Easy, healthy meals: Tuna with pasta and capers

Today, I’d like to share another easy, healthy family favorite — tuna with pasta and capers. In fact, due to its popularity, I have created many variations of the original dish, such as using chicken in place of tuna, substituting different vegetables and adding mozzarella. The recipe was inspired by the wonderful cookbook, License to Grill. Without the advice of Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, I may not have ever experimented with the delightful flavor of fried capers.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound of tuna
  • 1 Lemon
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh garlic
  • 12 ounces of pasta (Gamelli, Penne)
  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil

The dish serves four and takes no longer than 20-25 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

Step1: “Fry” capers.

Drain 1/3 cup capers and sauté in 2 TBSP of butter for about 10 minutes over medium eat. They will be brownish green when finished.

Step 2: Prep the ingredients.

While the pasta water is boiling, chop the following and set aside in a large bowl:

  • 2 TBSP fresh garlic
  • 1/2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

In addition, slice a lemon in half for use later.

3. Cook the pasta.

Cook about 12 ounces of dried pasta in boiling salt water. Drain when al dente.

4. Prepare the fish.

Season 1 pound of tuna (either albacore or ahi works beautifully) with salt and pepper. Pan fry in olive oil about 2-3 minutes per side (for a medium to medium-rare slightly pink inside).

After removing from pan, I like to add a bit more olive oil to ensure the tuna stays moist.

Step 5. Assemble and serve.

Chop the fish into bite size pieces, then combine all ingredients, including the capers. Then add the following:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients and sprinkle the Parmesan on top.

Serve alongside a tossed salad, and you’ll have a wonderful meal fit for a king!


Again: This is a very versatile dish that lends itself to further exploration! First of all, you could add other vegetables, such as chopped broccoli or sugar snap peas. Another tasty addition is bite sized pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese.


Melinda Hinson