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Pasta Salad Recipe with Tuna, Tomato and Olives

Updated on July 20, 2012
This pasta salad with tuna, tomatoes, and two kinds of olives will be a hit with family and friends.
This pasta salad with tuna, tomatoes, and two kinds of olives will be a hit with family and friends. | Source

This is a cooling salad that will become a go-to meal in the summer. It's high in fiber and protein, low in fat, and the carbohydrates in the pasta will keep you going. It's also particularly good for picnics as there is no mayonnaise in it.

So mix up a big bowl, get some friends together, and enjoy!


Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 10 servings (as entree) or 20 side servings

For Variety, Try These Ingredients:

  • Corn niblets for sweetness
  • Pink, kidney, or garbanzo beans instead of black
  • Capers for a brinier flavor
  • Salmon or tiny shrimp instead of tuna
  • Water chestnuts for crunch
  • Large couscous instead of pasta
  • Other fresh herbs instead of dill

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bowtie pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cans tuna, solid white in water, drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
  • .5 small jar green olives, with pimientos, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small jar roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
  • .5 jar fat-free Italian dressing, whatever brand you like
  • Several handfuls fresh dill, chopped
  • Go ahead and feel free to add something else, or remove an ingredient as you desire. Get creative and really make the dish your own.

Instructions for Pasta Salad with Tuna, Tomato and Olives

  1. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil, and cook the pasta 2 minutes shorter than stated on the package. Then drain under cool running water, rinsing off any sticky starch.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the black olives, green olives, and roasted peppers. Anything jarred is full of salt, and no one needs to take in all that extra sodium. Also, wash and core the yellow pepper and wash the tomatoes. Dry everything well. A watery salad is very unappealing.
  3. With a sharp knife, chop the dill and remove to a small bowl. Coarsely chop both types of olives and both types of peppers. Halve the tomatoes.
  4. Rinse the black beans until the water runs fairly clear. You don't want the salad to look mucky and dark. Also, drain the tuna. Don't flake it; try to keep it in solid bite-sized pieces.
  5. Transfer the cooled pasta to a large bowl. Add the tuna, tomatoes, beans, peppers, and olives. Mix it gently.
  6. Add the dressing, and mix gently again. Don't add too much dressing! Then add the dill, and mix gently once more. If you plan to serve it in the same bowl you mixed it in, wipe the sides with a damp paper towel. It will make a much nicer presentation at the table, especially if the bowl is glass.
  7. You can eat it now if you want, or refrigerate 20 minutes or overnight. Serve with a side salad and pan-grilled bread. Enjoy!

How to Make Pasta Salad, in Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Assemble your ingredients: dry pasta, tuna, black beans, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, black and green olives, and Italian dressing. Add a yellow pepper if you like.Cook, rinse, and drain the pasta; drain the tuna and beans; halve the tomatoes; and chop everything else.Add everything but the dill and dressing.Add the dressing.Mix it up!Add the dill, and mix again.Serve and eat.  Mmmmm-hmmmm!
Assemble your ingredients: dry pasta, tuna, black beans, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, black and green olives, and Italian dressing. Add a yellow pepper if you like.
Assemble your ingredients: dry pasta, tuna, black beans, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, black and green olives, and Italian dressing. Add a yellow pepper if you like. | Source
Cook, rinse, and drain the pasta; drain the tuna and beans; halve the tomatoes; and chop everything else.
Cook, rinse, and drain the pasta; drain the tuna and beans; halve the tomatoes; and chop everything else. | Source
Add everything but the dill and dressing.
Add everything but the dill and dressing. | Source
Add the dressing.
Add the dressing. | Source
Mix it up!
Mix it up! | Source
Add the dill, and mix again.
Add the dill, and mix again. | Source
Serve and eat.  Mmmmm-hmmmm!
Serve and eat. Mmmmm-hmmmm! | Source

How to "Grill" Bread in a Pan

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Slice Italian or French bread down the middle and place in a dry pan, cut side down. I use a small non-stick omelette pan.Flame on, but don't bother with the grill. Just turn on a low to medium-low flame under the pan. Keep your eye on it. This is after about five minutes, but I like mine nice and dark.After about 10 minutes, voila! Perfectly "grilled" bread.  Add some butter and you're good to go.
Slice Italian or French bread down the middle and place in a dry pan, cut side down. I use a small non-stick omelette pan.
Slice Italian or French bread down the middle and place in a dry pan, cut side down. I use a small non-stick omelette pan. | Source
Flame on, but don't bother with the grill. Just turn on a low to medium-low flame under the pan.
Flame on, but don't bother with the grill. Just turn on a low to medium-low flame under the pan. | Source
Keep your eye on it. This is after about five minutes, but I like mine nice and dark.
Keep your eye on it. This is after about five minutes, but I like mine nice and dark. | Source
After about 10 minutes, voila! Perfectly "grilled" bread.  Add some butter and you're good to go.
After about 10 minutes, voila! Perfectly "grilled" bread. Add some butter and you're good to go. | Source

Comments

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    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great idea! Quick and easy, with easily palatable flavors. Thanks for stopping by!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great idea! Quick and easy, with easily palatable flavors. Thanks for stopping by!

    • kgala0405 profile image

      Kevin Galarneau 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I have a company potluck coming up. This could be a good dish to pass. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, JayeWisdom! I appreciate the comment and your stopping by.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Good suggestion for a summer weekend lunch!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Audrey! It's just perfect for those hot days and very nice for company too. Enjoy!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      I love pasta salad and this looks pretty tasty!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Docmo! This is great for the beach too due to lack of mayo. A sliced cucumber on the side, a bottle of lemon seltzer, and you are golden! I hope you enjoy it. :^)

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      Great recipe- easy to follow instructions and delicious too! It has been a rare hot day here in UK today - this would have been a perfect lunchtime healthy option. I am trying this asap.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much, John! I actually made a modified version of this salad for my sister's bridal shower with salmon (canned, red) and it was great! So pretty. But I prefer the taste of the tuna with the olives and peppers. I'm glad you like the recipe and I hope you do try it. :-)

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great hub theclevercat. I must say I love tuna very much, probably more than salmon. Nevertheless, I love the way the salmon's pink color looks on dishes (even if it's food coloring nowadays, because, farm raised salmon do not eat krill/shrimp for the most part, but rather food pellets). This recipe sounds great. I'll have to try it sometime.

      Voted up on your wonderful hub

      John

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oops! I must have missed the black olives. I didn't realize it had both green and black. I really should print this out! I am looking forward to making this for a summer party at my parent's house and that should be soon!

      JSMatthew~

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, JS - the recipe already has black and green olives, so yes, I think it's a great idea! :^D

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      When I try this I will come back and let you know what I think. I was also thinking about making it with black olives. What do you think?

      JSMatthew~

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Yeah, the dill really does make it. :^) And who can go wrong with olives?! Please let me know if you do try it. I'd love to know what you think.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I should have mentioned that the similar recipes I have tried have slightly different and less ingredients. This one sounds even better! Like adding the dill and green olives. I really like this recipe!

      JSMatthew~

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, J.S --

      Aw, man! And I thought I made it up. *sigh*

      Oh well... I'm really glad you liked it!!! Thanks so much for reading and sharing. :^)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love this recipe! I have had this before at family gatherings but never thought about making it myself. Glad I found this! Voted up and sharing. Will be awesome for summer cookouts!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Brainy! I love the way dill smells, and it's especially good with tuna. :^)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      You know, I was just thinking earlier today that fresh dill might be nice in pasta salad! I bet it smells great. And although I am not a tomato fan, I must admit that they look very pretty. :-)

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