6 Italian Canned Tuna Pasta Recipes.

6 Italian Canned Tuna Pasta Recipes.

Canned tuna pasta is one of the simplest ways to make seafood pasta! In fact, it’s so popular in Italy that it’s one of the first things young Italians learn to cook for themselves! However, there is more than one delicious Italian recipe for pasta with tuna.

6 Italian canned tuna pasta recipes


Tuna in the Italian diet.

Sicilians and other Southern Italians have fished tuna for centuries. In fact, tuna is a mainstay of the Sicilian and Southern Italian seafood diet. However, fresh tuna has always been most plentiful during the spring and summer. So, many Sicilians and Southern Italians living on the islands and in coastal areas traditionally preserved their own tuna in olive oil. They then used this tuna during the winter or sold it inland and further north.

fusilli pasta with canned tuna and black olive pesto
Fusilli pasta with tuna black olive pesto

Some Italians still do this themselves to this day! But, there are, of course, many tuna canning factories in Italy and, nowadays, tuna in olive oil is readily available in every supermarket. As a result, canned tuna has a place in every Italian larder. It is particularly popular as a salad ingredient, pizza topping and with pasta.

Chifferi elbow pasta with cannellini beans and tuna
Elbow pasta with cannellini beans and tuna

In fact, pasta with canned tuna is one of the first pasta dishes that many young Italians learn to make. It’s well known as a staple among university students and young singles. But, there are many tasty Italian canned tuna pasta recipes. Some are traditional and others more contemporary. Some are super simple, others a bit more complicated. All are delicious!

Check out these canned tuna pasta recipes here on The Pasta Project! I’m sure you’ll enjoy them as much as the Italians do!

pasta with tuna, mint and capers

Spaghetti with tuna, capers and mint from the Aeolian Islands .

This fresh and summery traditional canned tuna pasta recipe is made with a no-cook sauce. So, it is very fast and easy to make. A super summer pasta dish! Click here for recipe.

Chifferi elbow pasta with cannellini beans and tuna

Elbow pasta with tuna and cannellini beans.

This very nutritious dish can also be eaten tepid as a salad instead of hot. If you have never tried pasta with canned tuna and beans, you are bound to be impressed with how flavourful this recipe is. Click here for recipe.

seafood pasta recipes baked conchiglioni pasta shells with tuna and ricotta

Conchiglioni pasta shells with tuna and ricotta.

These delicious stuffed pasta shells are great as party finger food. The filling requires no precooking and you can prepare this dish in advance. My guests love this pasta with canned tuna and yours will too! Click here for recipe.

fusilli pasta with black olive pesto

Fusilli pasta with black olive pesto and tuna.

If you like olives, this recipe from Calabria for pasta with black olive pesto and canned tuna is for you. Plus,it takes no time at all to make, it’s very flavourful and you can eat it warm or as a salad! Click here for recipe

garganelli pasta with canned tuna Bolognese

Garganelli with tuna Bolognese

This super simple but delicious three ingredient pasta with canned tuna recipe from Bologna is probably the easiest Italian pasta recipe I know. However, despite its simplicity, it was recently registered as a traditional recipe from Emilia-Romagna with the Italian academy of cuisine (L’Accademia Italiana della Cucina). A great weeknight dinner option! Click here for recipe

alla chitarra pasta with tuna carbonara

Tuna carbonara.

This seafood version of carbonara is so easy to make, creamy and delicious! There are only 4 ingredients, not counting the pasta and you can have this dish on the table in no time at all! This is a great canned tuna pasta recipe for entertaining too! Click here for recipe

If you do try any of these canned tuna pasta recipes, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.


Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon appetito!

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6 Italian canned tuna pasta recipes

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  • Avatar
    May 13, 2019 9:37 pm

    Wow..These are some amazing pasta recipes using Tuna…Never known with same basic ingredients , you can create such lovely different recipes

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    May 7, 2019 2:47 pm

    I’ve been cooking the same tuna pasta over and over again. So you won’t believe how I excited I am to have these 6 new recipes to try – fantastic finding!

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    May 7, 2019 2:46 pm

    Incredible recipe! I believe it should be one of the dishes young Americans learn to cook, too – it is simple, delicious and filling – just what everyone likes!

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    Maman de sara
    May 6, 2019 11:17 pm

    Great Tuna Pasta recipes. I pinned your post for later use, thank you.

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    Jeannette (Jay Joy)
    May 4, 2019 2:02 am

    I did not know that tuna pasta first things young Italians learn to cook for themselves. We think of pasta in Italy and forget just how big the fishing industry is there.

    • Jacqui
      May 5, 2019 11:13 am

      Thanks for your comment Jeannette! Yes tuna fishing has long been important in Southern Italy, although sadly tuna populations are declining due to over fishing! However, the tuna here is very good and canned tuna is a larder staple for nearly all Italians!

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    Jere Cassidy
    May 3, 2019 5:13 am

    I always have a can of tuna in the cupboard and I am usually at a loss of what to do with it besides making tuna salad. I love all your recipes.

    • Jacqui
      May 3, 2019 7:25 am

      Thank you Jere! pasta with tuna is a great way to use the tuna you have. It’s usally very quick and esay but really delicious!

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    May 2, 2019 4:42 pm

    I love canned tuna and didn’t realize it was so prevalent in Italian cooking. All the recipes look amazing, but I’m really digging the baked shells and carbonara. Can’t wait to try them all!

    • Jacqui
      May 3, 2019 7:27 am

      Yes, canned tuna is a staple in Italy and used a lot with pasta! I’m sure you’ll love the tuna and ricotta stuffed pasta shells and the carbonara Amanda. Both are so good!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    May 1, 2019 4:13 pm

    I wouldn’t know where to start, because all of these recipes look so delicious! Maybe I’d try the carbonara first – yum!

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    Samantha H.
    May 1, 2019 3:30 pm

    What a great idea! I wouldn’t have thought of using canned tuna, but I love that because sometimes buying seafood when you don’t live near an ocean is a problem – and I have cravings to satisfy!

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    Mindy Fewless
    April 30, 2019 9:07 pm

    I had no idea this was used in Italian cooking! I’ll have to try some of these!

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    Lauren Vavala | DeliciousLittleBites
    April 30, 2019 8:57 pm

    I never think to use canned tuna for anything except sandwiches and that gets boring. I definitely have to give these a try – they all look so good!

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    April 30, 2019 8:17 pm

    I love these ideas- so many great ingredients that I already have on hand! And I would never have thought of using tuna in some of these, but they sound so good!

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    April 30, 2019 8:10 pm

    I love tuna! And have other tried it in a sandwich, but these recipes sound amazing!! A must try for sure

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    April 30, 2019 7:26 pm

    I love seeing all these ways to use two pantry staples, pasta and canned tuna. Perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to shop. Thanks for sharing!

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    Jenni LeBaron
    April 30, 2019 6:59 pm

    I adore canned tuna in pasta recipes. Even though the kind at the grocery store is delicious, I bet the self-canned kind in oil right in Italy is far superior. These all look scrumptious!

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    April 30, 2019 5:48 pm

    Oh, wow! How am I ever going to decide which one of these delicious recipes to try first?

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    April 30, 2019 5:48 pm

    Tuna is just so underrated! One of my favorite meals as a child was a tuna pasta but it may have been for the fact that my mom referred to as Barbie pasta (because it was pink, I liked barbies, and she wanted me to eat it) haha 🙂 These look delicious I’ll have to try and relive my childhood.

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    Kelly Anthony
    April 30, 2019 5:41 pm

    This post is a great collection of delicious tuna pastas. I look forward to eating my way through these meals.

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    April 30, 2019 5:25 pm

    This is a great collection of tuna pasta recipes! Can’t wait to try some!

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    Beth Neels
    April 30, 2019 4:58 pm

    oh gosh! I love canned tuna and would love to make any of these delicious pasta dishes! I’m not sure which to make first, but I am leaning towards the carbonara!

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    Claudia Lamascolo
    April 30, 2019 3:55 pm

    I just love all these photos and recipes. What isnt great about all these pastas? I would devour all of them and I need to taste them all!

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    Heidy L. McCallum
    April 30, 2019 1:23 pm

    I love tuna but find I rarely eat it anymore–I think I got bored but these dishes have renewed my interest in tuna once again. Not sure which one I would like to make first.

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    April 30, 2019 1:03 pm

    These all look like fantastic options! Can’t wait to try them all!

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    Danielle Wolter
    April 30, 2019 12:54 pm

    the shells with tuna and ricotta sound just amazing! and also the tuna carbonara – i love carbonara! these are such great recipes!

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    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    April 30, 2019 10:54 am

    These tuna pasta recipes all look absolutely delicious! Tuna pasta is one of my favourite dishes.

  • Avatar
    April 30, 2019 10:29 am

    I’ve been thinking of other ways to use canned tuna… This one is perfect! Great idea and every single recipe looks delicious! I should better get a bit more tuna now that I have so many ways to use it!

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