Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Recipe

The ideal meal has a few qualities going for it, among them being great taste, a balance of nutrition, and ease of prep. For points one and three, you can of course just dine out at a restaurant, but to enjoy a meal that's also balanced and healthy, it's best to cook at home. Can you still enjoy all three of those aspects when you're stuck doing the work in the kitchen yourself? Why, of course.

Chef, recipe developer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli has devised the perfect recipe, saying: "I love this dish for an easy lunch during a busy work week." With just a bit of chopping, boiling, and stirring, her Mediterranean tuna pasta whips up into a dish that's tasty, delivers plenty of protein and other nutrients, and that's ready, from the moment you enter the kitchen to the time you set the food on the table, in less than half an hour.

And as this meal is prepared using reliably shelf- or fridge-stable ingredients, it can be a regular part of your family's mealtime rotation.

Gather your ingredients for Mediterranean tuna pasta

As noted, all of the ingredients used in this dish are either shelf-stable and can always be on hand or else have a reliably long shelf life when properly stored in the fridge. In the shelf-stable category, we have the rigatoni (or another shorter, round pasta noodle, like a penne) canned albacore tuna in water (drained before use), capers, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

In the refrigerated category, we have chopped parsley, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. As for how you store your roma tomatoes, that's your call — everyone seems to have an opinion there!

Cook the pasta and chop the tomatoes and parsley

Start the recipe off by bringing a large pot of water to a boil — you'll do all of your prep work while the pasta cooks. Once the water is rolling, add the pasta and cook it according to package directions, with Carli noting: "Be sure to cook the pasta to al dente."

While the pasta is cooking, go ahead and dice the tomatoes and chop the parsley, then set them aside. Next, drain the tuna and separate the meat into flaked pieces with a fork using a twisting motion.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and place it into a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and toss pasta to mix

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, try to move through these steps quickly to prevent the noodles from drying out (and because the family is hungry, no doubt). Add to the bowl with the pasta the flaked tuna, capers, diced tomatoes, and chopped parsley, and stir everything a few times to combine the ingredients.

Next, add the olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and stir again to combine everything into the finished dish.

Serving your Mediterranean tuna pasta

Alright, you're done — great work! That didn't take long, right? Now you see why this is an ideal quick lunch or dinner that will give you the nutrients you need and fill you up fast.

This dish is nearly a complete meal on its own, but a side salad (or even a bed of greens under the pasta) will round it out into a completely balanced dinner. For some added savory goodness, consider adding some chopped bacon, and for added heat, go with some red pepper flakes.

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Recipe
4.9 from 26 ratings
With just a bit of chopping, boiling, and stirring, this Mediterranean tuna pasta whips up into a dish that's both tasty and easy to make.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tuna pasta in a bowl
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook according to package directions, then drain and pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add flaked tuna, capers, diced tomatoes, and parsley. Toss to combine.
  3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 406
Total Fat 9.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 20.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 58.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Total Sugars 2.8 g
Sodium 382.2 mg
Protein 21.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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