Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I have never been adventurous with tuna salad.  Nope.  I usually make it with a little mayo, a lot of mustard, and maybe (if I AM feeling adventurous) some chopped carrots and onions.  BORING.

My friend Kelli is going to have a baby in less than 10 days (well, if the mystery-gendered little one decides to come on time).  I posted the cupcakes from her shower last month, but now I thought I would share something that I fell in love with at one of her showers.  My friends, Jenny and Kellie, decided to throw Kelli a baby shower a couple of months ago, and it was at this baby shower that I was introduced to this recipe for tuna salad.  Oh my goodness.  I will never ever go back to the boring version again.  Jenny made this tuna salad and served it with croissants-it was heavenly.    I had to get the recipe from her immediately.  It was that good.

All in all, this is a snap to mix together.  If you have a food processor to make the pesto, it can be made in less than 15 minutes.  It was great to serve at a baby shower, but it also is very good for a light lunch on its own.  SO good, my friends.  And look at those pretty colors.  Nope.  Not boring.  Adventurous and absolutely delicious.

Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Servings: about 4 cups of tuna salad


For the basil pesto:

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

3 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the tuna salad:

Two 5-ounce cans of Albacore tuna, drained

One 6.5-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup Basil Pesto (see above)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Salt and pepper, to taste

Croissants, for serving (optional)


1. For the basil pesto:  In your food processor, pulse the basil, garlic cloves, and pine nuts until finely chopped.

2. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3.  Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.  Set aside.

4. For the tuna salad:  In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise.

5.  Add the Basil Pesto until well-combined.

6.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

7.  Cover and refrigerate tuna salad until ready to serve.

Sources:  Basil Pesto from Annie’s Eats, originally from The Comfort of Cooking; Tuna Salad via (Thanks again Jenny!)


















April 21, 2011 - 5:39 am

notyet100 - this looks so delicious,.

April 22, 2011 - 2:44 am

Is marinara sauce safe from the salmonella scare? | Cool Cooking Recipes - […] The Curvy Carrot » Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun D&#114&#105&#101d Tomatoes […]

April 22, 2011 - 3:06 pm

natalie (the sweets life) - YUM! just bookmarked, I haven’t made tuna salad in way too long!

April 23, 2011 - 5:01 am

The Curvy Carrot » Brownie Buttons - […] find it very ironic that the day I posted the tuna salad from Kelli’s shower, she has her baby.  Welcome to the world, Natalie […]

April 23, 2011 - 5:27 pm

Brooke - Ohmigosh this looks amazing. And I don’t even love tuna salad that much. These flavors would be great with chicken salad too. Can’t wait to try this!

April 25, 2011 - 1:59 pm

Kelsey - Oh yum! Must make this!

May 3, 2011 - 8:54 pm

Kevin (Closet Cooking) - This tuna salad is just packed with flavour!

May 21, 2011 - 6:32 pm

Katie - I’ve been on the hunt for an outside-the-box tuna salad. This looks WONDERFUL.

June 5, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Holly - I made this recipe, but instead of croissant I put it on dinner roll buns. It was great and we ate the leftovers the next day on Ritz crackers. Thanks for the tasty spin on tuna salad!

June 15, 2011 - 6:55 pm

Julia - Amazing way to change up the standard chicken or tuna salad that is usually served at baby showers!

June 29, 2011 - 8:05 pm

Kristin - Wow, this is delicious! It tastes like a gourmet sandwich!

July 18, 2011 - 5:02 am

The Curvy Carrot » Grilled Smoked Mozzarella and Basil Pesto Sandwich - […] and 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil pesto, divided, homemade or […]

August 30, 2011 - 11:17 pm

sunshine and picnics « that's forking good - […] I don’t have a good segue for this recipe other than it reminds me of picnics and sunshine, and that’s what we’re left with in the wake of Hurricane Irene. I give you: pesto and sun-dried tomato tuna salad (adapted from one of my favs, The Curvy Carrot)! […]

November 5, 2011 - 12:33 pm

Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes « i FinD Recipes Online - […] Recipe Link Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterDiggEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

January 6, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Janel - I just had the idea for basil pesto and you recipe is the best one I’ve found! I plan on making some basil pesto tuna paninis this weekend – thanks!

April 18, 2012 - 2:22 am

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious - You just combined everything I love into this awesome sandwich. And using a croissant as a bread base is definitely the best way to go! 🙂

August 17, 2012 - 6:02 am

Fridays with Rachael Ray - Spinach and Artichoke Tuna Melts | - […] Tuna and White Bean Sandwiches from Spache the Spatula Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes from The Curvy Carrot French-Style Tuna Melts from Taste and Tell Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps with […]

May 10, 2013 - 9:54 am

Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes - […] source: […]

February 27, 2014 - 11:49 pm

Spinach and Artichoke Tuna Melts | Taste and Tell - […] Tuna and White Bean Sandwiches from Spache the Spatula Pesto Tuna Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes from The Curvy Carrot French-Style Tuna Melts from Taste and Tell Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps with […]

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins


I am so sorry.


I am sorry for posting another muffin recipe.  I am sorry for any dieters out there.  I am sorry…because these muffins…are pretty awesome.

This was one of those recipes that made me gasp when I came across it.  (Yes, as I am laying in bed at night unable to sleep, looking at recipes I have saved on my computer…yep…that’s me.)  But, I have to be thankful for that sleepless night because it allowed me to find this gem via King Arthur Flour Company (seriously, does King Arthur EVER fail on recipes?).

First of all, I love carrot cake.  I made carrot cake cupcakes last Fall, but I had never tried my hand at muffins.  I would love to find the time to make a full-on, elegant and (hopefully) well-decorated carrot cake from scratch, but with all this extra studying taking up so much time, it will have to wait. Now, these muffins are almost like cupcakes because they are filled with a sweet and rich cream cheese filling.  And, they certainly satisfied my sweet tooth.

But, here is my honest confession to you.  These are a little tricky to assemble.  I had some muffins that had cream cheese explosions out the sides (they still tasted pretty good). I was very diligent about filling them according to the original recipe’s instructions, but I still had some casualties. Do your best to seal the “seams” of the muffin batter around the cream cheese centers-I thought I had done this, but I still ended up with a little mess with a few of the muffins.  If you end up with leftover cream cheese filling, save it to (ahem) spread some more on top of the muffins (I am totally hanging my head in shame as I write this).   🙂

FYI:  To see Annie’s tip on how to avoid those cream cheese explosions, see her comment below.  It’s brilliant!


Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins


For the filling:

One 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the muffins:

2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed (about 2 medium carrots)

2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2/3 cup raisins, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

3. For the filling: In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese on low power until softened, about 40 seconds.

4. Add the granulated sugar and almond extract to the cream cheese mixture, mixing well, and set aside.

5. For the muffins: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

6. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.

7. Using a rubber spatula, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

8. Fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, and raisins.

9.  Using a tablespoon (or a cookie scoop), drop about 2 tablespoons of the muffin batter into each muffin cup, making sure to completely cover the bottom.

10. Using another tablespoon (or a cookie scoop), drop 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of each muffin cup.

11. To complete the muffins, cover each dollop of cream cheese completely with the remaining muffin batter.  ***I found it helpful to wet my fingertips a little bit to spread the batter evenly and thoroughly over the tops of each muffin.

12. Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

13.  Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.


Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company.





April 19, 2011 - 12:04 pm

Richard - No need to apologize for something so delightful. Of course, you know what they say, “Muffins are for those that are just scared to order CAKE for breakfast!”.

April 20, 2011 - 7:45 am

Annie - Next time you might want to try the method I use with the pumpkin cream cheese muffins in my blog. It requires a little more forethought because of freezing the cream cheese, but it makes all the difference and prevents those little explosions. I love the idea of the cream cheese filling in a carrot muffing though!

April 20, 2011 - 8:19 am

srlacy - AHHHH! SO brilliant. That would have totally helped. I’m so glad you wrote that because I was so disappointed. I’m going to add that in the recipe part so people can use your tip! Thanks, Annie!

April 20, 2011 - 11:48 am

natalie (the sweets life) - I’ve made muffins with cream cheese before but just globbed it on top–I need to try stuffing them next time. This looks SO good!

April 20, 2011 - 2:17 pm

Caroline @ chocolate and carrots - Yum. No apologies needed here! Those look delicious! 🙂

April 20, 2011 - 6:39 pm

Matthew Kadey - I found these gems on Baking is Hot. What a wonderful riff on carrot cake. I just got my hands on some coffee extract so I’m going to try that in the filling. I don’t have a microwave. Can I just use room temp cream cheese?

April 20, 2011 - 7:20 pm

srlacy - Hi Matthew! Absolutely-as long as it is soft enough to mix well, you are good to go!

April 21, 2011 - 8:21 pm

Claire - Yummy!! Vegetables for breakfast, yes please! 🙂 Sometimes, to make carrot cake even healthier, I’ll swap baby carrot food (basically a puree) or my own carrot puree for the vegetable oil. Results have been great! For carrot foods, I prefer carrot puree over the apple sauce swap because it keeps the carrot flavor strong. Thank you!

April 22, 2011 - 7:47 pm

Katarina - I like the cream cheese filling!

April 26, 2011 - 4:40 am

Catherine - Hi Shannon – Do you have any yummy recipes to share for carrot cake? I had a craving this weekend and was going to make it. Would love to know what you have up your sleeve. Thanks, Catherine

April 26, 2011 - 11:30 am

srlacy - Hey Catherine! How are you?

I took a carrot cake recipe and adapted it to make cupcakes. Here’s the link.

For baking time, I would adjust the baking time to 35-45 minutes if you are using round cake pans (make sure to check) or a 13 x9-inch cake pan.

You can’t go wrong with a Baking Illustrated cake recipe. The frosting is to die for!

April 26, 2011 - 11:33 am

srlacy - HI Catherine! How are you?

Try this one:

It was originally a recipe for a 9 x 13″ carrot cake, which I adapted to cupcakes for a party. You could also use round cake pans to make a double layer cake, if you want. I would increase the baking time to 35-45 minutes to account for the change in the pan size. You cannot go wrong with a Baking Illustrated recipe. The frosting is to die for!

April 27, 2011 - 4:11 pm

Josie - mmm I think I NEED to make these. I don’t care that Easter is over and carrot cake is now passe.

February 25, 2012 - 7:39 am

n i k a - I’ve just put my muffins into the oven 🙂 They look GREAT!! Thanks a lot for an inspiration! 😀

March 30, 2012 - 2:21 pm

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Muffins - […] Adapted from The Curvy Carrot […]

February 1, 2013 - 1:25 pm

Holly - This looks awesome! I was wondering though – I saw the recipe on the King Arthur site and they included 1/4 tsp of baking soda and you didn’t. Is it necessary or is there a reason you left it out? I am looking forward to asking these soon and don’t want to mess them up. Thanks!

February 1, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Holly - *making not asking – oops!

February 1, 2013 - 3:26 pm

srlacy - Yikes! Thanks for catching that mistake, Holly! I have corrected the recipe….omitting the baking soda would be a bad, bad thing.

February 25, 2013 - 12:30 pm

Alexandra - I LOVE the idea of putting cream cheese into the middle of a carrot cake muffin – fantastic. And these sounds just about as good as eating actual carrot cake, plus you can eat them for breakfast, which is even better. Dessert in breakfast form is always a good thing. 🙂

November 3, 2014 - 5:29 pm

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Muffins - […] Adapted from The Curvy Carrot […]

Easter Peanut Butter Buttons

Would you like a no-bake, kid-friendly, and super simple treat to snack on?  Here they are.


Aren’t these adorable?  I had seen these originally last year on Natalie’s blog, and I instantly fell in love with them.  How simple!  How cute!  How versatile!  With Easter coming up, I thought these would be a great treat to post. The pastel eggs on white chocolate with pastel sprinkles? How festive!

Anyways, take 10 minutes out of your day to make these.  Warning: they are extremely addicting.  I originally wanted to use Peanut M&M’s (my favorite), but my grocery store was completely out of pastel Peanut M&M’s (can you imagine?).  After I stalked the Easter candy aisle for a good ten minutes or so, I settled on Reeses Pieces peanut butter eggs. Who doesn’t love a peanut butter/chocolate/salty combo?  I tried a couple with Almond M&M’s as well, but, I have to tell you: the peanut butter won for me, hands-down.  Feel free to play around with the type of candy, chocolate or other type of garnish.

And, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  🙂

Easter Peanut Butter Buttons

Servings: 50 pieces



50 mini-pretzels **I used Hanover’s Butter Snap…

1 cup white candy melts, melted**Use your microwave and stir every 10 seconds or so after heating to make sure they melt completely

50 Reeses Pieces pastel eggs

Pastel sprinkles, for garnish

Instructions***For better results, make each piece one at a time.  Reheat the candy melts as necessary to prevent it from hardening.

1.  On wax paper, place about 1/2 teaspoon of the melted candy melts on one pretzel.

2.  Decorate the candy melt with pastel sprinkles.

3. Immediately top with a pastel chocolate peanut butter egg.  Let cool.

Source:  Barely adapted from Perry’s Plate.

April 17, 2011 - 9:46 am

Lauren at Keep It Sweet - These are adorable and they look so addicting!

April 17, 2011 - 11:01 am

Christina @ This Woman Cooks! - Ahh these are so cute! I didn’t know there was such a thing as Reese’s Pieces peanut butter eggs. That sounds dangerous. 😉

April 17, 2011 - 1:05 pm

Natalie @ Perrys' Plate - So glad you liked these! I didn’t know there were Reese’s PB eggs either. Oh dear. 🙂

Thanks for the link up!

April 17, 2011 - 11:46 pm

Dee D. - These look so cute 🙂 And so easy to make too! Great idea for kids and easter 🙂

April 18, 2011 - 12:12 pm

Cristina - These peanut butter buttons turned out so pretty and I even like the name of them. These will make a happy, festive display and they look dangerously addicting too! 😉

April 18, 2011 - 2:43 pm

natalie (the sweets life) - very very cute!!! I might have to make these this week!

April 18, 2011 - 6:51 pm

Happy When Not Hungry - How cute!!!! So easy too. Have to try for Easter!

April 18, 2011 - 9:35 pm

Yuri - These are so cute! 😀

April 20, 2011 - 10:01 pm

Mark - I love these! They look like egg nests. The kids will love them. Thanks for the creative post!

April 23, 2011 - 12:46 pm

Ria - This is so sweet! This cute little buttons will impress my guests for sure. Sweet and unique idea! 🙂

April 23, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Food Lover - WOW they look so lovely 🙂

March 14, 2012 - 1:42 pm

Michelle - Thanks for the awesome inspiration! Here is my humble attempt to make these:

March 14, 2012 - 1:48 pm

Easter treats… « from the bleachers… - […] I came across this PIN of a fun Easter snack from The Curvy Carrot.  The original idea called for candy melts and Reeces Pieces eggs but I decided to use white […]

March 17, 2012 - 8:16 am

Easter Treats from Pinterest Pins - […] Easter Peanut Butter Buttons at The Curvy […]

March 23, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Cathy - Instead of using cany melts a hershey hug works great. Just put one on each pretzel and put them in the oven at 200 for about 3 minutes until soft not melted (wil still be standing upright) push canding down on pretzel EASY

March 26, 2012 - 9:04 am
March 27, 2012 - 9:44 pm

Around the Web: Leftover Easter Candy Recipes | SocialCafe Magazine - […] Easter Peanut Butter Buttons by The Curvy Carrot […]

April 4, 2012 - 1:27 pm

Easter Sweets And Treats – Bites From Other Blogs - […] Easter Peanut Butter Buttons From The Curvy Carrot […]

April 4, 2012 - 7:50 pm

Messy Nessy Chic FOOD PORN: 25 Reasons to be Bad this Easter - […] Chip hot cross buns  10. Salted Caramel Popcorn with Easter M&Ms  11. Easter Pretzel Peanut Buttons  12. Italian Easter Bread  13. Croatian Easter Bread […]

April 11, 2012 - 5:00 pm

It’s a Boy Thing- Baby Shower! | - […] recipe for the candy above can be found here.  I warn you though- it’s addicting! Cucumber Feta […]

March 21, 2013 - 9:01 am
March 24, 2013 - 8:54 pm

Nancy Corriveau - I can Hardily wait to make these

March 27, 2013 - 8:55 am

Debbie Decker - If you use melted chocolate ,sprinkle it with chocolate jimmies then put your Reese’s egg on it YUM YUM!!

March 27, 2013 - 8:57 am

Debbie Decker - Forgot to say it makes it look like an egg in a nest!!

March 29, 2013 - 1:53 pm

Top 5 Trendiest Easter Recipes on Pinterest - […] 4. Easter Peanut Butter Buttons from The Curvy Carrot Probably one of the easiest things ever. Peanut butter filled pretzels are a classic, and so are white chocolate covered pretzels. Adhere a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg to a pretzel with melted white chocolate, and you’re in Easter snack heaven. […]

November 18, 2013 - 1:54 pm

Cute Easter Ideas, Free Printables & More! - […] [Click here to find the recipe for the Easter Peanut Butter Buttons] […]

March 1, 2014 - 11:45 pm

10 Minute #Easter Treat! Easter Peanut Butter Button #Recipe !! | My Sweet Soiree - […] The Curvy Carrot!!! How you have my attention! Whomever came up with the idea to bake delicious candy into a pretzel […]

March 5, 2014 - 3:57 am

Egg-cellent Easter Ideas - […] Easter Peanut Butter Buttons @ The Curvy Carrot […]

March 25, 2014 - 8:01 am

easter pinterest roundup | ChrystinaNoel, a hostess blog - […] Desserts ( pin / source […]

April 2, 2014 - 2:17 am

Tisha - I must make these…tomorrow! love.

April 15, 2014 - 11:27 am

Hannah - Making these for the school Easter party!! Thanks for the great idea!

February 21, 2015 - 2:16 pm

Friday Finds: Easter Treats | Lacefield - […] Easter peanut butter buttons […]

March 16, 2015 - 3:56 pm

10 No-Mess Easter Treat Ideas for Kids & Adults - […] 3. Sweet and Salty Easter Buttons […]