Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote

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A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.

A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.
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Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

I recently saw a meme that said: “I want to live in the part of the country that adds mayo and noodles to a dish and calls it a salad.” I about fell over laughing because THAT is something I can absolutely get behind, too. Pasta “salads” are some of my favorite salads, to be totally honest.

I don’t know if you’ve had tuna pasta salad before, but if you haven’t (or if you have), get these ingredients on your grocery list — and fast. Maybe it’s my Midwestern roots or my comfort food-loving heart, but I love me a creamy pasta salad (hence, my endearment for that meme). Add to it a few crunchy veggies and some refreshing white tuna, and I’m a happy gal.

This is the most perfect side for barbecues, picnics, pool parties — basically any summertime celebration spent in the sun. Even if you’re not a “fish” person, I promise this one isn’t too overpowering or fishy. It’s the perfect balance, with the red onion and dill cream sauce binding it all together and adding some incredible dimension of flavor, while the tuna brings a nice, light protein.

A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.

How long will tuna pasta salad keep in the fridge?

You can store tuna pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. None of the ingredients are “wilty,” so it won’t lose its texture much, if at all, over a few days’ time.

How do you keep your pasta salad from drying out?

You may want to toss your cooked noodles with a little olive oil so they don’t stick together or dry out as they cool before you construct the salad. Then, once you combine the ingredients with the mayo-sour cream sauce, it should stay nice and moist for the duration of time that you enjoy it!

What goes with tuna salad?

I think any barbecue foods go super well with light and refreshing tuna pasta salad. Hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, and pork chops are all really great options!

Can you make pasta salad ahead of time?

This is a great day-ahead dish to make if you have an event to attend the following day. I wouldn’t make it more than a day ahead of time because it will lose a bit of the creaminess as the ingredients absorb the sauce. You can always preserve a bit of the sauce and mix it in right before serving.

A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.
A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.
5 from 1 vote

Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

A light and refreshing Classic Tuna Pasta Salad comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 (Makes 8 cups)

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces small shell pasta, about 2.5 cups
  • 1 7-ounce can solid white albacore tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is al dente, and rinse with very cold water. Drain and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until the pasta is cool.
  • In a large bowl, add the chilled pasta, tuna, peas, celery, and red onion.
  • In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, garlic powder, and vinegar. Whisk well to combine.
  • Pour the dressing over the pasta mixture, and stir to combine well.
  • Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve right away.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 177mg, Potassium: 197mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 285IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
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For more easy pasta salad recipes, check out:

A light and refreshing Pasta Salad with Tuna comes together as the perfect summer side dish with white tuna, shell noodles, celery, peas, and a creamy dill sauce.

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