Upgrade Your Next Cookout With Our New 7-Layer Tuna Salad
Featured Dish/ Tuna

Upgrade Your Next Cookout With Our New 7-Layer Tuna Salad

Hey there, Seafoodies! 

Ahhhh—summer! The busy days and warm nights make us feel nostalgic. When we think about our favorite memories of this season, one thing is certain. There’s nothing quite like lounging in the sun with good company and great food. 

Cookouts, poolside BBQs, campground potlucks, dinner parties on the patio—the list goes on! No matter the menu, every outdoor meal needs a classic pasta salad side to accompany the main meal. 

Hearty and satisfying, this was the inspiration for our latest recipe—7-Layer Tuna Pasta Salad! 

To start, elbow pasta serves as a nice neutral base and is the best size to soak up all the delicious dressing. Gluten-free Seafoodies can easily modify this recipe by subbing out wheat pasta for a protein-rich lentil or chickpea pasta instead. 

Then, toss in some tuna for a low-calorie, heart-healthy protein source that will keep you fueled up for whatever adventures await. Canned or pouched tuna is shelf-stable and budget-friendly which makes this pasta salad even easier to make when you’re planning for an outdoor gathering. 

Add some crispiness and crunch from layers of fresh romaine lettuce, cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes. Tang and zest are provided by chopped red onion, shredded cheddar and a handful of black olives. And finally—our creamy homemade Greek yogurt dressing brings everything together into one phenomenal pasta salad! 

But there’s more! The final requirement of this recipe was that it had to be quick and easy. Because who wants to spend hours in the kitchen when those summer vibes are calling!? So, this whole side dish comes together in about 15 minutes and can be enjoyed right away or prepped ahead and left in the fridge to let the flavors marinate! 

There you have it—our 7-layer Tuna Pasta Salad in all its glory! Simple, satisfying and oh-so-delicious. Really, we think it’s everything you could ask for in a side dish.

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7 Layer Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x



For dressing (or use store-bought creamy yogurt dressing):

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For salad:

  • 8 ounces elbow pasta
  • 34 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 24 ounces of canned or pouched tuna in oil
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup black olives, pitted and halved (optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to directions. When finished cooking, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Make salad dressing by salad ingredients with a whisk until well-combined (or use store-bought creamy yogurt salad dressing). Set aside.
  3. Layer the salad in a large bowl, trifle dish or multiple wide mouth Mason jars with tight-fitting lid by placing the dressing in the bottom. Next, layer the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and olives (optional). Then, add a layer of cooled pasta.  After that, layer the tuna and cheese. Finally, top with lettuce. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 4-8 hours or until chilled, then enjoy or keep refrigerated as a meal prep until you’re ready to eat.


Recommended utensils: pot, colander, bowl, whisk or fork, trifle dish or mason jars 

  • Author: Dish on Fish
  • Cuisine: Tuna

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