Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

Nora Rušev | Savory Nothings

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad grabs the essence of summer in one bowl. Light and wonderful!

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Photo

Do you feel as strongly about pasta salads as I do? Walk away screaming at the sight of elbow macaroni with diced ham and frozen peas? Would never add bottled French dressing to a perfect bowl of carbs and vegetables?

I sure hope so. Because this one’s for you.

I was just telling Brani the other day how I was the strangest kid ever when it came to eating.

Didn’t like ice cream, made me feel ill. Never ate whipped cream, made me feel ill as well. Hated creamy dressings, because you guessed it: Made. Me. Feel. Ill.

Also, I became vegetarian at the tender age of eight. Something especially my farm-to-table, nose-to-tale grandparents couldn’t really wrap their heads around.

Unfortunately for them, I was a stubborn child. Fortunately for them, I stopped being vegetarian six years later. That must have been quite the sigh of relief.

The child is getting nutrients again. Ha!

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Picture

Anyways, as a young kid the French dressed ham and pea macaroni salad was basically my worst nightmare come true. (And especially so if it was followed by an ice cream sundae. The horror!)

Luckily, my mom was equally not interested in said salad and instead made pasta salads with homemade vinaigrettes and plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables.

And I’ve (mostly) kept this up ever since. Sometimes, very very occasionally, I’ll come up with something crazy like this creamy pizza pasta salad.

But usually when I want to make a pasta salad I just grab whatever fresh produce I can find in the fridge and toss it with my toddler’s favorite carbs and a simple dressing.

And when I’m feeling frisky I dice up some cheese or cooked chicken. Or, even better, I toss in a can of tuna.

Because that toddler lady? She loves eating fishies.

Now as I said in the beginning:

This Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad is for all you fellow pasta salad snobs out there. Why? Because:

  • It is bursting with fresh vegetables. I admit, they take a little more work than frozen peas (and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the convenience of frozen peas). But they also taste a lot better in a salad.
  • No heavy dressing. Just a simple olive oil, lemon juice situation.
  • Lots of flavor. There’s peppery arugula (arugula is amazing in salads, see this Farro Arugula Salad if you need proof). Salty capers. Herby parsley. And so much more - I could go on all day long.

I know we’re all busy people. Sometimes the thought of bottled salad dressing, ham and frozen peas just makes so much more sense than this crazy lady right here talking about dicing stuff and whisking stuff just for a pasta salad.

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Image

But. You knew there was a but coming.

Sometimes it’s good to break free from the thought that food always has to be the fastest. This is still plenty fast.

And it’s always, always good to skip the bottled salad dressing.

You don’t even have to follow this particular recipe. I mean you do, but on the off-chance you want to fight me on this you can also just do your own thing.

Just follow these rules: No bottled salad dressing. No mayo anything. Plenty of fresh vegetables.

Oh, what am I saying. Just make this recipe already, and then shout it from the rooftops! 

Are you tired of the dinner routine?

Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?

Our Facebook Group is growing every day! If you haven’t joined yet, we invite you to come check it out and join the fun.


You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!


Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

    4 Servings


For the Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup
  • Salt and Pepper, To taste
For the Salad:
  • 8 ounces Penne, Cooked and rinsed under cold water
  • 1 tablespoon Capers
  • handful Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 small Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Black Olives
  • 16 ounces Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
  • 1 small can Tuna, Drained
  • 2 large handful Fresh Arugulas


  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Add the penne, capers, parsley, onion, olives, tomatoes, bell pepper, tuna, and arugula to the dressing and toss well.
  3. I recommend serving the salad immediately. Double the dressing if you want to make it ahead of time, keep the salad well chilled and add the extra dressing just before serving. I’d also recommend adding the arugula last-minute, else it will wilt.


Farm to Table
, , , , , , , , ,
Related Recipes:
Farm to Table Recipes, Vegetable Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Pasta Recipes, Tomato Recipes, Salad Recipes, Easy Recipes, Easy Dinner Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Lunch Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Nora Rušev
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 116
Calories 464

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g
  Saturated Fat 2g
Sodium 662mg
Total Carbohydrate 56g
  Dietary Fiber 3g
  Sugars 1g
Protein 8g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Nora Rušev

About Nora

Nora loves to create fresh and easy family meals on her site, Savory Nothings. We're excited to have her as our Farm to Table fanatic. Things are about to get delicious!

Show Comments