Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta

October 28, 2022

Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta

I’m a big fan of “pantry-friendly” recipes.
Though I have to admit that it’s kind of a vague term, since it doesn’t account for much of the diversity that influences what fills our cupboards.
But I’m pretty sure that in almost every household you can find a can of tuna, an onion, some tomato paste, olives, parsley, and oil.
That’s really all it takes to make this incredible Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta.

Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta
A low fat, tasty pasta dinner that can be rustled up in a matter of minutes from cans and packets in the pantry.
Tomato paste, shallot, and onions are processed into a paste, then mixed with tuna, oil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. That easy.

Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta
It’s a simple and delicious balancing act between the umami depth of canned tuna, the savory brightness of tomato paste and olives, the aroma of onions and parsley, and the heat of the red pepper flakes.
Full of flavor and ready in the blink of an eye, this Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta will check all the boxes on your weeknight dinner bingo card. As usual, skip the red pepper flakes to make it kid-friendly.

Spicy Tuna Pesto Pasta                                                                                                                             Print this recipe!

Serves 4

1 can (5 oz / 140 gr) tuna in olive oil (I used Genova)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 shallot (or small onion), peeled and quartered
⅓ cup black olives (I used Pearls)
1 tablespoon parsley
Red pepper flakes to taste, I used 1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste


Place tomato paste, shallot (or onion), black olives, and 1 tablespoon of water in a blender (or mini food processor if you have it) and pulse a couple of times until smooth (you might need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times). Set aside.
Place tuna with the oil from the can, in a small bowl and using a fork roughly mash it (making sure you’re not overworking it into a paste).
Add tomato paste mixture and give a good stir.
Add parsley, red pepper flakes (if using), olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper and mix to combine.
Use it on pasta (or as a topping for crostini!)

Nutrition facts

One serving of pesto yields 180 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein.


  1. I used to travel China and have their spicy noodles and I think yours is very similar to that! What a wonderful recipe! I will try it for sure!