This healthy tuna pasta salad is packed with great crunch and flavor. It is made with gluten-free pasta, protein-packed tuna, lots of fresh veggies, and the most delicious creamy dill dressing. You can make it in minutes and it is one of the best tuna salad recipes ever! Plus it is totally gluten-free!
This healthy tuna pasta salad is anything but boring. It is full of fresh and vibrant colors and flavors and it has the most incredible creamy dill dressing that just pulls it all together. Add in some protein-packed tuna and you have a complete meal all in one easy healthy salad recipe.
If you are looking for a meat-free version then you will love this vegan macaroni salad that is also easy to make and perfect for summer!
This tuna salad recipe is made with brown rice pasta (that is amazing) mixed in with crunchy, fresh veggies like peppers, celery, red onion, and peas and protein-packed tuna. It is finished off with a nice smooth and creamy, bright dill lemon dressing that really gives it an incredible flavor. You are going to love it!
What makes this tuna pasta salad healthy?
To keep this tuna pasta salad on the lighter side I swapped white pasta with gluten-free brown rice pasta, which is delicious. I also included lots of fresh veggies like celery, peppers, onions, and peas and used avocado mayo instead of regular mayo in the dill lemon dressing. Wild canned tuna is also very healthy and high in protein which gives this tuna salad recipe 5 stars for nutrition!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s an easy tuna pasta salad recipe you can make in under 15 minutes!
- Only requires a few simple ingredients.
- It is totally gluten-free!
- Such a great meal prep recipe and tastes even better the next day!
- Packed with protein, fiber, and crunchy veggies.
- Perfect for parties since it makes a good amount to feed a crowd.
Ingredients you will need
- Pasta – I used brown rice pasta to keep this recipe gluten-free. The Tinkyada brand from Target is the best gluten-free pasta I have tried so far.
- Tuna – I used Wild Planet Albacore Tuna. Any canned tuna will work!
- Bell peppers – any color is fine, I used red bell pepper.
- Red onion – you can also use shallots or white onion.
- Peas – frozen peas work great but fresh ones will also work in this recipe.
- Celery – for crunch and color.
- Capers – drained capers for a nice briny, salty, crunchy element.
- Dill – you can use dried dill but fresh works best in this tuna pasta salad.
- Avocado mayo – I like to use Primal Kitchen or Sir Kensington’s.
- Dijon mustard – or regular mustard.
- Honey – to give it some sweetness, maple syrup or agave will also work.
- Garlic – fresh garlic works best but garlic powder will also work.
- Salt & pepper – to enhance all of the amazing flavors.
How to make the best healthy tuna pasta salad
- Cook the pasta until al dente (about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions) Then drain and rinse the pasta and let it cool. You can do this 1 – 2 day in advance.
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix up the creamy dill dressing in a separate bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
- You can use any pasta you like in this recipe. I used gluten-free brown rice pasta but any type of cooked, cooled pasta will work great.
- Switch up the veggies and use any crunchy veggies like carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes, or cucumber in this tuna salad.
- Don’t like tuna? If you are not a fan of tuna then cooked, diced cooked chicken breast or shredded chicken breast also work great in this recipe.
Expert tips for making this salad perfectly
- Use al dente pasta: Cook the pasta for about 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions so it is more al dente “to the tooth” (firm and chewy) and not too soft. Then strain it under cold water to cool it down.
- Make ahead: Make the pasta one day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the salad to make it even quicker. Run it under some cold water in a strainer to separate it if it is stuck together (which can sometimes happen with gluten-free pasta).
- Strain the tuna: If you are using canned tuna in water or another liquid then make sure you strain it well before adding it to the salad to ensure it does create a mushy tuna salad.
- Cut the veggies into even sizes: Like in most salad recipes, cutting the veggies into similar sizes makes the salad easier to toss and eat. Plus, it looks really pretty!
How do you store tuna pasta salad?
You can easily store this salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! Just give it a good stir when you are ready to eat it since the dressing can settle as it sits in the refrigerator.
More amazing salads to try
- Easy Salmon Salad
- Fennel Salad With Yogurt Dill Dressing
- Cranberry Chicken Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad With Crispy Chickpeas
- Classic House Salad
- Healthy Egg Salad
- Healthy Potato Salad
Other seafood recipes
- Healthy Shrimp Scampi With Zucchini Noodles
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Salmon Patties With Fennel Slaw
- Air Fryer Salmon Bites
Did you try this healthy tuna pasta salad recipe? If you did, then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print