• Salads | Side Dishes
  • Tuna Pasta Salad

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    This tuna pasta salad is a fresh and vibrant dish that can be enjoyed as a main or as a side for picnics, cookouts, and potlucks. Made with simple ingredients it’s so quick and easy and is made without mayonnaise.

    tuna pasta salad recipe

    You can never have enough pasta salad recipes! They are a great make-ahead dish for meal prep and they are so versatile. Perfect to serve next to grilled meats, other salads, and even as a meal by themselves for lunch or dinner.

    This healthy tuna pasta salad is high in protein and it’s made without mayonnaise so it’s lower in fat compared with a lot of other recipes. This cold tuna pasta salad is a perfectly balanced meal – it has protein, carbs, and fresh & nutritious vegetables, as well as healthy fat from the olive oi.

    Serve this with my grilled Mediterranean chicken kebabs or alongside my cowboy caviar at a picnic or cookout! And don’t forget to make some homemade lemonade – it’s so refreshing and delicious.

    pasta with tuna

    How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad

    It’s so quick and easy to make this delicious tuna salad with pasta! It won’t take you more than a few minutes!

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and add to a large bowl.
    • Add red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, minced garlic, albacore tuna fish, and lemon zest to the bowl and mix everything.
    • Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve cold. Enjoy!
    tuna pasta salad - process shots

    Can you make the tuna pasta salad ahead of time?

    This tuna and pasta salad is such a great make-ahead dish, perfect if you are planning to serve it with other dishes for picnics or for a party. In fact, this dish will taste better if you let it marinate and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to an hour. It will allow the flavors to meld. Once you have mixed it, transfer to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Because there is no mayo in this tuna pasta recipe, leftovers will keep well for up to 4 days.

    What’s the best pasta to use?

    I like to use farfalle (bow tie) pasta in this tuna pasta salad recipe as it easily scoops up the other ingredients in each bite. Pasta shells would also work well. You can make this tuna noodle salad gluten-free by using your favorite GF pasta.

    pasta tuna salad

    Do you need to rinse the pasta in cold water after cooking it?

    Because there is no mayo in this tuna pasta salad, you don’t need to cool it before adding it to the other ingredients. It’s fine if it is still warm. It is best served chilled though, so once you have made it, place it in the fridge to cool.

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Chop all of the ingredients into similar sized pieces so that it combines easily and is easier to eat.
    • Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. It is so much more flavorful and vibrant.
    • Use albacore tuna for this pasta salad recipe. It has a firmer texture and is mild in flavor.
    • Let the pasta salad marinate and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour before you serve it.
    • The pasta tuna salad does not freeze well, so don’t be tempted to try!
    tuna and pasta salad

    More Easy Salad Recipes

    If you are looking for more delicious and easy potluck salads, try these all time favorites:

    tuna pasta salad recipe
    5 from 5 votes
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    Tuna Pasta Salad

    This tuna pasta salad is a fresh and vibrant dish that can be enjoyed as a main or as a side for picnics, cookouts and potlucks. Made with simple ingredients it's so quick and easy and is made without mayonnaise.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes
    Servings 6 servings
    Calories 339kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    • 8 oz Farfalle pasta, bow tie pasta, cooked according to package instructions
    • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise & sliced
    • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup black olives, cut in half
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 15 oz albacore tuna fish, drained
    • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • salt and black pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and add to a large bowl.
    • Add red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, black olives, minced garlic, albacore tuna fish, and lemon zest to the bowl and mix everything.
    • Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve cold. Enjoy!

    NOTES

    Recipe Tips & Notes

    • Chop all of the ingredients into similar sized pieces so that it combines easily and is easier to eat.
    • Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. It is so much more flavorful and vibrant.
    • Use albacore tuna for this pasta salad recipe. It has a firmer texture and is mild in flavor.
    • Let the pasta salad marinate and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour before you serve it.
    • The pasta tuna salad does not freeze well, so don’t be tempted to try!

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 458mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1111IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
    Course Salad
    Cuisine American
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    June 17, 2020

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    Comments

    Tolan

    5 stars
    Tuna is absolutely one of my new favorite ‘easy proteins’. Great recipe and looking forward to some warm weather to break this recipe out!

    Mary Bostow

    5 stars
    Very simple and delicious! My family really enjoyed this recipe and we had no leftovers!! Thank you for sharing!

    Julia Mazurchak

    5 stars
    I’ve got a bunch of tuna in my try that this would be just perfect for! I can’t wait to try it, it sounds delicious and super easy to make.

    MARYANA

    5 stars
    What a fabulous recipe! So easy and tasty! I’ll definitely be making this one again!

    Veena Azmanov

    5 stars
    I made this pasta salad for lunch yesterday and it was incredible! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I’ll be making it a lot!

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