This is a yummy and Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe! This classic American lunch or potluck recipe is easy to prepare and store until you’re ready to serve. I’ve included gluten-free and dairy-free options so you can adapt this great recipe to your dietary needs.

a bowl of pasta salad with tuna

This tuna pasta salad comes together in a flash and tastes even better on day two! If you need a quick, easy meal then look no further.

Tuna and Greek yogurt add protein while the pasta fills you up. Crunchy vegetables like celery and onion help add texture and nutrition.

It’s easy to customize and tastes delicious! Make this creamy tuna pasta salad recipe gluten-free and dairy-free with a few simple ingredient swaps.

Your kids will gobble this cold tuna pasta salad up! It’s versatile and can be served as a side dish, light lunch, or dinner. You could also serve this tuna macaroni salad at a picnic or barbecue. Make it a day ahead and pop it into a cooler before you head out.

Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad Benefits

  • Canned tuna is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also rich in nutrients like iodine, zinc, and selenium.
  • Delicious and kid-friendly, this recipe comes together in only 35 minutes. It’s a great easy salad with crunchy veggies.
  • Tuna pasta salad makes amazing leftovers and can be served as a main dish or a great side dish.

Tuna Pasta Salad Ingredients

elbow macaroni, celery, red onion, tuna,  yogurt, mayonnaise, and dill.

Elbow macaroni – For that classic look and taste, use elbow macaroni pasta. You can use any type of pasta you want though. Shell pasta or bow tie pasta are also great. Smaller-shaped pastas will get more sauce coverage.

Swap out regular pasta for gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free.

Albacore tuna – Albacore tuna has a tender and flaky texture perfect for salads. Tuna packed in water will have less calories and fat. You can also use chunk light tuna packed in its own juices.

Celery – For a nice crunch!

Red onion – Red onion has a strong flavor and good crunch. If you don’t like it, omit it.

Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is the base for the creamy dressing. You can use any variety you choose. Full-fat or low-fat both work great.

Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt adds extra protein and tang.

Lemon – Fresh squeezed lemon juice makes the flavors pop!

Seasoning – Don’t forget to season your pasta salad. Salt, pepper, and fresh dill weed are all you need.

Recipe Steps

how to make tuna pasta salad.

Step One

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stovetop. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, scoop the tuna into a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to break it up into small pieces.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Add the celery, onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper to the bowl, and stir to combine.

Step Three

Once the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and rinse it with cold water.

Pour the drained pasta into the large bowl with the tuna mixture. Toss gently to combine.

Step Four

Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later. Feel free to top with fresh chopped herbs or green onions for extra crunch and flavor.

I hope you agree that this easy tuna macaroni salad is a great option for meal prepping for easy dinners.

Serve it chilled or at room temperature.

a bowl of pasta salad with tuna.

Recipe Tips

  • Try to find sustainably-harvested canned tuna. I like the Wild Planet brand.
  • See my list of the best gluten-free pasta brands. For this recipe, I recommend the Tinkyada brand.
  • If you want to make this recipe even lighter, you can decrease the mayonnaise to ¼ cup and increase the Greek yogurt to ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons.
  • Store any leftover salad in an airtight container covered with a lid or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • If you take this salad to a potluck, be sure to keep it refrigerated until it’s time to serve. The salad should not sit out for more than 4 hours to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Hard boiled eggs, chopped bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes make delicious additions.
  • Want a low-carb tuna salad option? Try this Tuna Cucumber Salad.

Pasta Salad Recipe FAQs

Is tuna pasta salad good for you?

Homemade tuna pasta salad is healthier for you than store-bought. Store-bought can have unwanted additives, sugar, and artificial flavorings. This salad is also packed with protein from the tuna. You can substitute whole wheat pasta for added nutrients and complex carbs. Also, many pasta salad recipes use sour cream, but yogurt is a healthier swap.

Can you eat cold tuna pasta?

Yes! Tuna pasta salad tastes delicious cold. It’s one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day.

big bowl of tuna pasta salad.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

And, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!

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a bowl of tuna pasta salad

Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad

This is a yummy and Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe! This classic American lunch or potluck recipe is easy to prepare and store until you’re ready to serve. Gluten-free and dairy-free options included.

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 12ounce box or bag of elbow macaroni pasta (use gluten-free pasta to make this recipe gluten-free)
  • 2 5ounce cans of albacore solid white tuna
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (use coconut yogurt for dairy-free diets)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, open the cans of tuna into a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to break up the tuna into bite-sized pieces or into flakes.
  3. Add the celery, onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper to the bowl, and stir to combine.
  4. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it in a colander. Pour the drained pasta into the bowl with the tuna and the other ingredients and toss gently to combine.
  5. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  1. Try to find sustainably-harvested canned tuna.
  2. You can use whole wheat pasta if you like.
  3. If you want to make this recipe even lighter, you can decrease the mayonnaise to ¼ cup and increase the Greek yogurt to ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons.
  4. Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. If you take this salad to a potluck, be sure to keep it refrigerated until it’s time to serve. The salad should not sit out for more than 4 hours to prevent foodborne illness.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 307
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 383.7 mg
  • Fat: 12.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.5 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 14.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 21.2 mg

Keywords: tuna salad, tuna pasta salad, pasta salad with tuna, tuna noodle salad, tuna macaroni salad

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.