This easy tuna pasta recipe with pesto sauce is a fast pantry staple recipe that is family friendly, balanced and super simple to make!
Pantry staples recipes are a lifesaver, whether you’re a busy mom, student on a budget, or just looking for something easy. Leaning HEAVILY on my pantry staples has just become part of my routine, and it’s a great way to save money and time in the kitchen, too! Honestly, one of the best things I’ve learned after having kids is how to cook amazing healthy meals out of my pantry. So this easy tuna pasta recipe was born solely out of what I had on hand, but it quickly became a family favourite in my home.
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Why This Recipe Works
I’m always making this tuna pasta recipe because it’s:
- Quick and easy
- Uses pantry staples I always have on hand
- Packed with protein and fiber
- Perfect for a packed lunch
- Loved by my whole family
Try it out for your next meal prep and I know you’ll love it!
This recipe is so simple and basically made out of your pantry. Here’s what you will need:
Chickpea pasta – I love chickpea pasta because it’s rich in fibre and protein. But if you’re not gluten free, or you just don’t have chickpea pasta, just use regular whole grain pasta. I used a spaghetti but you can totally use penne, rigatoni, linguine or anything else you’ve got on hand.
Prepared or homemade pesto sauce – In the summer, I always have tons of homemade pesto in the fridge, but right now, I’m relying on store-bought.
Light chunk tuna- I like the tuna in water, but oil is delicious too. I also prefer light canned tuna which is lower in mercury for my kiddo, but if you like albacore, that’s great too.
White beans – I love pumping up the protein and fibre with some canned beans!
Veggies – I like adding tomatoes and olives but if you have fresh spinach, this would also be great!
How To Make This Recipe
Step One: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add pack to the pot and stir in the pesto, tuna (flaked into chunks), white beans, cherry tomatoes, and olives, and toss until well combined.
Step Two: Season with salt and pepper, if needed, then serve with parmesan cheese.
This tuna pasta recipe is customizable based on what you have available in your fridge and pantry. It’s a great way to use up leftover veggies, so throw in anything you’ve got on hand.
This pesto pasta will last about 3-4 days in the fridge, so it does make an easy and well balanced meal-prep option for lunches or dinner.
According to Health Canada, the recommendations for Canned Albacore (White) Tuna Advice is:
– Pregnant Women – 300 grams a week
– Children 5-11 years old – 150 grams a week
– Children 1-4 years old – 75 grams a week
This does not apply to canned LIGHT tuna which is lower in mercury so there is not a big concern. This is why I always choose canned LIGHT tuna.
Definitely. My son loves canned tuna ANYTHING, and throw in some olives and cheese (his favourites) and he is totally GAME.
Gluten free, or not, I am a huge fan of chickpea pasta because it’s higher in protein and fibre. But if you don’t have access to this, whole wheat pasta is my second choice!
More Recipes You Might Like
We love pesto around here! Here are some favourite pesto recipes:
- Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Avocado
- Hasselback Beets with Pistachio Pesto
- Vegan Olive Pesto Flatbread with Olives, Grapes and Figs
- Pistachio Parsley Pesto Pasta Salad
Now tell me – what are you making for dinner out of your pantry? Have you tried this tuna pesto pasta?
Tuna Pasta Recipe with Pesto Sauce | Gluten Free!
- 1 lb chickpea pasta I used spaghetti
- 1/2 cup prepared or homemade pesto sauce
- 1 can light chunk tuna packed in water drained
- 1 19 ox can white beans drained and rinsed
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives halved
- Parmesan for topping
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add pack to the pot and stir in the pesto, tuna (flaked into chunks), white beans, cherry tomatoes, and olives, and toss until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed, then serve with parmesan cheese.
Updated on July 2nd, 2023
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.