Tuna, Black Olive and Tomato Pasta

Tuna pasta is a great store cupboard recipe which can be whipped up in next to no time.

Tuna pasta is a pretty common meal, but it’s one that often doesn’t get a lot of love and attention. It’s overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.

Tuna pasta is one of those meals that can be made extremely quickly, is very good for you, and can transform your evening from ‘oh no, I don’t know what to have for dinner tonight!’ to ‘we’re having a delicious and nutritious home cooked meal’ quick as a flash.

Tuna pasta ingredients

This dish uses plenty of store cupboard ingredients. I did use fresh tomatoes because I had some in the fridge that needed using – but you could absolutely switch the 4 fresh tomatoes for a tin of chopped tomatoes.

You could skip the parsley too, but it adds a freshness and bit of a crunch which I wouldn’t want to miss out on.

Black olives could be switched for green olives if you have those instead. If you have a jar of capers hanging around, you could throw a tablespoon of those in instead of (or as well as!) the olives.

All in all, it’s a very versatile dish. My tip would be to use the best olive oil you have in your cupboard for drizzling afterwards, and top with plenty of fresh ground pepper.

The process

This is an extremely quick dish to make, particularly if you use fresh pasta, so give it a go when you’re pushed for time.

Fresh pasta is by no means a requirement, though, so if you only have dried pasta in you can use that instead! Any shape will work with this dish.

The sauce is cooked in the time it takes to cook the pasta (whether you use fresh or dried) – so it really is a fab one to whip up on a week night.

Tuna, Black Olive and Tomato Pasta

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Harriet Young
A simple, week night recipe using store cupboard essentials
Total Time 12 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • 500 g fresh penne pasta
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 150 g pitted black olives (drained weight)
  • 400 g tinned tuna
  • 1 large handful parsley


  • First, put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Cook the pasta in the pan of salted water according to packet instructions. Drain – retaining a cup of the starchy pasta water – and leave to one side.
  • While it is cooking, chop the onion and add to a large saucepan with 2 of the tablespoons of olive. Cook on a medium heat for one minute.
  • Chop the tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces and add to the pan. Cook down for 2-3 minutes, then add the olives and tuna. Leave to bubble away for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Chop the parsley and add to the tuna sauce, then tip in the pasta, retained pasta water and remaining olive oil. Give it a good mix together – and you're done!
Keyword pasta

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.