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Tuna pesto pasta in a 6-quart dutch oven garnished with fresh basil. Halved cherry tomatoes are mixed in.
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5 from 1 vote

Tuna Pesto Pasta

This creamy tuna pesto pasta recipe makes for an easy 15-minute dinner. Try it with store-bought or homemade pesto.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tuna
Servings: 6
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Kelsey Smith
Cost: $9


  • 1 pound (16 ounces) pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) pesto
  • 15 ounces chunk light tuna drained
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (22.5 grams) shredded parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-½ cups (10 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved


  • Boil pasta according to package directions, adding 1 tablespoon salt to the pasta water (optional). Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Add the pesto and tuna to the saucepan, breaking up the tuna with the spatula. Heat until warm, about 2 minutes.
  • When the pesto-tuna mixture is warmed through, slowly add the heavy cream, stirring as you pour. Heat until warm, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the onion powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan until the cheese melts. Next, toss in the cherry tomatoes.
  • Combine cooked and drained pasta with the sauce in a large pot, stirring to coat the pasta evenly. Add more salt or pepper to taste. Serve warm.



Pasta: Use 1 pound of any short pasta shapes. Try penne, cellentani, farfalle, rigatoni, rotini, salad rotini (pictured), macaroni, or cavatappi.
Pesto: Use store-bought or homemade pesto.
Garnish ideas: Fresh basil, parmesan, pine nuts
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerators for 3 to 5 days. Pesto pasta can be frozen but the flavors will not be as fresh after freezing and thawing.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1101mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1623IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 2mg