Pasta salad with tuna is such a classic dish, and with good reason. A family favorite, both as a quick dinner, as a make ahead lunch or as a side dish at your summer party buffet, this is possibly one of the most popular ways to use canned tuna. This healthy pasta salad with tuna recipe incorporates your favorite ingredients, but we use light mayo and Greek yogurt to cut down on calories.
What you need to make pasta salad with tuna and sweetcorn
- Tuna chunks (the canned version)
- Light mayonnaise
- Low fat Greek yogurt
- Sweetcorn – frozen or canned
- Lemon juice – from 1/4 lemon
How to make pasta salad with tuna
Cook the pasta following package instructions, and drain off the water. In a bowl, mix sweetcorn, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and drained tuna chunks. Combine thoroughly and add pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked pasta, and make sure that every piece of pasta is completely coated by the tuna mixture. This recipe is also very easily adjustable, and if you prefer, you can add more ingredients. Green peas, boiled eggs, pickles, red peppers and radishes would all be excellent additions to the salad.
Can you freeze pasta salad with tuna?
I would not recommend freezing this dish. Both mayonnaise and Greek yogurt has a tendency to separate, and you will end up with a oily, watery mess of a salad after it’s thawed. You can however store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, so this dish is perfect for a weekly meal prep.
What can you serve with this tuna pasta dish?
Pasta salad with tuna and sweetcorn is a common side dish to find at a potluck or a summer garden party. I like to eat it on its own for lunch or as a light dinner. Sometimes I serve it with a light salad to add more veggies to the meal. Tomato and cucumber salad is one of my favorite side salads because of how colorful and simple it is. Alternatively, try it with Slow cooker lemon chicken for a larger Mediterranean inspired meal.
Tips and substitutions
Pasta – I like to use small pieces of pasta for this recipe, like fusilli, penne, farfalle (bowtie) or conchiglie. You can of course substitute for any type of pasta that you enjoy. To add more protein, consider trying a bean-based pasta, like chickpea pasta or black bean pasta. Bean pasta is made by the flour of crushed beans instead of regular white flour, and is very filling.
Mayonnaise – I prefer using light or low fat mayonnaise. The majority of the flavor in this dish comes from the tuna, and I don’t think you can taste any difference between low fat and regular mayonnaise. Use the one you have on hand, or the variety you prefer.
Greek yogurt – Tuna salad is typically used with mayonnaise, but I have chosen to replace part of it with Greek yogurt. I think this lightens the flavor slightly. It also reduces the fat content of the pasta salad and the overall calories. You can substitute the Greek yogurt for more mayonnaise if you want, or any other creamy dairy product like creme fraiche or even sour cream.
Tuna – For this recipe I just one small can of tuna chunks in brine. Canned tuna is cheap and very convenient. I think brine adds a great flavor to tuna, but you can also use tuna chunks in water or tuna chunks in oil.
Pasta salad with tuna
- 145 g tinned tuna chunks in brine, drained one small tin
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt I use reduced fat version
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise I use reduced fat version
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 125 g dry pasta I used fusilli
- 75 g frozen sweetcorn
- pepper to taste
- Boil pasta following package instructions. Drain off the water when it's cooked through.
- Add frozen sweetcorn to a small bowl and cover with boiling water. I use water from the kettle. Let it sit for about a minute, then drain. This will defrost the sweetcorn. Alternatively, you can use tinned or defrosted sweetcorn and skip this step.
- Add drained tuna chunks, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sweetcorn and lemon juice to a bowl, and mash to combine. Add pepper to taste.
- Combine the tuna mixture with the boiled and drained pasta. Try to cover the pasta completely in the mixture