Today we’re excited to share our tuna spaghetti recipe that utilizes inexpensive ingredients to make a healthy and fulfilling meal. The spaghetti is accompanied by canned tuna, bacon, lemon juice and zest, capers, and Italian seasoning.
The dish features many layers of flavor and texture from simple ingredients that may already be in your pantry. Enjoy a cost-effective and healthy Italian experience right in your own home.
Is Tuna Spaghetti Healthy?
Yes, it is.
Each serving of this dish contains 20.9 g of protein and 46.5 g of carbs to help fill you up and keep you going. We also adjusted ingredients to keep the amount of saturated fat and sodium low at 6.9 g and 450.9 mg. And as an added bonus, this dish only contains 465 calories.
You may wonder if canned tuna is a healthy ingredient. The answer is yes, but only if it is consumed moderately. Fish is a highly nutritious food, but the FDA recommends eating about 2 meals a week of lower mercury fish.
Canned tuna still has the health benefits of fresh tuna. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the body, lowering the risks of heart diseases and cancer, as well as promoting brain and eye health.
Canned tuna also comes in low-sodium options which is what we went for to avoid unhealthy amounts of sodium in the dish.
Ingredients for Tuna Spaghetti
The base of the dish is spaghetti, the most popular variety of pasta. There’s a high chance you may already have it in your pantry.
You can also substitute spaghetti with other long pastas such as linguine or fettuccine. We don’t recommend hollow pasta because this dish doesn’t have a thick sauce.
Tuna is the primary source of protein in the dish. It comes with its own salty and buttery taste which isn’t overly fishy. We use Albacore tuna for its firm texture and high-fat content which makes the dish richer.
Bacon and pasta go hand in hand (see similar recipes like this Carbonara Pasta and Cheese Spaghetti). It plays a supporting role to the tuna with its smokey and meaty flavor. The crispy bacon bits also add more texture to the dish.
We use salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. A mixture of dried oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary, Italian seasoning gives the dish all the herby flavors reminiscent of an authentic Italian dish.
Capers may be the least familiar ingredient in this dish. They are immature flower buds of the caper bush and preserved in a salt or vinegar brine. Their flavor profile is special: tangy, earthy, briny, and somewhat similar to that of olives. It goes well with lemon, which also happens to be in this recipe.
Lemon juice and zest
They provide the necessary acidity to balance out the tuna and bacon. They lighten up the dish with both their fresh flavor and bright color. When adding zest, be sure not to get any of the pith as this can add bitterness to the dish.
How to Zest a Lemon
Zesting a lemon is where you take off the very top, colored layer of the peel. This can be tricky to do if you don’t know the techniques.
Fortunately, there are multiple tools that can help you zest a lemon. Just watch your fingers!
You can use a knife or potato peeler. However, these tools require you to be familiar with the technique.
Other options include a cheese grater or Microplane. These two aren’t technique sensitive. You only need to move the lemon back and forth while rotating it.
A tool created specifically for this task and no other is a zester. The zester is somewhat similar to a peeler only it has small holes instead of a blade. It is easy to use but only has one function—if you zest a lot, it would be a worthwhile investment.
Now you know how to zest, it’s time to look at how to make the rest of the dish.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
You can store leftover tuna spaghetti in the fridge in an airtight container, where it can happily last up to three days. If you don’t plan on eating it in the next few days, you can freeze it in freezer bags for one to two months.
We advise you to store leftover tuna in the fridge. Transfer the tuna to a plastic or glass container as the tin can potentially become rusty once open.
The microwave is a go-to choice for reheating if you don’t have a lot of time. If you do, you can put the spaghetti in a skillet and heat it using the stove or the oven.
While reheating, you can add a few tbsp of water to prevent your spaghetti from drying out.
What to Serve With Tuna Spaghetti
Tuna spaghetti is a fulfilling dish, but for a complete meal, we recommend serving it with a salad to add more vegetables and a juice to add a cleansing and fresh note.
Burrata Salad: This salad is the perfect option to add more fiber to the meal. It features burrata cheese alongside radish, beet, and carrot slices, arugula, pistachios, and croutons. Not only is it healthy, but it also adds a lot of different flavors to the meal thanks to the burrata cheese and the balsamic vinaigrette.
Cucumber and Lemon Juice: This drink is a good option to finish the meal. Cucumber and lemon combined make a soothing and refreshing sensation, perfect for cleansing your palate after a delicious meal.
Our tuna spaghetti recipe utilizes inexpensive ingredients to make a healthy and fulfilling meal. This dish features many layers of flavor and texture from simple ingredients that may already be in your pantry.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.