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This creamy tuna pasta salad recipe is perfect for summer gatherings, potlucks, BBQs, or picnics. It’s fast and easy to make!

close-up of tuna pasta salad

This pasta salad could either be a side dish or a main course… whichever you choose is fine.

I recently made a healthy tuna pasta salad with a vinaigrette dressing, and this is the slightly different version with a creamy dressing. Depending on your mood, you could make either… or try both and see which you prefer.

Tuna is so versatile. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to make quick meals with. My easy canned tuna pasta is a reader favorite. It’s inexpensive, has lots of protein, and it’s just plain tasty.

The tuna pasta salad dressing is basically a quick homemade ranch. It’s cooling, refreshing, and slightly tangy. The dill adds a nice flavor that’s great with the tuna and cucumber. I used dried dill, but feel free to use fresh (e.g. if you have some in your garden).

This is the perfect easy summer dish to enjoy on the patio with a glass of white wine! 🙂

creamy tuna pasta salad in a prep bowl

I chose macaroni for the pasta, but like I always say, it’s fine to use a different kind of pasta. If you do opt for something different, I’d measure out 3 cups of uncooked pasta. Something about macaroni just makes it multiply when cooked haha. Also, feel free to swap out any ingredients you don’t have/don’t like and/or play with the quantities. I don’t think you can go wrong with pasta salad. 🙂

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the best tuna pasta salad in a bowl

Will you give this creamy tuna macaroni salad a try? Let me know if you make this for your next backyard BBQ! Questions? Ask me in the comments below.

close-up of tuna pasta salad
4.75 from 8 votes

Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad

This creamy tuna pasta salad recipe is perfect for summer gatherings, potlucks, BBQs, or picnics. It's fast and easy to make! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2.5 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tuna drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion chopped
  • 1 cup little tomatoes halved
  • 2 sticks celery chopped small
  • 1 mini cucumber (or 1/4 English cucumber) chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill see note
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Boil a large, salted pot of water for the macaroni. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, get everything else ready. I like to make the dressing first. Combine all the dressing ingredients until smooth and set it aside. Prep the other ingredients and add them to a large bowl. 
  • Once the pasta is done, rinse it under cold water and let it drain thoroughly. Toss with the dressing and other ingredients. Season with salt & pepper as needed (I found this recipe needed quite a bit of salt - it's a lot of pasta). You can serve this pasta salad right away or let it chill (covered) first for the flavors to meld more. 

Notes

  • Fresh dill is best, but you could swap with 1 teaspoon of dried.
  • If you use a different shape pasta than macaroni, I suggest making 3 cups (e.g. if you use bows). 
  • I didn't put long for prep because you can prep while the pasta is cooking, so I just count it in there.
  • As with any pasta salad, feel free to add more/less of any ingredient to make it perfect for your tastes.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 258mg, Potassium: 327mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 801IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m not a great fan of pasta salads , but made it for my son today who is a fan . Wow wow 👌 had a 10/10 . I have to admit, I tried some and thought the same . Loved it , I now have a great easy pasta salad recipe. Thank you ❤️

  2. Very delicious! I’ve been looking for different recipes for cucumbers since my garden is exploding with them and this is definitely a keeper

  3. 5 stars
    Family really enjoyed this recipe. I did not have any sour cream, so I used my homemade milk kefir. It was delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I was out of lemon juice, so used brown mustard instead. I also added peas. It is delicious!! Thank you for the recipe!!