Tuna Pesto Pasta from the Pantry

by Dorothy Reinhold on July 17, 2017

Print This Post Print This Post You won't even have to shop before making Tuna Pesto Pasta, because most of the ingredients come from the pantry. It's easy for a weeknight, or a sophisticated lunch. | ShockinglyDelicious.com

Tuna Pesto Pasta: A sophisticated pantry pasta is quick and easy with canned tuna and a few staples like pesto, garlic and onion. It makes an elegant lunch or dinner without a trip to the store.

These are the dog days of summer, when ambition fades in the face of sultry heat and humidity, when enthusiasm flags and is replaced by ennui, and when the seemingly otherwise simple act of turning on the oven to make dinner is cause for others to question your sanity.

So today I bring you dinner from pantry staples, with a few fresh things from the garden strewn on top. You’ll eat it warm for dinner, and then the next day for lunch, perhaps cold, straight from the fridge.

And maybe, just maybe, if there’s any left after that, you’ll fork it right from the Tupperware while you’re watching TV at night. Yes, this is a full-service meal, deployable for nearly any edible purpose.

Summer’s languorous supper.

How to make Tuna Pesto Pasta

Ingredients for Tuna Pesto Pasta recipe on a white background on ShockinglyDelicious.comGather all your ingredients. For this recipe, we are using:

  • Short pasta (I am using trottole, but use your favorite). A curly pasta really grabs the sauce.
  • olive oil
  • onion and garlic
  • tuna in olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • jarred basil pesto
  • Garnishes: cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese

Easy Tuna Pesto Pasta recipe in a white bowl with green striped napkins under the bowl on ShockinglyDelicious.com

The title of the recipe practically tells you how to make it. It’s so easy.

Grab your fork and join me.

Tuna Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 2-3

Tuna Pesto Pasta

A sophisticated pantry pasta is quick and easy with canned tuna and a few staples like pesto, garlic and onion. Tuna Pesto Pasta makes an elegant lunch or dinner without a trip to the store.


  • 8 ounces short pasta (I used trottole shape, but use your favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 (5-ounce) can tuna in olive oil (I used Genova brand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons jarred basil pesto
  • Garnish:
  • --cherry tomatoes
  • --fresh basil sprig
  • --grated or shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Put a pot of water on the stove and heat until boiling. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When it is done, drain (reserve 1/4 cup cooking water) and set pasta aside off the heat.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they are transparent. It is OK if they begin to brown slightly. Add garlic, cook and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add in the tuna and its oil and slightly break into chunks; add the oregano. Gently stir in the cooked pasta and pesto and cook for another minute or so to warm it through. If you think the pasta is too dry, add in a tablespoon or more of the reserved cooking water.
  4. Remove from heat, place into wide, shallow bowls, garnish with a handful of cherry tomatoes and a sprig of fresh basil. Pass the Parmesan cheese so diners can garnish their own bowl with it.
  5. Serves 2 for dinner or 3 for lunch.


Recipe source: Ever so slightly adapted from Tuna Pesto Spaghetti from A Taste of Madness.

Originally published on Shockingly Delicious July 31, 2016. Republished July 17, 2017.


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Tuna Pesto Pasta from the Pantry recipe title superimposed over the picture of the dish on ShockinglyDelicious.com
Want another meal with canned tuna?

Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad in a white bowl on ShockinglyDelicious.comTuna Tomato Bean and Basil Salad

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