A spring take on Tuna Pasta Salad with peas and asparagus in a creamy dill dressing. Perfect for potlucks and backyard BBQs!
We are starting to see a bit more sunshine, a little more blue sky, a lot more flowers and a little less rain. That can only mean one thing, spring has finally arrived here in the PNW and we are this close to all the potlucks and pasta salads that nice weather is sure to bring.
Today I’m adding a new one to the mix with this Tuna Pasta Salad. It is bursting with flavor. Loaded with sweet peas, shallots, briny capers and dill. Trust me when I say it’ll be your new favorite pasta salad.
TUNA: Chunk light tuna in oil or water. Whichever you prefer!
PASTA: Short pastas work the best for pasta salad. I prefer to make this tuna pasta salad with shells but you can also substitute elbow macaroni.
ASPARAGUS: Asparagus is by far my favorite spring vegetable. I usually simply roast it or steam it and eat it by itself. However, adding it to salads is another favorite way to use it. In this salad, the asparagus is added to the cooking pasta during the last two minutes of cooking so that it’s still nice and crunchy in the salad.
PEAS: Frozen peas are great in this. You add them to the cooking pasta so no need to thaw them first.
SHALLOTS: They add a subtle onion flavor without over powering the dish.
In addition to all of the goodies in the pasta salad, you’re going to make a light creamy dressing to toss it all in. To make Tuna Pasta Salad dressing, you’ll need:
GREEK YOGURT: I love adding greek yogurt to salad dressings instead of making them mayo based. Greek yogurt. Adds a bit of protein and tang to the dressing all while keeping it on the lighter side.
MAYONNAISE: This dressing still has a little bit of mayo to make the dressing creamy and smooth.
LEMON JUICE: Use fresh lemon juice for the best results.
CAPERS: I love capers. They are salty, briny and are so good in this salad.
DILL: I use dried dill because it’s easier to find year round, but if you’ve got fresh dill on hand use that. You’ll need 1 tablespoon fresh.
LEMON ZEST: Adds a bit more citrusy freshness.
Tuna Pasta Salad is really easy to make! Follow along with these step by step photos and instructions to see just how easy it is.
STEP #1: Boil the pasta according to package directions. When there is about 2 minutes left on the timer, add in asparagus and peas. Drain.
STEP #2: Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside until ready to use.
STEP #3: In a large bowl combine the pasta, veggies, tuna and shallots. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat.
STEP #4: Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Tuna Pasta Salad will last for a few days in the refrigerator.
Looking for more recipes featuring spring veggies? Try these:
Baked Asparagus one of the easiest, most delicious ways to enjoy asparagus!
Pea Salad is a retro classic! This creamy salad is a hit at every BBQ.
Don’t be intimidated by artichokes! They are easy to make, especially this recipe for Instant Pot Artichokes with Creamy Herb Dip.
Note: This post was originally published in 2017. It was updated with new photos, nutrition information and a slightly modified recipe in 2023.