Tuna Pasta Salad

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You’re going love this gluten free tuna pasta salad recipe.  You’ll just need a few simple ingredients like tuna, egg, apple, and mayonnaise you can make an easy, tasty, high protein pasta salad.  

Ready to Eat! A bowl of the best tuna pasta salad.

My family thinks this is the best tuna salad recipe, and I bet yours will, too! I like to make lunches that are quick and easy to prep and don’t require a lot of hard-to-find ingredients.

This tuna pasta salad fits that bill! In about 20 minutes you can make this simple cold salad. 

Why We Love Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna salad recipes have always been a staple in my family for years, and we’ve experimented quite a bit.  This sweet and savory tuna pasta is by far our favorite.  And if you enjoy this salad check out the gluten-free Tuna Salad Sandwich.

Best of all, it can last you for a few days. This means there’ll be ‘no-cook-lunch-days.’

And you’ll find that eating an easy salad with tuna is perfect for lunch. And it’s going to keep you satiated you for hours. 

Ingredients for the Tuna Pasta Salad

Ingredients for the best, protein-packed tuna pasta salad.
  • Can of White Tuna. I use Trader Joe’s Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water. But Bumble Bee’s Solid White Albacore is great, too)
  • Fusilli Pasta. I use Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. You can also try Explore Cuisine. They also make a great Organic Brown Rice Fusilli.
  • Apple
  • hard-boiled Egg
  • Red Onion
  • Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Mayonnaise. Greek yogurt works great, too.
  • Fresh Dill

How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad

If you like simple recipes. This cold salad is for you. Gluten-free tuna pasta salad is a very simple recipe!


Begin by cooking the pasta according to package instructions. I recommend cooking the pasta al dente. 

Typically pasta instructions will give you a range, so for instance 7-10 minutes. I use Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta which is a delicious gluten free pasta.

For Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, I’ve learned it’s best to boil the pasta for 8 minutes. 

Every brand of gluten-free pasta is a little bit different. And you might have to experiment a little bit to find one you love.


  1. Don’t add salt until AFTER the water is boiling. Why? Because salted water takes longer to reach a boiling temperature.
  2. Add about half a tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water. This will make sure your gluten-free pasta won’t get sticky! 


While the gluten-free pasta is cooking, cut the onion, apple, hard-boiled egg, and dill.

Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Add the canned tuna, sweet relish, mayonnaise (you can use Greek yogurt instead), and mustard.

It’s really easy! Just make sure, that you don’t overwork the mixture.


Chill the cooked pasta with cold water. After that spoon the cold pasta into the tuna salad mixture. Finally, season with the salad with salt and pepper. You probably won’t need to season a lot, because a lot of flavors come from the sweet relish, mustard, and mayonnaise. 

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How long does tuna pasta salad with mayo last in the fridge?

Ready to Eat! A bowl of the best tuna pasta salad.

The salad lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge. But I like to use up gluten-free pasta salad within 3 days.  However, that’s a personal preference!

I think that the sweet spot for gluten free tuna pasta salad is 1-2 days. 

How to store Tuna Pasta Salad?

I’ve found that airtight containers like these from Target or these from Amazon work best for storing cold pasta salad. If you’re using plastic containers, make sure to look for the BPA free signage.

And I’ve started to replace some of my older plastic containers with glass containers and have found that I really prefer glass for food storage.  

More Simple Lunch Recipes

What to serve with Tuna Pasta Salad?

Because this cold tuna pasta salad recipe is high in protein, you’ll find it quite filling. For a quick lunch, you can jazz up the tuna pasta salad with some of these ideas… 

This salad is a classic and we have in on our lunch rotation all the time. 

Ready to Eat! A bowl of the best tuna pasta salad.

Best Tuna Pasta Salad

Easy, high-protein tuna pasta salad. Perfect for lunch!
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free pasta, tuna
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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  • Cook pasta according to package instruction.
  • Once cooked, rinse the pasta and with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. 
  • Chop the apple, red onion, hard-boiled egg, and fresh dill. Transfer the chopped eggs and veggies into a large salad bowl. Add tuna, sweet relish, mayonnaise, and mustard to the large salad bowl. Combine everything well.
  • Add the pasta to the tuna salad mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1.3mg

A bowl full of gluten free tuna pasta salad. Ready to eat!
Hi, friends. My name is Maike. Nice to meet you. I am the blogger behind the Cheerful Cook. A Comfort Food blog where we celebrate easy German American recipes all year long

About The Author


Hi There, I’m Maike! Welcome to the Cheerful Cook. Here’s were you’ll discover easy German American comfort food everyone can cook. 

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