Our Tuna Pasta Salad, made with creamy dressing, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs, is a true summer table staple. Works perfectly as a main dish or a side!

Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl

This easy tuna pasta salad is the perfect mixture of summertime sweetness and tang. The preparation involved here is so minimal, that you won’t even realize you’ve cooked! A recipe that doubles (or triples!) in a snap makes for a true shoo-in at any potluck or larger event, and keeps everyone coming back for seconds!

When I think of summer I think of tuna pasta salad. Of course, it’s not to say that this is not a meal that isn’t delish any time of the year, but for some reason, it screams summertime. There’s no doubt that a tuna pasta salad, no matter how you’ve grown up eating it, is a true seasonal staple. Much like my 7 Layer Salad, the amount of cooking time needed to put it together is very limited. My family has always loved this recipe no matter what the weather outside, and I am sure that yours will love it too!

WHAT IS TUNA PASTA SALAD?

Tuna Pasta is a classic cold salad made up of cooked pasta, tuna, some fresh veggies, all coated in a thick, creamy, deliciously seasoned dressing. It’s perfect for a family meal, side dish or your next potluck or church picnic!

HOW DO I MAKE TUNA PASTA SALAD?

The classic recipe for any pasta salad includes boiling pasta, chopping veggies, mixing the dressing while your pasta boils and then folding it all together. Toss it in the fridge for a good chill, and you’re all set! Tuna pasta salad is a fantastic dish that has just a few steps and you can whip it up in no time! My Tortellini Salad is a great alternative if you’re on the hunt for a quick cold salad with a completely different flavor.

SAVE THIS TUNA PASTA SALAD

TO YOUR PASTA OR DINNER BOARD FOR LATER

LET’S BE FRIENDS ON PINTEREST! WE’RE ALWAYS PINNING TASTY RECIPES!

HOW TO MAKE TUNA PASTA SALAD-STEP BY STEP OVERVIEW:

Step by Step preparing ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad

Step by Step pouring ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad

1. Rinse and drain pasta.
2. Combine the mayo, apple cider vinegar, celery, red onion, fresh dill, relish, salt, and pepper.
3. Add milk.
4. Stir until well combined.
5. Fold in cooked, rinsed and well-drained pasta.
6. Fold in tomatoes.
7. Fold in Tuna. See recipe below for full directions

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

  • Every bite is loaded with goodies!
  • The thick creamy dressing coats the pasta perfectly
  • Perfect make ahead recipe
  • Can easily make for a crowd!

A spoonful of Tuna Pasta Salad

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** DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! ** **PLEASE GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW OR LEAVE A COMMENT!**
Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl
4 from 11 votes
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Tuna Pasta Salad

Our Tuna Pasta Salad, made with creamy dressing, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs, is a true summer table staple. Works perfectly as a main dish or a side!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 473 kcal
Author Kathleen

Ingredients

  • 12 Ounces Pasta Cooked According to Package Instructions To Al Dente and Well Drained
  • 1 1/2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Celery Finely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Red Onion Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Dill Roughly Chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Relish
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Roma Tomato (About 3-4 Tomatoes) Seeds Removed and Chopped
  • 5 (5 Ounce) Cans Tuna Drained

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, milk, celery, red onion, relish, dill, salt, and pepper until smooth.

  2. Fold in pasta until evenly coated then gently fold in tomato and tuna. If dressing becomes too thick, fold in 1-2 tablespoons, as needed, of milk or water to thin.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Tuna Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 473 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 933mg 39%
Potassium 243mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 9.5%
Vitamin C 7.9%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 5.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

RECIPE NOTES FOR MAKING THE BEST TUNA PASTA SALAD:

Pasta: Use 12 ounces of dry pasta. The tuna pasta salad dressing is calculated for this amount of pasta. If you’re doubling the batch, or just making a little extra, be sure to adjust the dressing ingredients accordingly to keep it creamy! I use good ole elbows in this recipe, though you can substitute your pasta of choice. Elbows might seem old-fashioned and simple, but the pasta to added ingredient ratio is perfection. You get a little bit of everything in each bite.

Tomatoes: A nugget of tomato wisdom headed your way! Use grape or Roma tomatoes in this recipe. They have fewer seeds.

Onion: Don’t have red on hand? Not a problem! Green is a fantastic substitute and a great way to switch up the flavor.

Dill: You have not tasted a summer salad until you’ve tasted my tuna pasta salad with dill. Fresh tastes amazing, but isn’t necessary here! Dried dill will do the trick, but if you get your hands on some fresh, be sure to increase it.

Dressing: If you make this tuna pasta salad ahead of time, and I really suggest that you do, the dressing will thicken up and absorb into the pasta a bit, creating succulent little flavor bombs. However, if the salad comes out of the fridge a little thick for your liking, no worries. Sprinkle water over the salad and toss, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Some make tuna pasta salad with Italian dressing, but I take a more traditional approach.

VARIATIONS AND ADD-INS:

  • Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad If you’re looking for a try the tuna pasta salad no mayo variation. Substitute Greek yogurt for mayo here, adding a bit more tang, a ton of protein and taking zero away from the flavor. Be sure to test it out before serving, as the salt and pepper can differ a bit in taste when using greek yogurt.
  •  Hard Boiled Eggs: I love hard boiled eggs especially when added to this salad. Chop up two to four hard-boiled eggs, and add them right on in for a little more protein and a lot more flavor. Tuna pasta salad with egg is somewhat of a heartier dish as well. If you add four eggs, you might need to increase the mayo a bit.

Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl

WHAT GOES WITH PASTA SALAD FOR DINNER?

I suggest making a simple green salad to compliment your tuna pasta salad, along with dinner rolls or some fresh fruit. I prefer to make my tuna pasta salad in advance because the flavors have time to come together, and there is no need for you to heat up your kitchen during the warmest part of the day. If you’re scooping this out as a side, turn on the grill, continue to successfully avoid the kitchen, and pair it with hot dogs. My Creamy Ham Salad is another cold salad with enough oomph to star as the main dish.

HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP TUNA PASTA SALAD IN THE FRIDGE?

When stored correctly, tuna pasta salad can last about 3-5 days in the fridge, although you’re not likely to have too many leftovers with this recipe. If you make a big batch and simply must store, follow these guidelines to keep your family food safe.

MORE GREAT PASTA SALAD RECIPES:

Step By Step How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad

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My Bear Rugs!