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Easy Tuna Pasta Recipe – simple, effortless and inexpensive delicious dish, that could be served either as a warm canned tuna pasta or a cold tuna pasta salad. Unique flavors with just a few, widely available pantry staples.

Tuna pasta with Parmesan in a white bowl

Why I made this Tuna pasta recipe?

I haven’t been into tuna lately, but my 5 year old requested that I make him a tuna salad. The one with cucumbers, that I recently shared on the blog. Then I had to think of dinner for my husband and I and decided to try something different.

We used to make a similar pasta when I was a kid. Canned tuna fish was a “thing” back then, so we used to mix it with pasta, grated cheese and pickles.

It was delicious! I changed the recipe a bit this time. I added chopped red onion (you can omit it or use green onion instead), dill, a little bit of mayo and Dijon mustard and Parmesan cheese. Everyone liked it, since this is not your traditional red sauce pasta, not a tuna salad for sandwiches.

Canned tuna pasta recipe

Yes, you can use canned tuna fish in pasta. And the result if super delicious. The combination of al dente pasta (of your choice), crunchy pickles, onions, dill, olive oil, tasty cheese and flavorful canned tuna is well balanced and tastes amazing! 

Add canned tuna to a pasta, just like you would add it to a salad.

What pasta to use

This recipe works for spaghetti, angel hair pasta, fettuccine, penne pasta or pretty much any pasta of your choice. Fresh pasta can be used, too. Just make sure, you cook it properly. This time I used Caserecce, since I had a package open and wanted to use it up.

Casarecce originates from Sicily, and are short twists of pasta, which appear rolled up on themselves. Penne pasta or spaghetti will work well.

 Low-carb, gluten-free or whole wheat pasta could be also used in this Easy Tuna Pasta Recipe.

Canned tuna

There are many different varieties at the grocery store. I’d say, don’t stress over this. Use whatever tuna you have on hand. I usually purchase canned Yellowfin or Light tuna is oil.

To make:

The only thing you need to cook is the pasta.

Then rest is to chop your pickles, dill and onions and grate the cheese.

Combine the pasta, tuna, onions, dill,, cheese and pickles. Season with salt and pepper. Add some olive oil and lemon juice. Optional, for creamier pasta and to adjust the flavors, you can add a tiny bit of Dijon mustard and some mayonnaise. For the healthier version, don’t use mayo, just serve as it is or use extra olive oil.

A white bowl with blue rims filled with tuna pasta

Recipe tips:

  • You can add olives or sun dried tomatoes to this healthy pasta, to make it even more rich and nutritious.
  • Different kind of cheese can be used.
  • Pickles  could be substituted with cucumbers.
  • Add capers, parsley or any fresh herbs of your choice.
  • A little bit of fresh lemon zest will be a great addition.

How long to store this pasta in the fridge for?

If you are planning on making the “warm” version of this pasta, not the “cold” pasta salad, you do need to consume the pasta right away. Store any leftovers (which are going to turn into a cold pasta salad) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Canned tuna, once opened, does not store very well, even when used in recipes like this.

Manufacturers suggest that you remove the fish from the tin can and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Trust me, on most occasions, it goes bad and gets a weird smell after 24 hours, so considering the cost of canned tuna, I wouldn’t take the risk.

More pasta recipes:

canned tuna pasta in a white round metal bowl

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Tuna pasta with Parmesan in a white bowl
5 from 1 vote

Tuna Pasta

Easy Tuna Pasta Recipe - simple, effortless and inexpensive delicious dish, that could be served either as a warm
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 5 oz Canned tuna
  • 4 oz Pasta, cooked according to the directions on the package
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard, optional
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Mayo, optional
  • 1 tsp chopped Dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pickles
  • 2 tbsp chopped Red onions, about 1/4 small onion
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Cook the pasta. Following the directions on the package. Drain and place in a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil on top. 
Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the pickles, onions, dill, mayo, mustard (both mayo and mustard are optional) and stir.
  • Top with cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours (in an airtight container).


Calories: 524kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 1387mg, Potassium: 328mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 257IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 229mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @cookinglsl or tag #cookinglsl!

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Hi! I'm Mira.

I share simple, mostly low-carb and Keto recipes, that don't take a lot of time to make and use mostly seasonal, easy to find ingredients. I'm a supporter of healthy eating, but you'll also find some indulgent treats too.

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