This tuna tomato pasta is the perfect recipe to try on a super busy day or when you can't get to the grocery store. It's made with pantry staples but still super flavorful and delicious!
Tuna tomato pasta is an excellent recipe for those days when you're not in the mood to go to the grocery store. It's made with staple pantry ingredients and is super easy to customize.
Bonus points - it only takes 15 minutes to make!
Tuna and tomato sauce is a smashing combination, but I make this sauce richer and bolder in flavor by using some anchovy fillets.
Why you'll love this tuna tomato pasta
- It's the perfect quick and easy meal to whip up after a long day at work when you don't have the energy to go grocery shopping.
- You can easily make it your own and use various ingredients in the pantry, such as artichokes, capers or sundried tomatoes.
- It's ready in just 15 minutes!
What goes into this tuna and tomato pasta
Anchovies - Anchovy fillets pack in plenty of salty flavor, and they're the secret ingredient that transforms this tuna and tomato pasta into a real treat! For even more flavor, use some of the oil the anchovies are packed in to fry the shallot and garlic.
Shallot - I love shallot in pasta sauces like this because it cooks quickly and has a mellow flavor. You can also use yellow or red onion here but make sure you dice it finely so it cooks quickly.
Garlic - Freshly chopped garlic is best in this tuna pasta sauce.
Crushed tomatoes - Use the best quality crushed tomatoes you can in this sauce because it makes quite a difference. You can also add some cherry tomatoes here.
Tuna - I like to make this pasta dish with tuna packed in olive oil that I drain well. It also works great with tuna in sunflower oil or tuna fish in brine.
Capers - You don't have to rinse the capers before adding them to the pasta sauce, but you should drain them well.
Artichokes - Admittedly, artichokes are not a pantry staple for everybody, so feel free to skip them or substitute them with something else you may have on hand, like sundried tomatoes, olives or grilled zucchini.
Pasta - Spaghetti and linguine are perfect in this pasta dish, but you can basically use any pasta shape you may have in the pantry.
How to make pasta with tuna and tomato sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Meanwhile, heat the oil from the anchovies in a large, deep pan and add the anchovy fillets. Cook for 1-2 minutes, breaking them up with your spoon as you go.
Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.
Add the cooked pasta and toss well to cover in sauce. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed.
Stir in the tuna, capers, artichokes and parsley. Do it gently, so the tuna doesn't break down completely.
Season to taste and serve immediately, with some extra fresh chopped parsley or fresh basil if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat the tuna pasta in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a bit of water or vegetable stock if it looks too dry.
- I don't recommend freezing this pasta dish.
Recipe notes and tips
- Transform this into a tomato tuna pasta bake by transferring everything to a baking dish, sprinkling with grated cheddar or mozzarella and baking until the cheese is bubbling. It's best to use short pasta in this case.
- Try to incorporate the canned tuna gently so it doesn't break down completely.
- Use leeks or scallions instead of shallots for a different flavor or if that's what you have on hand.
If you liked this tuna tomato pasta recipe, you might also like some of my other quick and easy pasta recipes:
- Pasta alla Boscaiola (Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta)
- Spicy Sausage Pasta
- Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Pasta
- Easy Ground Turkey Pasta
- 10.5 oz (300 g) linguine
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 1 tablespoon oil from the anchovies
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 x 14 oz (400 g) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 x 5 oz (140 g) cans tuna, drained
- ½ cup (30 g) capers, drained
- ½ cup (30 g) artichokes, roughly chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil from the anchovies in a large, deep pan and add the anchovy fillets. Cook for 1-2 minutes, breaking them up with your spoon as you go.
- Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in the red chili flakes and crushed tomatoes, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and toss well to cover in sauce. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed.
- Stir in the tuna, capers, artichokes and parsley. Do it gently, so the tuna doesn’t break down completely.
- Season to taste and serve immediately, with some extra fresh chopped parsley if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 678mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 8gSugar: 11gProtein: 32g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.