Tuna and Spaghetti ~ Great Meat-free dish for Lent and Beyond

Lent is in full swing and that means Friday meals have to be planned as meat free in our house.  (And, my boys are sighing relief that we are not Orthodox where Fridays mean no meat OR dairy!)  Dinners are usually ‘covered’ with the exception of Good Friday as we attend the Soup and Stations at our parish each week.  But, we are still left with lunches and the boys do not always want to hear PB&J or grilled cheese as options.  Last week I made tuna and spaghetti like my mom made many Fridays when I was growing up.



Tuna and Spaghetti



Preparing Tuna and Spaghetti


As you can see from the visual collage below, the primary cooking for this dish is all about the sauce.  Once it is made, you just cook your chosen pasta (spaghetti or any long strand tends to work well) and toss it with the sauce.  Below is 1 pound of angel hair pasta with the amount of sauce I made and the ratio was pretty close to perfect.


Tuna and Spaghetti Prep

I love to top the finished dish with a bit of Parmesan or Romano cheese to give some extra depth to it.



What meatless dishes are YOU eating?

4.3 from 3 reviews
Tuna and Spaghetti
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large can tuna
  • 1 14 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic OR 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  1. Coat the bottom of the saucepan with olive oil (approximately 1 Tbsp, but maybe less.)
  2. Over a low heat, add tuna and stir to flake it. If you are using crushed garlic, saute the garlic first and then add the tuna.
  3. After a few minutes, add tomatoes, tomato paste and seasonings. Stir well.
  4. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer on low for a few minutes, stirring often. To avoid burning, you can use a diffuser plate.
  5. Prepare pasta per directions. Once drained, toss the pasta and sauce together.
  6. Top with shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese and serve.
You can add some sliced or diced black olives to create even greater depth to this dish. I leave them out as several of my boys do not care for it that way. Personal preference is for crushed garlic rather than the granulated, but either works. Spice amounts are what I put into the dish when making it and measuring. However, I usually taste test the sauce and add more as desired.




40 Days of Seeking Him Lent This post is linked up to the 40 Days of Seeking Him Lent Season 2013 meme for week two.


I hope you will come back to share more during this season of Lent.




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A Catholic mom to four boys, Laura has been homeschooling since 2005. Currently, one son is in school while the others are at home. When not 'working', she is enjoying life up in Alaska.


  1. This looks fast and easy! I\’d also like to try making it with shrimp, hot pepper flakes and olives instead of tuna…I had it that way in Italy years ago but forgot all about it til I saw your recipe!

  2. I would have never thought about combining the 2 but it looks great!!

    Maria recently posted..Get Red Carpet Ready w/ Daily’s Cocktails & Wholly Guacamole: Giveaway #RedCarpetReadyMy Profile

  3. What a great idea for a Lenten Friday dinner. Thanks so much!

    Danielle Royalegacy recently posted..Fight the 7 Signs of Again with Olay Total Effects CC Cream – ReviewMy Profile

  4. I love this combination…I just do not like to cook LOL!
    Lynn Ponder recently posted..Beauty Time for Fiesta Time!My Profile

  5. My family loves chicken spaghetti but I never thought of trying tuna! I’m definitely saving this recipe! Thanks for the idea!

  6. Meat free is a great idea. I think we should try it here too. Thanks for the ideas but I am not sure tuna and spaghetti is going to appeal to my girls. I will return for some other ideas though. Thanks!

    paula schuck recently posted..Infertility Is Not a Choice #OHIP4IVF #onpoliMy Profile

  7. We are pasta addicts. Thanks for the great recipe to add to our rotation!
    Krystle(Baking Beauty) recently posted..Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle in SugarPlum Review/SwatchesMy Profile

  8. Sounds great! My whole family loves seafood so much that they look forward to Lent since it means more seafood! Maybe next year we should go vegetarian on Fridays for Lent, so it is actually a sacrifice.
    Anne recently posted..Recycling Electronics Products at Best BuyMy Profile

    • Anne,

      I’ve thought that, too, when seeing some rather decadent soups at our Soup and Stations. The Knights of Columbus kick if off with a ‘fish’ dinner instead of soup which really equates to a whole bunch of salmon from peoples’ freezers. But, some of the seafood up here is not considered luxury like it might be back east. However, I love the idea of vegetarian completely on Fridays.
      Laura O from AK recently posted..40 Days of Seeking Him in Lent 2013 ~ Week ThreeMy Profile

  9. Great idea! I usually make some sort of tuna casserole on Fridays during Lent.
    Ashley recently posted..Delicious Salted Butterscotch Cookies ~ #RecipeMy Profile

  10. I LOVE this dish and will make it for myself sometimes! My husband is allergic to seafood so he can’t have any. :-(
    Melissa recently posted..Keep your Home Safe While Working from HomeMy Profile

  11. We love tuna and noodles! It’s so inexpensive, but still very tasty!
    Tiffany recently posted..Roasted vegetable salsa with toasted pita chipsMy Profile

  12. Lily Kwan says:

    This recipe looks very tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I wish others in the family would eat simple dishes like this. My husband loves tuna, but only with mayo.

    How long has the bottle of red pepper flakes lasted? I have the same one!
    Laurel recently posted..How to Encourage Reading AloudMy Profile


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