Skip the store bought tuna salad and create your own (much tastier) rendition right at home! This easy dish is made with nutritious ingredients and tastes downright delicious.
The tastiest tuna salad recipe
I’ll be the first to tell you… salads do not have to be boring! We often associate the word “salad” with lettuce and croutons, but they can truly be so much more than that. With the right ingredients you can create an abundance of healthy, tasty, and delightful (and get this — totally lettuce free) salads.
Take this healthy tuna pasta salad for example. Overflowing with flavor, this bowl of goodness is filled with tomatoes, celery, carrots, mustard, garlic, and even Greek yogurt. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s a totally delicious rotini salad. Let’s dive in!
Ingredients in healthy tuna pasta salad
For the ingredients, we’re breaking things into two parts: the salad, and the dressing. The salad is loaded with veggies for both nutrients and flavor, and the dressing is created by mixing a blend of Greek yogurt, mayo, vinegar, and seasonings.
- Dried Pasta: For your base, grab 4 cups of dried pasta. It can be whatever you prefer — I used brown rice fusilli.
- Frozen Peas: First up for the veggies is 1 cup of frozen peas. Surprisingly, they do a lot for the flavor!
- Chopped Carrots: Add texture and nutrients with 1 cup of chopped carrots.
- Chopped Celery: For more antioxidants, add in 1 cup of chopped stalks celery. Did you know celery is great for ridding your body of free radicals? Who knew?!
- Grape Tomatoes: Next, include 1 cup of sliced grape tomatoes for flavor and color.
- Tuna: Finally, the star of the salad! You’ll need three 4oz cans of tuna, drained.
- Greek Yogurt: To create the dressing, begin with 1/3 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt. This will add flavor while also thickening the dressing.
- Mayonnaise: Next, include 1/3 cup of mayonnaise.
- Red Wine Vinegar: For extra flavor, add 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Alternatively sub lemon juice!
- Dijon Mustard: 1 tbsp of dijon mustard adds a slight bite.
- Garlic: You can never go wrong with garlic! Add 2 cloves, minced.
- Dried Dill: Add a yummy, herby taste with 1 tsp of dried dill. Fresh herbs taste great here, too. Fresh herbs also work great here! Feel free to substitute fresh parsley for dill.
- Salt & Pepper: Finish things off with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper!
Tools needed to create this recipe
Only 6 main items are needed for this dish, along with a few measuring cups!
For measuring, you will need 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1 cup.
How to make this tuna pasta salad recipe
If you have a half hour, you have time to create this recipe. With 10 minutes devoted to pasta cook time, this recipe only requires about 20 minutes of actual prep time. That brings the total time to only 30 minutes.
First, place the pasta in the pot and cook it according to the directions on the package. When 4 minutes of cook time is left, add the frozen peas. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the carrots, celery, tomatoes, and tuna.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, vinegar, mustard, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper.
Next, add your pasta into the veggie/tuna bowl and pour the dressing on top. Stir the mixture until well combined and completely coated.
I recommend keeping any tuna salad leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to five days. You can cover the bowl with tin foil or plastic wrap, but Tupperware or a similar type of container will ensure that the salad keeps its freshness.
What makes this tuna salad healthier
This recipe includes diverse ingredients full of different nutrients. The peas, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tuna, and yogurt alone give you a vast amount of minerals, antioxidants, and other various nutritional benefits like fiber and vitamin C!
Plus, since we skipped half of the mayo and swapped it with Greek yogurt, you’re getting less calories and way more protein.
This salad makes the perfect healthy afternoon snack, lunch, or even side dish with your dinner. You could even bring it to your next potluck! Who doesn’t love a classic tuna macaroni salad?
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Salads don’t always have to contain lettuce! In fact, they’re often way more fun that way. Here are some more of my favorite salads with bases like broccoli and noodles!
- Light and Easy Broccoli Salad
- Healthy Greek Pasta Salad (Gluten-Free)
- Thai Noodle Salad with Walnut Butter
- Creamy Italian Chopped Salad
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 4 cups dried pasta, I used brown rice fusilli
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
- 3 (4oz) cans tuna, drained
- 1/3 nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions, adding peas last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add carrots, celery, tomatoes, and tuna.
- In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayo, vinegar, mustard, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.
- Add pasta to veggie/tuna bowl, then add dressing over top. Stir until well combined and completely coated.
- Serve! Store in fridge up to 5 days.
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