Pea and Tuna Pasta Salad

A tuna pasta salad is a perfect recipe to throw in a lunch box for work or school, a picnic or even a side for a BBQ. This version contains no mayonnaise but instead has a bright and vibrant lemon vinaigrette.

Portrait overhead image of a tuna pasta salad using fusilli pasta with cherry tomatoes and garden peas served in two white bowls

Pea and Tuna Pasta Salad.

I love a good pasta salad, they are easy to cook, light to eat and really versatile.

They can, however, err towards being claggy and I blame this on the use of too much mayonnaise. 

Well, this recipe can hardly be accused of that as it contains no mayonnaise whatsoever.

Even in tuna pasta recipes where I use mayo, like this BLT pasta salad, I make sure I only use a little.

We use a light anchovy and lemon vinaigrette, as a result of this we use tuna in brine or water. The last thing this recipe needs is additional oil.

We then counter the sharpness of the lemon and the capers with sweet garden peas and cherry tomatoes.

Portrait close up image of a tuna pasta salad using fusilli pasta with cherry tomatoes and garden peas served in a white bowl

Using Other Canned Fish.

Whilst this recipe is a tuna pasta salad you could easily swap out the tune for lots of other canned fish.

You are looking for a rich and oily fish to match up to the sharpness in the dressing.

So think about using canned sardines or mackerel, or maybe even canned salmon.

All would work really well in this recipe. 

I love canned oily fish in pasta, but it also makes the best fish cakes! I use sardines in these salmon fish cakes and I also make mackerel fish cakes.

Portrait close up image of a tuna pasta salad using fusilli pasta with cherry tomatoes and garden peas served in a white bowl

Recipe Hints and Tips.

The first thing to ensure that you do in this recipe is that you dress the pasta whilst it is still hot.

Adding dressing to pasta when it is cold just leaves the dressing sat on pasta. Dressing pasta when it is hot or warm means that it soaks in some of the flavour.

It is the same technique I use in this halloumi orzo salad recipe.

Secondly, if you are going to swap out the cherry tomatoes for larger tomatoes, then remove the seeds.

And finally, feel free to change up the pasta you use.

I chose fusilli, but this recipe works equally well with everything from farfalle to penne.

It even works well with a heavy pasta like orecchiette, although I like to rebalance the dish using that by increasing the tuna and tomatoes and reducing the pasta volume.

Landscape image of a tuna pasta salad using fusilli pasta with cherry tomatoes and garden peas served in a white bowl
Pea and Tuna Pasta Salad

Pea and Tuna Pasta Salad

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

A tuna pasta salad is a well trodden path, my version does not use mayonnaise but a vibrant lemon vinaigrette and sweet garden peas. A perfect picnic or BBQ side dish and super quick too!


  • 200 g Fusilli Pasta
  • 150 g Frozen Peas
  • 100 g Canned Tuna
  • 15 g Capers
  • 15 g Chives
  • 100 g Cherry tomatoes

For the Dressing

  • 1 Lemon
  • 70 ml Olive Oil
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
  2. Drop in the pasta and cook for a minute less than the packet instructions.
  3. Chop the capers, chives and anchovy fillets.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters.
  5. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake.
  6. Taste the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. This should take you to roughly the time where your pasta is ready.
  8. 90 seconds before you remove the pasta throw in the peas.
  9. Drain the pasta and place it into a large wide bowl and dress with the dressing.
  10. Allow the pasta to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Add in the capers, tomatoes, chives and canned tuna and mix.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 695Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 719mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 28g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

10 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Mmmm! I love the lemon vinaigrette! Makes it perfect in the summer when it is so hot out! The mayonnaise always gets yucky! My husband and Father-in-law love tuna and peas in pasta salad, but I haven’t really added them together! I have to try this!

  2. Love the addition of the anchovy for flavor in the dressing for this simple and healthy pasta dish. Don’t skip it! It tastes amazing.


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