Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Recipe Redux: Pasta Salad with Tuna, Olives, and Parsley

We are going back to the beginning.

As in, really far back. This recipe takes us back to August 25, 2011. For those of you not in the know, I started my blog in May of 2011. I started it aimlessly, mostly just to have a place to occasionally write down ideas in my head and a good way to keep my parents updated on my shenanigans. This wasn't the first recipe I ever posted, but it's probably in the top 10 of my first foodie posts. Back then, I posted whatever was on my mind. It was mostly wrap-up's of family events, couponing trip summaries, and makeup reviews. I'd been cooking for maybe 2 years at the time and the words "food blog" had never entered my vocabulary. I didn't even know that food blogs existed.

As most of us bloggers do, I gradually found my way. I began to discover food blogs. The Pioneer Woman was the first one that I found and fell in love with. From there, I found blogs like Skinnytaste, Eat Live Run, and The Country Cook. I was hooked and my blog gradually began to move in the food direction, although in the beginning, I posted a lot of other miscellaneous stuff. I didn't know one iota about food photography. Here's the original picture from the first time I posted this recipe-

Oi. Such a sad picture! I think this was taken with a first generation i-Phone. It's crazy how much more appetizing something can look in the right light! I'm pretty sure I took this photo at like 7 pm when it was completely dark. I did eventually discover in that Ashland kitchen that the large window spilled tons of natural photography light into the room. It was just the sun had to actually be out. Ha ha. 

Then, I came back and re-did it again. Here's that photo-

OMG. Is that the same picture or what? At any rate, let's do this properly!

This is an awesome, and fairly inexpensive salad to make. We all keep pasta on hand right? I've made this salad with lots of different pasta shapes. Ziti, penne, rigatoni, etc. I've found twisty pasta is the best though, like rotini or fusilli. I happened to use gemelli because I ordered 16 boxes from Amazon. 

You read that right. I ordered 16 boxes of gemelli off of Amazon. Why? One, they don't sell that shape here and it's my favorite. Two, I got a great price because I bought in bulk. I joke with the hubby that it's my lifetime supply of gemelli. Ah, the joys of living in the boonies. 

My point? Use whatever shape is your favorite!

Other than that, the salad utilizes canned tuna. You could also use one of those pouches of tuna. Add some tomatoes, red onion, sliced green olives, a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest and fresh parsley, and finish with a citrusy vinaigrette. You'll find this to be a tasty light dinner after all those heavy holiday meals. 

This might be personal preference, but for me, this salad must be chilled. Must. I suspect if you like warm tuna (like in casseroles or tuna melts), you could eat this salad warm. Me? Not so much.

Yuck. I hate warm tuna :{

So yeah, COLD is the only way for me. 

One of my many boxes of gemelli ;)

I zest my lemons before I juice them. Er, I guess there's really no other way to do that, now that I think about it. I'm not sure if you can zest a smushed lemon. At any rate, fresh lemon juice takes the simple vinaigrette to a new level.

Give the dressing a quick whisk-

And then drizzle all over the good stuff. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaah. 

You know what else this salad would be good for? Lunches! It's the perfect packable, time-saving lunch. Make it a the beginning of the week, and simply scoop it into tupperware for a quick, yet healthy lunch.

BOOM {drops mic}

Dinner? Done :)

Happy Tuesday friends!

Recipe adapted from: All You

Ingredients (serves 6):

1 lb curly pasta, dried
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (12 oz) can of tuna, packed in water, drained, flaked
1/2 cup green olives, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, drain pasta and run under cold water until pasta is cold. Add pasta to a large mixing bowl.
2. Add tomatoes, tuna, olives, onion, lemon zest, and parsley to the bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk thoroughly until well mixed. Drizzle dressing over salad. Toss the salad until all the ingredients are coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
4. Chill salad in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
5. Serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you liked this recipe, you many enjoy these-


  1. Yum! That looks and sounds really good. I love tuna salad. And I know what you mean about the gemelli pasta - it's a perfect shape for pasta salads. I live in in the far suburbs of Chicago, but even out here I can find this pasta shape in every store. Have a wonderful week!

    1. One thing I hate about living so rurally is the shopping. I have 3 Kroger's within 30 minutes and not one of them carry untraditional pasta shapes. So frustrating! Thank goodness for Amazon :-)

      Have a great week Melanie!


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