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This Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto is an easy, healthy make-ahead lunch idea. It’s made with protein-packed canned tuna and a dairy-free hemp seed pesto. Simple, delicious, and ready in 30 minutes!

overhead shot of large white bowl with tuna pasta salad, pesto, cherry tomatoes and gold spoons

One of my go-to easy make-ahead lunch ideas will always be a pasta salad. I love how you can pack so many nutrients into this tasty meal.

Plus, pasta salads always store so well and are meant to be eaten cold – they make perfect leftovers and meal prep ideas!

As a dietitian, I always aim to get a mix of carbs, healthy fats, and protein in most meals for balanced nutrition.

Canned tuna provides quality protein, while my favourite homemade hemp seed pesto packs in tons of flavour and healthy fats.

I’ve included recipe modifications for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options below. I hope you enjoy this tuna pesto pasta salad as much as I do!

closeup shot of large white bowl with tuna pasta salad, pesto, cherry tomatoes

Recipe Ingredients Needed

All you need to make the pesto tuna pasta salad recipe is 10 simple, healthy ingredients:

  • dry pasta (choose a short shape, like rigatoni, farfalle, penne, fusilli, etc.)
  • canned tuna 
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil
  • garlic
  • hemp seeds
  • nutritional yeast
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad

This tuna pasta salad with pesto comes together in 30 minutes!

To start, bring your pasta water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. You can use any “short” pasta shape, such as rigatoni (what I used), farfalle, fusilli, or penne.

While the pasta cooks, prepare your homemade hemp seed pesto! This is my go-to pesto recipe and all you need is a food processor or blender to mix all the ingredients together.

Next, halve cherry tomatoes and set aside. Drain canned tuna and flake with a fork.

Once pasta is done, drain it and place in a large bowl. Stir in hemp seed pesto, canned tuna, and cherry tomatoes until everything is well-combined. Adjust seasonings as desired.

This pasta salad can be enjoyed right away (warm) or chilled in the refrigerator!

wood cutting board with bowls of pasta, canned tuna, basil, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic, olive oil, and vine of cherry tomatoes

How To Store Pasta Salad

This tuna pasta salad can be easily made ahead of time and included in your weekly meal prep. It works perfectly as a packed lunch idea that doesn’t need to be reheated!

You can store leftovers of this pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Recipe Modifications

This healthy pasta salad recipe can easily be modified based on your dietary needs and ingredients that you have on hand.

If you need a gluten-free version of this pasta, be sure to use a certified gluten-free pasta. One of my personal favourite gluten-free pasta brands is Tinkyada!

For a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can swap the canned tuna with hard-boiled eggs for protein.

For a vegan version, swap the canned tuna for a plant-based protein, such as canned chickpeas! Alternatively, you can simply leave out the canned tuna and serve the pasta salad alongside another favourite protein of yours.

If you’d like, you can also experiment with different vegetables in this pasta salad. For instance, I think it would taste great with an extra serving of leafy greens, like baby arugula!

overhead shot of large white bowl with tuna pasta salad, pesto, cherry tomatoes

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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

Bragg Nutritional Yeast

Cuisinart 4-Cup Food Processor

Canned Tuna Nutrition Facts

There’s a reason canned tuna is one of my favourite pantry staples! It’s so convenient to have on hand as it can easily be thrown into meals to add a boost of protein.

A standard 3 ounce of 85 gram serving of tuna provides about 22 grams of complete, high-quality protein.

Tuna also provides other nutrients, such as:

  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • selenium
  • vitamin D
  • iron
small brown bowl with tuna pasta salad, pesto, cherry tomatoes

More Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes

Did you give this Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto 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: Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto

This Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto is an easy, healthy make-ahead lunch idea. It's made with protein-packed canned tuna and a dairy-free hemp seed pesto. Simple, delicious, and ready in 30 minutes!
overhead shot of large white bowl with tuna pasta salad, pesto, cherry tomatoes and gold spoons
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups dry pasta (choose a short shape, like rigatoni, farfalle, penne, fusilli, etc. and enough for 4 servings)
  • Approx. 240 grams canned tuna, drained (about 2 regular-sized cans)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Hemp Seed Pesto:

Instructions

  • Bring pasta water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, halve cherry tomatoes and set aside. Drain canned tuna and flake with a fork.
  • Next, prepare your the hemp seed pesto. Add all pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  • Once pasta is done, drain it and place in a large bowl. Stir in hemp seed pesto, canned tuna, and cherry tomatoes until everything is well-combined.
  • Adjust seasonings as desired. Pasta salad can be enjoyed warm or chilled!

Notes

*Leftovers of this pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
*If you need a gluten-free version of this pasta, be sure to use a certified gluten-free pasta. One of my personal favourite gluten-free pasta brands is Tinkyada!
*For a vegetarian version of this recipe, you can swap the canned tuna with hard-boiled eggs for protein.
*For a vegan version, swap the canned tuna for a plant-based protein, such as canned chickpeas!
*If you’d like, you can also experiment with different vegetables in this pasta salad. For instance, I think it would taste great with an extra serving of leafy greens, like baby arugula!

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.