Pasta Salad with Tuna

This Pasta Salad with Tuna is the classic pasta salad recipe I grew up with, and it remains my favorite summer salad — it sounds simple, but the combination of flavors is addictive, and once you start eating this, you won’t be able to stop!

Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

I was so excited to do something with my new obsession, 30 Second Mayonnaise, and this was the very first thing that popped into my mind. I love this stuff, it’s my summer comfort food. I make it in the morning and it just gets better as it sits all day in the fridge. At the end of a hot day it’s waiting there for me like a cool breeze.

Pasta Salad with tuna and hard cooked eggs

Sometimes I share unusual or exotic recipes here on TVFGI, but other times I like to celebrate the food we actually love to eat on a daily basis. This family recipe isn’t fancy, in fact it’s downright humble, but it’s so satisfying. This is one of our favorite summer stand bys. I look forward to it every year, right up there with fresh corn and ripe tomatoes. Give me a cold glass of white wine and a plate of pasta salad with tuna and I’m in heaven.

Pasta Salad with Tuna in a bowl with spoon

The tuna and egg make this hearty enough for dinner, which is the key to the success of this salad for me. The homemade mayo makes it a little bit gourmet. The fresh herbs, red onion and scallions give it lots of flavor, the peppers give it crunch and the ripe tomato a burst of summery juice. For a humble pasta salad it really has a lot going on.

A classic Pasta Salad with Tuna!

A great pasta salad is the birthright of every American family, what’s the secret to yours?

Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl with hard cooked eggs

Other great ideas for canned tuna ~


Reader Rave ~

“Just made this yesterday. Wow, really fresh and light. Just the right amount of tuna and the abundance of fresh chopped veggies makes this salad shine. Thanks for sharing!”  ~  Anita

Pasta Salad with Tuna
2.98 from 228 votes

Pasta Salad with Tuna

This Pasta Salad with Tuna is the classic pasta salad I grew up with, and it remains my favorite summer salad --- it sounds simple, but the combination of flavors is addictive, and once you start eating this, you won't be able to stop!
Course Main Course, side salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 4 -5 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups pasta curls or elbows
  • 1 small can of your favorite tuna
  • 1/2 medium red onion minced
  • 6 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large bell pepper or several colorful minis cut in small dice
  • 1 to mato cut in small dice
  • Several large spoonfuls of mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill or you can use 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs cut in wedges


  • Cook the past in plenty of salted water until just al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Dry on a clean towel.
  • Mix the first 6 ingredients together with the mayo. Measure in enough mayo to make the salad moist but not overwhelmed. Add the herbs, celery seed, salt and pepper to taste. Add the dash of lemon juice and then refrigerate the salad for at least a few hours.
  • When ready to serve, give the salad another toss, taste to see if you need more seasoning, or more mayo, (it will probably need something) and garnish with the sliced eggs

Cook's notes

  • Use whole wheat pasta for a nutrition boost.
  • Try salmon or baby shrimp instead of the tuna.
  • You can dress this with a simple vinaigrette instead of the mayo.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Thanks for pinning my favorite Pasta Salad with Tuna!


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  • Reply
    June 24, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    5 stars
    This was the perfect hot summer night dinner! I recently found out I am sensitive to gluten, rice, dairy AND eggs, but this was easily modified! I used chickpea pasta, left out the eggs and used vegan mayonnaise and I was so happy to have a quick, easy, healthy, delicious dinner I could share with my family. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lorraine Ward
    April 22, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Thaks for the recipe Idea. I will be having this for my Gluten Free Pack up, (since I work from 3pm to 11pm every night as a carer) and I have to take my ve to take my own food so that I can stop for a few minutes to have something to eat. So if you can think of anything else I can make to take with me, that I can eat cold would begreat. Thanks

    • Reply
      April 22, 2019 at 6:55 am

      This sounds like a good choice for you, and you might check my salads section, I have a lot that would work ‘to go’, especially hearty bean salads. You could always add extra protein like meat, fish, chicken, or cheese. Sounds like you work hard!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    5 stars
    Made this loved it only difference, I added fresh corn kernal since I had 2 ears left that needed using ~ great salad thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    August 7, 2018 at 2:59 am

    5 stars
    My mom made this when we were little and living at home. She didn’t add the green pepper or tomato. She added a rib or two of celery instead. Her version was quite basic, but still very delicious. It was a Friday staple during Lent. It is my ultimate comfort food, and my siblings would agree. It does get better if made ahead, and we could devour it pretty quickly!

    • Reply
      August 7, 2018 at 6:50 am

      I agree Deb, it’s such a comforting food ~ and it carries so many memories with it!

      • Reply
        Can't say
        February 24, 2021 at 6:15 am

        5 stars
        Abbsolutely right!

  • Reply
    April 30, 2018 at 8:33 am

    5 stars
    Just made this yesterday. Wow, really fresh and light. Just the right amount of tuna and the abundance of fresh chopped veggies makes this salad shine. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      April 30, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Thanks Anita, this is such an old favorite of ours, it’s nice to know you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 7:22 am

    This looks great, I was looking for a simple but tasty tuna salad and this is definitely what I was looking for! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      January 29, 2018 at 7:52 am

      I’m so glad, Mary, we treasure this recipe in our house ~ it’s simple but so satisfying 🙂

  • Reply
    Jean |
    January 25, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Lovely salad, Sue. I’m glad you tweeted it again! It looks like something I could make a big bowl of and then eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    • Reply
      January 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      I always feel like I’m ‘tweeting’ into thin air Jean, so glad you noticed 😉

  • Reply
    August 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    5 stars
    We are having unusually hot weather here in the Pacific Northwest this summer. This pasta salad totally fills the bill for dinner. Made it this morning. Impatiently waiting for it to chill. The salad, a cob of fresh corn, and garlic naan will make a perfect dinner on a hot Sunday evening. Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 14, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      So funny you should say that, Kitty — this recipe originated with my mom, and I grew up eating it, always with corn on the cob! I still serve it that way even today, although I’ve never tried it with garlic naan, that sounds good 🙂

  • Reply
    Veronica @ Big Blue House
    June 18, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    What a perfect combination of flavours. There’s not many things better than a nice refreshing pasta salad on a hot summer’s day. And I bet it tastes even better the next day!

    • Reply
      June 18, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Sooooo much better the next day!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

    5 stars
    Hi! I love your salad!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    this is the perfect summer pasta salad.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    June 20, 2013 at 6:38 am

    this is salad perfection isn’t it… I always make a pasta salad in the summer, it’s such a satisfying meal. It also makes a very good packed lunch and picnic food… love the inclusion of the egg too. Lovely stuff x

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I could eat my weight in pasta salads like this, not so good for the girlish figure though 🙂 Looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    June 20, 2013 at 3:19 am

    I love salads like this. Very light and satisfying on a hot summers day.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    This salad looks like the best possible dinner for those days when it’s too hot to even think about eating a warm meal. Also a great reason to stach some hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for the week! OM NOM.

  • Reply
    Regine Karpel
    June 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I want some!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    June 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    so lovely: and you know, pasta salads are just the absolute best lunch sometimes in the summer. i’m bookmarking this because i feel like my family will want this during our florida vacation coming up here soon.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks Shannon, you know, I even love this for breakfast (I feel like I’m always saying that but in this case it’s so true.)

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