Tuna Pasta Salad

A classic salad for a potluck or picnic, This old-fashioned Tuna Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make with simply tossing the ingredients together and stirring!


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I love having a tuna pasta salad in the fridge in the summer time. It’s such a great salad to take to work for lunch or to a family picnic!

It’s a nice hearty salad and can easily serve as a meal by itself.

You can’t go wrong with adding in any of your favourite vegetables, I love to add in peas, cherry tomatoes, avocado or carrots. Make it your own by adding in your favourite veggies.

If you’re family loves pasta salads, you will have to check out my chicken pasta salad with pesto and BLT pasta salad. They both have chicken and are satisfying enough to enjoy as a main dish meal!

YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  • quick and easy to make with no fancy equipment required!
  • simple ingredients that can be easily changed to your favourite veggies for add-ins
  • perfect for making ahead and taking to a potluck

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for tuna pasta salad with text overlay.

16 oz. pasta, cooked and dried (452g) – you can use so many different pasta shapes for this recipe. Fusili, rotini, shells. Any pasta that the dressing can cling to and get into the crevices is perfect!

tuna – I like to use solid white tuna, packed in water but you can use any kind. I recommend high-quality tuna!

celery – adds a nice crunch to the salad. If you’re out of celery, check out these simple subsitutes for celery.

red pepper – use any colour of chopped sweet pepper

red onion – sweet Vidalia onions or cooking onions are equally tasty.

sour cream – gives a nice tang to the dressing

mayonnaise – the traditional dressing for pasta salad with tuna. Use your favourite brand.

Dijon Mustard – adds flavour to the dressing. For a change, use regular mustard, grainy dijon or honey mustard.

apple cider vinegar

dried dill weed (or 1 tbsp. fresh dill weed) – during the summer, I like to use fresh but otherwise, use the dried dill weed.

Salt & pepper to taste

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Ingredients for tuna and pasta salad in bowl with bowl of dressing beside it.

Cook pasta as per package direction. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.

Chop celery, onions, and red pepper and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and cider vinegar.

Drain the can of tuna and flake it to separate with a fork.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, chopped vegetables, tuna and dressing. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Stir gently to combine.

Chilled tuna pasta salad in bowl with serving spoon.

Refrigerate salad at least one hour before serving. How easy is that! A delicious pasta salad ready in less than 30 minutes!

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS

Store pasta salad in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

FAQ’S

What makes pasta salad taste better?

Allowing the pasta salad to chill in the refrigerator at least one hour or more will all the flavours time to blend together and the salad will taste better.

Can I make pasta salad the night before?

Yes. Pasta salad can definitely be made the night before and in many cases it will taste even better the next day!

How long does tuna pasta salad keep in the fridge?

You can store tuna pasta salad covered in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

MY TOP TIPS

Don’t overcook the pasta! Follow package directions for the shape of pasta that you are using and cook until al dente. Drain pasta immediately. If it sits in the water, it will continue to cook.

There are different qualities of tuna available in the grocery store. My recommendation is to buy a high quality canned tuna.

Flake the tuna before adding to the salad. Use a fork to break up the tuna before adding it to the salad.

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Close up image of tuna and pasta salad recipe in bowl.

Tuna Pasta Salad


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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings

Description

A classic salad for a potluck or picnic, This old-fashioned Tuna Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make with simply tossing the ingredients together and stirring!


Ingredients

16 oz. pasta, cooked and dried (452g)

3 cans of tuna (7oz./170g), drained

4 ribs celery, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion

1/4 cup sour cream

2 cups mayonnaise

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. dried dill weed (or 1 tbsp. fresh dill weed)

Salt & pepper to taste


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as per package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
  2. Chop celery, red pepper, onion and set aside.
  3. For dressing: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar. Stir well to combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, place pasta,  chopped vegetables and drained, flaked tuna.
  5. Pour dressing over top of pasta and chopped vegetables. Stir gently until combined. 
  6. Add dried dill weed (or fresh if using). Taste the salad, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Notes

  1. Variation: add in 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes.
  2. Variation: add in 1 cup frozen peas; cooked and drained
  3. Variation: add in 1 avacado, chopped
  4. Variation: add in 3 to 4 chopped hard-boiled eggs.
  5. Storage instructions: Store pasta salad in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 helping
  • Calories: 557
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 788.7 mg
  • Fat: 36.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.7 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 19.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 42.2 mg

2 Comments

  1. I love having this salad in the fridge for a quick lunch when I’m busy during the week. I throw in whatever fresh veggies I have and it’s delicious!






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