Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
Tuna pasta salad is one of the easiest school lunches of all times. The pasta salad can be prepared a day in advance; I usually prep the ingredients the day before and assemble the salad the next morning. All you need is mayonnaise, tuna, boiled pasta (I used fusilli) and various grilled vegetables.
Back to school lunches have never been that easy! Fusilli pasta have a fun look and the corkscrew curl in the center traps the mayonnaise so you get a creamy pasta salad. This one dish makes a balanced meal for kids in your life.
Yields: 6 servings1 (16-ounce) package fusilli pasta, cooked and cool to room temperature
6 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
1 teaspoon horseradish mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
½ teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or any sweetener)
2 (3.5-ounce) pouches albacore tuna
juice of lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 eggplant (1 small eggplant)
6 ounces cooked sugar snap peas, cut into thirds
5 ounces cheddar, diced
2 tablespoons chiffonade basil, (cut into thin ribbons)
2 red and green bell pepper
3 tablespoons capers, drained
For the grilled eggplant: Trim eggplant and slice lengthwise into 5 pieces. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the eggplant slices on the rack. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Pat dry using a paper towel. Brush a hot griddle pan with olive oil. Drizzle oil on the eggplant slices. Place the slices on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks (about 3-4 minutes on each side) on medium heat. Remove from the pan. Dice the grilled eggplant into 1 to 1-½" chunks. Set aside.
Roasting the bell peppers: Cut the stems off the peppers. Wash the bell peppers, pat dry and brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the peppers. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle them without discomfort. Clean the peppers using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed them and cut them into thin long strips. Set aside
Making the pasta salad dressing:
In a bowl, combine the agave nectar, mustard, pickle relish, onion flakes and mayonnaise. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Drizzle the tuna with the rest of the lime juice.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked fusilli pasta, tuna and the salad dressing. Mix well until the pasta is well coated. Add the eggplant, roasted bell peppers and diced cheddar cheese. Toss well.
Garnish with basil and capers.
Serve at room temperature.
I made the salad with the vegetables available in the refrigerator. You could add celery, hearts of palm, marinated artichokes or other greens.
This pasta salad is also perfect if you're hosting a buffet-style party. It's a time saver. You can prepare all the ingredients in advance and store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
If you're a pasta lover, check out my other pasta dishes.Published By: on August 19, 2010.