You'll love this easy sweet, savory Tuna Pasta Salad recipe. With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can make an easy, tasty, high-protein pasta salad perfect for lunch, parties, picnics, and potlucks.
My family thinks this is the best tuna salad recipe, and I bet yours will, too! I like to make quick and easy lunches 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
MAKE AHEAD - Are you planning a party or need an easy recipe for a picnic or potluck? This recipe is for you. You can prepare a day in advance.
Tip: If you're making this pasta salad in advance, give it a quick taste test before serving. You might find that adding a dash of salt will do wonders to brighten the flavors. A little goes a long way when it comes to salt.
LEFTOVERS - Best of all, this salad can last you for several days.
LUNCH FOOD - You'll find that eating an easy salad with tuna is perfect for lunch. And it's going to keep you satiated for hours.
You can find the complete list of ingredients and quantities in the printable recipe card below.
TUNA - 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.
PASTA - I like fusilli pasta, but any other short pasta will work, too.
APPLE - I like red apple because it adds extra sweetness and a bit of crunchiness, too. If you like to add a hint of tartness to your salad, choose a Granny Smith apple instead.
EGG - Adding hard-boiled eggs adds a healthy dose of protein.
ONION - Red onion adds crunch and color. If you're serving this recipe at a party, you might want to omit it, as some people do not enjoy eating onions at a party.
RELISH - Like in our classic Tuna Salad, we're using sweet pickle relish as the base for our creamy dressing.
MUSTARD - A little dijon mustard adds another layer of flavor that helps tie all of the flavors together.
MAYONNAISE - Adds creaminess to our dressing.
PARSLEY - This is an optional ingredient. If you have fresh parsley on hand, make sure to do it; if you don't, you can still make this recipe. I prefer curly parsley over flatleaf parsley for this recipe, but use whichever one you have.
GREEK YOGURT - If you're looking for a healthier version of this pasta salad, you can substitute mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt. You can also use 50% mayonnaise and 50% Greek Yogurt.
PEAS - Adding some defrosted frozen peas is a quick trick to sneak some color and extra veggies into this pasta dish.
BELL PEPPERS - are another optional ingredients you could add to this salad.
How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad
- COOK pasta according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside. BOIL eggs until hard and shock in ice water. Coarsely chop eggs.
- DICE apple and red onion.
- COMBINE all ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy.
STORE - This Tuna Pasta Salad lasts up to 3 days in the fridge. The sweet spot for tuna pasta salad is 1-2 days. Simply store any leftovers in an airtight container.
FREEZE - This salad does not freeze well.
TIP - If you don't enjoy cold tuna pasta salad leftovers, remove the salad from the fridge and allow it to rise to room temperature before serving. About 15 minutes.
What to serve with Tuna Pasta Salad?
Because this cold Tuna Pasta Salad recipe is high in protein, you'll find it filling. You can jazz up the tuna pasta salad for a quick lunch with some of these ideas...
- Vegetables: baby carrots, broccoli, celery
- Side of fruit
- Bed of Lettuce - serving the salad over a bed of lettuce is my favorite way to enjoy this pasta salad.
Simple Salad Recipe Ideas Perfect For Lunch
5-Ingredient Cold German Potato Salad - There are so many German Potato Salads. This is the one I grew up with. It's simple and delicious and has just 5 ingredients.
Warm Potato Salad (Swabian Potato Salad) - If you're looking for a classic warm German Potato Salad with a smoky, sweet, and tangy dressing, this recipe is for you.
Watermelon and Feta Salad - Refreshing summer salad with juicy watermelon, feta cheese, and fresh mint. Chef's kiss.
Waldorf Salad - An easy version of an iconic New York Salad that took the world by storm.
Egg Salad - Another high-protein salad will keep you satisfied for hours.
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Best Tuna Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces pasta
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Rinse and drain the pasta with cold water. Set aside.
- At the same time cook eggs for 10 minutes in boiling water. Transfer eggs into a bowl of cold water. Peel and coarsely dice the eggs.
- Whisk mustard, relish, and mayonnaise in a large bowl until well combined. Add tuna, diced apple, red onion, eggs, parsley, and pasta. Stir to combine. If desired season to taste with salt and pepper.