This Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe is a lighter take on the traditional mayo-filled version. It’s filled with plenty of fresh veggies (like tomatoes, olives, and arugula), tons of herbs (parsley and basil), and a simple olive-oil based dressing. Plus, it’s ready in just 20-minutes. Quick and healthy – my kind of meal!
Like other pasta salads, this recipe is such an easy, fast, and delicious way to pack in balanced nutrition. Because pasta salads keep well and are meant to be eaten cold, they make a great option for a make-ahead meal. They’re perfect for packing to work/school, bringing with you on a picnic, or keeping in the fridge for a quick dinner.
As I mentioned, this recipe comes together in just 20-minutes. To start, bring pasta water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. I used penne in this recipe, but feel free to use other small pasta shapes (like fusilli, farfalle, or macaroni).
While the water boils/pasta cooks, get the other ingredients ready. Chop up the olives, cherry tomatoes, and all the fresh herbs. Flake the canned tuna in a bowl, and mix the dressing ingredients together in a small jar.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the veggies, herbs, tuna, and a couple handfuls of baby arugula. Toss everything with the salad dressing, and you’re ready to go!
Note that this recipe is dairy-free, but can also be made gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free pasta.
Canned Tuna Nutrition Facts
One of my favourite easy protein sources is canned tuna! It’s so convenient to keep in the pantry to throw into meals like this pasta salad. A standard 3 oz (85 gram) serving of tuna provides about 22 grams of complete protein, along with omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin D, and some iron. Choosing canned LIGHT tuna (or “skipjack”) also ensures a lower mercury content than albacore (or “white” tuna).
Want More Seafood Pasta Recipes?
You’ll love some of my favourites below:
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad With Shrimp
- Basil Walnut Pesto Linguine With Shrimp
- Pan Seared Scallops & Zucchini Noodle Pasta
- Mediterranean Canned Mackerel Pasta
Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
- 2 cups penne pasta, dry
- Approx. 240 grams canned light tuna, drained (about 8.5 oz)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 2/3 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1-2 handfuls baby arugula
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp liquid honey
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the water boils/pasta cooks, prepare other ingredients. Slice tomatoes and olives, roughly chop parsley and basil, and flake canned tuna with a fork. Set aside.
- Mix all dressing ingredients into a small jar with a lid. Shake and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Drain pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all prepped ingredients along with a handful or two of baby arugula. Pour dressing over top, and toss everything well.
- Serve pasta salad with freshly ground pepper and any other seasonings (as desired). Can be enjoyed immediately or kept in the fridge for later!
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