Tuna Salad

Chopped Tuna Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Filled with fresh crisp veggies the color of the rainbow, protein packed tuna, and tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette.

Especially during the summer, a light salad is all I need for a quick lunch, or a shareable side dish. This tuna salad is the perfect combination between a green salad and pasta salad—similar to our Asian Pasta Salad, or Tortellini Salad!

Tuna Salad in bowl

a light and refreshing Salad

If your goal this summer is to stay fit and healthy then this is the salad for you! This tuna salad has ZERO mayonnaise unlike your typical tuna salad that’s packed with it. Instead, this Tuna Pasta Salad is tossed in a super simple fresh lemon vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil.

I love the refreshing taste and how light it sits. It’s the perfect compliment to the tuna and all the veggies.

I’m a girl who loves her carbs so I added just a cup of pasta, but if you’re wanting to go low carb you can definitely omit it. Honestly, I like it with the pasta because it makes it more filling for eating as a meal.

Lemon Vinaigrette dressing for tuna salad

the Lemon Vinaigrette dressing

The first step to any salad is to start with the dressing. That way, when all the other parts of the salad are ready you can immediately toss on the dressing.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette you can either toss everything in a food processor or if you mince the shallot fine enough, you can just shake it all up in a jar. Here are the ingredients needed for it:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon shallot minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

It takes just minutes to make and adds so much flavor to this salad!

How to Make Tuna Salad - chopped ingredients in bowl

How to make Tuna Salad

PASTA. Since this salad has pasta in it you’ll want to get it started before chopping up all your veggies. After boiling and draining the pasta you’ll need to soak it in a bowl of ice water to cool the noodles down so they don’t wilt the lettuce.

CHOP. While the pasta cooks, chop up the veggies. I like to chop my lettuce pretty small because there’s nothing more awkward than trying to cram a giant floppy piece of lettuce into your mouth without getting dressing smeared on the side of your face.

TOSS. Once everything is chopped you can toss everything together and enjoy! Easy, right?

All your questions, answered

How long can tuna salad last in the fridge? Once the tuna has left the can, or vacuumed sealed pouch, it can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if properly stored in an airtight container. However, be aware that the other elements of this salad, such as the lettuce, may begin wilting sooner.

Can this Tuna and noodle salad be made ahead of time? This recipe can be prepared a day ahead of time. Prepare all the ingredients as written, but store them in individual containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve your salad combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl and toss.

How much tuna is safe to eat? Fish is good for you. However, it does does contain mercury. The amount of tuna someone can eat depends on the type of tuna.

According to the FDA people, including pregnant women and children, can have 2-3 servings of canned chunk light tuna, but only 1 serving of canned albacore tuna or fresh caught tuna per week.

Adults: 4 oz = 1 serving Children (ages 2-7): 2 oz = 1 serving

Tuna Salad Recipe mixed in bowl

Pasta and salad recipes are my thing during the summer, so I have a feeling we will be making this often in the next few months. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

For more pasta salad recipes, check out:

Tuna Salad Recipe

5 from 15 votes
Chopped Tuna Salad Recipe is filled with fresh crisp veggies and tossed in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 201 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


For the Salad:

  • 2 heads Romaine heart chopped
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 7 ounces white albacore tuna flaked with fork
  • 1 cucumber quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 red onion sliced
  • 1 cup dry pasta

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon shallot minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar


For the Salad:

  • Cook the pasta according to direction on package. Drain and place in a bowl of ice cold water. Drain again.
  • Place all vegetables in a bowl along with the cooled and drained pasta. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • Place vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or small blender and pulse until smooth.

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About Melanie

Melanie is the cook and photographer behind the blog Garnish & Glaze. When she’s not playing princesses with her two little girls, she’s experimenting in the kitchen. She takes simple ingredients and creates everything from healthy dinners to indulgent desserts.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    a very nice salad when I allow myself a little pasta!, I’ve usually defaulted to chicken for a similar salad so for me, tuna is a nice tweak, thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I love this salad! The lemon vinaigrette is perfect & not to lemony & it goes great with all the ingredients. I could eat salad year long, so I am excited to have found a new favorite!

  3. 5 stars
    This is so colorful & tasteful! I love tuna & the dressing is delicious!! It’s a super, easy salad for any gathering!

  4. 5 stars
    Im not a fish fan, but my husband is so i try make it every so often. This tuna salad reciPe is definiTely a keeper for us both.

  5. I love salads with all these ingredients. Its light and very tasty. Perfect for summer or any time of the Year!