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If there's one thing I always devoured in my school lunchboxes it was a super simple but delicious Gluten Free Tuna Pasta Salad.
Not only is it really easy to make, it's also an affordable lunch idea and great for making in bulk for meal prep.
Plus this tuna pasta salad doubles up as a killer BBQ side dish or something for a picnic when you want to bring your own dish.
I use simple storecupboard ingredients with a tasty pesto mayo dressing but you can easily mix this recipe up how you like.
And if you're dairy or egg free too I've added some notes below on how you can make this gluten free recipe suitable for everyone.
So next time you're lacking in lunch inspiration, bookmark this page and come back to it so you can make this gluten free pasta salad over-and-over again.
Can gluten free pasta be eaten cold?
I'm going to level with you - gluten free pasta, much like all gluten free food, is best eaten when freshly cooked.
A lot of gluten free pasta goes quite hard in the fridge, so if you're making a dish like a pasta salad I recommend investing in a good brand.
The absolute BEST gluten free pasta I've tried is the Napolina gluten free pasta.
Yes, it's pricier. But it holds together so well, the texture is great and for a gluten free pasta salad like this, it's perfect.
Juvela also does a gluten free pasta which holds together very well and you can buy it from their online shop (I recommend their bread rolls too!)
Brown rice pasta tends to also be a good alternative for a healthy tuna pasta salad as this holds up better than some corn varieties.
Does gluten free pasta work for pasta salad?
I definitely find this gluten free tuna pasta salad is best eaten once it has cooled a bit, but not been refrigerated all day.
The fact it has a mayonnaise sauce definitely helps to keep it softer but I'd definitely recommend you look at choosing a decent pasta brand.
The best way to eat this dish in my opinion is to make it an hour-or-so before eating, then let it cool on the worktop until it's time to serve.
Especially if you're having it as a side dish for a BBQ or salad spread - you can make it when the BBQ is warming up then it's ready for when the meat is cooked.
Tuna Pasta Salad ingredients
There's a full printable recipe card below, but here's a list of the main ingredients you'll need for this tuna pasta salad.
I've also included ideas for any substitutions if you want to mix it up or have other dietary requirements to think of.
- Gluten Free Pasta - As above, I recommend picking a good brand of pasta. I like to use fusilli (swirls) or penne (tubes) as it holds the pesto mayo dressing really well.
- Tinned Tuna - Well, it wouldn't be a tuna pasta salad without it, right!?
- Tinned Sweetcorn - Because tuna and sweetcorn are just the dream team. You can also use frozen sweetcorn (defrosted) in this recipe if you prefer. Frozen peas (also defrosted) are a great alternative if you don't like sweetcorn.
- Kalamata Olives - Any form of olives will work but I just love the big, salty flavours they add to this dish. You could omit them if you don't like olives or try switching them for chopped, sundried tomatoes instead.
- Spring Onions - These just add a kick of flavour without being overpowering. I do love spring onions in any form of salad.
- Mayonnaise - You can use a vegan mayo if you need the recipe to be egg/dairy free. I prefer a fuller-fat one as it makes the pasta salad much creamier.
- Pesto - Just bulk standard, green pesto is a winner. If you want to mix it up try a red pesto or even a chilli one. And for dairy free/vegan, use a vegan pesto instead.
My gluten free tuna pasta salad recipe
This gluten free tuna pasta salad recipe is perfect for lunches and the ideal side dish for a summer salad or BBQ.
It's also a great picnic staples and school lunchbox idea too - especially as it's so easy to change up the flavours and fillings.
This recipe serves 2 as a main course or 4 people as a side dish.
If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your creations!
And please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
Gluten Free Tuna Pasta Salad
I have so many fond memories of tuna pasta salad as a kid but it's so hard to find gluten free. Luckily, it's really easy to make at home ready for lunchboxes!
- 200g gluten free pasta
- 1 x 100g tin of tuna (drained)
- 130g tinned sweetcorn (drained)
- 100g kalamata olives
- 2 spring onions (chopped)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp pesto
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and once boiling, add the pasta. Cook as per the pack instructions until al dente - usually around 8-10 minutes.
- Mix the mayo and pesto in a bowl until combined and set to one side.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and the pesto mayo, mix well and serve.
- Add fresh torn basil leaves if you like and enjoy hot or cold. If making to eat cold, I recommend checking the notes for my preferred pasta.
- A lot of gluten free pasta can go hard or break up when eaten cold. I do recommend shelling out for the Napolina gluten free pasta - it's the best I've tried. Failing that, make this as close to eating as possible!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g
Need more gluten free lunch recipe inspiration?
Here are some more easy lunch recipes you can try out once you've made this Gluten Free Tuna Pasta Salad.
- Chickpea and Halloumi Salad
- Tomato Soup with gluten free croutons
- Gluten Free Greggs-style steak bakes
- Homemade gluten free Scotch Eggs
If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram.
If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
Like this Gluten Free Tuna Pasta Salad recipe?
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