This protein-packed tuna pasta salad is perfect for a quick healthy lunch or as a flavorful addition to your next summer barbecue. Made with tuna, veggies, and perfectly cooked pasta you’re sure to love this recipe!

Protein Packed Tuna Pasta Salad

It’s tuna salad with pasta and it’s the best of both worlds, in my personal opinion. If you love tuna salad (like me!) then you are going to love this tuna pasta salad recipe that’s a delicious combo between tuna and pasta salad.

This delicious Tuna Pasta Salad is packed protein, veggies, healthy fats, and carbs – it’s basically the perfect quick lunch so if you need more lunch recipes then go ahead and add this one to your list.

Not only is it delicious, this recipe is also incredibly easy to make. All you need are a few simple ingredients to make this pasta salad and it comes together fairly quickly once you’ve made the pasta. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Tuna Pasta Salad Video

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tuna pasta salad ingredients

Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients

Pasta: I used Fusilli pasta for this recipe but feel free to use whatever shape of pasta you like!

Tuna: we’re using tuna packed in water, and with no salt added, in this recipe that has been drained thoroughly before adding it to the pasta salad. Be sure to grab tuna that has been packed in water and not oil for the best results.

Veggies: for all of that delicious crunch and flavor this recipe uses a combination of celery, red bell pepper, red onion, and green peas.

Capers: these add such great brightness to the pasta salad that works perfectly with the tuna.

Fresh Herbs: a combination of fresh dill and fresh parsley add just the right touch of fresh flavor.

Greek Yogurt: the base of the pasta salad dressing is creamy whole milk plain Greek yogurt.

Mayonnaise: to add a little richness to the dressing we’re using just a bit of mayo.

Garlic: a little fresh garlic goes a long way to add some delicious flavor.

Dijon Mustard: to add a bit of tang to the dressing.

Lemon Juice: last but not least a little fresh lemon juice is added to the dressing.

pasta salad dressing in small bowl

Ingredient Swaps

  • Pasta – you can use your favorite gluten free pasta if needed to keep this recipe gluten free.
  • Fresh Herbs – don’t have fresh herbs? swap them for dry. For everyone one tablespoon of fresh herbs you’ll use one teaspoon of dry.
  • Greek Yogurt – if you would like to keep this recipe dairy free then you can swap the Greek yogurt for your favorite dairy free plain greek yogurt or just use mayo instead.
  • Mayo – don’t love mayo? leave it out and just use equal parts Greek yogurt instead.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

large pot – to boil your pasta water and cook your noodles.

colander – this is the easiest way to drain and rinse your pasta.

sharp knife – for all of the veggie and fresh herb chopping.

cutting board – this is my favorite cutting board to use when I need to chop fresh veggies.

MEASURING CUPS & MEASURING SPOONS – to get the perfect measurements for your pasta salad and dressing.

small mixing bowl – I like to use a smaller mixing bowl to make the creamy pasta salad dressing.

large mixing bowl – you’ll need something relatively large to house all of the pasta salad ingredients and have room to toss everything together.

silicone spatula – this is my preferred tool for mixing the pasta salad.

ingredients in large mixing bowl

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad

Step One: Cook the dry pasta according to the package instructions. Once al dente, drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.

Step Two: Add the pasta, tuna, celery, red bell pepper, red onion, peas, capers, dill, and parsley to a large mixing bowl.

Step Three: Next, make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Step Four: Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir until well combined.

Step Five: Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

ingredients in mixing bowl with dressing

Recipe Variations

  • Add extra veggies – you can stick with the suggested veggies listed in the recipe or feel free to add in a few extra vegetables that you love. Carrots would be a delicious addition.
  • Use another type of seafood – if you like canned salmon you could swap it for the tuna in this recipe if you like.
  • Swap the tuna for chicken – I think this recipe would great with shredded chicken if you are not a fan of tuna.

Tips for the Perfect Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Don’t over cook your pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente so that it still has a bit of bite and isn’t mushy in the pasta salad.
  • Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water before transferring it to a mixing bowl to make the pasta salad.
  • Salt your pasta water before adding in the dry noodles to ensure that the pasta has plenty of flavor.
  • Dice the red onion finely. This will ensure you don’t have huge chunks of red onion in your pasta salad.

pasta salad in mixing bowl

How to Make Ahead and Store

You can easily make this pasta salad up to a day in advance if needed. If you do make it advance, I recommend making extra dressing as the pasta will soak up some of the dressing as it sits.

More Healthy Protein Packed Salads to Love

tuna pasta salad in bowl

I hope you give this Tuna Pasta Salad a try! It’s packed with protein and the perfect healthy lunch! 

Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

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pasta salad in mixing bowl

Tuna Pasta Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This protein-packed tuna pasta salad is perfect for a quick healthy lunch or as a flavorful addition to your next summer barbecue. Made with tuna, veggies, and perfectly cooked pasta you’re sure to love this recipe!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups dried pasta (I used fusili)
  • 25oz cans tuna, packed in water and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 frozen cup peas, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the dry pasta according to the package instructions. Once al dente, drain and rinse the pasta with cold water.
  2. Add the pasta, tuna, celery, red bell pepper, red onion, peas, capers, dill, and parsley to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Next, make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until well combined. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and stir until well combined.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: THE MINDFUL HAPA

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8 Comments

  1. This is the best tuna pasta salad recipe I’ve made. It’s full of flavor – bright and colorful. So delicious!






    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      I’m so glad you loved this one, Kate! Thanks for leaving a review!

  2. This is for all of us tuna casserole lovers who need a lighter version for the summer! The crunch of the celery and peppers is so delicious, every time I make this my husband raves about it!






    1. Ashlea Carver says:

      I’m so happy you loved it, Emily!

  3. This is delicious! I brought it to a potluck and everyone loved it. I’ll likely add it to my lunch rotation. The flavors are very fresh and summery with the lemon and dill.






  4. Delicious! Wish I would have doubled the recipe, will make again soon.






  5. This pasta salad was SO good! It was super easy to make and I was looking forward to lunch all week! I’ll definitely be making it again and again.






  6. Love this for a filling lunch all week. I subbed plain almond milk yogurt and it was great. Very flavorful and something different from what I usually do. Thank you!