This Tuna Pasta recipe is the perfect weeknight meal for busy families. The sauce is a light broth that has tons of garlic as well as peas, parmesan and onions to give it a full bodied flavor in less than 20 minutes. Easy to make, delicious to eat, Tuna Pasta is your new favorite go to dish!
No one like to be stuck in the kitchen after a long day of work and taking care of the kids, which is why this Tuna Pasta is one of our favorite family recipes that we make over and over again. It is a fast dinner recipe that is made with frozen peas and pantry items you are sure to have on hand at all times.
dinner idea for tonight
Let me start by telling you that this dish has been made hundreds, yes HUNDREDS of times in our house! We have played with the flavors over the years and this is our favorite way to make it, peas are a classic. I actually love any kind of pasta with tuna, I mean it just is so easy to love, but I especially like that you can customize this one with other veggies that your family loves and the base flavors will always compliment it. We’ve done kale, broccoli and even collard greens in it, and each time it was just as good. You can even use flavored tuna to really amp the dish and give it a whole other flavor profile! We even posted our original Tuna Noodle Casserole which was based off of this dish.
The number of times I forget to take meat out of the freezer the day beforehand is way more than I care to admit, but thankfully tuna pasta is always there for me (HA!) and with a quick dash from my pantry to the stove I can have it ready in 15 minutes. Now I know all you moms and dads know exactly what I am talking about when I say that a fast dinner recipe better actually be FAST. I don’t want to spend 20 minutes just prepping my ingredients, just no. So I promise you, this dish is really one you can make last minute and not sacrifice on any of the flavor, and hey if you are a planner you can even make it ahead of time and reserve some of the broth to pour over when you reheat it.
FAQ for pasta with tuna
what can i do with canned tuna?
The possibilities here are endless, well as endless as your imagination! If you like cold pasta you can do sandwiches, pasta salads, wraps, sushi, tuna stuffed celery logs and more!
If you prefer your tuna in a hot dish you can make pasta (like this one!), casseroles, tuna melts (tuna on bread with cheese and put under the broiler), tuna cakes (find our recipe here) and so many more options. Canned tuna is really a lifesaver in our house, it can be made into so many dishes and most of them are under 20 minutes which makes them a great last minute meal idea.
how do you make tuna better?
Because it picks up the flavors you are cooking with you can add anything that you crave! We love adding onions, garlic, vegetables and spices to create unique and delicious dishes. When making a hot dish, like our pasta, you can saute the ingredients first and then add the tuna to just heat through. If you are looking for ideas to make with cold tuna we LOVE a good old fashioned tuna sandwich with mayo, pickles and spicy sesame spread.
how long do you cook pasta?
Oh the age old question! This really comes down to a personal preference, however you want to make sure of a few things to ensure you don’t have mushy or bland pasta. ALWAYS make sure your water is well salted, like more than you think is necessary, this way it cooks into the pasta and allows whatever you are adding to it to have the best possible flavor. Be sure to follow package directions but only as a guideline- this will help you see what the brand recommends as a starting point; if you like al dente (a little bite to it) go about 1-2 minutes less, if you prefer soft pasta then I go a minute longer. Drain your pasta as soon as it reaches the desired doneness for you so that it stops cooking, never leave it in the pot of hot water.
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I cannot live without fresh Parmesan when making any kind of pasta dish, we buy the large wedge and just rasp off what we need. This is by far the best rasp we have had, been using over a year and a half and it is still just as sharp as the day we got it!
Weeknight Tuna Pasta with Peas
- 2 cans Flaked Tuna flavored tuna adds a fun twist
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 White Onion, chopped
- 1.5 cups Frozen Peas can use fresh as well just adjust cook time for them
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1.5 cup Water
- 1.5 tbsp Vegetable Boullion you can use the cubes instead, or substitute with broth (so 1.5 cup broth)
- 1/2 Red Onion, chopped optional (for topping)
- 0.5 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated +more for serving
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 pkg Pasta (we prefer rigatoni for the sauce to seep into!)
- Heat a large pot of water over medium high heat and allow to come to a rolling boil before salting and adding your pasta.
- While water is coming to a boil, heat a medium pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Saute onions for 3 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant.
- Add in tuna to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle boullion over mixture and add water. Stir until broth forms with the tuna mixture and add in frozen peas.
- Allow tuna mixture to cook until your pasta is finished cooking - we prefer ours al dente so we cook it for about 6-8 minutes.
- Drain pasta and add the tuna and broth mixture to the pot with pasta. Add grated cheese and stir until it is all combined. Serve hot and top with additional cheese, red onion and hot pepper flakes if you like some heat!
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- Family Friendly Weeknight Dinners – The Food Network