Tuna Pasta Salad

Growing up, when it became hot out, my mom would make this delicious salad for dinner.  It’s filling, yet refreshing, not to mention incredibly flavorful and simple to make.  It’s one of my all time favorite summer meals.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


1 lb small pasta shells

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced

2 (7.5 oz) packages tuna fish packed in water

3/4 cup mayonnaise, such as Dukes or Helman’s

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup fresh dill, minced, or 1/2 cup dried dill

2 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Butterhead lettuce leaves

Various crudités, for serving


1. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.

2. Once cooked, drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain completely.

3. Combine the pasta, celery, yellow onion, and tuna fish in a large bowl.

4. Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, dill, chives, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning according to your preference.

5. Add half of the dressing to the pasta-tuna mixture and stir to combine.  Chill the mixture and remaining dressing, separately, until cold.

6.  When ready to serve, mix the remaining dressing a little at a time into the tuna pasta salad, until moistened (you may not need to add all of it).  Taste for seasoning.  If needed, add salt and pepper to taste.

7. On serving plates, create a bowl using 2-3 lettuce leaves, root-ends overlapping.  Spoon the tuna pasta salad into the center of the lettuce bowls, about 1 1/2 cups per serving.  Sprinkle with chives.

8. Place various vegetables such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, grape tomatoes, and olives around the lettuce bowls and serve.

Serves 4-6 

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