An easy 15 minutes Tuna Pasta salad recipe that is light and healthy with the goodness of tuna, macaroni, veggies, and olive oil. A perfect cold salad to serve during summer.
Salads are soul food for the summer! Right? Well, it is true. I would certainly go one up. I love my salads all year round. Between all the indulgent cooking and baking producing all the delicious but rich or spicy food, I need a salad once in a while.
Light dressings for the summer and heavy, creamy, and cheesy dressings for the winters. That’s the formula I run with.
Cold Tuna Pasta salad – No Mayo & No Creamy version
This light, refreshing and tangy tuna pasta salad fits the memo and I enjoyed having it twice in the past week. Tuna salad recipes commonly have a creamy and cheesy dressing. For this season my palette wanted a lighter version of it.
I had canned tuna and pasta in the pantry and all I had to do was throw in a vinaigrette based dressing in the bowl.
This recipe does not have any mayo or cream but is nonetheless tasty because of the tangy element from the vinaigrette. When you are done finishing it from the bowl, pat yourself for your choice of a dish light in calories.
Is Tuna Pasta Salad healthy?
When you look at this salad, you will see lots of fresh and healthy ingredients. Tuna is one of the healthiest things around. This pasta salad is packed with nutrients and is rich with –
- Great source of protein in tuna
- Omega 3 fatty acids help in immunity and are good for the heart
- Loaded with fiber to aid in digestion
- Has many essential minerals like sodium and potassium which is required for general wellbeing.
- Is low on fat because of the healthy vinaigrette dressing.
How to refrigerate tuna pasta salad?
Can this be prepared in advance?
Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad
- Alternatively, you can add chicken pieces or other fish like salmon
- Omit fish or meat altogether to make it vegetarian. You can add tofu as a substitute for tuna and get your proteins from it.
- Any bite-sized pasta which is dry. The dressing sticks better to short pasta.
- Penne, Shell, or Fusilli pasta is good for a salad.
- Peas, pepper, tomatoes
- Can use celery, dill or fresh basil too
- Olive oil-based vinaigrette
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder, onion powder
- Pickle juice
- Alternate Salad dressings – What other dressings can I use for this salad?
- Mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
- Can add parmesan cheese
How to make Tuna Pasta Salad
To make a Tuna Pasta Salad minus the Mayo or creamy, Oil is our friend. Adding olive oil in your vinaigrette preparation helps in bringing that creamy element to the salad dressing.
The first thing to do is make the vinaigrette dressing. Mix the oil along with pickle juice, garlic powder, and onion powder. Keep it ready to mix it with the pasta once it is boiled.
Boil the pasta as per instructions on the packet. Turn off the heat when you feel the pasta is soft. Mix the pasta now with the dressing since it would best absorb all the dressing when it is warm and soft. Toss it gently in the dressing and serve it.
More Summer Salad Recipes
Check out my other salad recipes perfect for the summer.
Healthy Pasta Tuna Salad
- 1 can Canned Tuna in Water 6 oz (ref note 1)
- 2 cups Cooked pasta (ref note 2)
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 cup Cucumber
- 1/2 cup Celery
- 1/3 cup Chopped Pickle
- 1/3 cup Chopped Onion
- 2 tablespoon Parsely
For Olive Oil Dressing
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon Pickle Juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- In a glass jar, add all the ingredients mentioned under salad dressing. Close the lid and shake until the mixture thickens and looks creamy.
- Drain excess liquid from tuna in a colander.
- In a big salad bowl add cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped Onion, Tunna, Chopped pickle, parsley.
- Drizzle the dressing on top. Toss everything well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve it cold.
- Use canned tuna in saltwater. Tuna in oil will make the salad too oily.
- Use any short pasta for this recipe.
- Because tuna and cooked pasta already contains salt, add salt accordingly to the dressing.