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!
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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!