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Tuna Pasta Salad with Capers and Colorful Veggies

Tuna Pasta Salad with Capers


  • 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
  • 45 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 21/4 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


  1. Boil the medium-sized pasta shells according to package directions until al dente.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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