Healthy tuna macaroni salad with Greek yogurt is a healthy take on a classic favorite. It's a creamy macaroni salad that is just as flavorful as the traditional version and perfect for a side dish or main course.
Tuna macaroni salad or tuna pasta salad is a summertime favorite at cook-outs and pot lucks.
However, many macaroni salad recipes have way too much mayo for my taste. This salad is different, it is made with a mix of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise and extra vegetables too making it lighter and refreshing.
Classic and healthy tuna pasta salad gets a remake. It is the perfect salad to serve with grilled onion burgers at your next summer party or to bring to a potluck.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's healthier! Made with a lot of fresh chopped veggies, Greek yogurt and avocado mayonnaise.
- It can be served as a main course or a side dish.
- It's versatile. Add any combination of vegetables that you like and use any shape of pasta.
Here is What You Will Need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
Here is How To Make Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
Prepare the ingredients: cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain and rinse it. While the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse off the tuna, chop up the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, and make the dressing.
Step 1. Place the cooked pasta, vegetables and tuna in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2. Pour half of the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl.
TIP! Use a mason jar to make the dressing. Pour the ingredients in and shake it up and store extra dressing right in the jar.
Step 3. Use a wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients. Refrigerate until it's time to serve.
To serve, take the salad out of the refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before serving and adjust the consistency by adding more dressing just before serving.
Tip! If you are serving the salad right away, you might need to add more dressing. Try adding a little at a time until it's how you like it. Save extra to use on your leftover macaroni salad.
Total Estimated Time to Make This Recipe: 30 to 40 Minutes
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Pasta. Smaller-sized white pasta works best in this salad, we like the baby shells or elbows because the little nooks and crannies hold onto the dressing.
Substitute wheat pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free pasta salad.
Note: I usually cook with whole wheat pasta, but there are times when white pasta tastes better.
Vegetables. This is a very versatile salad, you can use any combination of vegetables that you like. If you don't care for bell peppers, leave them out and add more celery or carrots.
Mayonnaise. I like to use mayonnaise with avocado oil or olive oil, but any kind will work in this tuna mac salad recipe.
Greek yogurt. Adds creaminess, flavor and it lightens up this macaroni salad. If you prefer more mayonnaise, you can use less yogurt or vice versa if you prefer yogurt over mayonnaise. I like using equal amounts of each.
Substitute Greek yogurt with regular or Icelandic yogurt or your favorite dairy-free yogurt for a diary-free tuna mac salad.
Healthy macaroni salad with tuna can be served as a main course with a side salad or it can be served as a side with Caramelized Onion Burgers, Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers or Grilled Jerk Chicken Breasts.
Make Ahead Instructions
Tuna macaroni salad can be made ahead of time up to one day before. Mix the cooked pasta together with the diced vegetables and leave the dressing off.
Store the unassembled salad in the refrigerator for no longer than one day. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving add the dressing.
Store leftover tuna macaroni salad in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To serve leftover macaroni salad, you might need to add a teaspoon or two of mayo or yogurt and a splash of lemon juice to freshen the leftover salad up if you don't have extra dressing.
Freezing leftover macaroni salad is not recommended.
Classic healthy macaroni salad that's also vegetarian - leave out the tuna.
Healthy chicken macaroni salad use ¼ pound of shredded chicken instead of tuna.
Add any of these: ½ cup cooked peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, pickles or olives.
Your Tuna Macaroni Salad Questions Answered
Here are the most commonly asked questions about this healthy tuna pasta salad recipe. If your question isn't answered below, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Try mixing in a teaspoon or two (gradually) to the pasta until the pasta is lightly coated with the oil. Then pour on the dressing.
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- 4 cups (approximately 2 ½ cups uncooked) of cooked small pasta such as shells, elbows or ditalini
- ¾ cup diced celery - about 3 stalks
- ¾ cup diced bell pepper (red, or green)
- ½ cup diced carrots (about 1 large)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 can tuna
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- 1 Teaspoon coconut sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, cut up the vegetables and place them in a large bowl.
- Drain the tuna and place it in the same bowl as the vegetables.
- Drain the cooked pasta and rinse it under cold water and set it aside to cool.
- Once the pasta is at room temperature add it to the bowl with the tuna and vegetables.
- Combine the ingredients
- Mix the dressing ingredients ttogether in a bowl or a ason jar (½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 teaspoon coconut sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar).
- Add half of the dressing and store the salad in the refrigerator until 10 mintues before serving. Stir in the remaining dressing.
- Leave out the tuna for a classic vegetarian macaroni salad
- Substitute ¼ pound shredded chicken for the tuna
- Add ½ cup peas, chopped boiled eggs, or olives to the salad
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ½ cup salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is provided by an online calculator and is meant to be used for informational purposes only. Even though I try to provide accurate information, these figures should still be considered as estimates.