Pasta with Tuna, Lemon, and Kale

This pasta dish has been on heavy rotation in my house for a few years now, and for several reasons.  It’s made mostly with pantry items so it’s great when you have a “What am I going to make for dinner right now?” moment.  It takes 15-20 minutes to get ready so can be a lifesaver on busy weeknights.  And the flavors, as simple as they are, just come together in a beautiful way.

The only change I make in this dish from one time to the next is the greens.  I’ve been loving kale in it lately but it works really well with arugula and spinach too.  And if you don’t have any fresh greens on hand, frozen spinach would be a great substitute, but be sure to cut the amount down to a cup or cup and a half if using frozen.

You can adjust the heat to your own taste.  I typically don’t add crushed red pepper when a recipe calls for it but I find just a pinch here adds a very subtle undercurrent of flavor and I miss it if it’s not there.  If you love your food spicy then toss in a palmful!

Pasta with Tuna, Lemon, and Kale
12 oz. whole wheat fusilli
2 12-oz. cans of tuna in olive oil 
5 garlic cloves, minced
pinch crushed red pepper
zest of one lemon
3 cups chopped kale
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions.  Drain, and reserve 1/2 c. of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat.  Spoon tuna and oil from the cans into the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Add garlic, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest.  Saute 2-3 minutes.

Add kale, cover with lid, and cook about 7 minutes, until kale is wilted.

Stir in lemon juice, Parmesan, cooked pasta, and reserved liquid and stir gently until pasta is coated.

Click here for a printable recipe.

Linking to Silver Pennies, I Heart Naptime.

  • Becky {This Is Happiness}

    yum! love pasta dishes!

  • Danielle

    This looks yummy! I need to make it. Lovely photos too! x

  • Sharon

    I made this last night. It was so good that I posted it on my blog geewizz (with a link to yours of course)

    • Jennifer {The Chronicles of Home}

      So sweet, thanks for sharing it!

  • Danielle

    Yum! So glad you shared this one on Silver Pennies Sundays. I can’t wait to make it for my family! x