Looking for a lighter and healthier version of the classic tuna pasta salad? This recipe uses a tangy and flavorful dressing instead of mayo, and delicious quick seared tuna steaks, making it a perfect option for a refreshing summer meal.
I can always get the family around the table this way so it only seemed natural to make a healthy pasta salad with this delicious ingredient. To make the pasta salad even healthier, I added a mayo free balsamic dijon dressing that not only goes perfectly with the tuna, it is so delicious with the other pasta salad ingredients.
The best part, it is so easy to make!
There are not many ingredients you need for this easy and delicious healthy tuna pasta salad recipe. Here is what they are (full quantities below):
- Fresh tuna steaks: Freshly seared and cooked tuna steaks add such a meaty flavor to this tuna pasta salad. If you are short on time, you can also use canned tuna like albacore tuna in water or olive oil.
- Artichoke hearts: This adds a nice briny flavor to the dish. You can also use capers to achieve this same affect.
- Arugula: Arugula adds color and a peppery note to the salad. You can also use baby spinach.
- Tomatoes: Are the juicy fresh component to the recipe. You can use quartered tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes.
- Olive Oil: Try to use extra virgin olive oil for the flavor. The oil is the base of the mayo free dressing.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Adds a bit of tang to the mayo free pasta salad dressing.
- Dijon mustard: The dijon is the flavor of the dressing and the emulsifier that holds the dressing together.
- Pasta: I prefer to use cork screw pasta (rotini pasta) because it holds all of that delicious balsamic dijon dressing so well. You can also use penne or ziti.
How to make tuna pasta salad without mayo
- Make the mayo free dressing: This is just mixing together the dijon, balsamic and olive oil.
- Cook the tuna steaks: The tuna steaks are very quick cooking so they are ready in just 10 minutes.
- Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta until al dente according to the manufacturers instructions.
- Cut the tuna into bite-sized pieces: Gently cut up the cooked tuna steaks.
- Combine pasta salad ingredients: Add all of the tuna pasta salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Toss it together: Toss all of the ingredients together until well combined.
This tuna pasta salad without mayo is the perfect dish to make a big batch of and store in the fridge. To do this just place the pasta salad in an air tight container and place in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Other pasta salad recipes
If you love this no mayo tuna pasta salad, you may also like these:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes. Allowing the pasta to cool for a bit helps prevent the pasta from warming the pasta salad ingredients and absorbing too much of the sauce.
The best way to prevent this is to allow the pasta to cool for a little before adding it to the sauce and to toss the pasta with a little oil before adding sauce.
Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe (No Mayo)
Balsamic Dijon Dressing
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of sugar
Tuna Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Rotini pasta
- 2 tuna steaks
- 3 cups Arugula
- 3 large tomatoes quartered
- 8 ounces Artichoke hearts quartered
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- olive oil for cooking tuna
- Pre-heat a pan over medium heat.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the tuna steaks.2 tuna steaks, olive oil
- Season with salt and pepper.½ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Add the tuna to the pre-heated pan and cook the tuna steaks for 3 minutes per side.
- Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.½ cup Extra virgin olive oil, ⅓ cup Balsamic Vinegar, 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, pinch of sugar
- Set aside.
- Cook pasta until al dente then drain.1 lb Rotini pasta
- Drizzle cooked pasta with a little olive oil and toss well then add to a large bowl.
- Now add the other pasta salad ingredients to the bowl.3 cups Arugula, 3 large tomatoes, 8 ounces Artichoke hearts
- Cut up cooked tuna.
- Pour dressing over the tuna and pasta salad.
- Toss until combined.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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