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Creamy, tangy, and perfect for summer, this tuna pasta salad can be eaten as a side or a main. It’s packed with fresh veggies and herbs, making it a healthy and filling dish. Pasta salad with tuna is one of my go-to dishes for summer. It’s light, flavorful, and can be made ahead of time. I love to bring it to potlucks and picnics, or enjoy it as a light lunch or dinner.
Did I mention this tuna pasta salad is the perfect meal for a hot summer day? It’s chilled and oh-so refreshing. The creamy dressing is made with greek yogurt and mayo, and it’s loaded with fresh veggies and dill. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be served cold or at room temperature.
why you’ll love this tuna pea pasta salad
- Creamy and delicious. This tuna pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to any summer meal. The greek yogurt and mayo dressing is both flavorful and light, making it a great option for those hot summer days.
- Bright and fresh. The fresh veggies and dill add a nice crunch and flavor to the salad.
- Quick and easy. This salad can be made in under 20 minutes, making it a great option for last-minute gatherings.
- Make-ahead friendly. This salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge. It’s also great for meal prep! Simply make a double batch and enjoy it all week long.
Ingredients to make tuna pasta salad with veggies
- Pasta: My preferred pasta of choice for this pasta salad recipe is fusilli. The spiral shape holds onto the dressing well, and it’s the perfect size for scooping up with a fork.
- Tuna: I like to use canned tuna packed in olive oil for this recipe. It’s more flavorful than water-packed tuna, and it doesn’t dry out as easily.
- Greek yogurt: This healthy ingredient adds creaminess and tanginess to the dressing.
- Mayo: A little mayo goes a long way in this recipe. It adds creaminess and body to the dressing.
- Dill: I love the flavor of fresh dill in this salad, but you could also use dried dill or chopped parsley.
- Lemon juice: This ingredient brightens up the dressing and ties all the flavors together.
- Dijon Mustard: This adds a bit of tanginess and depth of flavor to the dressing.
- Veggies: I like to use chopped celery, carrots, red onions, and frozen peas. They add a nice crunch while enhancing the flavor of the salad.
- Seasoning: The dressing has so many amazing flavors that the simple addition of salt and pepper is all you need.
How to make Tuna Pasta Salad
- In a large bowl, add the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk together until fully combined.
- Add the tuna on top of the dressing and use a fork to flake the tuna and mix it with the dressing.
- Transfer the cooled pasta to the bowl containing the dressing and tuna, and toss to coat.
- Add in the peas, celery, carrots, red onion, and dill.
- Gently fold in the veggies until everything is incorporated.
Tips for making tuna pasta salad with mayo
- Mix the tuna with the dressing first. To make the pasta salad quickly, you can mix everything together all at once. But I found that using a fork to break up the tuna into the dressing makes it more flavorful and breaks it up more easily.
- Rinse the pasta with cold water after cooking. You’ll need to cook the pasta al dente, but also ensure that you immediately stop the pasta from getting any additional heat by rinsing it. This also helps to keep the rest of the salad from getting hot.
- Cut the veggies into uniform pieces. If you have a vegetable chopper, this is a great time to use it. Otherwise, just make sure that all the veggies are roughly the same size, so they get evenly distributed throughout the pasta salad.
- Let the tuna pasta salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together and makes the pasta salad even more delicious.
popular substitutions & additions
- Use any small pasta you have on hand. You can make this tuna pasta salad with elbow pasta, shells, or even penne.
- Mix up the veggies. Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and green onions would all be great in this salad.
- Make it gluten-free. Use gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free friendly.
- Try it with a different protein. If you’re not a fan of tuna, you could use cooked chicken or shrimp instead.
- Add some crunch. Top the salad with chopped nuts or seeds for an extra bit of texture.
- Make it dairy-free. Use a non-dairy yogurt, such as soy yogurt, in place of the greek yogurt. You could also omit the yogurt altogether
how to store tuna pasta
I prefer a glass storage container for this pasta salad. This helps keep the tuna flavor where you want it… in your pasta salad, not soaking into your plastic container. You’ll want to refrigerate any leftovers.
how long will tuna last in the fridge?
If stored properly, tuna pasta salad will last in the fridge for up to four days.
Frequently asked questions
This pasta salad is best served cold, but you can let it sit out at room temperature for up to two hours. After that, you’ll want to toss it.
There are a few reasons why your pasta salad might be watery. One is that you didn’t rinse the cooked pasta with cold water. This helps to stop the cooking process and also prevents the heat from making the rest of the salad warm causing the veggies to weep. Another reason could be that you used too much dressing. If this is the case, simply mix in a little more pasta until the desired consistency is reached.
I don’t recommend it. The frozen peas add a nice crunch and bright flavor to the salad. Canned peas tend to be mushy and can make the salad watery.
If you’re looking for a new summer dish to try, I highly recommend this creamy tuna pasta salad. Trust me. It’s sure to be a hit! And if you’re not a fan of tuna, feel free to swap it out for chicken or another protein of your choice. Enjoy!
More pasta salad recipes:
- Summer Pasta Salad
- Avocado Corn and Tomato Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad with Pesto
- Spinach Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes
- Creamy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
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Tuna Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces fusilli pasta
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 10 ounces canned tuna drained
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- ¼ cup chopped red onions
- ¼ cup fresh dill roughly chopped
- Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Add the tuna on top of the dressing and use a fork to flake the tuna and mix with the dressing.
- Transfer the cooled pasta to the bowl containing the dressing and tuna, and toss to coat. Fold in the peas, celery, carrots, red onion, and dill, then cover and refrigerate the pasta salad until chilled.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.