Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad (Without Mayo)
This gluten-free tuna pasta salad is a fresh, light, and easy meal for warmer days made with tuna, grain-free pasta, and fresh vegetables. It’s paleo, AIP, and dairy-free.
Easy & Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
I personally can’t picture warmer sunny days without a classic pasta salad! Something about it just feels right. You may have grown up eating a more traditional version of macaroni salad from the deli (hello old school church pot-lucks anyone? 😆 ) The deli version usually includes macaroni pasta, A LOT of mayo, hard-boiled eggs, and a mix of onion, celery, and spices. This Tuna Pasta Salad will leave you feeling much lighter by using gluten-free pasta, canned tuna, greek or coconut yogurt, seasonal veggies, and fresh herbs.
This is a tasty dish that is beyond easy to quickly throw together as an easy lunch or a crowd-pleaser to bring to any spring or summer dinner party!
What makes this tuna pasta salad healthier?
- It’s made with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. Cucumber, red onion, peas, and red onion!
- This pasta salad uses yogurt. Leave out the mayo, and swap it for lighter coconut yogurt.
Ingredients Needed for Gluten-Free Tuna Pasta Salad
- Gluten-free elbow pasta. You’ll want to precook and cool this before assembling the salad. I recommend this pasta for paleo/AIP.
- Canned tuna. Only a single 5oz can is needed. I personally like to look for brands that have zero additives and are mercury-free.
- Coconut Yogurt. Sub greek yogurt if tolerated. I use this option!
- Lemon juice. The juice from a single lemon is all you’ll need.
- Chopped veggies. I used celery, cucumber, red onion, and frozen peas (bring to room temp first, omit for AIP).
- Fresh dill. You can buy this from the store or use some from a fresh herb garden!
- Garlic and seasonings. You’ll need minced garlic, salt, and black pepper (omit for AIP) to finish this off.
How to make Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad without Mayo
- Prepare the dressing. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and dill in a small bowl and set aside.
- Prep the tuna. Drain the canned tuna and add to a large bowl. Mash with a fork to break up the tuna.
- Stir in additional ingredients. Add the cooked pasta, celery, cucumber, frozen peas, and red onion and stir to combine.
- Stir in the dressing to combine. Add the yogurt dressing and stir well to fully combine and coat the pasta salad.
- Serve fresh and enjoy! Top with additional salt and pepper if desired.
This pasta salad is definitely best fresh. If you do store it for later, keep the pasta separately to keep it from getting hard and drying out.
Can you use something other than yogurt?
You can also use traditional mayo or a mayo alternative if you can tolerate it, but I recommend sticking with yogurt for that light and tangy flavor.
What tuna should you use?
I personally like the brands Wild Planet and Safe Catch! These brands both have a lot of nutrients maintained in the tuna by not being overly processed.
Can you use salmon instead of tuna?
It will definitely change the flavor, but it should likely work just fine!
You’ll also like…Print
- 1 cup coconut yogurt (Sub greek yogurt if tolerated. I use this)
- Juice of lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 5oz can tuna
- 6 oz gluten-free elbow pasta, cooked and cooled (use this for paleo/AIP)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup frozen peas (brought to room temperature, omit for AIP)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- Prepare the dressing by combining the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and dill. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Drain the canned tuna and add to a large bowl. Mash with a fork to break up the tuna.
- Add the cooked pasta, celery, cucumber, frozen peas, and red onion and stir to combine. Add the yogurt dressing and stir well to fully combine and coat the pasta salad.
- Serve fresh topped with additional salt and pepper if desired.
All nutrition facts are estimates and will vary.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Category: Sides
- Method: No-bake
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 212
- Fat: 5.6g
- Carbohydrates: 26g
- Fiber: 2.3g
- Protein: 17.6g
Keywords: tuna pasta salad