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Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

Lemon and tuna are a match made in heaven, and throwing pasta into the mix just takes it to another level. This recipe of tuna and lemon pasta is a flavor bomb that is hearty and satisfying, yet light and refreshing at the same time. It is a quick, easy, and wholesome meal perfect for busy weeknights or relaxing weekends. After trying this dish, it might just become one of your favorite ways to enjoy tuna.

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Photos of Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

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The key ingredients of this recipe are quite common and should be easily found in your local supermarket. However, one ingredient that you might need to look out for is albacore tuna. It is a specific type of tuna which is known for its firm texture and light flavor compared to other varieties. It is usually available canned in water or oil. Another ingredient to note is whole wheat spaghetti, which is a healthier alternative to regular pasta.

Tuna and Lemon Pasta Ingredients

Whole wheat spaghetti: A nutrient-dense alternative to regular pasta, packed with fiber and protein.

Albacore tuna in water: Known for its mild flavor and firm texture, it is a lean source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Feta cheese: A tangy and salty cheese that adds a burst of flavor to the dish.

Red onion: Gives a sweet and slightly spiced flavor, adding depth to the dish.

Fresh dill: Adds a fresh, grassy flavor to the pasta.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a kick of spice to the dish, but can be adjusted according to your spice preference.

Lemon: Provides a fresh and zesty flavor, complementing the tuna perfectly.

One reader, Gerianna Dupuis says:

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This tuna and lemon pasta recipe is a game-changer! The combination of zesty lemon and savory tuna creates a burst of flavor in every bite. The feta cheese adds a creamy texture, and the red pepper flakes give it a nice kick. It's a refreshing and satisfying dish that's perfect for any occasion. Highly recommended!

Gerianna Dupuis

Essential Techniques for Making Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

How to cook the spaghetti: Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted water for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is cooked through but still firm to the bite, then drain.

How to flake the tuna: Open the can of albacore tuna and drain the water. Using a fork, gently flake the tuna into small pieces.

How to zest the lemon: Use a zester or a fine grater to remove the outer yellow skin of the lemon, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith.

How to juice the lemon: Roll the lemon on a countertop to release the juices, then cut it in half and squeeze out the juice using a citrus juicer or by hand.

How to toss the pasta: After adding all the ingredients to the bowl, use tongs or two large forks to gently toss the pasta and mix everything together evenly.

How To Make Tuna and Lemon Pasta

Fish and citrus are a classic culinary pair, and this tuna and lemon pasta is a delectable proof of that! This dish is easily made in just under 30 minutes.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes



  • 16ozwhole wheat spaghetti,(1 package)
  • 7ozalbacore tuna in water,(2 cans), drained and flaked
  • 1cupfeta cheese,crumbled
  • ¼cupred onion,chopped
  • ¼cupfresh dill,or to taste, chopped
  • 2tbspred pepper flakes
  • 1lemon,zested and juiced


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, then drain.

  2. Transfer spaghetti to a large bowl, then add the flaked tuna, feta cheese, red onion, dill, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the bowl and toss.

  3. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 379.55kcal
  • Fat: 7.45g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.21g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.57g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.97g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.83g
  • Fiber: 0.61g
  • Sugar: 1.86g
  • Protein: 22.70g
  • Cholesterol: 36.14mg
  • Sodium: 361.38mg
  • Calcium: 163.28mg
  • Potassium: 296.65mg
  • Iron: 3.37mg
  • Vitamin A: 44.97µg
  • Vitamin C: 6.17mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

When zesting the lemon, make sure to only scrape off the bright yellow outer layer. The white pith underneath is bitter and can overpower the delicate flavors of the tuna and feta cheese. Using a microplane or a fine grater can help you achieve the perfect zest. Also, to get the most juice out of your lemon, roll it on the counter before cutting and squeezing. This breaks down some of the fibers inside the lemon, making it easier to squeeze.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Tuna and Lemon Pasta

Prep ahead: Chop and measure ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that require minimal cleanup, such as pasta dishes or stir-fries.

Time-saving tools: Utilize kitchen gadgets like food processors and slow cookers to expedite meal preparation.

Batch cooking: Make larger quantities of meals and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient future meals.

Organized workspace: Keep your kitchen tidy and organized to minimize time spent searching for utensils and ingredients.

Substitute Ingredients For Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

  • whole wheat spaghetti - Substitute with gluten-free pasta: If you need a gluten-free option, you can use gluten-free pasta as a substitute for whole wheat spaghetti.

  • albacore tuna in water - Substitute with canned salmon: Canned salmon can be used as a substitute for albacore tuna in water, providing a similar texture and flavor to the dish.

  • feta cheese - Substitute with goat cheese: Goat cheese can be used as a substitute for feta cheese, offering a tangy and creamy flavor to the pasta dish.

  • red onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a substitute for red onion, providing a milder and sweeter flavor to the pasta recipe.

  • fresh dill - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can be used as a substitute for fresh dill, adding a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the pasta dish.

  • red pepper flakes - Substitute with chili powder: Chili powder can be used as a substitute for red pepper flakes, providing a similar level of heat and spice to the recipe.

  • lemon - Substitute with lime: Lime can be used as a substitute for lemon, offering a similar citrusy flavor and acidity to the pasta dish.

How to Beautifully Present Tuna and Lemon Pasta

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the pasta in a nest-like shape on the plate, ensuring it is visually appealing and inviting.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped dill over the pasta to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Incorporate citrus zest: Grate lemon zest over the dish for a vibrant, aromatic touch that enhances the overall presentation.

  4. Consider the plate selection: Choose a sleek, white plate to showcase the vibrant colors of the dish and create a visually striking presentation.

  5. Add a touch of elegance with feta: Crumble the feta cheese on top of the pasta, allowing it to melt slightly and create an enticing visual appeal.

  6. Create height and dimension: Consider using a small ring mold to stack the pasta, creating an elegant and refined presentation that showcases attention to detail.

  7. Balance the composition: Add a drizzle of olive oil around the edge of the plate to create a polished and professional finish to the dish.

  8. Emphasize precision: Carefully place the flaked tuna on top of the pasta, ensuring each piece is meticulously arranged to create a visually stunning dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Tuna and Lemon Pasta

  • Pasta pot: A large pot specifically designed for boiling pasta, with a strainer insert for easy draining.

  • Mixing bowl: A large bowl used for combining and tossing the pasta with the other ingredients.

  • Lemon zester: A tool used to remove the zest from the lemon, adding a burst of citrus flavor to the dish.

  • Colander: Used for draining the cooked pasta before mixing it with the other ingredients.

  • Kitchen knife: Essential for finely chopping the red onion and dill for the recipe.

  • Citrus juicer: Used to extract the juice from the lemon, adding a tangy flavor to the pasta dish.

  • Grater: Used to grate the feta cheese, adding a creamy and salty element to the pasta.

Storing and Freezing Tuna and Lemon Pasta: A Guide

  • Allow the tuna and lemon pasta to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep fresh for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you want to freeze the pasta, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and contents.
  • When you're ready to enjoy the frozen pasta, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. You can also place the frozen container in a bowl of warm water to speed up the thawing process.
  • To reheat the pasta, transfer it to a microwave-safe dish and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's heated through. You can also reheat it in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • If the pasta seems dry after reheating, add a splash of water or olive oil to help loosen it up and restore its texture.
  • For best quality, consume the frozen tuna and lemon pasta within 2-3 months. After that, it may start to lose its flavor and texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Tuna and Lemon Pasta

  • Reheat the leftover tuna and lemon pasta in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the pasta from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the pasta is heated through and steaming.

  • For a crispy texture, reheat the tuna and lemon pasta in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter to the skillet to prevent sticking and add flavor. Stir the pasta frequently until it's heated through and slightly crispy on the edges.

  • If you prefer a more moist and flavorful reheated dish, place the leftover tuna and lemon pasta in an oven-safe dish. Add a splash of chicken broth, white wine, or water to the dish to keep the pasta moist. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, place the leftover tuna and lemon pasta in a colander and run hot water over it until it's heated through. This method works best if you're in a hurry and don't mind a slightly softer texture.

  • To add extra flavor and freshness to your reheated tuna and lemon pasta, consider adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or a handful of chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil.

Interesting Trivia About Tuna and Lemon Pasta

Tuna and lemon pasta is a versatile dish that can be served hot or cold. It's a great option for a quick and easy meal, and it's packed with protein from the tuna and whole wheat spaghetti. Additionally, the lemon adds a refreshing and zesty flavor to the dish, making it a perfect choice for a light and flavorful meal.

Is Making Tuna and Lemon Pasta at Home Cost-Effective?

The tuna and lemon pasta recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. Tuna is an affordable source of protein, and the other ingredients are also reasonably priced. The use of pantry staples like pasta and canned tuna makes it budget-friendly. The addition of lemon and feta cheese elevates the flavors without significantly increasing the cost. Overall Verdict: 8/10. Approximate cost for a household of 4: $12-$15.

Is Tuna and Lemon Pasta Healthy or Unhealthy?

This tuna and lemon pasta recipe has some healthy elements, but there's room for improvement. Let's break it down:

Healthy aspects:

  • Whole wheat spaghetti provides fiber and complex carbohydrates
  • Albacore tuna is a lean protein source and contains omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fresh dill adds flavor and antioxidants
  • Lemon juice and zest provide vitamin C and brighten the dish

Less healthy aspects:

  • Feta cheese is high in sodium and saturated fat
  • Red pepper flakes add heat but not significant nutritional value
  • The recipe lacks vegetables, which could provide additional nutrients and fiber

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of feta cheese or opt for a lower-sodium variety
  • Add a variety of colorful vegetables, such as:
    • Cherry tomatoes, halved
    • Baby spinach or arugula
    • Sautéed zucchini or summer squash
    • Roasted red bell peppers
  • Include additional herbs like basil or parsley for extra flavor and nutrients
  • Use a lighter hand with the red pepper flakes or omit them if you're sensitive to spice
  • Drizzle the pasta with a tablespoon of heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil for added richness and monounsaturated fats

By incorporating these changes, you can transform this tuna and lemon pasta into a more balanced, nutrient-dense meal that still satisfies your taste buds. The added vegetables will provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while the reduced feta and optional olive oil will help manage sodium and fat content. Remember, small tweaks can make a big difference in the overall healthiness of a dish without sacrificing flavor.

Editor's Opinion on the Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

This tuna and lemon pasta recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The whole wheat spaghetti provides a hearty base, while the albacore tuna adds a rich and savory element. The feta cheese brings a creamy and tangy note, complemented by the freshness of the red onion, dill, and lemon. The red pepper flakes provide a subtle heat, balancing the dish perfectly. Overall, this recipe offers a refreshing and satisfying dish that is quick and easy to prepare. It's a great option for a light and flavorful meal.

Enhance Your Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan cheese, then roast until tender and slightly crispy.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sauté carrots in a honey glaze until they are caramelized and tender, then sprinkle with fresh herbs for a pop of flavor.
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon: Grill pineapple slices until they have beautiful grill marks, then sprinkle with cinnamon for a sweet and smoky flavor.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Sauté mushrooms with arborio rice, then slowly add in broth and cream for a rich and creamy risotto that pairs perfectly with the tuna and lemon pasta.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli: Toss broccoli with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil, then roast until crispy and flavorful for a zesty side dish.

Delicious Alternatives to Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: This creamy and indulgent pasta dish is perfect for a cozy night in. The combination of tender chicken, rich alfredo sauce, and al dente pasta will leave you wanting more.
Mango Salsa Chicken: Add a tropical twist to your chicken dish with this flavorful mango salsa. The sweet and tangy salsa pairs perfectly with juicy grilled chicken for a refreshing and satisfying meal.
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: This colorful and nutritious salad is packed with roasted vegetables, fluffy quinoa, and a zesty vinaigrette. It's a great option for a light and refreshing lunch or dinner.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Tuna and Lemon Pasta

Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory mushrooms stuffed with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then baked to perfection. These bite-sized delights are the perfect way to start any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Fresh mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes, and fragrant basil leaves skewered together and drizzled with balsamic glaze. These colorful and refreshing skewers are a delightful way to awaken the palate.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. Each spoonful is a burst of fruity goodness that is perfect for a light and refreshing dessert.

Why trust this Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted choice for a satisfying meal. The combination of albacore tuna and whole wheat spaghetti provides a hearty and nutritious base. The addition of feta cheese lends a creamy and tangy flavor, while the red onion and fresh dill add a refreshing crunch. The red pepper flakes bring a hint of heat, and the lemon zest and lemon juice provide a zesty and citrusy finish. These high-quality ingredients ensure a delightful and flavorful dining experience.

Share your thoughts and experiences with the Tuna and Lemon Pasta Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any tweaks or variations you've tried!
How long does it take to prepare this tuna and lemon pasta recipe?
The preparation time for this tuna and lemon pasta recipe is approximately 20 minutes.
Can I use regular spaghetti instead of whole wheat spaghetti for this recipe?
Yes, you can use regular spaghetti if you prefer. Whole wheat spaghetti adds a nuttier flavor and more fiber, but regular spaghetti will work just fine.
Is there a substitute for feta cheese if I don't have it on hand?
If you don't have feta cheese, you can substitute it with goat cheese or ricotta for a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and serve it later?
Yes, you can make this tuna and lemon pasta ahead of time and serve it later. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
Can I add vegetables to this tuna and lemon pasta recipe?
Absolutely! You can add vegetables like cherry tomatoes, spinach, or roasted red peppers to add more color, flavor, and nutrients to the dish. Just toss them in with the other ingredients before serving.

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