Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna ~ I know, it’s the end of a long day and you’re starving. So yes, open that can of tuna, but don’t eat it over the sink. This beautiful salad’s got everything you crave: carbs, protein, and lots of pretty colorful bits, too. It’s a spiffier version of the pasta salad with tuna that mom made. #adulting

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

This is not only a quick meal, it’s also a no-shop, straight-from-the-pantry meal, meaning everything you need should be right in your kitchen. If you have to run out for something, you’re not making it right!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a large serving bowl

This is one of our favorite transition meals made to span that no man’s land between late summer into fall. We’re not quite ready for meatloaf, but we’re still hungry at the end of the day. The good news is that no ingredient in this go-to meal is sacrosanct ~ everything is replaceable, from the pasta to the herbs, so mix and match with what you have.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

I use high flavor pantry staples like olives and marinated veggies, they’re a great vivid counterpoint to the comforting but bland bowties and beans (and Italian antipasto flavors are a natural fit with tuna.)  If I know I’m going to make this ahead of time, I like to visit the olive bar at my supermarket and fill a small container with various olives and marinated peppers, etc. That way I can buy just what I need, with no leftover cans or jars to store in the fridge.

An old potato salad technique my grandma taught me works for pasta salads too ~ immediately after draining I’ll toss the hot pasta with some of the dressing. This way the bowtie pasta absorbs all that flavor while its ‘pores’ are open!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

This salad keeps well, so you can make it ahead and, I know it’s a cliché but it really does get better with age. We use it all summer long and then into the fall for great weekday lunches.

Pouring Italian dressing on a Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna


I love canned tuna. It’s one of the few proteins that you can stock in the pantry, and that makes it super helpful for quick meals, just be sure to buy the good stuff (i.e. packed in oil, sustainable, etc.)  Here are a few more of my favorite canned tuna recipes ~

Spicy Tuna Wonton Cups 

spicy tuna wonton cups in a mini muffin pan


Rainbow Poke Bowl with Canned Tuna

Rainbow poke bowl with tuna


Tuna Mason Jar Salads

Handy Tuna Salad Mason Jars make the perfect healthy working lunch ~


Pouring Italian dressing on a Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna
3.75 from 36 votes

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna is one of our quick go to dinners, it's got everything we crave when we're super hungry ~ carbs, protein, and lots of fun colorful bits and pieces.   It's ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Course pasta, Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 lb bow tie pasta
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1/2 cup marinated peppers
  • 1/2 cup cucumber cut in small dice
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup radicchio cut in shreds
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 14 ounce can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounce can of albacore tuna drained
  • 2 hard cooked eggs cut in quarters
  • handful of fresh basil and thyme leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp more or less to taste red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta just to the al dente stage, drain.
  • Whisk the dressing together while the pasta cooks, then toss the hot pasta with some of the dressing.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the pasta and toss with more of the dressing.
  • Serve garnished with more fresh herbs.
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.

Make this Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna your own ~

  • Make it vegetarian ~ leave out the tuna and add some feta cheese for extra protein.
  • Make it with chicken or shrimp.
  • Make it low carb and gluten free ~ omit the pasta and serve it over greens.


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Tricia B.
    March 7, 2020 at 9:20 am

    5 stars
    Sue, just a note to let you know when posting my comment to give a review clicking on the Recipe Rating Stars I wasn’t able to do it… must be my computer. Anyway, if it had allowed the star review… a 5 Star for sure.

    • Reply
      March 7, 2020 at 9:43 am

      5 stars
      Thanks so much Tricia, I think it went through 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia B.
    March 7, 2020 at 9:15 am

    5 stars
    Sue, I recently found your blog/site… commented on your site, photos & recipes as a whole. I love salads – ALL types of salads & since I live in a location which salads aren’t just a Spring/Summer thing I decided to try your Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna! Loved it… a 5 Star for sure!! I will most definitely be making this again. Thank you for posting such beautiful recipes/photos & looking forward to more.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2019 at 6:01 am

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe several times now, although, as you suggest, with adaptations. The biggest one is, being gluten-free and not wanting extra carbs, I substitute coleslaw for the pasta. I use white balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar. This main dish salad is delicious. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

    • Reply
      August 25, 2019 at 6:09 am

      Linda that’s genius, I’m definitely going to try that ~ this week!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    is there a recipie? ingredients for the pasta salad with tuna? what is the dressing?

    • Reply
      July 5, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Yes, the recipe is just above where you left your comment Patti, scroll up!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    5 stars
    So full of amazing flavors! This was such a good lunch Sue, and I can’t wait to eat it the next few days also!

  • Reply
    Rain Adkins
    May 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    5 stars
    With the tuna version, try substituting lowfat cottage cheese for the beans. (Press out some of the whey as you spoon it from the container, but don’t get obsessive. ) You’ll thank me; the tuna/olive/onion/cottage cheese combination with the tangy dressing is wonderful.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    September 6, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Chock full of all my favorite ingredients Sue! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    September 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    5 stars
    Love Love this salad !! We love canned tuna and always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks SUE!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 3, 2018 at 8:39 am

    So much goodness in this one bowl. I love all the beautiful colors, textures and all my favorite ingredients

  • Reply
    September 3, 2018 at 5:23 am

    I bet this is very filling and flavorful Sue – and so beautiful too! I often forget about tuna, and yes I’ve eaten it out of the can over the sink – you know the drill 😉

  • Reply
    September 3, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Such a beautiful and delicious salad! I love how you combine all the different colours and flavours in one salad…simply amazing, Sue. Miss the time when I still ate noodle and rice.

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