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Pesto Pasta with Tuna

This Pesto Pasta with Tuna is so simple yet so tasty! It is one great way to use canned tuna and turn it into a delectable meal in no time at all.

Pesto Pasta with Tuna and Mushrooms

I’ve been making this simple pesto pasta with tuna for my family for ages and they seem to never get tired of it. My sister, Glenda, even made a variation, Spicy Pesto Tuna Pasta. Well, she simply uses the spicy canned tuna instead of the regular one.

It is one of my go-to dish for last-minute dinner plans. Like when you forgot you invited someone over for lunch or dinner and are totally unprepared for it.  Believe me, they will never know. Especially when they get to try this simple yet restaurant-worthy pasta dish.

Of course, simple pasta tossed in pesto sauce is good in itself. But adding tuna brings in a whole new level of flavor. I also usually add some slices of mushrooms which give the dish some added texture and volume.

How to make Pesto Pasta with Tuna

What Pasta goes best with Pesto?

There is really no rights or wrongs when it comes to pairing a cut of pasta to a type of sauce. As long as you like it, then go for it! However, there is a reason why they differ in shapes and sizes.  Some cuts are best for certain kinds of sauces. The thicker or larger shapes do better with richer or more robust sauces. The thinner ones would be perfect for light, cream or oil-based sauces.

Pesto sauce, which is oil-based, is best paired with:

  • Linguine and Linguine Fini.
  • Spaghetti, being the most versatile of all, pairs with most any kind of sauces.
  • Fusilli and Penne work also well with all the nooks and crannies for the sauce to cling to.
  • Farfalle or bow-tie

Tips for making great Pesto Pasta with Tuna

  • Don’t cook the pasta all the way through when boiling. You will be adding the pasta at the end after cooking the sauce. It is better to boil the pasta just until almost done with a little bite left to it. It will continue to cook in the remaining heat so it can absorb some of the sauce.
  • You can use Pesto from the jar but freshly made Basil Pesto is the best.
  • Use canned tuna in oil. It is more flavorful than the one in water or brine.
  •  You can also use the spicy canned tuna, or just add some bits of chili flakes to spice things up a little.



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Pesto Pasta with Tuna and Mushrooms

Pesto Pasta with Tuna

This Pesto Tuna Pasta is so simple yet so tasty! It is one great way to use canned tuna and turn it into a delectable meal in no time at all.
Print Rate
Course: Main Course,Side Dish
Cuisine: American,Italian
Keyword: pesto pasta,pesto pasta with tuna
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 466kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 14 oz dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big onion - - sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic - - minced
  • 2 cans (7oz) tuna in oil - - or 1 12 oz can
  • 1 can (425g) mushroom - - drained
  • 1 cup basil pesto sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  • Cook spaghetti noodles as per package instruction just until al dente. Drain water and set aside. 
    Pesto Pasta Recipe Step 1
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until translucent and aromatic.
    Pesto Pasta Recipe Step 2
  • Pour in canned tuna including the oil. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Pesto Pasta Recipe Step 3
  • Add basil pesto sauce and season with salt and ground pepper as needed. Cook for another minute and turn the heat off.
    Pesto Pasta Recipe Step 4
  • Add cooked pasta into the skillet and toss until noodle strands are completely covered with pesto sauce. 
    Pesto Pasta Recipe Step 5
  • Sprinkle with shredded parmesan and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Pesto Pasta with Tuna
Amount Per Serving
Calories 466 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 458mg19%
Potassium 153mg4%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 865IU17%
Vitamin C 0.5mg1%
Calcium 132mg13%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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