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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tuna Pasta Salad

This Tuna Pasta Salad recipe is a favorite easy meal.

Flaky tuna, tender pasta, some cheese, and a handful of peas are tossed in a simple creamy dressing with a touch of dill.

bowl of Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad

Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is both quick and simple to make with ingredients you likely have on hand. Best of all, it can be made ahead of time making it perfect for a quick meal any time.


  • Tuna Choose tuna that is packed in water so it doesn’t make the rest of the salad oily and drain it well. Solid or chunk white albacore tuna will have bigger pieces and a bit of a milder flavor while light tuna has smaller pieces.
  • Pasta Use medium-shaped pasta like rotini or shells so the ridges grab the dressing!
  • Add-Ins Celery, green onions, frozen peas, and cheddar cheese add texture and flavor to this salad.
  • Dressing – Mayonnaise and sour cream make a creamy base, while sweet relish, dill, and vinegar add sweetness and flavor.
ingredients in a bowl to make Creamy Tuna Pasta Saladingredients in a bowl to make Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad


Perfect for potlucks, BBQs, and summermeals – this tuna pasta salad recipe lends itself well to variations. Here are our favorites:

  • Swap sweet pickle relish for chopped dill pickles.
  • Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt to lighten the dressing.
  • Add a spoonful of Dijon, a squeeze of lemon juice, or fresh herbs to the dressing.
  • Chopped hard-boiled eggs are great in this recipe.
  • Try adding diced red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, or parsley.

Got Tuna?

Here are some of our favorite ways to doctor up a can of tuna for a great meal!

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad

  1. Cook Pasta: Boil the pasta (recipe below).
  2. Mix Dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine & Refrigerate: Add the cold pasta and remaining ingredients to the bowl and gently toss to combine. Refrigerate for one hour.

Whether you make it in advance or fresh to eat, keep it chilled until you are ready to serve.

As the pasta salad sits, the pasta soaks in the dressing. This is great because it flavors the salad throughout (and it’s why refrigerating is recommended before serving). Dress the salad generously so it’s nice and creamy as the dressing is absorbed.

top view of Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad in a glass bowltop view of Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad in a glass bowl

Serving, Storage, and Leftovers

When serving it outdoors, put the salad in a bowl on a small tray or plate of ice to keep it cold. Stir frequently to keep it all chilled throughout!

Tuna pasta salad can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up 4 days, making it great for lunches.

More Delicious Pasta Salads

Did you make this Tuna Pasta Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowlCreamy Tuna Pasta Salad in a bowl

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Tuna Pasta Salad

This creamy tuna pasta salad recipe combines pasta & tuna in a fresh and creamy dressing.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Chill Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

  • In a large serving bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, relish, vinegar and dill.

  • Add the cold pasta to the dressing mixture, along with the drained tuna, celery, onion, peas, and cheese.

  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Stir and serve.

Leftover salad can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Calories: 431 | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Fish, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad with a titleCreamy Tuna Pasta Salad with a title
make ahead Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad with writingmake ahead Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad with writing
easy to make Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad with writingeasy to make Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad with writing
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