Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad

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This Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad is the answer if you’re not a fan of mayonnaise and love a cold tuna pasta salad for lunch on a hot summer day.

Cold Tuna Pasta Salad
Mayo-Less Tuna Pasta Salad

This healthy tuna salad is more green salad than pasta salad as you use only one cup of pasta but two cups of arugula. It has almost 25 grams of protein, making it excellent for a light lunch. Delicious, satisfying, and perfect for lunch – it’s tuna salad all grown up!  Some more canned tuna salad recipes you may like are Chickpea Tuna Salad, Italian Tuna and Brown Rice Salad (Riso e Tonno), and Canned Tuna Ceviche.

Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad

Don’t like mayonnaise? Then you’ll love this easy Tuna Macaroni Salad made with canned tuna, arugula, capers, and pasta topped with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, olive oil, and vinegar.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat canned tuna for lunch. This salad comes together in minutes – just mix the ingredients and top with shaved Parmesan. It’s a great way to make canned tuna a little fancier but would also work with canned salmon or crab meat.

Tuna Salad Meal Prep

If you’d like to meal prep this salad, combine all of the ingredients except for the arugula and put in individual containers. Right before eating, add the arugula. Without the greens mixed in, this dish will last in the fridge 4 to 5 days.


  • Swap the arugula for baby spinach.
  • If you don’t have elbow macaroni, any short pasta, like rotini, farfalle, or cavatappi, will work.
  • Add fresh cherry tomatoes, avocados, or red onions for extra veggies.
  • Switch out the canned tuna for canned crab meat or salmon.
  • If you’re not a seafood fan, sub the tuna for grilled or rotisserie chicken.

Cold Tuna Macaroni Salad with ArugulaMayo-less Tuna Pasta SaladMayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad


Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad
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5 from 15 votes
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Tuna Pasta Salad

271.5 Cals 24.5 Protein 23 Carbs 10.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Yield: 2 servings
CUISINE: American
This Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad is the answer if you’re not a fan of mayonnaise and love a cold tuna pasta salad for lunch on a hot summer day.


  • 5 oz canned albacore tuna, drained
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta, from 2 oz dry (or GF pasta)
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 oz fresh shaved Parmesan


  • In a large bowl toss tuna with capers, oil, vinegar, arugula, pasta and pepper.
    Mayo-less Tuna Pasta Salad
  • Divide on two plates and top with shaved Parmesan.


Serving: 1/2 of recipe, Calories: 271.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 24.5g, Fat: 10.5g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 463mg, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugar: 1.5g
WW Points Plus: 7
Keywords: cold tuna macaroni salad, healthy tuna pasta salad, how to make tuna macaroni salad, tuna macaroni salad

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  1. Great, quick, healthy lunch. Looking forward to it for the rest of the week!

  2. I was really pleasantly surprised here! I meal prepped this, and as suggested, prepared without the arugula, which I added in this morning. After making the tuna/pasta mixture I was concerned it would be too dry, and the flavor wouldn’t carry though. I’m happy to report I was wrong! May add a bit more arugula next time just to bulk things out. Made this with red lentil sedans I rather that whole wheat pasta, for an extra kick of protein. Yum!

  3. Great salad! We’re not fans of capers, so I substituted lemon juice and a bit of zest for the vinegar. Also added a cup of blanched broccoli in the last minute of cooking the pasta. Overall, great hot weather dish! 

  4. Excellent light lunch. I found a canned tuna with jalepenos and have been using that for extra flavor.

  5. Who would of thought arugula in a tuna salad would taste so good? yum

  6. Loved this! Extremely simple to make and easy to pack for work lunches. I took out the cheese and added a sprinkle of sea salt and it was perfect!

  7. I can’t believe how much I DIDN’T miss the traditional may tuna salad. I added extra capers and vinegar because I love the bite they bring. Also used lentil pasta as that is what I had on hand. It is rare I find a new lunch recipe I want to make again but I will definitely will be making this regularly.

  8. Yum! I had canned chicken from Costco so I used that instead. Also used lemon juice instead of vinegar and added a chopped cucumber and red onion 🙂

  9. Tried this salad this afternoon and it was delicious.  Added some kalamata olives I had on hand as I didn’t have any cheese.  So yummy and am definitely adding this to my lunch options.

  10. I know I’d love this!  Sure wish I could find WW Cavatappi pasta.  Lovin’ the Arugula (I always get the ‘Baby’ one.  Great Salad.

    • Delallo has the BEST whole wheat pasta and they have cavatappi pasta.  Great taste, great customer service, fast shipping and sales. 

  11. This looks great! I am sensitive to vinegar though. Could I eliminate it or replace with something else?

  12. Yummy!!!

    • This became one of my regular meal preps last summer during lockdown. Enjoying it again now that the warm weather is back. Easy, yummy and filling.

  13. I loved this recipe! I’m on the Purple plan and used whole wheat pasta for 0 points, and spray olive oil for 0 points also. The whole meal was only 1 point (for 2 tbs shredded parmesan cheese).

  14. I can’t find how many freestyle points this is, just sp and points +

  15. i had just bought the individual packets of water packed tuna and I didn’t have capers but substituted marinated artichoke hearts.  Also had the “Ready Pasta” by Barilla so this was incredibly quick and easy to put together.  I used spring mix and some added arugula.  Definitely a keeper. 

  16. This was wonderful. I grilled up 2 salmon portions (I didn’t know that canned salmon has bones? Ick) and used ditalini pasta. Surprisingly very filling, no other side dish or veggies were necessary. 

  17. Just made this and I can only say that – Try and you will love it!! So good!!! I did use Romaine lettuce and whole wheat spiral pasta as that is what I had on hand. Didn't know I liked capers either! YUM!! Thanks Gina! Love your site!

  18. this is just so incredibly delicious! thank you!! eating as i type and just enjoying it immensely! i love how healthy it is, too!

  19. I made this for lunch today and it was delicious. The only thing I changed was that I used baby spinach instead of arugula, just because it's what I had on hand. I used rotini (spiral) pasta. Thanks!

  20. Even tastier than expected. And filling! I was a little worried when I saw the amount of pasta, but it was enough. I actually had some left over egg salad I stirred in and it was great.