Looking for a quick and easy pasta recipe? Try this delicious tuna pasta with tomatoes! Made with roasted cherry tomatoes and finished in under 30 minutes, this dish is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. With the perfect blend of tangy and sweet flavors, this tuna pasta with cherry tomatoes is sure to become a family favorite!
Why you'll love this tuna pasta with tomatoes
- This recipes is so simple and it’s the super easy roasted tomatoes that make all the flavor difference!
- A pasta dish that is simple yet so tempting.
- Just setting aside some time at the beginning of making the recipe to roast the tomatoes will takes this pasta dish to a different level! Roasting cherry tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness.
- The recipe is dairy-free and perfect for a weeknight meal
- A fantastic pasta recipe that is ready in under 30 minutes!
- This is one of those dishes you could probably make with ingredients you have on hand. I found cherry tomatoes on sale for $1 (yes, just a dollar!) and was debating on what to make with them.
Originally published April 2019 and republished march 2023. One of my all-time favorite pasta recipes!!!
If you like this style of recipe you might also like my Spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, tuna and spinach tart, penne with mozerella and cherry tomatoes, and warm tuna nicoise salad.
Cherry tomatoes are easy to find all year round. I did use a combo of cherry and two Roma tomatoes. All you do is pop them in the oven right before getting to making the pasta and the rest of the ingredients.
Soon you have a pan full of sweet and caramelized roasted tomatoes filled with flavor from the fresh thyme and garlic. If you don’t have fresh spinach you could sub frozen spinach (just be sure to cook it and fully drain it before adding to the sauce). You could also sub in fresh arugula.
What ingredients are in roasted tomato pasta recipe?
Here is all you need to make this tasty pasta recipe (full recipe is below!).
- cherry tomatoes
- fresh thyme
- penne pasta or rigatoni
- extra-virgin olive oil
- tuna in olive oil
- white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- fresh spinach
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
How to make roasted cherry tomato and tuna pasta?
Here is how to make this flavorful pasta (the full recipe is below!).
- First thing is to roast the tomatoes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, you cook up the onion and the tuna together. Add in a splash of white wine (you could also use white balsamic vinegar if you don’t have white wine on hand). You could enjoy a glass of the wine with your pasta!
- When the pasta is ready you combine it with the tuna, the fabulous roasted tomatoes and the fresh spinach. If you don’t have any cherry tomatoes on hand, feel free to use a small can of crushed tomatoes or even canned cherry tomatoes.
- Then stir it all together until the spinach is slightly wilted (no mushy spinach for this dish, that’s why I prefer fresh and not frozen).
- Serve it while it’s warm.
How to cook pasta
- Use a big pot: Very important to cook the pasta in a large enough pot with enough water. The pasta will expand as it cooks. For every 3.5 ounces of pasta, you'll need 4 cups of water. Stir the pasta as soon as you add it to the boiling water. If you don't, it will stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Generously salt the water: As soon as the water starts to boil, add in 1.5 tablespoons of salt. If you use less than that, the pasta will be very bland.
- Keep stirring: Stay close to the boiling pasta and stir it frequently. The water could boil over if you walk away and don't stir it. It has to stay at a rolling boil. Do not simmer the pasta, as it won't cook up.
- Reserve pasta water: Before you drain the pasta, keep some of the starchy pasta water. Do not rinse the pasta in cold water. The pasta gets added immediately to the pan with the arrabbiata sauce. If needed, you could thin out the sauce with a little bit of the starchy reserved pasta water.
A favorite family pasta recipe in our house. I hope you enjoy it! Also wonderful for a date night with your special someone!!
How to store the leftovers of this pasta?
Once the pasta has cooled down, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I make this pasta for meal prep?
YES! This is a great pasta to make ahead. It's really nice at room temperature. You don't need to heat it up to enjoy. It's great even a few minutes outside of the fridge (like a cold pasta salad).
Variations for this cherry tomato pasta:
- Substitute the tuna with sardines, salmon, shredded chicken or sautéed mushrooms.
- Substitute the pasta with quinoa, rice, couscous, barley, cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles.
Tuna and tomato pasta Expert Tips
- Use good quality tuna: Since tuna is the star ingredient in this recipe, it's important to use good quality tuna. Look for tuna packed in olive oil, as it will have more flavor and a richer texture than tuna packed in water.
- Cook the pasta al dente: Be sure to cook the pasta al dente (to the tooth), which means it should be cooked until it's tender but still firm to the bite. This will help the pasta hold up well in the sauce and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- Reserve some pasta water: Before draining the pasta, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. You can use this starchy water to loosen the sauce and help it adhere to the pasta.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: When cooking the cherry tomatoes, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. If the pan is too crowded, the tomatoes will steam instead of roast, which will result in a less flavorful dish.
- Use fresh herbs: Using fresh herbs like thyme will add a bright and fresh flavor to the dish. If you don't have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme, but use half the amount called for in the recipe.
- Adjust the seasoning: Taste the dish before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon juice if the dish needs more flavor.
Yes, you can use canned tomatoes instead of pasta sauce. Canned tomatoes can be used to make a simple pasta sauce by sautéing garlic and onions in olive oil and then adding crushed canned tomatoes to the pan. You can add salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like to season the sauce to your taste.
Mix with mayo, chopped celery, and onion to make a classic tuna salad.
Combine with cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, and olives for a refreshing pasta salad.
Make a tuna melt by mixing with mayo and cheese and placing it on top of a toasted slice of bread.
Mix with avocado and lime juice for a healthy and flavorful tuna avocado salad.
Use them in a homemade salsa or bruschetta.
Cook them down into a tomato sauce or soup that can be frozen and used later.
Add them to omelets, frittatas, or quiches for a burst of flavor.
Both grape and cherry tomatoes can be used to make a delicious pasta sauce. However, cherry tomatoes have a sweeter flavor and a thinner skin, which makes them easier to cook down into a sauce. Grape tomatoes have a firmer texture and a slightly tart flavor, which can also work well in pasta sauces.
Yes, cherry tomatoes are great for cooking. They have a sweet and juicy flavor that can be enhanced by roasting, sautéing, or grilling. They are also perfect for adding to salads, pasta dishes, and soups.
Both grape and cherry tomatoes are healthy choices, as they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. However, cherry tomatoes are slightly higher in vitamin C and potassium than grape tomatoes.
Yes, you can use canned tuna in water instead of tuna in olive oil. Just make sure to drain the tuna before using it in the recipe.
Yes, you can use dried thyme instead of fresh thyme. Use about half the amount of dried thyme as fresh thyme, as dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs.
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta if you prefer. Spaghetti, linguine, or fusilli would all work well in this recipe.
Yes, you can use a different type of greens if you prefer. Arugula, kale, or Swiss chard would all work well in this recipe.
Yes, you can make this recipe without wine or vinegar. You can use chicken or vegetable broth instead to add flavor to the dish.
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it before serving. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Some other pasta recipes to enjoy:
- Caramelized Shallot Pasta
- Vegan Cheese Sauce Pasta
- Pumpkin and Turkey Pasta
- Vegan Mushroom Coconut Pasta
One last thing…I promise!
Just a quick request: if you enjoyed this pasta recipe as much as we did, would you kindly leave me a 5-star rating and a short (or long!)comment–the ratings are what helps get my recipes and hard work discovered, so I can keep leaving you more delish recipes!
Your comments mean the world to me….and I really SMILE when I read them. Thank you so much! XX
Roasted Cherry Tomato and Tuna Pasta
- 10 oz of cherry tomatoes
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 1 pound penne pasta or rigatoni
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 can tuna in olive oil
- ½ cup white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- 6 ounces fresh spinach
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
COOK THE TOMATOES
- Roast the tomatoes: Heat oven to 400°F. Spread the tomatoes out on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic and fresh thyme. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and ready to use. Remove from the oven, and transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack until ready to use.
- Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just before al dente.
- When you drain pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- PREP THE SAUCE
- While pasta is cooking: heat remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add in tuna: Add the tuna and white wine. Let the wine cook down a minute or two and then add the cooked pasta. Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two. Add in a little bit of the reserved pasta water.
- Add in spinach and roasted tomatoes: Stir in spinach and the roasted tomatoes (you could add just the tomatoes and not the garlic and the thyme from the pan. If pasta seems too dry, add a little bit more of the reserved pasta water. If you don’t mind the garlic flavor, add the garlic from roasting pan). Toss together for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach is slightly wilted.
- Season: Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle on a little extra-virgin olive oil.
- Serve: Serve immediately, garnished with your desired toppings.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
Rigger Tony says
500g of pasta is a bit much?
enjoyed the dish
You could 1/2 the recipe if that works better for your portion requirement. This is the portion that worked for our family. Also, keep in mind, it makes great leftovers!
I enjoy the light yet filling dish. I substituted spaghetti squash for the pasta. Didn't have the wine or vinegar. Still was a great recipe to find. I'd recommend this to any who enjoys tuna.
Hi Gary-Thanks for taking the time and letting me know you enjoyed the recipe. That's great you subbed the pasta with spaghetti squash (we love spaghetti squash!).
I just made it for lunch. It was delicious.
Hi Ana...really happy you enjoyed! Thank you for letting me know! XX