Cilantro Pesto Primavera with Seared Tuna

Using too much of an herb in a lower-fat pesto will result in a dry paste because there's not enough oil in the sauce to keep it loose. Weighing the herbs ensures accuracy. You can make the pesto up to two days ahead; it does not lose its bright green color as basil pesto is prone to do. Use leftover pesto as a sandwich spread or a thick sauce to dollop over fish or chicken.


6 servings

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 404
Caloriesfromfat 20 %
Fat 8.8 g
Satfat 2.9 g
Monofat 3.8 g
Polyfat 1.2 g
Protein 46.2 g
Carbohydrate 32.2 g
Fiber 2.1 g
Cholesterol 83 mg
Iron 3.2 mg
Sodium 478 mg
Calcium 126 mg


8 ounces uncooked penne rigate (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup Cilantro Pesto
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (6-ounce) Yellowfin tuna fillets
Cooking spray


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place in a large bowl.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, squash, and peas; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes; sauté 30 seconds. Add vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup Cilantro Pesto to pasta, tossing gently to coat.

Sprinkle salt and black pepper evenly over tuna. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add tuna to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Slice tuna across grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon about 1 cup pasta mixture onto each of 6 plates; top each serving with 1 sliced tuna steak.

Note: Nutritional analysis includes Cilantro Pesto.