Tuna Pasta Salad

5 from 27 votes

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This creamy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe is tangy, crunchy, oniony, and delightful! Perfect for a healthy lunch, light dinner, or snack to store in the fridge. The same goes for my Macaroni Salad!

top view of tuna pasta salad on two plates

Tuna Pasta Salad | Perfect for Summer!

Let’s talk easy dinners and Tuna Pasta Salad, shall we?

Since my little firecracker of a son emerged from my womb exactly 1 week ago today, I haven’t really been doing the whole cooking thing. Also, my kitchen is still a work in progress…a different story for another time. But when I do, I usually go into the 15-minute-one-pot dinner portion of my brain to see what I can find. Some days I come up with really bad combos which you never see.

But then other times, I come up with something like this Tuna Pasta Salad and just DIE. Because it’s soooooooo good.

Yes, pasta and tuna together are amazeballs with dill pickles, peas, and a few other yummy things. Is it strange that I crave savory things like cold dill pickles and tuna? I know I’m not pregnant anymore, but I am starving and thirsty all the live long day, so I just shovel in the food. #thejoysofbreastfeeding

Anyways, this is perfect for snacking, perfect for lunch, perfect for a picnic, and perfect for summer. It’s tangy, crunchy, oniony, and delightful! I thoroughly enjoyed eating this entire bowl.

ingredients on a chopping board

Main Ingredients Needed

You only need 8 ingredients plus a little S+P to make this incredible tuna pasta salad:

  • Mini Bowtie Pasta – I love using mini bowtie pasta for this recipe because with every bite you get the perfect balance of ingredients. No huge chunks of pickle, pasta, or red onion. However, you can use whatever pasta you have on hand (probably not spaghetti, fettuccine, or lasagna noodles though).
  • Frozen Peas – if you don’t have frozen peas, you can use canned peas. Just be sure to drain them well.
  • Red Onion – or white onion. Although I love the taste of raw red onion, you can replace it with white onion, if desired.
  • Dill Pickle – please please please use dill pickles and not sweet pickles. This makes a huge difference.
  • Tuna – I used albacore packed in water but feel free to use what you have. And don’t forget to drain it!

For the Dressing

  • Lemon Juice – zingy freshness all packed into one ingredient.
  • Mayonnaise – not to be replaced with Miracle Whip, instead I have another suggestion down below if you want to cut back the mayonnaise.
  • Dried Dill – this takes the dressing to a whole new level! This ingredient is totally worth finding if you’re up for it.
  • Salt + Pepper – and don’t forget to season!

Variations

Feel free to change up this recipe to make it your own! Here are a couple of ideas from some of my reader’s who adapted their Tuna Pasta Salads:

  • Cut Out the Mayonnaise – to cut out some of the mayo, go half and half with unsweetened plain greek yogurt! This makes this recipe a little more healthy.
  • Replace Dill Pickles – don’t like dill pickles? One of my reader’s replaced them with green olives and capers and another replaced it with artichoke hearts! However, if you’re just looking for the crunch without the pickle flavor try celery.
  • More Protein – looking to add more protein to your dish? Consider adding a can of cannellini beans or garbanzo beans.
  • Replace Tuna – this might be a little sacrilege, but if you happen not to like tuna, you can still enjoy this recipe by replacing it with shredded chicken.
cooked bowtie pasta with peas

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad

For full details on how to make Tuna Pasta Salad, see the recipe card down below 🙂

Prep Ingredients

Prepare ingredients by dicing red onion and dill pickles.

Cook Pasta + Peas

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook pasta until al dente. Stir in frozen peas and cook for 30 seconds.

Drain pasta and peas. If you want room-temperature pasta salad, don’t rinse. If you want cold pasta salad, rinse with cold water.

Mix Remaining Ingredients

In a large bowl, stir cooked pasta and peas together with remaining ingredients until everything is evenly coated in sauce {made from mayonnaise and lemon juice}.

Serve or Refrigerate

Serve or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

adding dill and red onions to tuna pasta salad

Storing Tuna Pasta Salad

Store any leftover Tuna Pasta Salad in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days! The longer it sits the better it tastes. Perfect as lunch, as a snack, or as a side dish!

scooping tuna pasta salad out of pit with a wooden spoon

Love Tuna? Check Out These Other Recipes:

tuna pasta salad on a white plate

More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try!

If you liked this Tuna Pasta Salad you’re going to love my other pasta salad recipes!

The printable recipe card is down below, have a great day 🙂

5 from 27 votes

Tuna Pasta Salad

This creamy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe is tangy, crunchy, oniony, and delightful! Perfect for a healthy lunch, light dinner, or snack to store in the fridge. 
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb mini bowtie pasta
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced, or white onion
  • 3/4 cup dill pickle diced
  • 10 oz tuna (two 5 oz cans) drained, I used albacore tuna packed in water
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare ingredients by dicing red onion and dill pickles.
    ingredients on a chopping board
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook pasta until al dente. Stir in frozen peas and cook for 30 seconds.
    adding peas to water and pasta
  • Drain pasta and peas. If you want room-temperature pasta salad, don't rinse. If you want cold pasta salad, rinse with cold water.
    cooked bowtie pasta with peas
  • In a large bowl, stir cooked pasta and peas together with remaining ingredients until everything is evenly coated in sauce {made from mayonnaise and lemon juice}. Serve or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.
    close up of adding dill and red onions to tuna pasta salad

Nutrition

Calories: 618kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 23.8mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2.9mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tuna Pasta Salad

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Recipe Rating




63 Responses
  1. Tieghan

    Yes! I love this 15 minute pasta! Tuna and pasta is one of my favorites!

    Have fun with that cute as can be little one!

  2. Nanette

    My favorite is the sweet stripe zip in coral/gray. I live in the Portland area too and can always use a jacket. This one is really stylish and could be used for workout or casual dress…

  3. Alicia

    Looks GREAT! Any suggestions about using greek yogurt instead of mayo? Half and half? All the way? Definitely might be making this tonight!

  4. Kylene

    Love Racer Tanks, Signature Hoodie, and the Go Long Crews!! I just started a new work-out program and new clothes would be GREAT!! 🙂

  5. Lauren @ Dallas Duo Bakes

    Wow, that does sound easy! You know what, I’ve never had tuna and pasta together! I can’t wait to try this!!!

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  7. Amanda

    5 stars
    Lauren, I just made this and it is delicious! It was the perfect meal for me to make on a night when you don’t want to go out or spend a lot of time in the kitchen! I managed to have all of the ingredients in my pantry too. Thanks for this great meal idea! 🙂

  8. Heidi

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone, including the toddler, loved it. It’s so perfect for quick weeknight dinners. We’ll definitely make it again!

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  12. Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen

    Yum! I could wrap my head around this no problem. I love hot tuna and pasta. A cold version sounds excellent. Thanks!

  13. Stacy

    5 stars
    Hi Lauren, I have been following your blog for quite a while now and when I need a simple, delicious and quick recipe, I come to your blog. This recipe is one of my staples; I love this for a light lunch. My husband doesn’t like tuna though and I had some fresh peas from my garden the other day so I made this with fresh peas and shredded chicken, so good. My husband gave it his stamp of approval. Thank you for the wonderful recipes you come up with and you are always hilarious, I always look forward to seeing new posts from you.

  14. Gaby

    5 stars
    I had fresh dill that I wanted to use while still fresh and somehow came across this recipe, and I’m so glad I did! I had all the ingredients on hand including some fabulous kosher dill pickles… Although the recipe calls for dried dill, the fresh dill was phenomenal, and I loved the addition of the diced pickle. This recipe is delicious.I plan to make it again and might even add a little more diced dill pickle next time. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Molly

    5 stars
    Thank you, Pinterest for showing me this recipe! I needed a quick salad from pantry ingredients for a funeral at church tomorrow. These were my changes: regular tuna instead of albacore, the zest and juice of a whole lemon, 2 T fresh dill since it is wonderful now, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp. white pepper and one drained can of garbanzo beans. It is delicious now but by tomorrow when the flavours ‘marry’ it will be phenomenal. Thank you, Lauren!

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  19. becky

    can you please double check servings….i think 2 cans of tuna plus 1 pound of pasta plus extras will give more servings than 4….thanks

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    1. Lauren

      Since I don’t have any nutritional info listed, I’m assuming you’re using a food calculator for something like this?! You can divide this into however many servings you’d like. I would think 6 servings would be about right.

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