The Best Tuna Pasta Salad


I can easily say that this is hands-down The Best Tuna Pasta Salad I’ve ever had!  This recipe features whole chunk tuna, frozen peas, celery, green onions, tomatoes, black olives, parsley and it’s all tossed in a deliciously creamy Italian dressing.  Serve this summer pasta salad chilled as a side salad or as a light main dish.


This is the best tuna pasta salad ever!!  It has an incredible combination of flavors and ingredients and it’s super quick and easy to make.  This easy tuna pasta salad travels well and is always a hit at parties and potlucks!


I’ve mentioned Garduno’s (my favorite little local Italian restaurant) in a few previous posts of mine. Garduno’s makes an amazing tuna pasta salad that my family has loved for years. You won’t find it on their menu year-round as they reserve this delicious cold tuna pasta salad for the spring and summer months.Years ago I was at Garduno’s picking up an order of their tuna pasta salad to go, and Julie Garduno shared a couple of her secret tips for making it …and I’ve been making this pasta salad at home habitually  ever since.  It really is the best tuna pasta salad ever!!  And it’s a favorite dish of mine to have chilling in the fridge (with a pitcher of ice tea right next to it) during the warm summer months.


This delicious cold tuna pasta salad is my family’s absolute favorite!  I’m pretty sure this salad will have you hooked right at first bite!


~ Deb

The Best Tuna Pasta Salad

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 cups rigatoni noodles (cooked al dente)
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans whole chunk tuna (packed in water )
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise (add more as needed)
  • 5 tablespoons Oregano Vinaigrette (add more as needed)
For the Oregano Vinaigrette
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups good extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. Place the peas in a colander and pour boiling water over them. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise and Oregano Vinaigrette until well blended.
  4. Place the tuna with the water from the cans in a large bowl. With a fork, break up the tuna.
  5. Add the pasta, celery, green onion, and peas. Pour the mayo/vinaigrette mixture over the ingredients and gently toss to coat the ingredients well. Mound on a platter and top with the chopped tomatoes, olives, and parsley.
  6. Toss all ingredients together just before serving so the tomatoes won't get soggy.
For the Oregano Vinaigrette
  1. Combine the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, garlic, kalamata olives, Parmesan cheese, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients.
  2. Set aside for 5 minutes to marinate the oregano and basil.
  3. Add the olive oil in a slow thin stream, whisking constantly to combine. You can also add all the ingredients to a glass jar with a lid and shake to combine.

3 Responses to “The Best Tuna Pasta Salad”

  1. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 15, 2012 @ 6:53 pm (#)

    Pasta salad is one of my favorite dishes! Throw in some tuna and that amazing oregano vinaigrette and I call that heaven!

  2. Alanna B — March 19, 2013 @ 2:28 am (#)

    Just made this. Oh. My. God. It is soooo good!! The oregano dressing really makes this dish. I’m refrigerating this for a few days – leaving the tomatoes separate. Thanks!

    • Delicious Happens — March 19, 2013 @ 4:39 am (#)

      Hi Alanna! YAY!! I’m so glad you like it! Thank you so much for letting me know!! This is one of my family’s very favorite cold pasta salads!!

Leave a Comment