I love entertaining and having friends and family over to our place for dinner. The comfort and fun had around the dinner table will always hold a special place in my heart. One of my go-to recipes is lemon garlic pasta and this lemon tuna pasta recipe is a simple step up from there! It’s a canned tuna recipe you’ll want to serve to guests.
Every time we invite others over, however, I’m always so unsure about what to make. I always want to make my guests happy and go all out, but I also like to maintain our way of healthy eating. I also don’t want to break the bank for a fun dinner.
Ok. And if we’re really putting it all out there, I don’t want to plan that much. It’s why things like this last minute fruit appetizer board is such a mainstay in our house!
Lemon Canned Tuna Pasta
I haphazardly started making that easy pasta recipe a few years ago as a side dish. It’s so fast and delicious, you won’t believe it.
And the simple addition of frozen peas or spinach gives this dish so much color and some great veggies! Always a plus in my book.
But the really awesome thing is that it’s a great one pot recipe for a dinner or side dish!! Add that to the fact this is a canned tuna dinner recipe that everyone will love and it’s kind of the most magical thing ever (ok – besides this classic recipe for magic cookie bars of course).
Canned Tuna Recipe
The only thing that dish is missing on its own is a good source of protein. Whole wheat pasta is a great start, but I recently added tuna and loved the results.
I usually have a can or two in my kitchen and I love that it adds lean protein and healthy fats to our meal.
My guy loved the flavor of the dish and I loved that I usually have all the ingredients on hand, making it a perfect dish for a healthy weeknight dinner and last minute dinner guests! Tuna dinner for the win!!
Can You Use Other Fish?
I can only imagine that a good quality, canned salmon would be delicious in this recipe. You could also, likely, cut back on any salt and add in anchovies if your heart desired!
Of course it’s not just canned fish that would be good here (that’s the just the least expensive and easiest). Truthfully any shellfish or flaked white fish….or maybe just any fish in general would work.
Lemon + Tuna for Life
I’m a believer that seafood is always good with something citrusy and life itself is just good with pasta, so I can’t foresee any option taking you down a wrong path!
Can You Use Other Veggies?
Besides the gorgeous color, ease (right from the freezer), and the health factors of the peas, I just think they taste perfect in this dish. That said, obviously there are other veggie options.
I’ve often added fresh spinach to this recipe (like I did in this pea pasta dinner). And truthfully, I don’t know about frozen spinach as I’ve never cooked with it (just being honest here).
I’m sure green beans, small broccoli florets, or asparagus would work – you’d just have to play around with the time it takes to cook them in the water with the pasta. The smaller the pieces, the less time.
And if you’re into the whole more dishes thing, sauteed onions, bell peppers, or zucchini would be a delicious addition.
Want some other good pasta recipes? This roasted veggie + goat cheese pasta is easy, inexpensive and delicious! Simpler versions (great as a side dish too) are peas and pasta and this one pot summer veggie pasta is a mandatory one in our house.
And this cabbage pasta is a good recipe to get more veggies into your dinners without anyone really noticing!
CANNED TUNA PASTA w. LEMON & GARLIC
- 4 cups dry whole wheat rotini pasta or similar
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cans Bumble Bee white tuna in water well drained
- Bring water, olive oil, and salt to boil in a large pot. Add dry pasta. Cook 9-11 minutes (or as box instructions indicate). With 2 minutes left, add frozen peas. Reserve ¼ Cup pasta water. Drain pasta and peas.
- Once you’ve added the pasta to the boiling water, heat olive oil and garlic in large pot (big enough to mix in pasta) over medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low. Add lemon zest and juice. Cook 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add tuna, pasta, peas, and reserved pasta water to post. Mix to combine.
- Serve with parmesan cheese.