Beautiful Broccoli with Creamy Tuna Sauce

5 from 2 votes

Beautiful Broccoli with Creamy Tuna Sauce

For years and years this tuna sauce was my favourite-go to for a quick weeknight pasta. ‘

And then I stopped eating pasta.

Which meant I forgot about the sauce.

A few weeks ago I was thinking about ways to use capers. And I remembered the sauce.

And I remembered my new philosophy of using veggies like cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli as an alternative to pasta.


I can’t tell you how much I love this dish.

And you know the best part?

The broccoli only takes a fraction of the time you’d normally spend boiling your pasta.

Course Dinner
Cuisine modern
Keyword broccoli, capers, dinners, simple, sour cream, tuna
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 person


  • 1 medium can tuna 200g / 7oz
  • 1 tablespoon capers rinsed if in salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons cream
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 small bunch parsley or chives chopped (optional)
  • squeeze lemon


  1. Bring about 1cm (1/2 in) salted water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, chop your broccoli into bite sized little trees and slice the stems. When the water is boiling add the broccoli to the pot and cover. Simmer for 4 minutes or until the broccoli is no longer crunchy, drain.
  2. Return the pot to a medium heat. Add tuna and the oil from the can. Or if your tuna comes in water or brine drain it first and add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Add the capers and cook for a minute, stirring to break up the tuna. When the tuna is hot add the cream and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the drained broccoli and stir to coat in the sauce. Remove from the heat and stir through parsley or chives (if using). Serve with lemon squeezed over as you like.

WINE MATCH: A crisp dry Riesling or Sauvignon blanc.

Variations & Substitutions

short on time – use a pack of frozen broccoli.

vegetarian – replace tuna with 2-3 eggs. Just mix eggs and capers and cream then add to the pan with the drained cooked broccoli – cook over a low heat, stirring until the eggs are almost set and no longer runny. No need for lemon.

vegan – replace tuna with a generous handful of roasted sunflower seeds. Skip the cream and serve the steamed broccoli, capers and seeds in a big bowl topped with lashings of hummus or this cashew sauce.

dairy-free – replace with extra virgin olive oil or serve tuna, capers and broccoli in a big bowl topped with lashings of hummus or this cashew sauce.

more substantial (carb lovers) – cooked pasta!

more substantial (low carb) – extra tuna, extra broccoli, extra cream, extra everything! roast nuts / seeds (sunflower seeds or macadamias are especially good) or serve with chunks of avocado.

Low FODMAP – compost the broccoli stems or feed to your chickens!

different vegroast cauliflower or surprise steamed cabbage are excellent substitutes. The sauce is also amazing on grilled asparagus.

no capers / different flavours – just skip them or replace with a few anchovy fillets or some chopped black olives. Or a finely chopped clove of garlic.

different fish – also lovely with canned mackeral, salmon, sardines or any smoked fish like trout or hot smoked salmon.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

tuna / capers – keep them in the pantry.

cream – unopened cartons will generally keep in the fridge for a few weeks. If you need to store for longer, just pop in the freezer in a sealed container. Or freeze in icecube trays so you can easily defrost just what you need.

broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 2 weeks or sometimes a little longer. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).

parsley or chives – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks.

lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the herbs separately (if using). Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, either cold from the fridge or warm in a pan with a little oil before sprinkling with the herbs.


    • It really depends on the size of your broccoli Melissa! If your broccoli is particularly large you could save some for another meal. :) Thanks for rating the recipe anyway!

  • Is the tuna sauce the same as you would use for over the pasta? And if it is, how much pasta to use for the tuna sauce! Thanks!

    • Yes it’s the same Lori!
      And about 200g (7oz) dried pasta for this amount of sauce to serve 2 people. You can add in some broccoli as well as the pasta if you’d like some greens :)

  • 5 stars
    This was surprisingly delicious for something so quick and easy. I also sauteed some shallot before adding the tuna into the pot, and threw a bit of shredded parmesan into the pot just before serving to make it a bit more cheesy. We had it on a piece of toasted sourdough as a light dinner and it was absolutely delicious. This will be added to the rotation for sure.

  • This was our dinner tonight! My four year old boy ate three bowls with gusto. Thanks for all you do. It’s great to have permission to cook simple, healthy meals!

    • Oh that’s so great Carla! I live in hope that my 4-year-old boy will one day enjoy broccoli as much as I do.

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