On a hot summer’s day, making a hot pasta for lunch or a BBQ can seem like too heavy of a meal. But when you transform that pasta into a salad, not only will you have a meal that keeps your family full for hours, but you will feel cool and refreshed as you eat it!
Tuna pasta salad can be an especially tasty treat, but also can get boring quickly. So when you want to wow your coworkers at the next company potluck, it’s time to pull out one of the following amazing tuna pasta salad recipes!
12 Amazingly Tasty Tuna Pasta Salad Recipes
1. Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
Although it may taste light and refreshing, this doesn’t always mean that tuna pasta salad is a light option. That is why, when you, or friends, are on a diet, you should make this version of tuna pasta salad found on Yummly. This pasta salad has all the basic ingredients, but replaces a portion of the mayo with greek yogurt to keep the calorie count to just 380 calories per serving. For those that want to cut the calories of this dish even more, feel free to replace the regular mayo with a reduced fat mayo as well.
2. Italian Tuna Pasta
Italians know how to make everything the best, from pizza, to calzones, to tuna pasta salad! When you are looking for an Italian twist on your favorite dish, it’s time to take a look at this recipe from Framed Cooks. It will still call for the tuna and pasta like any other recipe, but the typical mayo dressing is replaced with olive oil, and you’ll need a bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes to toss in with the pasta. Add a little lemon zest to the top and prepare your taste buds to be wowed!
3. Extra Veggie Tuna Pasta Salad
Traditional tuna pasta salad only has one, maybe two veggies in it. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t add more! Just be sure that the vegetables you add go well with tuna and whatever dressing you plan to use on your pasta salad. If you need some ideas, check out this recipe from Delicious Meets Healthy, where a tuna salad is created using a bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onion, and black olives. There are so many veggies in this pasta salad that it really does live up to the “salad” part of its name!
4. Quick Corn Tuna Pasta Salad
Did you forget you were supposed to bring a dish to the office lunch potluck until the last minute? Well, not to worry, as this tuna pasta salad recipe from Erren’s Kitchen can be made in just 20 minutes using items you probably already have in your fridge. You will need pasta (any shape you want), tuna, onions, frozen or canned corn, mayo, vinegar, and salt and pepper—it’s that easy. And all you have to do is cook the pasta, then toss everything in a bowl and it’s ready to go!
5. Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad
Typically, tuna salads are already quite creamy with the mayo, or yogurt, that most of them call for to make the dressing. But for some people, this may not be quite enough creaminess. If this is the case, then try this recipe by Gonna Want Seconds where the dressing for the tuna salad is made with a milk and mayo combo instead of just the latter. This makes it easy to adjust the consistency of the dressing for this pasta salad as you can withhold some of the milk to make it thicker, or add extra milk to thin the dressing out a bit.
6. Summer Tuna Pasta Salad
Sometimes, even a traditional tuna pasta salad may seem a bit heavy for a hot summer sporting event or midsummer BBQ. When that is the case, it’s time to pull out this next tuna salad recipe that has extra greens to make it even lighter than all the other recipes on this list. Featured on Little Spice Jar, this recipe calls for six cups of arugula, bell peppers, and onions to make up the bulk of the bowl. Don’t worry, you’ll still be adding tuna, pasta, and creamy mayo dressing—but to much less of an extent than most of the other recipes on this list.
7. Egg and Tuna Pasta Salad
A hardboiled egg is a great ingredient to add to both salads and pasta salads alike. Not only does it go with everything, but it adds lots of delicious flavors! This recipe on All Recipes outlines the best tuna pasta salad that also contains egg. This recipe calls for the lighter style olive oil dressing that is less common on traditional tuna pasta salads, but there is no reason that you can’t put your favorite mayo dressing on this version of tuna pasta salad as well!
8. Allergen Free Tuna Pasta Salad
In this day and age, it’s hard to attend an event where there isn’t someone who has some sort of allergy. So if you want to try and cater to all the dietary restrictions possible, then you should make this gluten and dairy free tuna pasta salad by Unbound Wellness. And the best part is, besides being free of just gluten and dairy, it is additionally egg free and fits within the paleo diet! It is still just as easy to make, you will just be swapping some of the ingredients—so don’t be afraid to give this salad a try even if you don’t have any allergies.
9. 4-Bean Tuna Pasta Salad
This next recipe from 365 Days of Baking and More is truly a unique take on the tuna pasta salad dish. Beyond just the regular ingredients that you would expect, like tuna and pasta, you will also be adding bean salad, a mix of green beans, red kidney beans, and chickpeas. This not only adds nutrients to the dish, but it is also a nice variation when you’ve had quite a few tuna pasta salads already this summer.
10. Spicy Tuna Pasta Salad
When you crave something with a little spice, the last thing that comes to mind is tuna pasta salad. But thanks to this unique recipe on Yummly, you can make spicy tuna salad that satisfies your craving. You’ll be adding jalapenos to this recipe, and although it only calls for three, feel free to add more to adjust the spice level. You can also replace the regular mustard the recipe calls for with a spicy mustard for some extra bite.
11. Angel Hair Tuna Pasta Salad
Most recipes call for bite-size pasta like elbow macaroni, mini-shells, or farfalle pasta to make tuna pasta salad. But this doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with larger kinds of pasta. Just take a look at this recipe from Food52 in which angel hair pasta is used in a Mediterranean version of the classic dish.
12. Vegan Tuna Pasta Salad
For those that have recently become vegan, tuna salad may be one of those comfort foods you simply can’t do without! And although vegan tuna pasta salad sounds a bit weird, this recipe from I Can You Can Vegan actually sounds quite tasty! The tuna is replaced with jackfruit, and you’ll need to find a pasta without egg in it. Then just swap the mayo for a vegan friendly mayo and enjoy!
Whatever events you have planned for this summer, a tuna pasta salad is the perfect quick dish to bring. Besides being easy to make, with all of the above variations, you can bring tuna pasta salad to every event this summer and no one will even notice! And with vegan and allergen friendly options, no one will have an excuse not to try your awesome tuna pasta salad.