immediately.


I use the white albacore tuna packed in water, but depending on your personal preference, you could also use the oil packed tuna which has a different flavor and texture. Feel free to adjust the amount of red pepper flakes, depending on your personal taste preference.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



  • sylvie

    So colorful that we could think summer is back : )

    • Michelle

      Exactly – and in cloudy Chicago, I need to do anything I can to convince me it isn’t winter!

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