20-Minute Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
This No-Mayo Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe is easy, quick, and healthy. Recipe is dairy-free and can easy be made gluten-free. Plus, it’s packed with veggies, like olives, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and arugula!
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!
As a dietitian, I love pasta salads for packing in a ton of protein, healthy fats, and fibre-rich veggies. They’re such an easy way to get 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.
How To Make Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
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!
For a gluten-free version of this recipe, simply swap regular pasta for a gluten-free pasta.
If you’re not an arugula fan, feel free to swap it with another leafy green, like baby spinach, kale, or mixed greens.
You can also experiment and add other raw veggies, like chopped bell peppers or cucumbers!
How Long Can You Keep Pasta Salad?
This tuna pasta salad recipe will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s meant to be eaten cold, so there’s no need to reheat it!
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.
Tuna is an awesome source of:
- complete protein, with a standard 3 oz (85 gram) serving of tuna provides about 22 grams
- omega-3 fatty acids
- micronutrients like selenium, vitamin D, and some iron.
Choosing canned LIGHT tuna (or “skipjack”) also ensures a lower mercury content than albacore (or “white” tuna).
More Seafood Pasta Recipes
- Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto
- Easy Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad
- Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad With Shrimp
- Basil Walnut Pesto Linguine With Shrimp
- Pan Seared Scallops & Zucchini Noodle Pasta
- Mediterranean Canned Mackerel Pasta
- Winter Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables & Shrimp
Did you give this Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
Get the Recipe: 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!
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!
12 Comments on “20-Minute Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad”
Hi Carrie, this recipe looks delicious and i’m keen to try it. i don’t like olives much, is there a substitute you could recommend?
Hi Sarah! Thank you so much! You can definitely leave the olives out if you don’t like them. Otherwise, the only thing I can think of would be capers? They’ll provide a similar saltiness to the recipe! Let me know how it goes 🙂
Hi Carrie. Would the recipe still be as nutritious if I added store bought greek salad (with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion and feta cheese) and greek dressing to the whole wheat pasta?
If not, please advise what I should add.
Hi Maleduma! While I don’t know exactly what’s in the store-bought greek dressing, I think it should be fine! I like dressings to have pretty simple ingredients if possible – olive oil, vinegar, mustard, etc. To make a balanced, nutritious meal I always aim to have a source of protein (the tuna), complex carbs (the whole wheat pasta), healthy fats (the dressing), and of course lots of veggies as you mentioned. I hope that helps a bit 🙂
What are the nutrition facts on this dish? I see that it’s a healthy but I was just wondering overall.
For both personal and professional reasons, I intentionally choose not to include the exact nutrition breakdown of my recipes. Ultimately, focusing on numbers goes against my nutrition philosophy as a dietitian and I much prefer to highlight the various health benefits of the whole food ingredients that I use. That said, if you would like to calculate the nutrition breakdown you can always enter the recipe into a nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal! Thanks so much for understanding.
I’m a big tuna & mayo fan so this was a nice tasty change! The dressing-to-ingredients ratio was perfect so the salad was not dry at all.
Hi Marguerite! Thank you so much for the kind review. It’s so appreciated. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this one and found it a nice change from regular mayo!!
Thank you so much, Beth!!
Such a delicious salad! I’m a college student with a packed schedule and a budget so I love quick and cheap meals like this. Your recipes have been getting me through the semester!
Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this kind review. It’s so appreciated and I’m SO happy to hear that my recipes have been helping you this semester!! That means the world. I’m excited to hear what you try next 🙂