Awesome Tuna and Veggie Pasta Salad

In the hot days of summer when fresh vegetables abound, there’s probably no better meal than an awesome tuna and veggie pasta salad. And even better than simply tasting good, it’s a healthy meal that even kids will enjoy. As an added bonus, it’s inexpensive, filling and quick to fix.

Here we give you some starter recipes for a couple of our favorite combinations. But this is a great dish to experiment with. All you really need is your favorite pasta (bowties, macaroni and mini wheels always work well), olive oil, canned albacore tuna, veggies (don’t forget the tomatoes) and spices.

Awesome Tuna and Veggie Pasta Salad

Recipe #1

Ingredients:

8 oz of mini wheel or bowtie pasta

Olive oil

1 5 ounce can of albacore or chunk light tuna

1-1/2 teaspoons parsley flakes or several sprigs of fresh parsley

Dried onion flakes (to taste)

Salt and pepper

1 grated carrot

½  - 1 cup of chopped tomatoes

Put the pasta and spices into a cooking pot and add enough water to cook the pasta. Bring to a boil and cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes. When the pasta is the consistency you like, drain it in a colander and rinse with cold water to cool down the pasta. After the pasta is drained, return it to the pot and drizzle with olive oil, stirring to coat the pasta lightly. Put the pot in the refrigerator to thoroughly chill the pasta.

Meanwhile, drain the tuna and then put it in a bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher until it is an even consistency. Add a touch of olive oil, and a bit more parsley, onion flakes, salt and pepper to taste and blend together. When the pasta is thoroughly chilled, add the tuna, carrot and tomato to the pasta and stir. Add additional spices as desired.

Recipe #2

Ingredients:

1 lemon

6 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup olive oil

1 bunch chopped basil

Salt and pepper

12 oz package of pasta

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

4 stalks celery

½ red onion

1 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers

1 14 oz can of chopped olives

4 6 ounce cans of albacore or chunk light tuna

Cook the pasta 8-10 minutes until it is your desired consistency. Drain and set aside.

Scrape the lemon rind into a large bowl to create a zest, then squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl. Add the garlic, basil and olive oil. Whisk the ingredients together.

Chop the veggies as small or as large as you want and add them to the bowl with the lemon juice mixture. Next, add the pepperoncini peppers and olives. Drain the tuna well and add it in last. Mix everything well. Add more spices or olive oil to taste.

By now, the pasta should be cool. Gradually add the pasta to the tuna combination and mix thoroughly (and gently) as you go. Put the tuna and veggie salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two to chill before serving.

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