This healthy tuna pasta salad recipe is tasty, filling, and great for a light summer meal. It's a fabulous make-ahead pasta salad that's perfect for gatherings like potlucks or BBQs.
This tuna pasta salad is a well balanced (and tasty) meal! It has carbs from the pasta, protein from the tuna, and plenty of vitamins and fiber from all the veggies. Olive oil provides good fats, and it has a nice crunch to it. I really like the variety of flavors and textures in here.
It makes great leftovers too, so it's ideal for meal prep (it'll last for up to 5 days in the fridge). I chose tomatoes, celery, and cucumber for the veggies, but feel free to swap out anything you don't like.
You may also like my creamy tuna pasta salad if you fancy a richer dressing.
How to make healthy tuna pasta salad (overview):
Boil your pasta until it's done, then rinse it under cool water and let it drain thoroughly in a colander. Meanwhile, prep the remaining ingredients (tuna, red onion, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, and parsley) and add them to a large salad bowl. Add the drained pasta and toss with the oil and vinegar and season with salt & pepper as needed. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)
Healthy tuna pasta salad dressing:
I just did a mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sometimes simple is the best! Feel free to add more oil and/or vinegar to suit your individual tastes.
Other good stuff you could throw in here:
- Kalamata olives
- Chopped red bell peppers
- ...or whatever's in your fridge and needs using up!
You may also like...
- Easy Tuna Salad
- Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
- Shrimp Pasta Salad
- Easy Canned Tuna Pasta (Ready in 15 Minutes!)
Questions about this easy pasta salad recipe? Leave me a comment below.
Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
- 3 cups uncooked pasta (I used bows)
- 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 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil a large, salted pot of water for your pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients and add them to a large bowl (add the vinegar, oil, and salt & pepper after the pasta is done).
- Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it under cold water and let it drain thoroughly. Add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Add the vinegar and olive oil to the bowl. You may want to add more oil and/or vinegar depending on your tastes. Season the pasta salad thoroughly with salt & pepper (it's a lot of pasta so I added quite a bit). You can serve it right away or chill it first (cover the bowl) for the flavors to meld a bit.
- If you use macaroni for this salad, I suggest reducing the uncooked amount to 2.5 cups.
- As with any pasta salad, feel free to add more/less of any ingredient to make it perfect for your tastes.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Made this today and it turned out so nice thank you! I also added sweetcorn and tomatoes to it also. The dressing was great!
You're very welcome, Eli!!
How many grams is a serving?
Hi Alex! I have no idea - sorry. I'm not a trained nutritionist. The nutrition info is automatically calculated based on 1/6 of the recipe, and it's designed to be a general estimate. If you need to know the exact info for health reasons, I recommend weighing the food and plugging the ingredients you're using into something like My Fitness Pal.
Amanda Holan says
how many calories is this?
Just added it for you. Keep in mind it'll vary based on actual ingredients... like whether you use oil or water-packed tuna, how much dressing you actually end up adding, how much you serve yourself, and so on.
How many days can you leave this in the fridge before it go off?
Hi! It's subjective and depends what you're comfortable with. Like, my mom and husband probably would give it a lot longer than I would lol, but personally I'm not a big leftovers person, and also a bit paranoid about food safety (and pasta salads tend to dry out quite quickly), so I'd say 3-5 days max.
Charlotte Dunaj says
Use this as a base and then add or remove stuff to suit. Always well received x
Thank you for this deliciously healthy tuna pasta recipe. I used quinoa/broccoli flat noodles instead and added olives and pine nuts. Next time I'll add the bell peppers. It was delicious! 😋😋
You're very welcome!! Love your additions!
Planning to make this tonight without the tuna. Why no?
Lol I guess?
Made this today for several work lunches this week. Tasted a bit before I portioned it out and it's yummy. Added some fresh lemon to the dressing with the balsamic and subbed full chopped NJ tomatoes and carrots for celery. So good! I plan to grate some Parmesan cheese over the bowl prior to serving.
Yay I am so happy you like it! Your modifications sound delish.
I was last-minute drafted to make lunch for my mother-in-law this afternoon. I easily came upon your recipe here, and it was delicious ! Many thanks !
Yay!! So glad to hear it! Thanks, Dave.
Sarah Allen says
If I were to make this for my lunches for the week would you recommend keeping the dressing separate and pouring some on each day before leaving for work?
I think that would work well, Sarah! It does tend to dry out a bit the longer you leave the dressing on.
Yum! This looks so delicious!
Paula Gouveia says
Hi Natasha! I was searching for easy meals and i found your website. Since then i´m a big fan and i´ve tried some recipies. This one is a must...next one to do because its spring time here and the weather is getting hot. I´ll let you know how it worked. Greetings from Portugal!
Yay I am so happy you like my recipes! Greetings from Canada. 🙂
It was so delicious! I needed a low-cost, easy, and healthy meal to take to work that tastes so good that I wouldn’t feel like I was missing out. This recipe was it! Next time I want to use salmon or shrimp—yum! 🙂
I am so happy you liked it, Faith!!! 💕
Natasha's Sister says
How about you just make this for our picnic without tuna??