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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. 

Tuna pasta salad close-up

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.

Healthy tuna pasta salad in a glass prep bowl

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.

Tuna pasta salad in a bowl

Other good stuff you could throw in here:

  • Capers
  • Kalamata olives
  • Chopped red bell peppers
  • …or whatever’s in your fridge and needs using up!

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Tuna pasta salad in two bowls

Questions about this easy pasta salad recipe? Leave me a comment below. 

Tuna pasta salad close-up
5 from 9 votes

Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad

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. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 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.


Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 116mg, Potassium: 236mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 354IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

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

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! Iā€™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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  1. 5 stars
    I made this salad 3 months ago for me and my sister and it was the BOMB!! My son didn’t get any and has been constantly reminding that he didn’t GET ANY (lol) so, I have made it again for him and the family to have for dinner this evening along with some Everything Bagel pita chips. I also used Yellowfin tuna packed in EVOO and jalapenos for that extra zing!! It’s already scrumptious, deliumptious and hasn’t meld together in the fridge yet šŸ¤¤. Thank you sooo much for the delish pasta salad.

  2. 5 stars
    Easy to adjust. I mostly needed to use tuna and didnt have a lot of veggies around. I used an elderberry balsamic vinegar from seka hills and some beau monde seasoning to make up for the lack of veg flavor. Its nom. Might throw on some crispy beet shreds that I usually put on my salad for cronch.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve tried this pasta salad three times now, and it just keeps tasting better and better. I admit I do alter the recipe a bit each time, but I still stick to most of the basics. I also appreciate the fact that you use such a simple dressing (it’s so easy to make and adds plenty of flavor to the dish). My husband and I love this recipe, and we thank you for sharing it with us šŸ™‚

  4. I just tried this recipie. Tasted like it was missing something. I added some crushed red pepper flakes to give a bit of kick. Not for everyone, but worked for me šŸ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    Made this today and it turned out so nice thank you! I also added sweetcorn and tomatoes to it also. The dressing was great!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.