Tuna Pasta Salad in a glass bowl with parsley

The BEST Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Tuna Pasta Salad is one of my favorite comfort foods! Perfect for bringing to a BBQ or party, make it ahead and it just gets better! This pasta salad works both for a side dish and the main course. The mayonnaise dressing has a secret ingredient for just the right amount of tanginess!



  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups diced bell pepper (red, yellow or orange – see note*)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 4 cans albacore tuna fish, drained

For The Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups regular mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste


  1. Add the elbows, bell pepper, celery, onion and tuna fish to a large bowl.
  2. Add the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together to combine. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.
  3. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Toss again before serving.

Recipe Notes

Bell Peppers: Any color of bell pepper will do, but we tend to avoid green bell pepper for this recipe. BUT if you love green bell pepper, then go ahead and add it. The green peppers have a delicious flavor to them, but they sort of take over the flavor of everything else, so we stick with red, orange and yellow.

To Make Ahead: While we do recommend that you make this pasta salad at least an hour before serving for the flavors to blend, if you need to make it the morning of or the day before, keep the dressing separate and toss an hour before serving.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American