lunch & dinner, meat & fish, pasta, recipes, side dish

Tuna Salad with Pasta

Even though we don’t quite have that typical salad weather in Germany right now, I’m currently totally into good, simple, and nutritious salad bowls. And gosh, this tuna salad with pasta, roasted corn and arugula meets all the requirements that you can only put on a good salad! It’s quick and easy to prepare, a creative twist on classic pasta and tuna salad recipes and it’s even healthy! Therefore, it’s perfect as a side dish for barbecues or for a little picnic. And of course, this tuna salad with pasta is extremely meal prep friendly and a delicious lunch or dinner all year round.

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tuna salad with pasta, arugula, roasted corn and tomatoes

Here’s how to make healthy and nutritious pasta salads!

As I mentioned in my recipe for the pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes, it’s really simple to create a healthy but still extremely delicious pasta salad.

All you need to do is to pay some attention to your ingredients. So, make sure to add some extra vitamins to your salad such as arugula or spinach. Besides that, you will need some flavor boosters like sun-dried tomatoes, or this roasted corn, we’re going to incorporate in today’s recipe.

And of course, we always want to make sure including some proteins into our salad, especially when the salad will be our main dish. And since we’re going to make a tuna salad with pasta, our protein source will be the tuna.

Last but not least, we need a flavorful but also calorie-friendly dressing. As you may imagine, mayonnaise isn’t the best choice for that. Instead, we’re going to sauté some tomatoes and garlic which will make a fantastic dressing – trust me!

tuna salad with pasta served with arugula, roasted sweet corn, sautéed tomatoes and fresh basil leaves

Ingredients

The quantities, as they are given in this recipe, are approximately equal to two servings. However, feel free to double, triple, or halve them, depending on how many people you’re cooking for.

And of course, leftovers of this tuna salad with pasta are a great thing here! Therefore, you are welcome to prepare the double amount and save the rest for the following days.

If you like to have a larger portion or one with more or less calories, carbs, proteins, or fats, feel free to adjust the amount of carbs, protein and fats to your individual needs.

I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more (or less) than I do.

Ingredients for the Tuna Salad with Pasta

  • 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of short cut whole wheat pasta like penne or fusilli
  • 140 grams or 6 ounces of canned golden corn (whole kernel)
  • one and a half teaspoon of olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 400 grams or 14 ounces of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • one clove of garlic
  • 60 grams or 2 ounces of sun-dried tomatoes (preferably those, that aren’t pickled in oil)
  • 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of arugula
  • 110 grams or approx. 4 ounces of canned tuna in olive oil (about two small cans)
  • 20 grams of pecorino or parmesan cheese (use a block of cheese)

Alternatives and Substitutions

If you’re on a vegetarian or plant-based diet, feel free to swap out the tuna for pan-fried tofu pieces or omit it altogether. Alternatively, you can opt for protein pasta instead of the whole wheat pasta to add some extra proteins to your no tuna salad with pasta. 😊

Furthermore, feel free to use a vegetarian or vegan option instead of the pecorino or parmesan cheese.

In addition, you can also choose tuna in water. However, the remaining oil, which is left after draining the tuna, contributes to the dressing of our tuna salad with pasta. But if you want to save some more calories, that will be a great alternative.

Tuna Salad with Pasta – Here’s how to make it!

The nice thing about this tuna salad with pasta is that it’s really quick to make. Even though we must take care of a few different components, we can do them at the same time.

But let’s take care of our pasta first. To do so, just heat up a pot of water and add the pasta once the water has started to boil. Then cook them al dente over medium-high heat according to the package instructions.

In the meantime, you can take care of the corn and tomatoes. To do this, heat a medium sized frying pan and add a teaspoon of oil. Now you can drain the corn and add it to the pan, where you fry it for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat with a generous pinch of salt.

Meanwhile, you can already wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. Furthermore, thoroughly wash the arugula and drain it well. And finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.

How to make the dressing for your tuna pasta salad

Once the corn is nicely toasted, you can remove it from the pan and put it in a large bowl. Put the pan back on the stove. Now add the rest of the oil and the halved tomatoes and one finely diced clove of garlic, which you sauté over medium heat and then let them simmer in their own broth. This will take about five minutes.

sautéed garlic tomatoes in a medium-sized skillet

In the meantime, you can probably drain the pasta and let it cool briefly. Furthermore, you can add the dried tomato pieces to the corn and drain the tuna and add it as well.

Once the tomatoes are done, you can assemble all the components of this pasta salad. First add the cooled pasta and tomato sauce to the salad and stir well. Then add the washed arugula.

Finally, coarsely grate about 20 grams of the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese over your tuna salad with pasta and either pack your salad in a takeaway container or serve it right away.

arugula, pasta, tuna in a big salad bowl

Simple, Well-Balanced, and Meal Prep Friendly

I hope you like this delicious and simple tuna salad with pasta! If so, make sure to give it a try.

As it’s often the case with pasta salads, you can easily store leftover portions in the fridge and take them with you to work or school or enjoy them in your home office lunch break the next day.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes).

And in case, you’ve tried this recipe for my tuna salad with pasta, I’d appreciate your comment and rating on this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

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tuna salad with pasta and arugula

Tuna Salad with Pasta

Julia Schmitt
This colorful pasta salad is the perfect side dish for barbecues, the star of any picnic, or a quick and easy dinner or lunch at any time of the year.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 servings
Calories 458 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 medium-sized saucepan or pot
  • 1 medium-sized pan
  • 1 strainer or salad spinner

Ingredients
  

  • 100 g short cut whole grain pasta (3.5 oz)
  • 140 g canned golden corn (whole kernel) (6 oz)
  • tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 400 g fresh cherry tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 finely diced garlic clove
  • 60 g sun-dried tomatoes (~2 oz) preferably those, that aren't pickelt in oil)
  • 100 g arugula (3.5 oz)
  • 110 g canned tuna in olive oil * (~4 oz)
  • 20 g pecorino or parmesan cheese ** use a block of cheese if possible

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pot or saucepan of water to boil, add the pasta and cook it al dente according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a teaspoon of oil. Drain the corn and add it to the pan together with a generously pinch of salt. Fry it over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash and half the tomatoes, cut the sun-dried tomatoes into thin strips. Wash the arugula thoroughly and drain well. (Spin dry if possible)
    arugula in a salad spinner
  • Remove the corn from the pan, add the remaining oil, tomatoes and the finely diced garlic. Sauté for a total of five minutes over medium heat.
    sauté tomatoes and garlic in a medium-sized skillet
  • Meanwhile, drain the pasta and let in cool in a colander. Place the corn and sun-dried tomatoes in a large bowl, drain the tuna and add it as well. Add the pasta and the “tomato-garlic-dressing” and mix well. Then fold in the arugula and roughly grate the cheese on top by using a peeler.
    mix all ingredients together

Notes

*For a vegetarian/vegan version, tuna can be substituted for fried tofu cubes or omitted altogether. Feel free to use protein pasta instead of regular whole wheat pasta if you still like your salad higher in protein.
Nutritional values per serving:
  • calories: 458 kcal
  • fat: 14 g
  • carbohydrates: 51 g
  • protein: 27 g
Keyword healthy salad for barbeques, pasta salad with roasted corn, pasta salad with tuna, picnic recipe

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