Tuna Pasta Salad: where the chicken of the sea meets the salad of Southern gatherings! You’re gonna want another serving of this fresh and creamy pasta mix.

Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl

“Is this the best tuna pasta salad recipe in the world?” you may find yourself wondering, as your offspring lick their plates clean. Well my bias may be peeping through just a bit, but it sure makes some campers happy in this household! Tuna salad works wonderfully as a weekday lunch (just pop that sucker in a Tupperware!), a weekend gathering appetizer, or a main course meal.

It comes together in two easy steps, and delivers a healthy serving of fresh celery and tomatoes to boot. What more could a busy caretaker ask for? I suppose one could request a dressing so appetizing that it leaves no leftovers to refrigerate. Ask and you shall receive! This mayo, apple cider vinegar, onion, relish, and dill dressing leaves nothing to be desired!

And if for some wild reason you tire of this particular tuna pasta salad, I won’t leave you hung out to dry. Discover a burst of tang with dill pickle pasta salad, experience a taste of the Mediterranean with Greek pasta salad, or set a seafood date with shrimp pasta salad.

A spoonful of Tuna Pasta Salad

What Is Pasta Salad?

Pasta Salad can be a side dish or a main course, and is typically served chilled with a mayo or vinegar and oil dressing. In addition to pasta, common ingredients are veggies, tomatoes, olives, cheeses, and meats. The tuna pasta salad Jamie Oliver makes, for instance, is a yoghurt and broccoli tuna pasta salad, no mayo required. My healthy tuna pasta salad uses celery, red onion, roma tomatoes, and tuna! Some people do also make warm tuna pasta salad by tossing all the ingredients and serving as soon as the pasta is cooked.

How To 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.




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

More Great Pasta Salad Recipes:

There are a plethora of Pasta Salad recipes out there! Even the tuna version has a number of variations. You can prepare it as an Italian tuna pasta salad with the help of some olives, capers, cucumbers, and feta, or by serving your tuna pasta salad with Italian dressing. Check out the 11 options below for some salad inspiration!

Chicken Pasta Salad

Swap out the chicken of the sea for the poultry of the land with Chicken Pasta Salad. This trusty version is especially great for picky eaters.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad offers a nice blend of cucumbers, feta, olives, and pepper

Italian Pasta Salad

Journey northwest across the Ionian Sea for some Italian Pasta Salad! Garlic and red pepper flakes set this variant apart from its Greek cousin.

Shrimp Pasta Salad

Throw some delicious decapods (ten-feet) into the mix with shrimp pasta salad. A nice choice for seafood aficionados.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Green up your dinner with Pesto Pasta Salad! Did you know pesto is made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese?

Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar pasta salad is another amazingly creamy option. (Fun fact: Caesar salad was apparently invented in Mexico during the prohibition!)

Dill Pickle Pasta Salad

The recipe featured here is a tuna pasta salad with dill, but for an extra pickle-y experience, try dill pickle pasta salad!

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT pasta salad is a fine crunchy lunch (or midnight munch) choice! If you love bacon, lettuce, tomato, AND pasta, try this one.

Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing

Pasta salad with Italian dressing is a quick and easy variation. Switching up the dressing is an excellent way to ward off pasta salad fatigue!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

They say the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. Invest in your longevity with Mediterranean pasta salad!

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

They also say bacon and ranch are two of the most enjoyable flavors in the world. Invest in your happiness with bacon ranch pasta salad.

Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl

Recipe Notes For Making The Best 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 Recipe

At long last, here are the details you’ve all been waiting for! This Tuna Pasta Salad recipe is as quick and easy as it looks. Bookmark it for later if you’ve got some pasta salad lovers in your circle!


Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad: where the chicken of the sea meets the salad of Southern gatherings! You’re gonna want another serving of this fresh and creamy pasta mix.

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


  • 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


  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 (1 /8 of the recipe)
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.

More Great Pasta Salad Recipes:

Step By Step How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad