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!
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!
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
- hemp seeds
- nutritional yeast
- olive oil
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.
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!
How To Store Pasta Salad
You can store leftovers of this pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
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!
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
- vitamin D
More Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes
- Easy Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad
- Winter Pasta Salad With Roasted Vegetables
- 20-Minute Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad (No Mayo)
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad With Shrimp
- Refreshingly Simple Caprese Pasta Salad
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.