Tuna Pasta Salad + Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad

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Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad (Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad) is a super budget-friendly pantry recipe that’s easily adaptable with the ingredients you already have at home! Quick and easy, so it’s perfect for weeknight dinners, meal prep, or bringing along to potlucks and picnics.

close up of creamy tuna pasta salad with vegetables

Folks, this is one of those super easy go-to meals that I rely on whenever I can’t make a trip to the grocery store. Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad only takes a couple of minutes to put together with common pantry staples.

Yeap, you can easily whip up this delicious pasta salad with canned, dried, and frozen ingredients that most of us always have on hand! #pantryrecipesforthewin

Trust me, this Instant Pot tuna pasta salad (yes we make it in the Instant Pot too) has saved me more than once when I’ve found myself in a pinch. It’s super versatile, so it’s perfect for easy dinners, picnics, and packing in lunchboxes. Plus it’s an ideal BBQ and potluck recipe and a great meal prep solution. Just like this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, tropical Hawaiian Pasta Salad and Strawberry Overnight Oats

top down view of the finished tuna pasta salad ready to be served

Why Make This Recipe

  • Made from everyday pantry staples that you have on hand.
  • It is budget-friendly.
  • So easy that kids can help make it.
  • It can be easily adapted to use the ingredients you have at home. (more on this below!)
  • It is a great way to use up leftover vegetables and leftover pasta.
  • Great for fast dinners, packing in lunches and for weekly meal prep.
Instant pot quick start guide image

Ingredient Notes

  • Pasta – I used fusilli pasta but you can use other pasta shapes like penne, macaroni etc
  • Water – for cooking the pasta in. You can use broth instead for extra flavor.
  • Vegetables – Add in bell pepper, cucumber and tomatoes for color, crunch and taste. Great for using up leftover veggies. See below for variation ideas.
  • Tuna – This uses canned drained tuna – make sure to drain it well. Use tuna that has been packed in water so you don’t add any extra oil to the salad.
  • The creamy dressing – a mixture of mayonnaise and greek yogurt makes the the pasta creamy but also a little lighter in calories.
  • Seasonings – salt and pepper complete this.
  • Dill – fresh dill is the ingredient that elevates this salad to something special.
the ingredients needed for making tuna pasta salad

How To Make Tuna Pasta Salad

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions in recipe card below.

  1. Cook the pasta on the stovetop, following the package instructions until it is al dente.
  2. Then drain and rinse the pasta.
  3. Mix together mayonnaise and greek yogurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix pasta, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes, tuna, and dill in another bowl and add as much of the dressing as you like, combine and serve.
image collage showing the steps for making tuna pasta salad

How To Make Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions in recipe card below.

  1. Add in the pasta and water to the Instant Pot insert. Close the lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Set to manual pressure/high pressure for 4 minutes.
  2. When done, perform a quick release, drain and rinse the pasta.
  3. Mix together mayonnaise and greek yogurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix pasta, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes, tuna and dill in another bowl and add as much of the dressing as you like, combine and serve.
close up of cooked pasta in the instant pot

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to rinse the pasta quickly after cooking and before combining with the rest of the ingredients – this cools it down quickly and avoids overcooking.
  • Drain the pasta well before adding in the rest of the ingredients so the creamy dressing does not get diluted down.
  • If not serving straight away keep it chilled and mix every so often for the flavors to infuse.
  • For the Instant Pot version – you really do want to keep the time under pressure to 4 minutes, any longer will likely turn the pasta to mush.
  • Cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure or for the pressure to release.
close up of a bowl of creamy Instant pot tuna pasta salad with vegetables and creamy dressing and dill

Delicious Variations

The beauty of easy pantry recipes like this is that you can easily adapt them to use ingredients you have on hand. Take a look inside your fridge and pantry and then get creative! Here are some ideas for other ingredients that can be added to this tuna pasta salad:

  • penne or fusilli pasta
  • green onions
  • broccoli
  • corn kernels: fresh or frozen
  • olives
  • cauliflower
  • chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • pickles (a personal fave!)
  • peas
  • carrots
  • canned salmon instead of tuna
  • different salad dressing (try it with Italian, Ranch or Blue Cheese!)
  • dill: fresh or dried ==> the secret ingredient that adds tons of flavor!

Storage

  • Store – Refrigerate for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze – If you want to freeze this, I suggest freezing the pasta only. Drizzle hot pasta with some olive oil so it does not stick, let cool and freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan or tray. When frozen, decant into an air tight container or freeze bags and store for up to 2 months.
  • Thaw and reheat – Remove pasta from freezer and thaw in a bowl of warm (not boiling hot) water for a few minutes.

More Easy Pantry Recipes

Thank you for reading my Creamy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

Get The Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

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close up of creamy tuna pasta salad with vegetables
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad

It's easy to make this tasty pasta salad with pantry staple ingredients you already have!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 6
Calories: 652kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450g) pasta
  • 4 cups (946ml) water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 bell peppers deseeded and diced
  • 2 cucumbers cut into half moons
  • 2 cup (300g) grape or cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 pound (224g) canned tuna drained
  • 1 cup (230g) mayonnaise
  • 1 cup (285g) greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

Instructions

How To Make Instant Pot Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Add in the pasta and water to the Instant Pot insert. Close the lid and turn the vent to the sealing position. Set to manual pressure/high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When done, perform a quick release then drain and rinse the pasta.
  • Mix together mayonnaise and greek yogurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix pasta, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes, tuna and dill in another bowl and add as much of the dressing as you like.

Stove Top Instructions

  • Cook the pasta on the stovetop, following the package instructions until it is al dente.
  • Then drain and rinse the pasta.
  • Mix together mayonnaise and greek yogurt in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix pasta, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes, tuna and dill in another bowl and add as much of the dressing as you like.
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Video

Notes

  • Make sure to rinse the pasta quickly after cooking and before combining with the rest of the ingredients – this cools it down quickly and avoids overcooking.
  • Drain the pasta well before adding in the rest of the ingredients so the creamy dressing does not get diluted down.
  • If not serving straight away keep it chilled and mix every so often for the flavors to infuse.
  • For the Instant Pot version – you really do want to keep the time under pressure to 4 minutes, any longer will likely turn the pasta to mush.
  • Cook time does not include the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure or for the pressure to release.
  • Store – in an airtight container inside the fridge for 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1641IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 3mg

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