15-Minute Tuna Tomato Pasta
Easy Tuna Tomato Pasta Recipe
How to Make Canned Tuna Pasta with Tomato Sauce & Veggies
Whip up this easy tuna tomato pasta recipe for a quick weeknight dinner that’s ready in 15 minutes! Made with canned tuna, your choice of pasta, and your favorite tomato sauce, it’s a deliciously convenient and nutritious meal you’ll want to enjoy over and over. Learn how to make canned tuna pasta with tomato sauce, some sneaky veggies, and plenty of cheese.
The beauty of this 15-minute tuna pasta is it’s easy to make and it’s tasty to eat. Everything gets tossed together in the same pot, and the result is a tangy, creamy, savory dinner that’s sure to satisfy! Plus, it’s got a healthy balance of protein, nourishing fats, carbs, and plenty of vegetables, all in one bowl.
Personally, I threw this tuna tomato pasta together on a whim once on a busy weeknight, and it’s now become a regular easy dinner in my rotation. You don’t need a recipe to craft a healthy, flavorful meal—you just need a bit of Kitchen Confidence! By learning how to pair ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can come up with loads of simple meals on the fly.
What can I add to canned tuna to make it taste better?
Canned tuna is a nutritious and convenient protein choice that can be used in all sorts of ways! Pair with mayo and veggies to create a classic tuna salad, use it as part of a sandwich or wrap, or serve it on a bed of greens. If you don’t like the flavor or smell of canned tuna, there are a few simple solutions:
- 1) Pair with stronger flavors. The smell of canned tuna can be pungent to some, but it actually has a relatively mild, meaty flavor. Try pairing it with more potent and acidic flavors for balance—like the marinara sauce in this tuna tomato pasta recipe!
- 2) Choose a quality brand of canned tuna. Specifically, I’ve found that sustainable, wild-caught canned tuna doesn’t have the same “fishy” smell as many other brands. A higher-quality tuna will cost a bit more, but thankfully canned tuna is quite a cheap and affordable protein option overall.
Canned Tuna Tomato Pasta Ingredients
Pasta of choice (I use chickpea pasta)
Canned tuna (I prefer wild-caught)
Marinara or pasta sauce of choice
Fresh basil (optional)
- Pasta: Personally, I genuinely enjoy the flavor and texture of chickpea noodles of all kinds (and I appreciate the plant-based protein), so that’s what I’ve used in this tuna pasta recipe. You’re welcome to use any variety or shape of pasta you prefer—regular or gluten free!
- Canned Tuna: As mentioned, I like to use a sustainable wild caught canned tuna—in part because it tastes and smells better, and also because it’s richer in nutritious omega-3 fatty acids. Any brand of canned tuna will work in this recipe, though!
- Pasta Sauce: I like to use a classic marinara sauce, but you can use any type of red sauce that you enjoy—store-bought or homemade. Of course, you can also switch things up and turn this into a creamy tuna alfredo if you’d like, or make it cheesy like my baked spaghetti mac and cheese recipe!
- Veggies: Grated zucchini is a deliciously sneaky addition that can mix right into your sauce unnoticed, and cherry tomatoes add some fresh, vibrant tanginess that’s so satisfying. You can also add or substitute with any other veggies you enjoy: grated carrot, chopped broccoli, or sauteed greens could all be tasty choices.
- Cream: A splash of heavy cream in your sauce is totally optional, but recommended! It’s a small addition, but it adds loads of richness, creaminess, and balance to this dish.
- Mozzarella: This is a classic pasta topping, and it’s one of the best cheeses for melting onto a warm, freshly cooked meal! Again, use any other or additional cheeses that you like.
Which brand of tuna has the least mercury?
When it comes to buying canned tuna, you want to consider several factors—not only the cost, but also sustainability, nutrition, and mercury levels. There are many brands of canned tuna to choose from, but you’ve got to find the option that’s right for you. Personally, my go-to brand is Wild Planet: a sustainable, wild-caught tuna that’s lower in mercury and better for the environment.
How to Make Tuna Pasta with Tomato Sauce
You can make this tuna tomato pasta in just 15 minutes, in 4 simple steps:
- Cook pasta of choice according to package directions.
- Heat pasta sauce and grated zucchini for a few minutes, then add canned tuna to soften.
- Add cooked pasta into sauce, along with tomatoes and heavy cream.
- Serve warm topped with melty mozzarella!
For Meal Prep & Family Dinners
My partner and I enjoy this tuna pasta on a weekly basis now, but it’s also easy to expand and serve more people. Simply cook more pasta, add 1-2 additional cans of tuna, and pump up the veggies depending on how many you’re feeding! Or, for meal prep, you can cook an entire box of pasta ahead of time, then just reheat the noodles with the sauce, veggies, and tuna over the stove on the day of eating.
For more 15-minute dinner ideas like this, try my mac and cheese with hot dogs or my BBQ salmon rice bowl recipe!
To see how this tuna tomato pasta is made, check out my 15-Minute Weeknight Dinners video!
15-Minute Tuna Tomato Pasta
- 4 oz pasta of choice, (I use chickpea pasta)
- 5 oz canned tuna, (I prefer wild caught)
- 1 cup marinara or pasta sauce of choice
- 1 cup zucchini, grated
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved/quartered
- 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 3-5 leaves fresh basil, chopped, (optional)
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, (optional)
- In one pot, cook pasta according to package directions. (If using chickpea pasta, I recommend cooking for 1-2 minutes less than the package directs.)
- Once warm, add drained canned tuna to soften.
- Add cooked and drained pasta to pot along with cherry tomatoes, a splash of cream, and fresh basil if desired. Stir to combine and season to taste as needed.
- Serve warm and add mozzarella on top to melt!