Tuna Pasta Salad is a protein-rich summer pasta salad, smothered in a creamy mayo and tangy mustard dressing, and packed with fresh vegetables. It’s truly a complete meal in itself that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner, or even served as a side dish!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- This cold tuna pasta salad is perfect for summer! It’s light and refreshing and can be enjoyed as a side dish or light main meal.
- Make this easy tuna pasta salad ahead of time - it tastes even better having had time in the fridge for the flavors to meld!
- This pasta salad with mayo will only take 15 minutes of your time to prepare with simple ingredients.
Tuna pasta salad is a complete meal with healthy protein, fresh vegetables, and an irresistibly creamy and tangy dressing!
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Note: The full list of this Tuna Pasta Salad recipe ingredients with their amounts and options are listed in the recipe card below.
- bowtie pasta
- frozen corn, thawed
- frozen peas, thawed
- red onion
- cherry tomatoes
- mini sweet peppers
- English cucumber
- Greek yogurt
- white vinegar
- Creole mustard
- salt and pepper
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Cook the pasta and then drain and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Place aside in a large bowl.
- Chops and prepare the vegetable ingredients.
- Add the prepared vegetables to the large bowl with the pasta.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, Creole mustard, and garlic. Add any salt and pepper you feel is needed.
- Drizzle the creamy dressing over the salad ingredients.
- Mix the pasta salad until all ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
- Refrigerate the tuna pasta salad so that the flavors meld together.
- Serve your tuna pasta salad as a side dish or a light lunch or dinner.
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You’ll need the following items to make this recipe successfully.
- mixing bowls
- salad serving spoons
- pasta pot
- colander if the pasta pot doesn't have one
- sharp knife
- cutting board
These are the questions we are most frequently asked about making Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe.
This tuna pasta salad recipe doesn’t call for eggs but many do add hard-boiled eggs into their macaroni salad. It’s a tasty addition, increasing the protein per serving.
Tuna itself is a very healthy source of protein that can promote weight loss, however, if weight loss is your main goal then I would recommend decreasing your intake of carbohydrates such as pasta. For this reason, I suggest eating tuna pasta salad in moderation.
Canned tuna goes with a variety of spices. For subtle seasoning, use salt and pepper. Otherwise, turn up the heat and add in cayenne pepper or paprika.
Martha Stewart’s tuna salad calls for tuna, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced celery, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ground black pepper. It’s as simple as that!
- It’s important to rinse the cooked pasta under cold water to stop it from cooking any further and to get rid of excess starch. It will also cool the pasta down so that ingredients such as the mayonnaise and Greek yogurt are not affected by the heat when added to the pasta.
- You’ll find that this pasta salad tastes even better the following day as all of the flavors have had plenty of time to mix together.
- If you’re in a rush then you can serve this pasta straight after assembling it but I do prefer allowing at least 1 hour in the fridge for the flavors to mix together well.
- Pasta naturally absorbs dressing and sauce the longer it’s stored in the fridge. In that case, you may want to add in some extra mayonnaise dressing when serving any leftovers.
- You could use an increased amount of Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream to replace it, however, this will change the taste of this pasta salad slightly.
- Feel free to add in some basic seasonings such as cayenne pepper, celery salt, or salt and pepper.
- Use any pasta that you prefer the most. I’ve used bowtie pasta but you could also use cavatappi, shells, fusilli, Gemelli, or penne. Avoid large pasta or noodles though.
- Cheese, shredded or cubed, can be added to this tuna pasta salad.
- Add a different animal protein such as chopped or shredded chicken, diced ham or salami, or crumbled bacon instead of tuna.
Store this summer pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don’t suggest freezing this pasta salad as the creamy dressing may separate.
📗 Related Recipes
I love quick and easy summer pasta salads like this tuna pasta salad. If you do too then be sure to check out my Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Herb Antipasto Pasta Salad, or Rotini With Fresh Lemon And Grape Tomatoes.
🍽 Serve with
Enjoy this tuna pasta salad as a light lunch or dinner with a side of homemade dinner rolls or crackers. It can also be served as a side dish to grilled seafood mains.
📞 Chiacchierata (chat)
Summer is the perfect time to showcase this cold tuna pasta salad! I’ve served it many times as a side dish at BBQs but it’s also a complete meal in itself - ideal for those lazy days when you just need a quick and easy light lunch or dinner.
Since it tastes the best after being stored in the refrigerator, I enjoy preparing this pasta salad a day in advance of any upcoming potlucks or holidays. When it comes to pasta salad recipes, this tuna pasta salad with mayo is certainly one to try!
Tutti a tavolo, è pronto!
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📝 Recipe Card
Cold tuna pasta salad is my go-to recipe during those hot summer months when I only have the energy to whip up something fast while still benefiting from wholesome ingredients and incredible flavors! It certainly beats takeout!
This easy pasta salad is made with protein-rich tuna, a creamy mayonnaise and mustard dressing and fresh vegetables.
Next time try our Shrimp Salad recipe. It's a staple during the hot summer months.
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Quick and Easy Cold Tuna Pasta Salad
- 12 oz Bowtie Pasta uncooked
- 1 cup Frozen Corn thawed
- 1 cup Frozen Peas thawed
- ½ Red onion dices
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup English cucumber quartered about ¾ of the cucumber.
- 3 mini sweet peppers dices
- 10 oz. Tuna 2 cans drained
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt plain
- ⅓ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon White vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Creole mustard
- 2 Cloves garlic minced
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking. Transfer to a large bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking chop and prepare the other ingredients.
- In a small mixing bowl add the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, Creole mustard, and garlic. Mix well with a whisk.
- Taste to make sure you're satisfied with the seasoning. Add salt and pepper.
- Add the corn, peas, red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers and tuna to the pasta in the bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing all over the salad ingredients and mix until the ingredients are covered with the dressing.
- Refrigerate so that the flavors can meld. (You may serve right away but it tastes better chilled enhancing the flavors.)
- Serve as a side or as a light lunch or dinner.