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20-minute Creamy Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

5 from 3 votes

What’s Inside: A lazy gluten-free weeknight meal or simple meal prep dish that will please a crowd! Whether you’re whipping this out for a no-cook lunch or making it for a BBQ Potluck… this versatile Mediterranean tuna pasta salad dish is flavorful and flexible. It’s Paleo and AIP-friendly, too.


Close up of a plate filled with tuna pasta with leafy greens.

AIP and Paleo Tuna Pasta Salad

I love tuna. I grew up eating tuna in so many dishes from sandwiches and salads to casseroles. Now that I’m way more aware of making healthy food choices, it still plays a big role in my diet, just in a bit of a different way. While I don’t do the Wonder bread sandwiches anymore, I am a massive fan of salads, and this Mediterranean tuna pasta salad recipe is one of my favorite tuna recipes ever!

Tuna pasta salad is so delicious, it’s like tuna and pasta were made for each other. And I hear you – you’re recommending pasta?! But the Cassava Pasta I’m using is so delicious while also being free from grains, gluten, and legumes amongst other things. And if gluten-free brown rice pasta works well for you, its a great option too! This dish makes busy weeknight mealtimes a treat, and is a great pantry staple to have for making crowd-pleasing dishes for BBQ potlucks! Paired with flavorful and meaty tuna and my homemade lemony dressing, this dish is creamy and delightfully fresh.

 

Just getting started on AIP (or need a refresh)? Here's an easy 1-week meal plan using some of my most popular AIP recipes to make it stress-free and delicious.

 

Tuna is full of Omega 3 fatty acids which help with hormones, blood sugar regulation, and are also vital to supporting health down to the cellular level. Some of my other favorite sources of fatty acids are:

  • wild-caught salmon (with the skin or grey part still on)
  • animal fats (tallow, lard to cook with from sustainably sourced, grass-fed and finished animals is best)
  • ghee (clarified butter, ideal for lactose-intolerance instead of butter)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (raw or minimally heated is ideal; if cooking with it, be careful to not let it smoke or it’ll ruin)
  • virgin coconut oil (better to cook with or use raw)
  • coconut milk (full-fat, unsweetened)
  • a serving of nuts like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, etc. 

I recommend eating tuna or another fatty fish once a week, but when sourcing tuna be sure to check out the mercury level. Mercury is a major concern for people like me who have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, since it directly affects the thyroid’s capacity to absorb iodine (a key mineral to the thyroid) as well as hormone conversion (and no one wants that)!! Heavy metals in general are a big factor to the growth of Autoimmune Diseases and other ailments these days, and while we can’t eliminate all toxins from our lives, we can do our best to limit them.

Caring about our own health and the welfare of our world means that we have to be selective about the brands we support and do our research to find out which ones are good. I have found that Skipjack and Tongol are the best types of tuna for low mercury levels, and Safe Catch is a great company that guarantees to have the lowest levels of mercury of any brand!

If you’re on the tuna train with me, then you’ll need to check out this Nicoise Salad (Whole 30, Paleo, & AIP-friendly) because it’s packed with healthy protein, omega-3s, and rich fats, and is ready in just 30 minutes. Similarly, my other Lemony Tuna Pasta (AIP, Paleo, & Low Carb) recipe is a 10-minute pantry miracle and makes for a great option for a filling lunch on the go or an easy weeknight dinner.

tip!
If you can tolerate adding some chickpeas or green peas (which are not Paleo or AIP) to this recipe, then they'll provide even more fiber to this already healthy and delicious meal!
Top view of a round plate filled with mediterranean tuna pasta salad with a fork in it.

What do you put in tuna pasta?

You can put just about anything in your tuna pasta, it’s such a versatile dish. Vegetables like cucumber, broccoli, scallions, mushrooms and onions would all taste great with tuna pasta. Apples also go well with tuna, as do raisins and dried, unsweetened, cranberries. These additions are all AIP compliant and will bring more texture to the dish as well.

What goes with tuna salad?

This Mediterranean tuna pasta salad is great on it’s own, but you can also enjoy it with a side of your favorite vegetables. Try serving this with my Warm Green Bean Salad with Bacon for a fuller meal, or these Jammy Boiled Eggs for added protein!

How long will tuna pasta salad last in the fridge?

  • To Store: Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Serve cold or room temperature.
Top view close up of a white bowl filled with mediterranean tuna pasta salad, with two wooden serving spoons in it.

More recipes to try:

Top view of round plate filled with creamy tuna pasta salad.

20-minute Creamy Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad

5 from 3 votes
A lazy weeknight meal or simple meal prep dish that will please a crowd! Whether you’re whipping this out for a no-cook lunch or making it for a BBQ Potluck… this versatile tuna pasta dish is flavorful and flexible. It’s Paleo and AIP-friendly, too.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. gluten-free or grain-free pasta cooked according to package directions until al dente (use Cassava pasta for AIP)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz. Tuna (2 5oz. Cans – Preferably wild-caught and sustainable, Tongol and Skipjack are lowest in mercury)
  • 1⁄3 cup seedless cucumbers peeled and sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup baby arugula roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup celery thinly sliced
  • 1⁄3 cup green onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup chickpeas or green peas (Optional: not Paleo or AIP)

Dressing:

  • 1⁄3 cup Primal Kitchen or homemade Mayo (use mashed avocado* or unsweetened coconut yogurt for AIP)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Primal Kitchen Greek Salad Dressing (or sub 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 1 tsp dried oregano for AIP)
  • 1⁄4 tsp tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 lemon zest, and juice
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions:

  • Prepare pasta according to package instructions, drain it, then add 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Mix it well and set it aside to let it cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all other ingredients, then lastly, add the pasta.
  • Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a separate mixing bowl and pour it over the pasta salad. Toss the pasta salad well with mixing spoons or tongs to coat everything with the dressing. Lastly, season with sea salt to taste.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container. (It tastes even better cold!)

Notes:

  • Make sure to add the olive oil and salt to the pasta after cooking it, as this prevents the pasta from sticking together, and enhances the flavor nicely. 
  • *If using mashed avocado in place of mayo, it may turn brown in the fridge so be sure to eat it all upon serving.
Diet: Mediterranean
Keywords: AIP, Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad, paleo, pasta, salad, tuna
Course: dinner
-Alison Marras
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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