This easy canned tuna pasta recipe is loaded with basic pantry ingredients! A simple pasta recipe that will require very little time. Anyone can make this at home. This will surely become one of your favorite spaghetti recipes!
If you are looking for some easy dinner ideas or don't know what to do with canned tuna, try this quick canned Tuna pasta!
This garlicky and lemony tuna pasta is a delicious and nutritious weeknight dinner. You can make this one-pot pasta meal in less than 15 minutes. It's perfect for your busy nights! Even better, you can bring the leftover for lunch the next day.
Canned Tuna Pasta Ingredients
In this post, I will show you that a good pasta recipe doesn't need a long list of ingredients to make it scrumptious.
To make this Tuna Pasta, you will need canned tuna, fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil, butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, and red chili pepper.
Canned tuna is a staple pantry ingredient. You'll be surprised how it can quickly transform this simple meal into a fancy dinner, and full of flavors! The lemon makes canned tuna taste better!
How to Make this Canned Tuna Pasta
The cooking process is actually pretty quick and simple because the canned tuna is fully cooked. Therefore, you only need to reheat the tuna in the homemade sauce before adding pasta.
Here are some of the most important steps:
- First, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
- Second, while you're cooking the pasta, add extra virgin olive oil, tuna, garlic, butter, and red chili pepper in a cold saute pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and slowly heat up until the garlic is fragrant and lightly colored about 2-3 minutes. It's very important not to burn the garlic.
- Third, add lemon juice, then stir the cooked pasta and reserve pasta liquid water into the pan. Stir to combine and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if needed.
- Last, add some cheese just before serving.
Please note, that this recipe is using basic ingredients and measurements. Feel free to adjust with additional garlic or lemon juice to your taste.
You can also make this pasta creamier by swapping the pasta water with heavy cream.
Canned tuna is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients like Vitamin D and protein. They usually come in 3 different varieties: albacore, skipjack, and yellowfin.
In this recipe, You will only need 5 oz of canned tuna. I used the Wild Planet Albacore - Wild Tuna that I purchased from my local Costco warehouse.
In this recipe, I used spaghetti. Spaghetti is very long, thin, and round-shaped. A very popular Italian pasta. Bucatini, linguine, and capellini can also be used as replacement ingredients.
How to Cook the Pasta
Salted water is essential to boost the flavor of the pasta. You want to use at least one tablespoon of salt for 6 quarts of water.
To prevent overcooking, be sure to start checking if the pasta is done about 2-3 minutes earlier than the cooking recommendation. If it's not quite done, continue cooking until it reaches the desired consistency!
Lastly, reserve some of the cooking liquid because its starchiness of it works wonders in sauces! In this recipe, you will need to use about ¼ of the reserve water.
How to Store Leftover Pasta
You can keep the leftover cooked pasta in shallow airtight containers or zip lock for 3-5 days in the refrigerator or 1-2 months in the freezer.
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Canned Tuna Pasta
- 4 oz uncooked long pasta, (spaghetti, bucatini, or linguini)
- 5 oz canned tuna, (about a can, remove juice)
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice, (use more according to your liking)
- zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small garlic cloves, (thinly sliced)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili pepper, (use more according to your liking)
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano , (or Parmesan Cheese, use more according to your liking)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a large cold skillet, add olive oil, tuna, red chili pepper, garlic, a pinch of black pepper, and the optional butter. Turn the heat to medium-low and slowly heat up until the butter is melted.
- Add the lemon zest, keep stirring until the garlic is fragrant and lightly colored for about 2 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring.
- Add the lemon juice, pasta water (2-3 tablespoons) just enough to keep the pasta moist, then add the cooked pasta. Keep stirring and cook for one minute.
- Season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if needed!
- Turn off the heat. Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and enjoy!