Zesty tuna pasta – hot or cold

This zesty tuna pasta has a delicious Mediterranean twist.
Fresh and summery, you can have it on the table in 15 minutes. 

This zesty tuna pasta is a quick dinner that I’ve been making, in one version or another, since I was a student. I much prefer it to the ubiquitous tuna-pasta-sweetcorn combo that comes cold with mayonnaise or hot with some other kind of creamy goo (condensed mushroom soup?) instead. The zesty tuna pasta has a much more Mediterranean feel to it, is altogether fresher and more summery. Yes, even in the depths of a grim English ‘Spring’.

If you’re organised, you can have this on the table in under 15 minutes. Put the pasta on to cook, then sort out the tuna etc while it’s boiling. Drain, mix, serve. Ta-da!

Hot, cold, or in-between 

Kipper made a big fuss about how she “doesn’t like tuna” (since when?!) so she picked out all the olives and broccoli and ate them. And then ate all the pasta, and a fair bit of the tuna as well. Mind you, she’s always been a bit funny about tuna. Apparently everyone else in the world can mix it with mayonnaise and put it in a sandwich and that’s just fine, but if I do the same then it’s completely inedible and she won’t go near it. Fickle much? Gah.

But I digress. You can eat this tuna pasta hot, as we did, or let it cool down and serve it as a salad instead. It also makes a great packed lunch. 

Endless variety

You can also vary the ingredients quite a bit and it’s still fabulous. I often use mange tout or other green vegetables instead of the broccoli florets. And you can use green olives instead of the Kalamata ones. Or even capers instead of the olives. Or lime instead of the lemon. You can leave out the chilli altogether if you don’t like it. I’ve done it many ways, and they’ve all been good. Find one that works for you!


Zesty tuna pasta - with broccoli, tomatoes, olives, and extra yumminess

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Zesty tuna pasta

Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword pasta, tuna
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 539kcal
Author Helen


  • 150 g pasta twists or other short pasta (1 ½ cups)
  • 200 g broccoli florets (2½ - 3 cups)
  • 160 g tin of tuna in spring water, drained (approx. 5 oz)
  • 125 g cherry tomatoes (approx. ⅔ cup)
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red chilli
  • 12 kalamata olives


  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet. Add the broccoli for the last four minutes of cooking (or cook for four minutes in a separate pan). Drain.
  • Meanwhile, flake the drained tuna into a large bowl. Halve or quarter the tomatoes and add to the tuna. Mix in the zest and juice of a lemon, the olive oil, and the crushed chill, and stir to combine.
  • Remove the pits from the olives, and slice each olive in half. Add to the tuna mixture.
  • Toss the drained pasta and broccoli with the tuna-tomato-olive mixture and combine well.
  • Serve and enjoy!


539 calories, 25g fat, 14g gprotein, 69g carbs

The theme for this month’s Family Foodies event, hosted by Eat Your Veg and Bangers & Mash, is fab food fast. On the table in 15 minutes, I’d say this zesty tuna pasta definitely qualifies! 

One Comment:

  1. Tuna and sweetcorn pasta has long been a packed lunch favourite in our house, but why oh why have I never thought of serving it for tea? What a good quick dinner! Great entry for this month’s Family Foodies challenge – thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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