Tuna Pasta Salad

This Easy Tuna Pasta Salad is a delicious meal that's ready in less than 20 minutes. Made with hearty tuna, crunchy veggies, and our signature creamy dressing, it promises both convenience and top-notch flavor.

by Ioana

Published :


thefoodieblogger tuna pasta salad recipe 2

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

This creamy tuna salad is a hit among adults and kids alike. In fact, my almost 3-year-old asks for seconds every time!

Made with everyday pasta and a tangy mayo-yogurt dressing, this dish is both delightful and effortless to whip up.

It’s the ideal choice for family dinners, picnics, and barbecues. Plus, its adaptability allows you to incorporate your favorite vegetables or modify the dressing to your liking.

When it’s time to impress at a potluck or simply enjoy a satisfying lunch, our Tuna Pasta Salad never disappoints.

The essence of its deliciousness lies in our special dressing, bringing each ingredient to life. Once you try it, this recipe is sure to secure a regular spot in your meal plans.

tuna pasta salad recipe thefoodieblogger

Why you’ll love this tuna pasta salad

  • Quick to make. This recipe is super easy and quick to make, making it perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute meal planning.
  • Delicious and satisfying. The combination of tender pasta, flavorful tuna, and a creamy dressing is both delicious and satisfying. This tuna salad leaves you feeling nourished and content.
  • Versatile recipe. Feel free to customize by adding your favorite vegetables or adjusting the dressing to suit your taste preferences.
  • Perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a casual family dinner, a potluck, a picnic, or a barbecue, this easy tuna pasta salad recipe fits the bill.
  • Great for making it ahead. This salad is also great for meal prep and storage in the fridge for a quick and tasty meal whenever you need it.
  • Protein-packed. Tuna is a great source of lean protein, making this salad a nutritious choice that helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Made with healthy ingredients. This tuna salad recipe offers a variety of vitamins and minerals, contributing to a well-rounded meal.
  • Crowd-pleaser. Loved by both kids and adults, this tuna pasta salad is a great option for family gatherings and parties.

Watch this quick step-by-step video to see how easy it is to make this tuna pasta salad:

YouTube video

What is Tuna Pasta Salad?

Tuna Pasta Salad is a versatile and popular dish that combines cooked pasta, usually macaroni or rotini, with canned tuna and various ingredients to create a flavorful and satisfying salad.

It is typically dressed with a creamy or vinaigrette-style dressing and can be customized with various vegetables, herbs, and seasonings to suit individual preferences.

Ingredients and substitutions

Now, let’s check the following list of must-have ingredients and see what we’ll need to make the best tuna pasta salad in the world.

  • Tuna – This is a nutrient-rich fish that provides an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. Choose varieties that are packed in water rather than oil for a lower-calorie option. 
  • Pasta – The choice of pasta shape is a matter of personal preference, as different shapes can provide varying textures and appearances in your salad.
  • Peas – This sweet and vibrant addition to your salad provides a burst of color and flavor.
  • Celery – adds a refreshing and crisp texture to your salad.
  • Red Onion – provide a mild onion flavor and vibrant color to your salad.
  • Bell Pepper – contributes a sweet and crunchy element to your salad. Feel free to use your favorite type.
  • Corn Kernels – add a touch of sweetness to your salad and enhance its overall flavor.
Tuna Pasta Salad Ingredients TheFoodieBlogger

For The Dressing

  • Mayonnaise – provides creaminess to the dressing.
  • Yogurt – adds a tangy element while reducing the overall fat content.
  • Lemon Juice – brings a zesty, citrusy flavor to the dressing.
  • Parsley – You can also use fresh dill or cilantro.
  • Salt and Pepper – enhance all the flavors from this recipe.
Tuna Pasta Salad Ingredients


Now that we are familiar with the ingredients of this pasta salad with tuna, let’s start making it by following these easy steps:

Cook the Pasta

Start by boiling a pot of water. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta according to the package instructions. Be sure not to overcook them; they should be firm to the bite (al dente).

After cooking, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold running water to stop the cooking process. 

Prepare the Dressing

Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, chopped dill or parsley, a pinch of salt, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 1
thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 2

Combine the Ingredients

Add the cooked and cooled pasta shells to a large salad mixing bowl.

Open a can of tuna, drain it, and add it to the pasta.

Add thawed frozen peas, diced celery for crunch, chopped pepper, corn, and finely chopped onion for flavor.

Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta and ingredients in the bowl.

thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 3
thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 4

Toss and Serve

Toss all the ingredients until they are well coated with the creamy dressing. Ensure that everything is evenly mixed.

Once mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the tuna pasta salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the salad to chill.

Give it a final toss, and it’s ready to enjoy! For a fresh touch, you can garnish with additional dill or a lemon wedge.

thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 5
thefoodieblogger how to make Tuna Pasta Salad 6


  • Use Quality Ingredients like canned tuna, preferably packed in olive oil or water. Solid albacore or skipjack tuna are good choices.
  • Opt for fresh vegetables and herbs like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and fresh parsley or basil work well.
  • Pasta Selection: Use a sturdy pasta shape like rotini, penne, or fusilli. These hold up better in salads.
  • Drain the canned tuna thoroughly to remove excess liquid.
  • Let the pasta salad chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.
the best tuna pasta salad 2 thefoodieblogger

recipe Variations

Another great thing about this tuna salad recipe is that you can add various ingredients to enhance the flavor and texture. Here are some additional ingredients you can consider adding:

  • Cheese: Grated Parmesan, feta, or mozzarella cheese can provide a creamy and salty element to your salad.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Add a crunch with toasted pine nuts, sliced almonds, or sunflower seeds.
  • Your Favorite Vegetables: Besides the classic celery and red onion, you can add diced tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or avocado for creaminess.
  • Proteins: Hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, or crumbled bacon can make your salad more substantial.
  • Pickles: Try different types of pickles like sweet, dill, or bread and butter pickles for added flavor.
  • Hot Sauce: If you like a bit of heat, add a few dashes of hot sauce or Sriracha to spice things up.
  • Olives: Green or black olives can add a briny, salty element to your salad.
thefoodieblogger tuna pasta salad recipe 1


The best type of pasta for this tuna salad is one that can hold the dressing and other ingredients well, providing a good balance of texture and flavor. Here are some pasta options that work well:

  • Rotini: Rotini’s corkscrew shape is great for holding onto the dressing and other ingredients, ensuring you get a bit of everything in each bite.
  • Fusilli: Similar to rotini, fusilli’s spiral shape traps the dressing and ingredients nicely.
  • Penne: Penne is a popular choice for pasta salad. Its cylindrical shape and ridges hold the dressing, creating a creamy and flavorful salad.
  • Macaroni: Classic elbow macaroni is a traditional choice for tuna pasta salad. It’s small and easy to eat.
  • Farfalle (Bowtie): Farfalle adds an elegant touch to your salad, and its shape captures the dressing and ingredients beautifully.


If there are any leftovers of this tuna pasta salad, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their freshness. Here are some storage instructions for your tuna pasta salad:

  • Fridge: Transfer the leftovers to a container and seal it tightly to prevent air from getting in, which can cause the salad to dry out and lose its flavor.

Pro Tips

  • Refrigerate this tuna pasta salad as soon as it reaches room temperature. Cold temperatures help prevent bacterial growth and maintain food safety. 
  • Before serving leftover tuna pasta salad, give it a good stir to redistribute the dressing and ensure that all the ingredients are well coated.
  • If you plan to store the tuna salad for longer, consider keeping some ingredients separate, such as the dressing, and mix them just before serving to maintain the salad’s freshness.
the best tuna pasta salad recipe thefoodieblogger


No, avoid freezing this salad since this can change the texture and consistency of the ingredients, particularly the vegetables and pasta, resulting in a less flavorful salad when thawed.


Yes, you can make tuna pasta salad ahead of time. It’s a great dish for meal prep. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve it within 3-4 days for the best freshness.

More Pasta Recipes

Tuna Pasta Salad

No ratings yet
This Easy Tuna Pasta Salad is a delicious meal that's ready in less than 20 minutes. Made with hearty tuna, crunchy veggies, and our signature creamy dressing, it promises both convenience and top-notch flavor.
Author: Ioana
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
6 servings


  • 8 ounces of pasta (rotini, farfalle bowtie, penne, or small shells), measured dry.
  • 12 ounces tuna 2 cans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh dill or parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, ensuring they do not overcook. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, chopped dill (or parsley), salt, and pepper to create the dressing.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, tuna, peas, celery, onion, bell pepper, and corn kernels.
  4. Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture and toss well to combine.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 327 kcal, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Protein: 18 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 0.02 g, Cholesterol: 28 mg, Sodium: 860 mg, Potassium: 350 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 661 IU, Vitamin C: 28 mg, Calcium: 46 mg, Iron: 2 mg

The nutritional information provided on this website is intended to be a helpful reference and convenience for our users. It is offered as a courtesy and is based on data primarily sourced from the USDA Food Composition Database.

We kindly request that you do not take screenshots or copy/paste our recipes to social media or other websites. We would greatly appreciate it if you could instead share a link to our recipe along with a photo.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
tuna pasta salad pinterest

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

Unlock Exclusive Benefits

Don't miss a thing - subscribe to our food-filled newsletter.