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Amazing Canned Tuna Pasta Recipe 2023- Delicious and Easy

amazing canned tuna pasta

Amazing canned tuna pasta

This recipe goes beyond the usual flavors of tuna thanks to the addition of anchovies, fresh lemon, and tangy capers.

To make the sauce in this canned tuna pasta recipe, use the oil from the canned tuna instead of tuna in brine. Here are the ingredients you’ll need.



  • 200g / 7oz spaghetti or other thin long pasta
  • 1 tbsp cooking salt for boiling the pasta
  • 285g / 10 oz (approximately) canned tuna in oil, drained, with the oil reserved (I use 3 x 95g/3.5oz cans)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes / red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp baby capers (or finely chopped pickles)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (substitute with 1 tbsp apple cider or sherry vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp cooking/kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Here’s how to prepare the canned tuna pasta dish:


  1. Cook the pasta: Bring 3 liters / 3 quarts of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, reducing the cooking time by 1 minute. Just before draining, reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: In the same pot, heat the reserved oil from the tuna cans over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, anchovies, and chilli flakes. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Toss the pasta: Add the cooked pasta, capers, and 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot. Toss the ingredients using two spatulas for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the tuna: Turn off the heat. Add the tuna, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Gently toss the ingredients to combine, trying to keep some tuna chunks intact.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Amazing canned tuna pasta Notes:
The quantity of tuna can vary slightly, so don’t worry too much about the exact amount. I use 3 x 95g/3.5 oz cans, the small “lunch size” cans, which are enough for serving two people.

If you only have tuna in brine, use 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead.
Anchovies provide great flavor in this recipe. You can substitute them with 1 tsp of anchovy paste or omit them altogether if needed, as the tuna in oil also adds good flavor.

The chilli flakes add a subtle warmth to the dish. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but keep in mind that pasta doesn’t reheat well.

Microwave reheating with a splash of water is the best option, or you can save some pasta cooking water for better results.