Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad
30 minutes or less, Gluten Free, MAIN DISHES, Pasta, Quick & Easy, Recipes, Salads, Seafood / / 0 COMMENTS

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad is a great party dish and is even better when it comes to meal prepping lunches! 

side view of tuna pasta salad in small white bowl

When it comes to using tuna in recipes, sometimes the easy ones can be boring, especially when it comes to making lunches. The Mediterranean flavors and pasta add a whole new dimension to tuna salad! 

Not only is tuna an excellent source of vitamin D and omega 3s but it’s also a lean meat that is packed full of protein. Adding in more protein keeps you fuller longer, leads to less snacking, and supports overall health. Because it is a lean meat, that means it’s lower in calories but has a high nutritional value.

In addition to all of these other nutrition benefits, a serving of tuna is a good source of selenium, iodine, B6, iron, and potassium. 

top shot of 2 bowls of mediterranean tuna pasta salad

Did you know that eating seafood twice a week could help to improve your omega-3 levels and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease? Just a simple shift in your eating pattern can put you on a positive path to improve your heart health.

Another reason I love this recipe is that canned tuna is affordable and budget-friendly so you don’t have to break the bank to eat healthier in this case! Not to mention most of the ingredients you need are pantry staples, which means you probably already have them at home, win, win!

Wait! Isn’t Tuna Full of Mercury? 

Tuna fish does have a higher mercury content than others, but when you are using canned tuna, it’s less because they use smaller fish. Also, light tuna tends to contain less mercury than white tuna.

What’s the Difference Between White Tuna and Light Tuna?

White tuna is also known as albacore, whereas the term light tuna includes a variety of different species. 

Light tuna typically has more flavor, is flakier, and is pinker in color. Albacore is usually consumed in bigger chunks or steaks, compared to light tuna which is much smaller pieces and is normally what is found in canned tuna. 

tuna pasta salad in a mixing bowl next to wooden spoon

Ingredients Needed For Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad 

Pasta – I like using penne, fusilli, or bow ties

Canned tuna – try to find the kind that is packed in olive oil

Cucumber

Cherry tomatoes

Kalamata olives

Roasted red peppers

Marinated artichokes

Shallot

Feta cheese – you could also use another white cheese

Red wine vinegar

Oregano – Italian seasoning works well too! 

top shot of mediterranean tuna pasta salad in glass bowl before being mixed up

Why You Shouldn’t Drain the Canned Tuna

In most canned tuna recipes, they call for the tuna to be drained first. In this case, you DO NOT want to drain the tuna! Not only is the olive oil used for the dressing, but it also mixes with some of the tuna’s natural fat, so some of its omega-3 fatty acids (along with the nutrition) also go down the sink when you drain oil-packed tuna.

close up of Mediterranean tuna pasta salad with a scoop on a wooden spoon

How to Make Tuna Salad with Pasta 

Before we make the salad, start by cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package. When it’s al dente, drain it and set aside. Be sure it has cooled completely before adding it to the other ingredients. 

In a large bowl combine the tuna, diced cucumbers and tomatoes, pitted olives, shallots, roasted red peppers, artichokes, cheese, red wine vinegar, cooled pasta, and oregano. 

Stir to combine, making sure the tuna is broken up and all of the ingredients are coated well.

Add some salt and pepper to taste, then you are ready to serve! 

tuna pasta salad in a white bowl with spoon

What Kind of Pasta is the Best for Tuna Salad 

As I mentioned before I like to use penne, fusilli, or bow ties. You can also use brands like Banza for added protein and as a gluten free option. If you prefer whole wheat, that’s fine too! 

How To Store 

Tuna pasta salad is the best when it is eaten within the first 2 days of cooking. However, as long as it is refrigerated in an airtight container it will last up to 5 days.

several bowls of tuna pasta salad next to tomatoes

Other Ways to Use Canned Tuna

  • As a spread on toast
  • Tuna patties
  • On a sandwich or wrap
  • In a quiche
  • Lettuce wraps
  • With crackers or veggies
  • In casseroles 
  • Tuna melts
Print
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several bowls of tuna pasta salad next to tomatoes

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad is a great party dish and is even better when it comes to meal prepping lunches! 


Ingredients

Scale

1/2 pound pasta (like penne, fusilli, bow ties)
2 (4.5 oz) cans tuna, packed in olive oil
1 cup English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted, halved
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tuna, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, roasted red peppers, artichokes, shallot, feta cheese, red wine vinegar, and oregano. Toss to combine making sure the tuna is broken up and all ingredients are distributed throughout the mixture.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Notes

  • Can use alternative pasta choices like a bean-based pasta, whole grain pasta, or any pasta of choice.

Keywords: pasta salad, pasta, tuna, tuna salad, mediterranean

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