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RECIPE
11 INGREDIENTS9 STEPS20min

Tuna Pasta Salad

4.3
3 Ratings
Tuna Pasta Salad is the easiest recipe you will ever make. Fresh, crunchy vegetables with tuna and mayo. This salad will make you a star at any potluck party. It will be your new favorite side dish for big holiday family dinners. It's good for picnics, lunches, dinners... This tuna pasta salad is so delicious, it's just good for any occasion!
Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe | SideChef
Tuna Pasta Salad is the easiest recipe you will ever make. Fresh, crunchy vegetables with tuna and mayo. This salad will make you a star at any potluck party. It will be your new favorite side dish for big holiday family dinners. It's good for picnics, lunches, dinners... This tuna pasta salad is so delicious, it's just good for any occasion!

How To Make Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad

How To Cook Pasta for Salads

Cooking pasta for salads is not much different from cooking it for a pasta dish. Boil the water and generously salt it, make sure the salt is dissolved. Then add your pasta to the pot and cook it according to the instructions on the packet. Cook it al dente, make sure not to overcook it. The biggest difference is that you need to rinse the pasta after it’s cooked. Rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool it down.

How To Prepare Arugula for Salads

If you got fresh arugula (in our tuna pasta salad we use arugula and baby spinach mix) it is important to thoroughly wash it. Arugula leaves can trap soil and grit. Immerse the leaves in cold water for a few seconds, and then lift them out, letting the grit settle at the bottom. Repeat as necessary. Dry the leaves thoroughly in a salad spinner or gently shake them in a kitchen towel.



Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Fusilli Pasta - There’re many different types of pasta, with its shape being the main variation. Fusilli pasta is shaped like little spirals, and for that reason, it’s the perfect type of pasta to hold on to rich and creamy sauces in salads, or any other dishes with a creamy thick sauce. You can use other types of pasta that are short and have plenty of nooks and crannies to trap the salad dressing. For example, you can choose to make this tuna pasta salad using farfalle, rotini, or penne pasta.
  • Tuna - Canned tuna usually comes in spring water or oil. In this pasta salad recipe, we are using chunky tuna in olive oil. It adds an extra umami flavor to the salad, mixing wonderfully with the mayonnaise.  If you are mindful of your calorie intake, you can choose to use tuna in spring water instead. It contains more protein and fewer calories compared to the oil-packed tuna.
  • Arugula - this flavorful and feisty salad green is also known as “rocket”. It has an explosive, peppery, and nutty flavor that pairs well with grains, meats, and cheeses. Arugula is always our first choice for a pasta salad. 
  • It is very important to use fresh arugula. It might turn rather bitter and influence the overall taste.
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil - When it comes to salad dressing, extra-virgin olive oil is the best choice. It’s flavorful and can notably elevate the taste of the dressing.
  • Rock Salt - the main difference between your regular table salt and rock salt is the size of its crystals and the color. Rock salt doesn’t contain any additives or iodine and is generally believed to be a better choice to enhance the flavor of your dishes.  You can substitute it with Kosher salt that’s very similar to it.
  • Mayonnaise - Mayo is a very controversial condiment. It is either loved or hated, there’s rarely a neutral opinion.  In this tuna pasta recipe, mayonnaise is responsible for its smooth and creamy texture, and a nice tart-salt balance. We don’t recommend leaving it out, but you can take this salad to a whole different level if you make and use this Classic Mayonnaise from scratch.


Tips & Suggestions

  • You can choose to experiment with fresh herbs to make your pasta salad more flavorful. Chives, dill, mint, basil, cilantro, and Italian parsley are the magic ingredients in a good pasta salad. You should add them close to serving time.
  • It is important you add the olive oil and mix before you proceed to add the mayonnaise. The olive oil creates a barrier between the pasta and all the other ingredients, keeping your past from absorbing too much moisture and becoming too soggy.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can I Keep Tuna Pasta Salad In the Fridge?

It is ok to store your tuna pasta salad in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 5 days. But it will slightly change its texture and flavor the longer it is stored. It is best served and eaten fresh. We don’t recommend making tuna pasta salad too far in advance either for the same reason. Best make it right before serving, or the night before if you absolutely have to.

Is There a Healthy Substitute to Mayo I can Use?

The best and healthiest substitution for mayonnaise is avocado. Thanks to their content of heart-healthy fats, avocados can be a great alternative to mayonnaise in salads and sandwiches.  Greek yogurt-based dressing could be your other option if you like a more tangy sour taste.



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Vincenzo’s Plate, a 30-something year old, food obsessed Italian living in Australia cooks traditional Italian meals with family and friends.
http://www.vincenzosplate.com/
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Vincenzo's Plate
Vincenzo’s Plate, a 30-something year old, food obsessed Italian living in Australia cooks traditional Italian meals with family and friends.
http://www.vincenzosplate.com/
20min
Total Time
$11.75
Cost Per Serving

Ingredients

US / METRIC
Servings:
4
Serves 4
1.1 lb
Fusilli Pasta
2 cans
(185 g)
Chunky Tuna in Olive Oil
1 can
(15 oz)
Canned Corn
1
Large  Carrot , peeled
3 1/3 cups
Baby Spinach and Arugula Mix
2 handfuls
Black Olives , pitted
2 pinches
Dried Mixed Herbs
2 pinches
Rock Salt
to taste
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
18 3/4 cups
Water
to taste
Mayonnaise
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Nutrition Per Serving

VIEW ALL
CALORIES
724
FAT
15.2 g
PROTEIN
40.8 g
CARBS
114.1 g

Cooking Instructions

HIDE IMAGES
Step 1
Add Water (18 3/4 cups) to your large pot and put it on the stove on high heat to boil.
Step 2
Once it begins to boil, add Rock Salt (2 pinches) and stir through. Then add the Fusilli Pasta (1.1 lb) to the pot. Follow the cooking instructions on the packet of pasta for the cooking time.
Step 3
Cut the Carrot (1) into small cubes and slice each of the Black Olives (2 handfuls) in half.
Step 4
Make sure the Baby Spinach and Arugula Mix (3 1/3 cups) are washed and left to the side to dry.
Step 5
Once the pasta is cooked, put the colander inside the sink and turn the cold water on. This will help when you strain the pasta in the colander. After you have emptied the pot, rinse the pasta with the cold water to stop the cooking process and also to cool down the pasta.
Step 6
Once the pasta is cooled down, pour it into a large salad bowl. Add Canned Corn (1 can) and salad and stir these through the pasta.
Step 7
Add Chunky Tuna in Olive Oil (2 cans) , olives, carrots, and Dried Mixed Herbs (2 pinches) . Add a generous amount of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (to taste) and Mayonnaise (to taste) . Stir the ingredients through really well, making sure you break down all the chunky pieces of tuna.
Step 8
Add another generous amount of Mayonnaise (to taste) and ensure there is enough extra virgin olive oil to keep the dish moist. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the fridge so it keeps cold and fresh. Take out at your convenience, serve, and enjoy!
Step 9
Take out at your convenience, serve, and enjoy!
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Nutrition Per Serving
Calories
724
% Daily Value*
Fat
15.2 g
19%
Saturated Fat
2.1 g
11%
Trans Fat
0.0 g
--
Cholesterol
38.9 mg
13%
Carbohydrates
114.1 g
41%
Fiber
8.0 g
29%
Sugars
9.7 g
--
Protein
40.8 g
82%
Sodium
2152.7 mg
94%
Vitamin D
--
--
Calcium
238.6 mg
18%
Iron
6.4 mg
36%
Potassium
25618.7 mg
545%
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