Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad with your favorite pasta, canned tuna and creamy Greek yogurt dressing. It’s seasoned to perfection and loaded with crispy vegetables!
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Wondering what to do with the cans of tuna piling up in your cupboard? Instead of making a healthy tuna salad sandwich for the 100th time, make this simple healthy tuna pasta salad!
The ratio of pasta to flaky tuna to crispy crunchy veggies is just right and I can’t help but boast about the flavor. This pasta salad with tuna is so creamy and fresh!
Ingredients for Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
To make this healthy tuna pasta salad, you will need just a few simple ingredients.
- Pasta: I prefer using whole grain pasta for this salad recipe but you can use white pasta, whole wheat pasta, or gluten free pasta if you’d like. You do want pasta to be short to hold the salad dressing and all other ingredients.
- Peas: Fresh peas or frozen peas can work. Add a pop of color and a bit of a bite.
- Grape tomatoes: These tomatoes are not overly juicy, but still have plenty of flavors. Can also use cherry tomatoes.
- Celery & red onion: Biting into those little crispy bits is the best!
- Fresh herbs: Fresh dill or fresh parsley cuts right through the creamy yogurt and mayo. It brightens up the whole pasta salad with tuna!
- Yogurt and mayonnaise: The base of the creamy dressing that takes on the flavor of the vinegar, sugar, and dill. To make it a bit lighter go ahead and use all yogurt, keeping in mind it won’t be as flavorful.
- Red wine vinegar: The other acid that helps give this salad its zest. Can also use fresh lemon juice.
- Sugar, salt, & pepper: Seasonings to boost the flavor. Sugar is the secret!
How to Make Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
Here is a quick overview how to make this healthy tuna pasta salad recipe. Cook the noodles, chop your vegetables, toss everything together, and bam!
Cook pasta: In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions to al dente. If the instructions don’t specify that, minus 2-3 minutes from the cooking time on the package.
While pasta is cooking, slice tomatoes, dice the celery and onion and chop your dill.
Once the noodles are done cooking, immediately drain the water and transfer everything to a large bowl. Stir in the peas and set that aside for now.
This is where you’ll notice using frozen peas is OK because the pasta will help to thaw them. If using fresh sweet peas, then can add with other ingredients later or now.
Open your can of tuna and drain it. Flake it with a fork, meaning gently unpack it so that it’s not all in a clump.
Toss tuna into the bowl of pasta and peas along with the remainder of the ingredients. Stir pasta salad well to combine everything making sure it’s all evenly coated.
Healthy tuna pasta salad is best served chilled once the flavors have had a chance to marry> However, if there’s no time for that, by all means, dig in right away!
This salad is the perfect opportunity to use up whatever vegetables you’ve got in your fridge!
- Bell peppers
- Sundried tomatoes
How Long Is Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad Good for?
Healthy tuna pasta salad is a great salad to enjoy the day after or even the day after that. Keep it covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
It’s also great for portioning out for healthy lunches to take to work throughout the week. It stays fresh for days, so being able to eat a nutritious and delicious light meal anytime is a bonus!
Using whole grain pasta is a great way to get as many nutrients as you can from whole grains rather than processed wheat. The added vegetables
deliver vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and the yogurt reduces the calories and increases the amount of protein.
We can’t forget good quality tuna giving us the Omega-3s we need!
You’ll notice that the noodles absorb the sauce the longer it sits. To keep tuna pasta salad moist, add some extra mayonnaise or yogurt to the bowl and mix to combine just before serving.
For any pasta salad, I love small or medium size pasta that has crevices and grooves that do the job of holding all of that delicious salad dressing. Elbow, rotini, small penne, bowties, or fusilli pasta are my favorites to make this tuna pasta salad with.
More Tuna Recipes to Try
More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try
You may also love to browse my favorite healthy salad recipes!
Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
- 8 oz whole grain pasta uncooked
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 3 x 6 oz cans tuna packed in water
- 2 cups grape tomatoes cut in halves
- 1 cup celery diced
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/4 cup dill finely chopped
- 3/4 cup Greek or regular yogurt 2%+ fat
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Cook pasta as per package instructions undercooking by 2-3 minutes or until pasta is al dente, cooked but firm. While pasta is cooking, start chopping tomatoes, celery, onion and dill.
- Drain pasta and add to a large bowl along with frozen peas, then stir and set aside. It will thaw them.
- Drain tuna, flake with a fork and add to the salad bowl along with tomatoes, celery, red onion, dill, yogurt, mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir very well until combined.
- If you have time, it’s best to let pasta tuna salad refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors “marry” each other. But you can serve it warm immediately or cold later.
- Pasta choice: I like to use small shapes like elbow macaroni, bowties, or small penne. Rotini is fine too. You can use any white, whole wheat or gluten-free pasta.
- Uniform size pieces: Chop all ingredients into same bite sized pieces.
- Skip mayo: Use all yogurt. You can also use 0% yogurt but pasta salad will have less flavor.
- Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to 2 days.
- Make ahead: Add all ingredients to a salad bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Stir before serving and let stand for 30 minutes.