Scrumptious tuna pasta salad with capers is the star attraction of any picnic or potluck spread. This quick and easy 20-minute recipe will have you in and out of the kitchen in no time flat! You’ll love that this colorful summer salad is very versatile. Simply add or subtract ingredients according to your liking. Kosher dill pickles can be substituted for capers. Red bell pepper can be used instead of tomatoes. This popular side dish can also be served as a hearty meal for lunch or dinner.
Tuna Pasta Salad Ingredients
What are the ingredients for a delicious tuna pasta salad? Here’s the ingredient list for this yummy pasta salad recipe: medium-size shell pasta, albacore tuna, celery, red onion, grape tomatoes, black olives, capers, fresh basil, mayonnaise, dijon mustard made with white wine, apple cider vinegar, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
While the water for the pasta is coming to a boil, start prepping the other ingredients. Cook the shell pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain off the hot water and rinse briefly to cool down the noodles. In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, mustard, mayo, vinegar, cheese, salt and pepper.
How to Make Tuna Macaroni Salad
Add the cooked shell pasta to the tuna mixture. Fold the ingredients together. In a separate bowl, toss the veggies together until well mixed.
Macaroni Salad with Tuna and Capers
With a large spatula or wooden spoon, combine the veggies with the tuna mixture.
Yummy Tuna and Macaroni Salad
Generously garnish your tuna pasta salad with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. You can also grind a bit more black pepper on top as well. Mmmm…doesn’t this look scrumptious? Your delicious tuna and macaroni salad is now ready to serve and enjoy!
How to Serve Tuna Pasta Salad
At my house, a fun presentation of summer salad recipes is half the fun!
Unexpected Serveware for Tuna Pasta Salad
When entertaining friends on hot summer days, serve your cool, refreshing, tuna pasta salad on a galvanized serving tray lined with pretty linen napkins.
Today I served my summer salad recipe in an unexpected way. I used retro tin camping mugs. These make-shift bowls with handles offer the perfect way to enjoy a light meal outdoors while leisurely sitting in chairs. When everyone’s wrapped up in lively conversations you can conveniently serve this meal to your friends without interrupting the flow to ask guests to move to a table.
Serving Size for Tuna Pasta Salad
In case you were wondering, when served as an entree this tuna pasta salad recipe serves 6 adults. As a side dish it serves 8 to 10.
Kitchen Tools and Serveware for Pasta Salad Recipe
I love finding unique serveware that’s happy, festive, stylish and convenient. Over the past few months I’ve been collecting galvanized metal trays and tiered stands because I love their vintage farmhouse feel. These items are perfect for spring and summer entertaining, and, of course, for serving this delicious pasta salad recipe!
- 1 16-ounce box of pasta (medium shells), cooked al dente
- 2 12-ounce cans albacore tuna packed in water, fully drained
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 + 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard (made with white wine)
- 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnishing
- 4 – 5 tablespoons non-pareil capers, fully drained (plus more for garnishing)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 10.5 ounces grape tomatoes (about 2–1/4 cups), halved
- 1 6-ounce can medium black olives, halved
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, plus more for garnishing
- 4 twists of freshly-ground black pepper for garnishing
- Boil the medium-sized pasta shells according to package directions until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, cut and slice the veggies. Add them to a large bowl along with the capers. Toss all of the ingredients together.
- Open two cans of tuna and drain off the water. Add the tuna to a large bowl along with the mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Using a fork, break up the tuna into small pieces and mix well.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain off the water. In a colander, rinse the pasta briefly to cool it down and bring it to room temperature. Add the pasta to the tuna mixture. With a large spatula or wooden spoon, fold everything together until combined.
- Add the tuna-and-pasta mixture to the veggies. Fold all the ingredients together. Generously garnish the top of your tuna pasta salad with freshly-ground black pepper, Parmesan cheese, and thin slices of fresh basil. If desired, sprinkle a few extra capers on top. Your delicious summer salad is ready to serve and enjoy!
A NOTE ABOUT THE QUANTITY OF CAPERS FOR THIS RECIPE: I absolutely love the tangy flavor of capers, so I use the full 5 tablespoons. But if you’re not familiar with this ingredient, I recommend that you first assemble the tuna pasta salad using just 4 tablespoons. Then before garnishing the salad do a quick taste test. If desired, adjust the quantity of capers upwards.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Picnic, Potluck, Party
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: tuna pasta salad, cold pasta salad, tuna pasta salad recipe
TUNA PASTA SALAD > PIN IT NOW
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MORE SUMMER SALAD RECIPES
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TUNA MACARONI SALAD > JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
Do you have a favorite summer salad recipe? What do you think about this tuna pasta salad? I invite you to join the conversation in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!