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This Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad is an excellent source of omega-3s, protein, and tons of veggies. It’s made with heart-healthy canned mackerel, roasted tomatoes and bell peppers, cucumber, arugula, and fresh basil. Super delicious, ready in 30 mins, and great for meal prep or a packed lunch!

canned mackerel pasta salad with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and arugula in pink bowl

I never expected one of the most popular posts on my blog to be this Mediterranean Canned Mackerel Pasta, but somehow it is! I discovered canned mackerel last year and fell in love with both the taste and nutrition profile. Because of how popular that pasta recipe was, I felt inspired to create this pasta salad for another canned mackerel recipe idea.

This pasta salad recipe is perfect for meal prep and as a packed lunch idea. It’s got a great balance of nutrition – quality protein, healthy fats (like omega-3s), dietary fibre, antioxidant-rich veggies, as well as some energizing carbohydrates from the pasta.

This recipe is dairy-free and can be made gluten-free by using certified gluten-free pasta. It’s super easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

canned mackerel pasta salad with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and arugula in pink bowl

How To Make Pasta Salad

To make this canned mackerel pasta salad, start by preheating your oven to 400F. Chop bell peppers into 1-inch pieces and toss those with cherry tomatoes in some olive oil and salt. Spread the veggies on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Roasting really brings out the flavour and sweetness of these veggies.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. I used penne for this recipe, but feel free to use any small-shaped pasta (like bowties, cavatappi, rigatoni, etc.)

While everything cooks, chop an English cucumber into 1-inch pieces and roughly chop the fresh basil and parsley. Place canned mackerel in a small bowl and flake with a fork. Set ingredients aside.

Next, make the pasta salad dressing by adding extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a small jar. Shake vigorously to combine well.

Once the veggies are roasted, remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine handfuls of baby greens (I like arugula), cooked pasta, roasted tomatoes + peppers, freshly chopped herbs, canned mackerel, and salad dressing. Toss everything to combine well, adding salt and pepper to taste.

mixing bowl with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, pasta, and canned mackerel

Storage + Meal Prep

This canned mackerel pasta salad is great for meal prep! It’ll keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. This recipe is meant to be eaten cold, so you can easily enjoy it as a packed work or school lunch. 

Mackerel Nutrition Facts

Mackerel is an oily fish that is rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids, such as omega-3s. In fact, mackerel has some of the highest omega-3 content of any fish! Mackerel is also a great source of complete protein and many micronutrients, such as vitamins B12, B6, selenium, iron, and magnesium

Not only is canned mackerel packed with nutrition, it’s also a flavourful, affordable, and convenient staple to keep in your pantry.

canned mackerel pasta salad with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and arugula in pink bowl

More Healthy Pasta Salad Ideas

If you gave this Easy Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad a try, let me know by leaving a comment and star rating below! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more simple, healthy recipe ideas!

Get the Recipe: Easy Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad

This Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad is an excellent source of omega-3s, protein, and tons of veggies. Super delicious, ready in 30 mins, and great for meal prep or a packed lunch!
canned mackerel pasta salad with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and arugula in pink bowl
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Ingredients

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • Approx. 285 grams cherry or grape tomatoes (~10 ounces)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to toss veggies)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups small-shaped pasta (like penne, cavatappi, or bowtie)
  • 3/4 large English cucumber
  • 240 grams canned mackerel (~8 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 large handfuls baby arugula (or other baby green)

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • Salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • De-seed and chop bell peppers into 1-inch pieces. Toss chopped peppers with cherry tomatoes in olive oil and salt. Spread the veggies on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain when finished.
  • While everything cooks, chop cucumber into 1-inch pieces and roughly chop the fresh basil and parsley. Place canned mackerel in a small bowl and flake with a fork. Set ingredients aside.
  • Next, make the pasta salad dressing by adding extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to a small jar. Shake vigorously to combine well.
  • Once the veggies are roasted, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine handfuls of arugula, cooked pasta, roasted tomatoes + peppers, freshly chopped herbs, canned mackerel, and salad dressing. Toss everything to combine well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Notes

*Leftovers can be stored for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
*For a gluten-free version, simply use certified gluten-free pasta.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.