Tuna Pasta Salad

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This Tuna Pasta Salad is loaded with colorful veggies, high protein noodles and high quality tuna. All tossed in a yogurt cream sauce that is sure to wow your next bbq. Easy to make and great for leftovers, this pasta salad is a must have on your summer menu.
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Creamy pasta salad in a large mixing bowl full of fresh vegetables and tuna with serving utensils.

Tuna Pasta Salad

This tuna pasta salad is a must have for your next potluck. With vibrant colors from an array of veggies, chickpea noodles and high quality canned tuna, this classic side dish not only tastes delicious but looks beautiful on your table.

Another great thing about this easy pasta salad recipe? It’s loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients. Chickpea noodles are gluten-free and add a boost of protein. Canned tuna fish is high in protein, filled with fatty acids and low in fat. Choose a high quality tuna for the best flavor, it’s worth the price tag.

Creamy pasta salad in a large mixing bowl full of fresh vegetables and tuna.

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No classic tuna pasta salad is complete without the dressing. My version uses light mayonnaise and nonfat Greek yogurt rather than sour cream or full-fat mayo. It’s still a creamy dressing but with a fraction of fat and calories than traditional recipes.

This cold pasta salad is one of my favorite things to make for parties or to meal prep for the week. For more pasta salads, try my High Protein Pasta Salad and Dill Pickle Pasta Salad.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • 20 grams of protein per serving. 
  • A twist on tuna loaded with flavor.
  • Great for meal prep.

Ingredients:

These are the main ingredients. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for this tuna pasta salad recipe.  

Dill, bell pepper, celery, chickpea pasta, red onion, canned tuna drained, tomtato, cucumber, peas and a creamy sauce for the salad laid out.

Variations and Substitutions

  • I used rotini chickpea noodles to add protein but any noodle variety works. I like bow tie or small elbow macaroni.
  • Add your favorite veggies. I like adding leftover sweet corn, shredded carrots and green onions for garnish.
  • Add sunflower seeds or pickle relish for some extra crunch.
  • Add olive oil if your salad starts to dry out.

Dietary Modifications

  • This recipe is gluten-free, if using chickpea noodles.
  • To make dairy-free, use dairy-free yogurt and parmesan cheese. Note, this will change the taste and texture of your pasta salad.

How to make this tuna pasta salad:

Step 1: cook the pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to cool it down. Set aside.

Step 2: prepare the dressing

In a medium bowl, combine the non-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat mayonnaise, grated Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: make your salad

Pasta, tomato, onion, celery, bell pepper. cucumber and peas in a large mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, celery, chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, peas and cucumber (image 1).

Drained tuna and fresh dill on top of the salad.

Top with drained tuna and fresh dill (image 2).

Creamy yogurt dressing added to the top of the salad.

Add the creamy dressing to the salad (image 3).

Serving spoons mixing and combining the salad ingredients with the creamy dressing in a large bowl.

Mix well to evenly coat and combine the salad (image 4).

Step 4: serve!

Serve immediately or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate prior to serving, to allow the flavors to meld together further. When ready to serve, give the salad a good stir, then transfer it to a serving platter or individual plates. If desired, garnish with chopped fresh parsley. I prefer this dish at room temp vs. straight out of the fridge. 

Serving and storing notes

Serve this alongside a main dish like Grilled Teriyaki Chicken or Cast Iron Flank Steak.

Store your pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The flavors are even better the next day, just be sure to give it a good stir.

Recipe Tips

  • Chickpea pasta can be tricky. If overcooked, it turns mushy quickly. For best results, cook pasta until al dente. The lemony dressing will soften the noodles the longer it sits.
  • I like to save a little of the dressing to add to it the next day in case it gets dry.

If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy summer recipes!

If you make this recipe, please leave a rating and/or comment! Tag me on Instagram @ohsnapmacros, I love hearing from you!

Creamy pasta salad in a large mixing bowl full of fresh vegetables and tuna with serving utensils.

Tuna Pasta Salad

Danielle Lima
This Tuna Pasta Salad is loaded with colorful veggies, high protein noodles and high quality tuna. All tossed in a yogurt cream sauce that is sure to wow your next bbq. Easy to make and great for leftovers, this pasta salad is a must have on your summer menu.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 218 kcal

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Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz rotini chickpea pasta
  • 2 cans (5 oz) tuna in water, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill chopped
  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt 224g
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise 60g
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional

  • fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to cool it down. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the non-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat mayonnaise, grated Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, celery, chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, peas, chopped cucumber, fresh dill and tuna. Top with the yogurt dressing and mix well to combine and evenly coat the ingredients. 
  • Serve immediately or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate prior to serving, to allow the flavors to meld together further. 
  • When ready to serve, give the salad a good stir, then transfer it to a serving platter or individual plates. If desired, garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary with substitutions. 
  • Use any type of noodle. 
  • I prefer to serve this cold by chilling for an hour before serving. You can serve it immediately, if desired. 

Nutrition

Serving: 185gCalories: 218kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 20gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 312mgPotassium: 501mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

11 Comments

  1. Does anyone have any guidance on how many grams a serving weighs when the recipe is followed exactly? Thanks!

  2. 4 stars
    I made a half batch today which I considered 2 servings (instead of 4). That was a reasonable lunch for me at 400 cals, even if one wanted to do smaller portions, I would think no more than 3 (so 6 servings of making the full recipe).

    This was pretty tasty! A lot of chopping, but I really enjoyed all the crunchy veggies. The sauce was still pretty tangy with the yogurt, I may need to play with the ratio of mayo to yogurt.

    Overall, a healthy tasty recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Just made this and it was so easy and so delicious. Perfect side or main dish for this summer. Can’t wait to bring it to the next bbq!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this to bring to work for lunch and it has been such an easy, delicious and filling addition to my lunch rotation!

4.88 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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