This Tuna Pasta Salad with Green Beans is full of crunchy and creamy texture and so much healthy goodness! With large elbow pasta, green beans, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, onions, a creamy and tangy dressing… and canned tuna of course! This Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe is a delicious and filling make-ahead pasta salad!
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The Best Tuna Pasta Salad
I love a good summer salad. One that’s full of fresh veggies, herbs, and delicious flavor.
And if there happens to be some lean protein and pasta in there – even better! Seriously, think about it - you’ve got yourself a well-balanced meal all in one big bowl!
So, that’s what we’re talking about today… Tuna Pasta Salad with Green Beans!
- Veggies – Check
- Lean Protein – Check
- Pasta – Check
This pasta salad recipe is so good and full of such delicious flavors.
The dressing consists of fresh herbs like parsley and dill, a creamy base from the mayo and Greek yogurt, and some bright and tangy balance from the lemon juice, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard.
And there’s basically a garden full of veggies in there as well… with red onions, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and green beans.
You know I love my veggies and I also love saving money on my grocery bill.
So, you probably know that creating recipes that are healthy, delicious, and inexpensive is my favorite.
Case in point, I used canned tuna in water for the protein in this recipe. It's a great way to get lean protein into your diet without all the costs of fresh tuna.
In fact, one of my most popular blog recipes includes canned tuna - Tuna Cakes with Jalapeño and Cilantro. They are crazy delcious, low-carb, and full of good-for-you ingredients.
And if you're looking for something kid-friendly check out my Easy Tuna Casserole Muffins. Think mom’s tuna casserole but in convenient finger-friendly packages.
Since we're on the canned tuna topic I want to share some interesting information with you about its nutritional value, packing, etc.
Canned Tuna Nutrition and Information:
I’m sure you’ve heard the swirl about tuna…
- Is canned tuna cooked?
- Is canned tuna healthy?
- Also, is it wild-caught or farmed?
- Does it contain too much mercury or BPA?
Allow me to shed some light on all your tuna nutrition questions:
Is canned tuna cooked?
Canned tuna is always cooked. Most tuna is cooked twice actually but there are a few brands that only cook once. Usually, the tuna is caught and frozen immediately on fishing vessels. It’s transferred to facilities where it’s inspected, thawed, cleaned, then pressure-cooked.
Next, the skin and bones are removed. The tuna is canned, and water or oil is added, then it’s vacuumed-sealed. (There are some brands that do not add any water or oil to their canned tuna.) The cans get cleaned and sent back through the pressure cooking process to sterilize the cans.
When the cans have cooled they are labeled. Finally, the cans undergo a quality control process and are shipped to the marketplace if standards are met.
Is tuna good for you?
Yes - tuna is good for you! It is full of lean protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids and should be consumed in moderation.
Canned tuna can have an industrial chemical called PBA that's used in the protective lining of the can. PBA has been linked to adverse health effects. So, when possible purchase cans of tuna that say “PBA-Free.”
Also, bigger fish contain more mercury than smaller fish. Here’s why - either by absorbing it through their skin or scales from the water, or by eating other organisms that contain mercury.
Bigger fish live longer and, therefore, absorb/ingest more mercury. To lower your mercury intake, opt for smaller tuna fish—like light or skipjack tuna—over larger fish, like albacore, yellowfin/ahi, and bigeye tuna.
The average can of light and albacore tuna have mercury levels of 0.1 and 0.3 parts per million (ppm) mercury, well below the FDA safety level of 1.0 ppm, including a ten-fold safety factor—measuring the actual limit of 10.0 ppm.
Let's talk about "wild-caught" or "dolphin-safe” tuna. The phrase "wild-caught" means it was not farmed.
"Dolphin-safe" was a buzzword decades ago when dolphin bycatch was a problem, but that's no longer the case.
Is tuna in a pouch the same as canned tuna?
There are shelf-stable pouches that are an option when purchasing tuna. Many think they have a fresher flavor and texture, although pouch tuna is usually more costly because of the fact that canned tuna contains more water and less actual meat than a pouch with the same weight.
The healthiest canned tuna!
Read more about tuna nutrition here:
Honestly, I wanted to dive into this topic for my own personal knowledge. And of course, you know I like to share my wisdom and newfound insight with you.
I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know about tuna. I’m sorry and you’re welcome!
All of this knowledge will serve you well and it's just going to make your tuna salad that much better.
How to Make Tuna Salad with Pasta:
(All ingredients quantities and recipe instructions can be found below in the recipe card.)
Well now that we’re all informed and aware about all things canned tuna – let’s talk about how to make the tuna pasta salad recipe.
Here’s how this pasta salad comes together:
Tuna Pasta Salad Dressing Ingredients and Instructions:
- plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (or more mayo if you prefer)
- parsley leaves, finely chopped
- Dijon mustard
- fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- dried dill, or fresh dill
- black pepper
- garlic powder
Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or small mason jar and set aside… chopped parsley, dried dill, mayo, Greek yogurt (or more mayo if you prefer), fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients and Instructions:
- French green beans, stems trimmed
- large elbow pasta, cooked
- English cucumber, thickly sliced and then quartered
- cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- canned tuna, drained
- celery stalks, finely chopped
- red onion, chopped
- Add several cups of ice cubes and cold water to a large bowl. Then bring a large stock pot of water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil.
- Then bring a large stock pot of water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil.
- Drain the beans and add them to the ice water, allow them to sit for 5 minutes.
- Then drain and cut the beans into 1½ inch pieces on the diagonal.
- Again in that same large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and stir in the salt.
- Go ahead and add the elbow pasta and cook it according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente. Drain the water off the pasta.
- So now add the cooked elbow pasta and beans, cucumber, tomatoes, tuna, celery, and onions to a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the ingredients and fold it all together.
And finally, chill or serve this tuna pasta salad immediately – you get to decide.
Storing Pasta Salad
Place the pasta salad in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Leftovers can eaten for up to 4 days.
This Tuna Pasta Salad with Green Beans truly has it all!
I can’t wait for you to make it and take it to BBQs and cookouts this summer.
And I'm sure all your friends and family will agree – this is the best Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe ever!
For The Dressing:
- ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup canola mayonnaise
- ¾ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt or mayo of you prefer
- 1 teaspoon dried dill, or 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
For The Salad:
- ½ pound haricots verts or French green beans, stems trimmed
- 10 ounces large elbow pasta - cooked in salted water until just barely al dente
- 1 English cucumber, thickly sliced then quartered
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 9.2 ounces of your favorite canned tuna, drained (two 4.6 oz cans)
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add several cups of ice cubes and cold water to a large bowl. Then bring a large stock pot of water with a teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans, then add them to the ice water, allowing them to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and cut the beans into 1½ - inch pieces on the diagonal.
- In that same large stockpot, bring water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the tablespoon of salt. Add pasta and cook according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta.
- Add cooked pasta, beans, cucumber, tomatoes, tuna, celery, and onions to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle on the dressing and fold gently until everything is combined.
- Chill or serve immediately.
You can save the water from the green beans and reuse it for the pasta to save time. If you do this, only add 2 more teaspoons of salt to the water to cook the pasta.
Serving Size7-8 ounces
Amount Per Serving Calories 323Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 158mgSodium 1664mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 23g
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