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Easy Tuna Pasta and Vegetables

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You can make this Easy Tuna Pasta and Vegetables if you have a tin of tuna in your pantry and a box of pasta. During the six weeks of Lent, like many Filipinos, I search for more meatless recipes to cook at this time. My family enjoys fish and seafood all year round. So, I need to find creative ways to combine it with different ingredients.

While shopping at the Asian Filipino grocery, I found several Philippine canned tuna products. This particular variety had flavors of calamansi – the Filipino lime. The familiar, piercingly-sweet citrus taste is a family favorite and I knew would be appealing no matter how I prepared the canned tuna in any dish. If you don’t have this canned tuna variety with calamansi, use regular canned tuna in oil and simply sprinkle lemon juice while cooking.

Most canned tuna in supermarkets are of these varieties: albacore, skip jack or yellow fin. I usually prepare tuna in sandwiches with mayonnaise. This time, I had a box of pasta fettuccine sitting on my pantry shelf, so I said why not?

This was so easy to prepare. The dish takes minutes to make, including opening the can and boiling the pasta. The results were superb. Salty and citrus tuna flakes coated the languid fettuccine pasta noodles, with a smattering of leafy baby spinach and juicy tomatoes to liven up the dish. This is the kind of meal you’d enjoy way beyond Lent and Fish Fridays. Twirl the forks around the pasta right now and you’ll wonder why you didn’t cook this sooner.

Update: This recipe for Easy Tuna Pasta was featured by The Happy Home Cook on Positively Filipino Magazine. Click here to read.

Easy Tuna Pasta with Vegetables

This Easy Tuna Pasta with Vegetables can be whipped up in minutes if you have a can of tuna and a box of pasta on your pantry shelf. Cook the pasta and do a quick saute of the tuna and vegetables. Put it all together and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Whether it's a weeknight or weekend, this is the kind of meal you can serve all year round. 
*This recipe for Easy Tuna Pasta was featured on The Happy Home Cook of Positively Filipino online magazine.
Prep Time11 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time24 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Canned Tuna Pasta Vegetables
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • 8 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • 1 teaspoon salt for boiling pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pieces shallots halved, sliced
  • 1 can (6.4 oz/180 g) Century Tuna Flakes in oil with calamansi drained
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • Fill a stockpot with water. Add the salt. Over high heat, let the water boil. When water is boiling, cook pasta according to package directions. 
    Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain rest of water and set pasta aside.
  • In a large skillet, add the extra virgin olive oil and butter.
    When oil is hot and butter has melted, saute garlic and shallots for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tuna flakes to the skillet.
    Pour the lemon juice and soy sauce. Combine ingredients. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and mix well.
    Pour the pasta water and blend.
  • Add the cooked pasta with the rest of the ingredients in the skillet.
    Mix in the spinach and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • Sprinkle freshly-grated Parmesan before serving. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Cook's comments:

  • I used fettuccine pasta for this recipe. Feel free to use other types of pasta preferred. Simply follow package directions for cooking time. 
    You can also substitute the spinach with other greens if desired.
    If you don't have this variety of canned tuna, use  any canned regular tuna flakes in oil. Sprinkle juice from 1 lemon at the end of cooking.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 2961mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3525IU | Vitamin C: 29.3mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]


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