Pantry Friendly Recipes: Tuna Pesto Pasta

November 7, 2014

Canned tuna can be your secret weapon to creating a flavorful, healthy and easy meal in minutes.  This recipe combines canned tuna with pasta and prepared basil pesto.  You can modify this dish based on what you have available in the pantry.  While sun dried tomatoes are delicious, other preserved foods like capers, olives, and roasted red peppers would be welcomed additions.  Leftovers taste even better the next day and are great to take to work for lunch.

Tuna Pesto Pasta


1 1 pound box of whole wheat penne pasta
1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
2 6 ounce cans of tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish


Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, add a generous amount of salt.  The water should taste like the ocean.  Cook the pasta according to package directions. 

Step 2: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the spinach and cook for another two minutes, just until the leaves begin to wilt.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 3: Pour the pesto into a large bowl and add the cooked pasta.  Toss the pesto with the pasta until each piece is evenly coated with the sauce.  It is important NOT to rinse your pasta after cooking because the natural starch helps the sauce stick to the pasta.  If the pesto is too thick, you can add a couple of tablespoons of he cooking liquid to thin it out.

Step 4: Add the sun dried tomatoes, tuna and baby spinach and toss again so that the ingredients are well distributed.  Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve immediately. 

Image Sources: