This recipe for Tuna Pasta Salad is made with a mouth-watering combination of tender pasta, flaky tuna and fresh veggies, with a creamy sauce. This deliciously satisfying pasta dish is ideal for your next backyard barbecue, potluck, or easy weekday meal.
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Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
This recipe for tuna pasta salad has an unexpected twist that sets it apart from the classic version you may have tried. The dressing is made with a combination of Greek yogurt and mayo which makes a deliciously creamy and slightly tangy dressing. Served cold, this dish becomes an excellent choice during hot summer months, refreshingly cool yet satisfying at the same time.
What makes this tuna pasta salad so great is the variety of tastes and textures. The chewy al dente pasta acts as the perfect base while the crisp veggies add a refreshing crunch with every bite. And of course, that dressing adds a delicious finishing touch that ties everything together. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying main course or a flavorful and hearty side dish, this cold pasta salad is always a huge hit.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Quick and easy recipe: This classic tuna pasta salad recipe uses simple ingredients and is perfect for those busy days when you need a delicious meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
- Perfect for any occasion: Whether it’s a potluck, picnic, or family gathering, this classic tuna pasta salad recipe is always a crowd pleaser.
- Better the next day: The flavors in leftover tuna pasta salad are even better the next day making it an excellent choice for an easy lunch.
- Versatile salad: This salad is hearty enough to serve as a main meal, but it’s also a great side dish option.
- Medium shell pasta
- Canned tuna (white albacore tuna in water)
- Frozen green peas
- Celery stalks (diced)
- Small red onion (chopped)
- Plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- Dried dill (more or less to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Classic Tuna Pasta Salad
Step One: Cook the Pasta
- In a large pot, boil the shell pasta, according to package instructions, about 7 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the cooked pasta well with cold water.
Step Two: Mix in Other Tuna and Veggies
- Add the pasta to a large mixing bowl, and add tuna, peas, celery, and onion. Toss until combined.
Step Three: Make the Tuna Pasta Salad Dressing
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the creamy mayo, Greek yogurt, dill, and salt and pepper.
- Pour the creamy dressing over the salad and toss again, until well coated and combined.
Step Four: Chill and Serve
- Cover the large bowl with plastic wrap and let the tuna salad chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Pasta: We used regular white pasta, but feel free to use whole wheat pasta if you prefer.
- Added crunch: pine nuts or sunflower seeds
- Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs add a whole new layer of texture to this tuna salad. Simply mix in the yolks to the dressing and chop up the whites with the tuna.
- More veggies: Have fun with this recipe and try adding red bell peppers, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives or chopped artichoke hearts.
- Pickles: If you want even more dill flavor, you can add diced up dill pickles or dill pickle relish. Though this recipe calls for dried dill, you can use fresh dill instead.
- Dressing additions: If you want to add more robust flavors to the dressing, Dijon mustard, a dash of Worchester sauce or a little hot sauce are great options.
How Long will Tuna Salad Last in the Fridge?
As long as it is stored in an airtight container in the fridge it will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
What Type of Tuna is Best for This Recipe
When it comes to canned tuna, both water-packed tuna and oil-packed tuna can be used depending on your preference. However, I recommend water-packed tuna because it’s lighter, has fewer calories and has less fat. The olive oil in oil-packed tuna has a stronger flavor which can overpower the other ingredients in this recipe.
Can I Use Fresh Tuna Instead of Canned?
Of course, but of course you’ll have to cook it first. Once your fresh tuna is cooked, allow it to cool, then break it or flake it into bite-sized pieces. Then just follow the rest of the recipe instructions.
More Pasta Recipes
- Roasted Tomato Pasta
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
- Baked Ziti with Sausage
- Homemade Chicken Alfredo
- Italian Lasagna
Tuna Pasta Salad
- 1 pound medium shell pasta
- 10 ounces white albacore tuna in water drained, 2 cans
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ½ small red onion chopped
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the shell pasta, according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
- Drain and rinse well with cold water.
- Add the pasta to the bowl, and add tuna, peas, celery, and onion.
- Toss all of the ingredients together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, green yogurt, dill, and salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again, until well coated and combined.
- Cover and let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
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