Easy 20-Minute Tuna Zoodles Recipe (Lemony and Nutty)

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If you’ve never had tuna zoodles before, then you’re in for a real treat. It’s one of my favorite easy keto recipes that’s a healthy spin on seafood pasta salad built from a base of tuna and zucchini noodles (or zoodles), with a dash of fresh herbs and spices.

Everything is cooked in a single skillet and the recipe comes together in 25 minutes or less. It’s healthy, flavorful, and best of all, it won’t weigh you down like grain-based noodles do.

We’re well into spring! With the sun brighter and the temperature rising, it’s time to whip up lighter meals, chilled soups, and yes, more salads! One thing I’ve been doing is replacing pasta with vegetable noodles to cut back on carbs, like in this deliciously healthy dish.

It’s a simple and flavorful warm-weather meal that you can prepare for lunch, dinner, or as a meal prep option. Prepare a big bowl on a chill weekend or busy weekdays when you need a quick and light meal. Keep reading for the full recipe details and check out more family-friendly low-carb 30-minute meals for lunch or dinner.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Once I switched to zucchini noodles, I never looked back. It’s one of the most satisfying low-carb pasta alternatives out there! And with tuna as the base, tuna zoodles become both light and filling, yet not too heavy. It’s a sure hit this warm season. Here’s why:

  • Minimal cleanup
  • Simple ingredients: made with everyday ingredients and common herbs and spices.
  • Budget-friendly: cheaper if zucchini are in season and you own a spiralizer for making homemade zoodles.
  • Short prep and cooking time: ready to serve in 25 minutes, especially if you already have spiralized zukes on hand.
  • Amazing flavors: rich and savory, with a fresh, tangy flavor from lemon juice and creamy nuttiness from pine nuts.
  • Basic kitchen equipment: comes together in one large skillet.
  • Easy-to-follow directions: follow 4 easy steps, including prepping and cooking ingredients.
Zoodles with tuna and pine nuts on a blue plate.

How to Make Lemony Tuna Zoodles with Pine Nuts

Tuna zoodles is such a crafty way to sneak in some veggies that it got a thumbs-up from my kids. Canned tuna and freshly made zucchini noodles blend perfectly with lemon, pine nuts, and a handful of seasonings in this dish that takes no longer than 25 minutes to make.

To start, sauté the zoodles, garlic, and spinach in olive oil, with the lid on. Stir and mix in dill and lemon juice, then add the remaining ingredients once the zucchini noodles are tender.

Garnish with raw or toasted pine nuts and season to taste. Serve warm and proceed to chow down on all of this goodness!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable recipe card with a full list of ingredients, measurements, and step-by-step instructions to make this zesty and savory tuna zoodles recipe.

Pine nuts in a clear glass jar.

Ingredients You Need

My tuna zoodles recipe uses clean, whole-food ingredients that you can easily find in your pantry or at any supermarket, health store, or online shop. Make sure to prepare the following:

  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Dill: fresh, chopped
  • Kalamata olives: pitted and chopped; has a rich, briny taste that adds a Mediterranean flavor.
  • Zucchini: using my spiralizer, I made thin, broad strips of zoodles to make sure they don’t overcook.
  • Canned tuna: go for low-mercury, sustainably caught wild tuna like the Albacore Wild Tuna from Wild Planet.
  • Pine nuts: raw or roasted; add a deliciously creamy flavor and chewy texture.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Tuna zoodles with lemon and pine nuts is the perfect meal on days when you want something quick and easy to eat, but still want to make it healthy and delicious. The recipe takes only 25 minutes so you can prepare it any time of the day, especially on weekends when you have more leisure time on your hands to fully enjoy the process of making the zoodles, cooking, and savoring the dish. Follow these steps to make the recipe:

  1. Cook and season zucchini noodles. Heat oil in a skillet and cook the zoodles, garlic, and spinach with the lid on. Stir and add lemon juice and dill, place the lid on again, and cook until the zoodles are soft.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and serve. Once the zoodles are cooked, top with tuna, pine nuts, and olives. Season with salt and black pepper and serve immediately.

If you happen to have extra canned tuna and zucchini lying around, try out my Easy Avocado Tuna Melt Recipe. It’s perfect when you’re craving comfort food but don’t want the guilt!


Tuna zoodles is a versatile dish that’s easy to customize according to taste and dietary preferences. Here are some popular variations and optional add-ins to try:

  • Swap out the tuna for fresh shrimp to create a shrimp scampi.
  • Use shredded chicken or canned salmon chunks in place of canned tuna.
  • Replace zoodles with different veggie noodles
  • Dice fresh avocado or garnish with Parmesan cheese or homemade mayo.
  • Add an extra drizzle of olive oil or a piece of my All-Purpose Keto Bread with butter.
  • Instead of pine nuts, use walnuts or cashews for extra crunch and fatty, nutty flavor.
  • Add sliced garlic, onions, bell peppers, red pepper flakes, or capers for a unique flavor.

Expert Tips

  • Taste and adjust! For tuna zoodles, I highly recommend tasting while cooking so you can get to know the dish and adjust the seasonings as you like best. For the lemon juice, start with a small amount and adjust according to taste as too much citrus can overpower the dish.
  • Prep your zucchini noodles. Opt for fresh, firm, medium zucchini without soft spots or blemishes. Invest in a heavy-duty spiralizer to easily and uniformly create zucchini noodles. After spiralizing, draw out excess moisture by sprinkling some salt and patting them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Otherwise, you’ll end up with soggy zoodles!
  • Don’t overcook. This dish goes very quickly and you only want it to get a little bit fried. None of the components need to be cooked for over 10 minutes, and your zoodles should be soft but crunchy.

How to Store This Recipe

Tuna zoodles are best served hot off the pan. But if you have leftovers or would like to prepare them ahead, separate the zucchini noodles from the tuna mixture and store them in individual sealed containers in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days

I generally don’t recommend freezing the tuna and zoodles together as it can result in a less desirable texture when thawed and reheated.

Once ready to enjoy, reheat the tuna mixture separately from the zoodles to prevent them from becoming soggy. You can warm them up in a skillet over low heat or the microwave until warmed through.

Before serving leftovers, refresh the zoodles by quickly sauteing in a skillet with a bit of olive oil or microwaving them until warm. Sprinkle with chopped dill or a squeeze of lemon juice to freshen up the flavors.

What to Serve with Tuna Zoodles

These lemony and nutty tuna zoodles can be enjoyed as a main course but also pair well with a variety of sides to create a well-balanced meal. Below are some ideas:

More Easy Zucchini Recipes to Try

If you make this tuna zoodles recipe, please leave a review. I really appreciate each and every 5-star rating and comment!

Zoodles with tuna and pine nuts on a blue plate.

Tuna Zoodle Pasta with Lemon, Dill and Pine Nuts

Pull together a delicious meal of fresh zucchini zoodles with accents of lemon, dill and crunchy pine nuts in less than 30 minutes! It's a great low-calorie meal, that doesn't sacrifice any flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 228 kcal



  • Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles, spinach and garlic. Cook with the lid on for 5 minutes.
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 pounds zucchini, 2 cups spinach, 4 cloves garlic
  • Stir and add lemon juice and dill. Place the lid on again and continue to cook until the zucchini is soft.
    1 large lemon, 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • Mix in tuna, olives and pine nuts. You can toast the pine nuts beforehand if you like or add them in raw.
    2 cans Wild-caught albacore tuna, 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. Serve warm and dig in!
    1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Nutrition & Macros

Calories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 21gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 954mgFiber: 4gNet Carbohydrates: 9g

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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