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.

Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 404
  • Calories from fat: 20%
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated fat: 2.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
  • Protein: 46.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 32.2g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Cholesterol: 83mg
  • Iron: 3.2mg
  • Sodium: 478mg
  • Calcium: 126mg


  • 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


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place in a large bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis includes Cilantro Pesto.
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