Pasta with Tuna, Lemon, Capers and Olives

This easy, family-friendly recipe is a modern take on the tuna casseroles of old which frequently featured soggy pasta and bland sauce. The only thing that made those meals palatable for me 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. This version is adapted from a recipe published in a clever little cookbook called Take a Tin of Tuna by Joie Warner. 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.

Colourful and packed with flavour, this healthy dish makes a can of tuna shine!

Colourful and packed with flavour, this healthy dish makes a can of tuna shine!


  • 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 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 large tomato or 8 -10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • ½ cup 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.

About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
This entry was posted in Meat, poultry, fish, One dish meals, Pasta and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pasta with Tuna, Lemon, Capers and Olives

  1. Pingback: Stocking the modern pantry | Constantly Cooking

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