Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Suppress your skepticism, block bad memories of nasty noodle casseroles, and close your eyes. We’re doing a trust fall, and you are going first. Don’t be nervous. I’ll be right here to catch you. To celebrate our new bond, we’ll enjoy two helpings of a mis-maligned ingredient: canned tuna.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Still trust me?

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

If you freaked out and mentally replaced the word “Tuna” with “Cat Food,” I do not blame you. Canned tuna is smelly. It requires a tool to access. Even its tin container resembles what we serve to our feline friends. Tuna Noodle Casserole, its most associated use, is positively beastly.

Sounds like the perfect choice for my next installment of INGREDIENT REDEMPTION!

{Previous redemption installments feature bran and Brussels Sprouts.}

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Before you cry “Fancy Feast!” let’s think about this cursed can in a different way. Focus on the contents. Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein, Omega-3s, and all sorts of other health nuggets that Dr. Oz, et al. are continuously reminding us we should be eating. Tuna is meaty, flavorful, and filling.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

I am not going to fail at fooling you that canned tuna is the gourmet equivalent of sushi-grade Ahi. The can does, however, have benefits that a fresh filet does not. Canned tuna is incredibly convenient and, happily for the budget conscious among us, cheapcheapcheap. As previously confessed, I’m a fanatic for seafood in all forms, and thus I am on a continuous quest to incorporate it into my diet, without breaking my wallet.

Plus, I recently learned that canned tuna is a common pasta ingredient in Italy. If it’s related to food and the Italians do it, you know it’s legit.

Other important Italian ingredients: Bright lemon zest, tangy capers, and briny olives. Conveniently for us, these dynamos are a made-for-each-other match for canned tuna. Their flavors transform it from “emergency only” into a quality meal component.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Thus, it is with the blessing of Italy that I present to you canned tuna redemption: Tuna Tomato Pasta.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

In a scant 20 minutes,Tuna Tomato Pasta will be out our plates Let’s sauté our tuna with red onions and mushrooms, bubble it in a bath of ready-made tomato pasta sauce, then pump it with our vibrant Italian flavors. Now, we stir in some whole wheat rotini, top with parsley, and voila!

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Tuna Tomato Pasta.

Instant dinner delight.

Easy-peasy, 1-2-3sey.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Still associating canned tuna with that guy at the office who insists on microwaving his tuna melt and stinks up your entire floor? I promise you, Tuna Tomato Pasta in no way resembles his icky tuna salad. And seriously Mr. Tuna Melt Guy: who does that?

If you simply not a fan of fish, this pasta would also be tasty with sautéed chicken, or for a strict vegetarian meal, try subbing chickpeas or extra veggies.

Bonus: you can use your leftover olives, red onion, and fresh parsley to whip up an instant batch of Cowboy Caviar {Chickpea Salad with Olives and Herbs.} I certainly did!

Like many of you, I spent years vehemently h-a-t-i-n-g canned tuna (residual trauma from a bad casserole). Tuna Tomato Pasta transformed my attitude entirely, and I feel like I spent years missing out on canned tuna as an affordable, nutritious, and filling ingredient.

Tuna, Tomato, and Mushroom Pasta | The Law Student's Wife

Inspired by classic Italian flavors, Tuna Tomato Pasta is a redemption recipe worthy of a regular place on your menu. Healthy and ready in a breezy 20 minutes, Tuna Tomato Pasta might not be fancy, but it makes a tasty feast.

Tuna Tomato Pasta

Filled with bright Italian flavors, whole wheat Tuna Tomato Pasta with Mushrooms, Capers, and Olives is healthy and ready in a fast 20 minutes.


  • 1 pound whole wheat rotini spiral pasta
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms — such as cremini, button, or shiitake, sliced
  • 3/4 cup red onion — diced (about 1 small)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic — (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 jar tomato-based pasta sauce — (26 ounces)
  • 3 cans white albacore tuna — (5-ounces cans) drained
  • 1/2 cup black olives — pitted and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers — (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta as directed, just until it is al dente (about 8 minutes). When draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large separate pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add mushrooms and onions, sautéing just until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
  3. To the pot, add pasta sauce and tuna. With a fork, gently break the tuna into bite-sized chunks. Stir in the olives, capers, and lemon zest, then simmer for 5 minutes to combine the flavors.
  4. Add the black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the reserved cup of pasta water, then add the pasta. Toss to coat. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Easy Pasta Recipe, Tuna Tomato Pasta

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