Easy pasta salad recipes.

6 Pasta Salad Recipes (With Tuna, Chicken Or Vegetables)

You can provide different nutrients to the pasta depending on the foods that you add to it to make your pasta salad.

In this article, we are going to explain 6 pasta salad recipes: with tuna, chicken, and vegetables. Pasta is one of the foods that gives us more energy and contains less fat, so it is a perfect ally to keep us active for long periods of time.

What is pasta? Origins and history

Pasta is a product elaborated from durum wheat flour and semolina, which is crushed, mixed with water and sometimes with egg. From this process, a dough is obtained that once dried; it is fit for consumption. Pasta has become one of the most popular food in Western culture. Where does it come from? Well, pasta has its origins in China, although it is popularly attributed to Italy. The reason for this is that Marco Polo introduced pasta on the European continent after one of its trips to China. 



Properties of pasta

Since its production is based on cereals, pasta is a food with high carbohydrate content. Specifically, it provides 75 g of carbohydrates per 100 g and gives us about 370 kcal. The fat intake is very low and, therefore, we can include it without problem in all types of diets. Pasta is not considered a complete food as it contains a meager value in proteins and mineral salts.


This is why it is usual to have it with other ingredients such as tuna or chicken, which maximize its nutritional value.  In the following lines, we are going to show you some recipe example to make pasta a complete ingredient that provides us the energy we need together with other necessary nutrients to ensure the correct functioning of our body. 


We can add any kind of ingredient, such as vegetables, fish or even fruit, in our pasta salad.
We can add any kind of ingredients, such as vegetables, fish or even fruit, in our pasta salad.


6 pasta salad recipes

There are a lot of different recipes that we can make with pasta, from bolognese spaghetti to the most delicious lasagna. Pasta salad provides us with carbohydrates, and it does not have the fats and salt that the sauces from the mentioned dishes have. This is why  we are going to show you the most healthy pasta salad recipes. Mixing this food with tuna, chicken or vegetables is an excellent and delicious idea. You can vary the kind of pasta depending on your personal preferences. 


1. Tuna pasta salad

Pasta has a neutral taste that makes it combine perfectly with everything, so it is frequently used, so the children eat food that they usually do not like, as often happens with fish. 


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 500 g colored fusilli (spiral-shaped pasta)

  • 4 tins of tuna in olive oil

  • 4 tomatoes

  • 1 lettuce

  • ½ a pot of olives

  • ½ a tin of sweet corn

  • A pinch of salt

  • A dash of vinegar

  • A pinch of oregano (optional)


How to make it

To prepare the tuna pasta salad, the first thing you have to do is boil the pasta.  To do so, put 1 liter of water together with a pinch of salt in a pan and put it to boil; once it is ready, we will add the pasta and we will let it boil for 8 minutes, so it is al dente. While the pasta is boiling, separate some lettuce leaves, wash them and cut them into small pieces. Chop the tomatoes into small squares and do the same with the olives. 


Discard the oil from the tin of tuna and shred its contents with a fork. Once we have all these ingredients ready, put everything in a bowl together with the sweet corn. Strain the cooked pasta and add it to the bowl with all the ingredients. Now, all that is left to do is mix everything well and dress it to taste, either with a pinch of salt, a dash of vinegar or some oregano.


2. Chicken pasta salad with mayonnaise

This type of salad is complete from a nutritional point of view, and it is ideal for people who do not eat at home because you eat in the office or at university. Chicken resists harsh temperatures better than other foods without its flavor being affected by it.


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 500g or color farfalle (pasta bows)

  • 3 chicken breasts

  • Half a tin of sweet corn

  • 6 natural pineapple slices

  • A pinch of salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • Mayonnaise to taste (optional)


How to make it

The first thing you have to do is boil the pasta. To do so, as we have said in the previous recipe, boil 1 liter of water. Once it is boiling, add the pasta and let it cook for about 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken breasts into cubes, salt and pepper them and add them to a previously heated frying pan with a dash of oil. Let them brown.


In a bowl, add the cut pineapple slices together with the sweet corn, the strained pasta, and the fried chicken.  Mix everything, and the pasta salad will be nearly ready; all that is left to do is add some mayonnaise or dress with oil and vinegar.


3. Warm pasta salad with vegetables

Another of the most versatile and successful dishes are pasta salads with greens. In this case, we can use the vegetables we like best and add ingredients that provide calcium to the salad, such as fresh cheese.


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 350 g of medium-size macaroni

  • 1 courgette

  • 1 big red onion

  • 1 aubergine

  • 1 red pepper and a yellow one

  • 2 jars of fresh cheese

  • A pinch of salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • Some basil leaves


How to make it

This pasta salad requires a bit more time to prepare it, but it will still be worth it: the result will be delicious. To start with, like all the pasta salads, add the medium-size macaroni to a boiling water pan with a pinch of salt and some oil. Let them cook for about 8 minutes, so they are al dente. 


While the pasta is cooking, cut the vegetables into medium-size cubes. Do not forget that a large part of the vegetables is water, so if we cut them very small, they will be imperceptible when they are cooked. Once the courgette, the peppers, the aubergine and the onion are cut, put a frying pan on the heat together with a spoon of oil. Once it is hot, add the onion and the peppers and let them cook for about 5 minutes. 

Then add the rest of the vegetables and fry lightly until we see they are poached; this will take about 10-15 minutes. In another bowl, mix the vegetables with the pasta. To finish, chop the fresh cheese into cubes and add it to the bowl, together with the basil leaves and a pinch of ground black pepper. Finish mixing it all up, and you can enjoy this complete, nutritious, and healthy dish. 

Pasta salad is a perfect option for summer lunch or dinners.
Pasta salad is a perfect option for summer lunch or dinners.


4. Avocado and shrimp pasta salad

The avocado and shrimp pasta salad is an ideal option for a summer dinner, as a side dish or as a refreshing lunch for hot days. 


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 1 packet of pasta

  • 240 gr of bacon

  • 500 gr of cooked and pealed shrimp

  • 3 pealed and chopped avocados 

  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups of mayonnaise

  • 1/2 a cup of lemon juice

  • 4 chopped salad tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon of ground red pepper

  • Lettuce (to taste)


How to make it

Fill a big pan with water and some salt. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it for about 8-10 minutes (or what says on the packet). When it is ready, strain and rinse it with cold water. Next, put the bacon in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook it until it is brown.


Remove from the frying pan, and drain the remaining oil. We can also absorb the excess of oil with kitchen paper. In a bowl, mix the pasta, the bacon, the cooked shrimp, the cheddar cheese, the mayonnaise, the tomatoes, and the lemon. To finish, add the lemon juice and serve it over some chopped lettuce. 


5. Greek pasta salad

This pasta salad recipe is ideal for those who like the abundance of ingredients and different flavors. Another great option, both as a unique dish and as a side dish for meats and fish.


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 1 packet of pasta

  • ½ a cup of vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil

  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic salt

  • 3 chopped tomatoes

  • 2 chopped red pepper

  • 2 chopped sweet onions

  • 2 chopped cucumbers

  • 2 cups of chopped black olives


How to make it

Cook the pasta in a large pan with boiling slightly salted water. Cook for 8-10 minutes (or for the time indicated on the packet). Strain and rinse with cold water. In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, basil, garlic salt, and black pepper.

Then, in a large bowl, mix the pasta, tomatoes, green pepper, onions, cucumber, and black olives. Add the dressing and mix it all. To finish,  let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and serve it very cold.


6. Pasta salad with dried tomato and basil

In this last recipe, we were inspired by the most traditional Italian ingredients to make this delicious pasta salad with dried tomato and basil.

Ingredients (4 people)

  • 4 cups of pasta

  • 1 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 1  cup of chopped dried tomatoes in oil

  • ½ a cup of grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper.


How to make it

First, boil the water with a bit of salt and add the pasta. Let it cook for about 8-10 minutes (or what the packet says). Strain and keep it aside.  Then, put the basil leaves and the tomatoes in a chopper or a food processor and chop it until they are well mixed. 

To finish, in a big bowl, mix the pasta, the sauce you have just made with dried tomatoes and basil, olive oil, and parmesan. Dress with oil, salt, and pepper, and serve in a bowl. This pasta salad dish can be eaten cold or warm. 


  • This article about "Pasta salad recipes" was originally published in Spanish in Viviendo La Salud