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Tuna Pesto Pasta

TOTAL TIME: 30 min
PREP TIME: 15 min

Easy tuna pesto pasta made cheesy with extra flavor. This comforting dish is baked in the oven and is sure to satisfy the cravings.

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close up shot of cheesy casserole in a white baking dish

What makes this recipe special?

  • This balanced dish has everything: carbs, protein, and leafy greens.
  • The pesto is made with beet tops that are often not used and really are underestimated.
  • The flavor serves the whole family.
  • All the ingredients are easy to find.

Variations & Substitutions

  • To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta (as pictured).
  • To make it low-carb, use spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
  • Instead of beet tops, use spinach or swiss chard.
  • Instead of pecans, use pine nuts or walnuts.
  • Optional ingredients if you feel like adding the extra flavor would be: grape tomatoes, fresh peas, garlic, capers.

Notes on the ingredients:

  • Beet greens. Some beets at the grocery stores don’t have a nice-looking top, make sure to pick the best-looking bunch of beets.
  • Tuna. Choose to use pure tuna in water, not in oil.
  • Cheese. I used Irish cheese since it is more available. Any cheese with a hard texture, like cheddar, will work in this recipe.
  • Olive oil. Choose quality olive oil if possible. It really makes the dish.

tabletop with beet greens, pecans in the small dish, salt in the dish, canned tuna and package with pasta

Recipe Tips

  • I recommend cooking pasta al dente or firm. It will hold the shape better in the casserole.
  • Beet greens are always really dirty, make sure to soak and rinse several times.
  • Remove all the large red-colored stems from the beet greens to ensure the pesto doesn’t have a bitter flavor.

More Pasta Recipes

a serving spatula with a slice of cheesy casserole


close up shot of cheesy casserole in a white baking dish

Tuna Pesto Pasta

Natalia-Flavorful Home
Easy tuna pesto pasta made cheesy with extra flavor. This comforting dish is baked in the oven and is sure to satisfy the cravings.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 684 kcal


  • 12 oz gluten-free pasta
  • 3 cups beet greens
  • 1/2 cup pecans , raw
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups irish cheese , divided
  • 2 cans canned tuna


  • Gather the ingredients. In a large pot filled with water cook pasta according to the package's directions. Cover the pot with a lid to bring water to boil faster. While pasta is cooking, wash and rinse the beet greens. Remove the large stems.
    bowl with soaked greens in the water and cutting board with leafy greens
  • In a food processor, place beet greens and pecans. Pulse several times till crushed, open, scrape the sides. Add olive oil and salt, pulse a couple of times.
    food processor with greens and pecan nuts
  • Shred the cheese. Drain tuna, using fork mush into smaller pieces while still in the can—Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
    cutting board with shredded cheese and two cans of drained tuna
  • Once pasta is cooked, drain and place in the oven-safe baking dish. Add pesto, one cup of shredded cheese, drained tuna. Mix well to combine. Add one more cup of cheese as the top layer, spread evenly.
    baking dish with ingredients to make casserole
  • Bake for 10 minutes on the second to the top shelf, so the cheese melts. Serve warm.
    white baking dish with baked yellow cheesy casserole


Calories: 684kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 30gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 733mgPotassium: 381mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1940IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 371mgIron: 2mg
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