Pasta with Tuna, Lemon, and Greens

Keywords: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anti-inflammatory, healthy, quick, dairy-free, high fiber

Serves: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: medium pot, can opener, Microplane or citrus zester, sieve


  • 1/2 cup whole wheat, chickpea, or lentil short pasta, such as fusilli or penne
  • 1 (5-ounce) can light or skipjack tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zested
  • 2 cups arugula, baby kale or spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon toasted almonds (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain reserving some of the pasta water.
  3. Add the tuna to the same pot used to make the pasta.
  4. Add the arugula, baby kale, or spinach and pasta, and cook, stirring, until the greens wilt and the tuna is warmed, about 1-2 minutes, adding reserved pasta water if it looks dry. 
  5. Add the zest and juice of a lemon to the pasta.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt, black pepper, and optional nuts and red pepper flakes to taste, then drizzle with olive oil to serve.


  • Use bagged spinach and omit the parsley for a dinner that doesn’t require any chopping.
  • Use canned salmon, mackerel, or sardines in place of the tuna.
  • Drizzle with chili oil instead of olive oil for a nice kick!


  • Keeps for 3 days refrigerated.

Nutrition Notes:

  • This dish is an easy, quick way to increase consumption of leafy greens and whole grains using ingredients you can keep in your freezer and pantry.

Savings Tip:

  • Canned tuna is an inexpensive source of healthy protein. Buy canned tuna and dried pasta in bulk when they are on sale, since these items last years in the pantry.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size1
Energy (kcal)543
Fat (g)22
Saturated (g)3
Cholesterol (mg)44
Sodium (mg)584
Carbs (g)42
Sugars (g)4
Added Sugars (g)0
Fiber (g)7
Protein (g)48
Vitamin D (IU)202
Calcium (mg)128
Iron (mg)4
Potassium (mg)1013