This Tuna Pasta Salad is raising the bar on a classic American potluck staple, and it’s just as easy as it is delicious! Made with canned Albacore tuna, peas, pasta shells, and dill. Best of all, it comes coated in a delectable, creamy mayonnaise dressing that cannot be beaten.
This budget-friendly, full-flavored tuna dish is great for quick-fix lunches, picnics, and remains the perfect potluck contribution to any summer gathering!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- Tuna Pasta Salad Dressing – Tuna and mayonnaise are a perfect pair, so it only makes sense that the best Tuna Pasta Salad Dressing would be mayonnaise-based. In addition to mayonnaise, this dressing comes locked and loaded with big flavor thanks to sour cream, dijon mustard, and dill.
- Pasta – Medium-sized pasta shells are a classic choice for American-inspired pasta recipes, and they were made for more than just shells and cheese, folks! They have a tendency to lock extra little morsels of flavor in their crevices, making them an excellent in a creamy Tuna Pasta Salad! However, if you happen to have rotini or farfalle pasta on hand, feel free to put them to work in this recipe!
- Tuna – Make sure when you’re purchasing canned tuna for Tuna Pasta Salad, that you purchase solid white Albacore Tuna, rather than the chunk light variety. The chunk light is soupy in texture, whereas the solid white is more steaky. Steaky is better.
- Peas – Green peas are a classic ingredient in Tuna Pasta Salad. They add a slight sweetness to the savory pasta salad as well as a gorgeous boost of color. Use frozen peas over canned, as the coloring is much better and the flavor is fresher.
- Celery, Onion, and Pickles – If you’ve ever made homemade tuna salad, you know all of these ingredients are a must and pair exquisitely well with tuna!
HOW TO MAKE TUNA PASTA SALAD
- Bring a salted pot of water to a rolling boil, cook the pasta shells, drain, and set aside to cool.
- Mince celery, onion, and pickles.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the drained tuna to the dressing and mash with a fork. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until evenly coated with the dressing.
- Over with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator until chilled through.
HOW LONG WILL IT KEEP IN THE FRIDGE?
You can keep Tuna Pasta Salad for 3-4 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
IS TUNA PASTA SALAD HEALTHY?
Is tuna healthy? Yes, absolutely. Actually, this lean protein is considered a superfood, heavy laden with B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. But is Tuna Pasta Salad healthy? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but — not necessarily.
While it does contain a superfood and nice variety of vegetables, it’s mostly made up of pasta, not to mention, it’s coated in a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing.
If this news is totally bumming you out, consider making your Tuna Pasta Salad healthier by cutting the amount of pasta in half and possibly using a whole-wheat pasta instead of a Semolina Pasta. You might also consider dressing your Tuna Pasta Salad with a red wine vinaigrette, rather than a creamy dressing. That should help you cut back on a great deal of calories per serving.
5 MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Bowtie Pasta Salad is a simple, crowd-pleasing dish packing tons of flavor and an Italian flare. Featuring farfalle noodles Italian dressing, a mix of colorful vegetables, and Mozzarella cheese.
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a family-friendly side dish Ranch lovers will swoon for, with a quick and easy Ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought), crispy bacon, and more!
- Greek Pasta Salad is made with bowtie noodles, cucumbers, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and Feta cheese. It’s the perfect make-ahead potluck recipe or light lunch idea.
- Pesto Pasta Salad is a creamy pesto pasta salad, made fresh and healthy with ingredients like grape tomatoes and green beans.
- Kid-Friendly Pasta Salad is perfect for feeding little ones! With tortellini pasta, peas, green beans, and Cheddar, you’ll find this delicious salad is just as popular with the grown-ups as it is with the kiddos!
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 (12 ounce) cans solid white Albacore tuna (not chunk light), drained well
- 6 cups cooked medium-sized pasta shells
- 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 small red onion, minced (about a 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup dill pickles, minced (preferably Kosher)
In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, dijon, sugar, dill, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine.
Add the tuna to the bowl and mash with a fork to break up. Add the pasta, peas, celery, onion, and pickles and stir until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve and enjoy!
STILL LOOKING FOR MORE? EVEN MORE PASTA SALADS TO TRY!
Greek Feta Chicken Pasta Salad
Chipotle Chicken Pasta Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad
Pasta Caprese Salad
Orzo Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables
Broccoli Pasta Salad
Chicken Taco Pasta Salad