Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna is a vibrant no mayo pasta salad with tons of protein and Italian inspired ingredients ~ straight from your pantry!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

Mediterranean pasta salad with tuna, from the pantry!

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 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

what you’ll need for pasta salad with tuna

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.

  • pasta ~ I used bowtie, but of course other shapes will work. Try shells, fusilli, or penne.
  • marinated artichoke hearts and peppers ~ the combination of marinated and fresh veggies is key to this salad.
  • tuna ~ use what you love, I prefer albacore.
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • radicchio 
  • black and green olives
  • red onion
  • white beans ~ canned.
  • hard cooked eggs
  • fresh basil and thyme leaves
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna in a white bowl

Italian pasta salad with an antipasto flair

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.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

pasta salad with tuna tips and faqs

Toss the hot pasta immediately with some of the dressing

This is an old trick my grandma taught me. The hot pasta will absorb the flavors of the dressing, and the dressing will keep it from sticking together, as well.

How long will this salad keep?

The salad will keep well in the fridge for several days, and I know it’s a cliché, but it really does get better with age. It’s a great one to prep for weekday lunches.

We don’t love tuna, what else can I use?

You can use shredded rotisserie chicken, leftover salmon, shrimp, or even salami.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Yes, leave out the tuna and add some crumbled feta cheese.

What goes with pasta salad?

I consider this salad a main course, and we love it with corn on the cob and maybe some crusty bread.

Can I make this with mayonnaise?

Yes, you can make a creamy pasta salad with tuna, just substitute half a cup mayo for the oil and vinegar. I have a pasta salad with tuna recipe that uses mayo, here.

Pouring Italian dressing on a Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna

canned tuna is a weeknight hero

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

Sheet PanTuna Melts

A stack of tuna melt sandwiches on a sheet pan

Pasta with Tuna and Peppers

pasta with tuna and peppers
Pouring Italian dressing on a Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Tuna
3.91 from 41 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 crunchy veggies. It's ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 272kcal
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. Note: if you'd like to serve this as a 'composed salad' like you see in some of my photos, you can arrange the ingredients in groups over the pasta, and toss with the dressing tableside.
  • Serve garnished with more fresh herbs.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg
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.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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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