This Mediterranean-Style Tuna Pasta Salad is made using fresh seasonal vegetables, topped with feta cheese, and makes the perfect summer lunch!
Raise your hand if you think summer lunch should be as easy as possible! Because let's face it.. who wants to spend time in a warm kitchen on hot summer days? This Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad requires under 10 minutes of cooking time and is loaded with fresh summer ingredients and tossed in a honey-mustard dressing that will make your summer lunch so simple and refreshing!
For this Tuna Pasta Salad, I used seasonal Mediterranean ingredients, but if there's one thing I love about pasta salads is that they can be so versatile! So feel free to use whatever ingredients are available or in season for you! This pasta tuna salad makes a perfect light weekday lunch or dinner and a great barbeque or picnic starter!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Minimal cooking time required (you only need to cook pasta) and ready in under 20 minutes!
- Simple, light lunch made with seasonal vegetables, perfect for hot summer days.
- It's best enjoyed cold, which makes it perfect for making ahead or serving outside (picnics, BBQs, beach).
Ingredients & Variations
Pasta - When it comes to pasta salad, use dry pasta shapes which are small in size and have lots of "pockets" such as fusilli, farfalle, penne, or rotini. For this recipe, I used fusilli.
Veggies - Use whatever fresh seasonal vegetables are available to you. For the Mediterranean-style pasta salad, I used cucumber, radish, rucola (or arugula/rocket), bell pepper, onion, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
Tuna - Use your favourite canned tuna. Make sure to drain and flake canned tuna using a fork before adding into your salad.
Cheese - Add some cheese for added flavor. I use crumbled feta cheese but you can use any cheese to your liking. Other great options are gorgonzola cheese, parmesan or grana padano shavings, mozzarella balls, or cottage cheese!
Salad Dressing - For this simple dressing, I used olive oil, honey, mustard, white wine vinegar, a crushed garlic clove, dried oregano and the juice of half a lemon. Feel free to adjust/eliminate ingredients to your liking.
How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions. (I always boil 2 minutes less for al-dente pasta). Drain and set aside.
- Wash and slice your vegetables. Drain and flake canned tuna.
- Toss all ingredients and pasta into a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare the salad dressing by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Drizzle dressing over pasta salad and toss until well coated.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese and enjoy!
What Type of Pasta Should I use for Pasta Salad?
When making pasta salad, try to use pasta shapes which are small (and can easily be eaten) and which have "pockets" and ridges or twists. This will make sure that the ingredients and dressing are trapped into the pasta, making your dish more flavorful! Some great examples are fusilli, farfalle, penne, and rotini. Also, try to use dry pasta rather than the fresh type.
Should You Rinse Pasta for Pasta Salad?
No, do not rinse the pasta after its cooked. The starch that comes out while cooking and which sticks to the pasta will in turn help ingredients to stick to your carbohydrate. Rinsing the pasta would remove the starch and its important function.
Can I make Pasta Salad in Advance?
Yes, this Tuna Pasta salad is great for making ahead! You can prepare the salad up to 2 days ahead of serving and storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Mediterranean-Style Tuna Pasta Salad
- 250 g dried pasta e.g., fusilli
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 100 g canned tuna
- 1 small onion or spring onion
- ½ medium-sized bell pepper red, orange, or yellow
- 2 medium radish
- ½ medium-sized cucumber
- handful rucola (rocket/arugula leaves)
- 100 g feta cheese (optional)
- 12 olives (optional)
- 60 mL olive oil extra virgin (¼ cup)
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove finely crushed
- 1 tsp. honey
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Drain canned tuna from excess liquid, transfer to bowl and flake tuna using a fork. Set aside.
- Wash and drain all vegetables before using. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and thinly slice radish cucumber, onion, and bell pepper. Toss vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Add cooked pasta, flaked tuna, rucola, and olives. Toss until all ingredients are combined.
- Mix dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over tuna pasta salad and toss to coat well.
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and serve cold.