Pasta with tuna, lemon, capers and olives

Easy, family-friendly recipe a new spin on classic tuna casseroles!

Forget the soggy pasta and bland sauce. The only thing that made most tuna casseroles palatable for me when I was a kid was the sprinkling of crushed potato chips on top! The first time I tasted this dish, served to me by one of my sisters, I knew it would be something I’d make again, and often. If you have selective (aka picky) eaters to feed, just mix the tuna, lemon, garlic, olive oil and cooked pasta together and people can select toppings from the other elements, served on the side.


  • 10 ounces (285 grams) rotini or other large pasta
  • 1 6 ounce (170 grams) can solid light tuna, drained
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) capers, drained
  • 2 cups (500 mL) broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 large tomato or 8 -10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) parsley, chopped


  • Bring a large pot of water and a small pot of water to a boil.
  • While water is heating, put garlic in a small microwave-safe dish and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. On medium-high, heat in microwave for about 45 seconds (until it is bubbling). Set aside to cool.
  • When small pot of water is boiling, add broccoli florets and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Drain again.
  • When large pot of water is boiling, add pasta and cook until just tender (al dente).
  • While pasta cooks, drain tuna and put in a serving bowl, breaking up into large pieces with a fork.
  • Add cooked garlic, lemon zest and juice, capers and broccoli.
  • Drain pasta and add to other ingredients in serving bowl; stir well.
  • Add olive oil, salt, pepper, olives and tomatoes and stir gently to combine.
  • Top with feta and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature (if making ahead, refrigerate and then gently bring to room temperature in the microwave. You may want to add an additional teaspoonful of lemon juice and olive oil when reheating).

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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