We’ve all been there: you make a fantastic tuna pasta salad, and you want to serve it alongside something that will complement the dish.
Tuna pasta salad is an extremely versatile dish that can be served alongside a wide variety of side dishes—and I’m here to help you choose one!
So, what do you serve with tuna pasta salad?
One of the best ways to serve tuna pasta salad is alongside simple dishes like potato salad, or even a simple green salad. You can also serve it with grilled chicken, if you’re looking for something a little more substantial. If you’re looking for something a little more filling, try serving it with a crusty baguette.
For even more ideas, keep scrolling!
What to Serve with Tuna Pasta Salad
Here are 10 easy side dishes that pair beautifully with tuna pasta salad:
I love to serve these breadsticks with my tuna pasta salad.
It’s a great way to get a little extra fiber in your diet, and the whole family will love them.
They’re also really easy to make!
Just follow these steps:
- First, cut the top off of a loaf of fresh Italian bread.
- Then slice it into sticks that are about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.
- Next, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat until it starts shimmering (but not smoking).
- Then add your breadsticks and cook them until they’re golden brown on both sides.
- Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the rest of your meal (or just eat them straight out of the pan).
But here’s where it gets fun: why not try serving them with a dipping sauce? You can make one from scratch or use store-bought ketchup, mustard, or whatever else you like.
The possibilities are endless!
Another one of my favorite side dishes to serve with my tuna pasta salad is crackers.
You can choose any kind you like, but I really love the saltiness and crunch of the pretzel variety.
I usually make a batch of these in advance and keep them in a sealed container at room temperature until I’m ready to eat them.
They’re great because they’re salty and crunchy, which helps cut through the creamy texture of the tuna pasta salad.
You can also take this one step further by making your own homemade crackers!
It’s not too difficult, and you’ll have a delicious snack or side dish for whenever you need it.
All you need is some flour, salt, butter or shortening (or both), and water.
Mix together all your ingredients until they form dough that holds together well enough to roll out into shapes on a baking sheet—then bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes until they’re golden brown on top!
3. French Fries
French fries are a great side dish for tuna pasta salad.
Here’s how I prepare them:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the potatoes into strips about 1/4-inch thick, then rinse them under cold water to remove any excess starch.
- Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add enough olive oil to coat them well, and toss until they’re evenly coated with oil on all sides.
- Spread out your potatoes on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (or simply use one baking sheet). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy around the edges—keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired (I love adding fresh rosemary too).
4. Fresh Fruit
I love fresh fruit with any pasta salad recipe.
- First, I start by washing the fruit.
- Then, I cut it into slices or cubes and place them in a serving bowl.
- The tuna pasta salad requires just a few minutes of cooking time and is best served warm. For this reason, I’ll often make the pasta salad first and then set it aside while I prepare the fresh fruit.
- Once all my ingredients are ready, I combine them on one plate and enjoy!
Fresh fruit is a great way to add color and flavor to your meal without overloading on calories or carbs.
If you’re looking for some other ideas for incorporating fresh fruits into your diet, try adding strawberries or blueberries to your morning smoothie!
5. Potato Chips
I like to make my potato chips with a mandolin, and then fry them in canola oil until they are just lightly browned (so it doesn’t matter if the slices aren’t perfectly uniform).
This is a great side dish to serve alongside tuna pasta salad.
The potato chips add a nice crunch, and they’re pretty neutral flavor-wise—so they don’t compete with the tuna or the dressing.
I always like to keep tortilla chips on hand for when I want to make a quick meal.
- For this dish, I spread them out on a baking sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Then I sprinkle them with salt and pepper and let them cool down.
This is a great side dish for any type of entrée, but it’s especially delicious when served with tuna pasta salad.
The crunchy texture of the chips pairs perfectly with the soft texture of the pasta salad, and their salty flavor complements the tuna’s sweetness perfectly.
If you’d like to make some guacamole to go along with your meal, try mixing up some avocado slices with lime juice, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic powder, and cilantro in a bowl—you can serve this alongside your tortillas or as an appetizer!
Naans are a delicious, versatile side dish that often I like to serve.
They’re made from a leavened bread dough that’s baked on a pan.
They’re great for scooping up sauces or soaking up juices—and they make an excellent base for grilled meat and vegetables.
To prepare naans, you’ll need to make some time for rising the dough.
This is where you’ll spend the bulk of your time, because it takes about 1 hour for the dough to rise properly.
It’s not difficult though—just follow these steps:
- Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, salt, sugar).
- Add the warm water and knead until smooth. You may need to add more water if your dough is too dry or more flour if your dough is too sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- Punch down and divide into 8 pieces (it should be easy to do this now that it has risen!).
- Roll each piece into an 8″ circle on lightly floured surface; brush with melted butter or oil before baking at 450 degrees F for 5 minutes per side until puffed and golden brown.
This simple tomato and zucchini salad is a great side dish.
It’s super easy to make, and it’s very healthy.
The best part is that it tastes amazing!
- First, I wash a few tomatoes and cut them into wedges.
- Then I lay them on a plate and sprinkle salt over them.
- After that, I cut up some zucchini into thin slices, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast them at 400F until they’re tender and golden brown.
- And then I serve my tuna pasta salad alongside the roasted zucchini and tomatoes—the contrast between the crispy veggies and creamy pasta is really nice (plus it makes my meal look extra fancy!).
Tip: Try serving this dish with a squeeze of lemon juice over top!
9. Onion Soup
I love this recipe.
It’s perfect next to a pasta salad because it adds another layer of flavor and texture to the meal.
- First, I chop up some onions, carrots, and celery.
- Then I cook them in a pot with water and butter until the vegetables are soft. After that, I add chicken broth and simmer until everything is tender.
- Finally, I puree all the ingredients with an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth!
It’s so easy!
Just serve this soup on the side of your tuna pasta salad.
Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some cooked ground beef or sausage (or both) to this recipe—it’s delicious!
10. Tomato Soup
This is a great side dish to serve with your tuna pasta salad.
It’s filling and healthy, so you know you’re getting something good for you.
Plus, it’s super easy to make!
- I like to chop up some tomatoes, then sauté them in olive oil until they’re soft.
- Then I add tomato paste and some water and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
This is a great way to get some veggies into your belly before digging into all that pasta salad goodness!
Tip: If you want to add some extra flavor, feel free to add basil or parsley!
What to Add to Tuna Pasta Salad
Tuna pasta salad is a delicious option for lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking for ways to spice up your tuna pasta salad, one of the best things you can do is add a little lemon juice and garlic.
It’s also great served over a bed of lettuce or spinach.
But what else can you add?
Here are 10 of my favorite ingredients:
I love olives.
They’re salty, but not too much so, and they add a great texture to tuna pasta salad, especially when you cut them up and mix them in with everything else.
2. Chopped Peppers
I also love peppers!
Not spicy ones—just regular bell peppers that you can chop up into little pieces, or even just leave whole if you want to mix them in with everything else.
Parsley is one of my favorite herbs to use in cooking because it has such a fresh flavor that pairs well with other ingredients (especially seafood).
Croutons give a nice crunchy texture and are great for soaking up extra dressing (if it’s too wet).
To make croutons, cut up some bread into cubes, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake them until they’re crispy.
Cucumbers are another great addition to this dish.
They add a coolness and crispness that works well with the tuna and pasta in this recipe.
You can slice them thinly or grate them for a different texture!
6. Chopped Celery
Chopped celery provides an extra pop of color and crunchiness to your salad—and if you choose celery with leaves still attached, it looks really pretty too!
7. A Little Bit of Mustard Powder
Mustard powder is a great addition to tuna pasta salad.
It adds a little bit of spice and flavor, and it’s super easy to mix in with the rest of your ingredients.
- Just add a couple tablespoons to some mayonnaise and stir until combined.
- Then add that mixture into your pasta salad, along with some red onion and a little bit of mayonnaise (to make it creamier).
This is another ingredient that you can’t go wrong with.
It makes everything taste better!
And who doesn’t like mayo?
So just add as much as you like!
9. Red Onion
Red onions are another ingredient that adds both flavor and color to your tuna pasta salad.
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, however, try using green onions instead!
I’ve always loved tomatoes in my pasta salad.
They’re a great addition because they add a bit of color and flavor, but they don’t overpower the taste of the tuna.
Tomatoes are also really healthy for you, so it’s a win-win!
What to Serve with Cold Tuna Pasta Salad
A great dish to pair with cold tuna pasta salad is a warm spinach salad. Spinach has a sweet flavor and works well with the salty flavor of the tuna.
You can also add some sliced almonds or pecans to add some crunch and texture to the salad, plus a little bit of protein.
What to Serve with Tuna Macaroni Salad
Tuna macaroni salad is a great summertime dish that can be served as part of a picnic spread, or alongside some fresh bread and a side salad.
Here are some of my favorite things to serve with tuna macaroni salad:
- Watermelon – This makes a great pairing because it’s sweet, but not too sweet. The two flavors balance each other out nicely.
- Cheese – This is another simple pairing that goes well with the tuna macaroni salad because the two share similar textures, so they can be eaten together without any trouble.
- Fruit Salad – The sweetness of fruit complements the savory flavor of tuna macaroni salad nicely! You can also add some nuts for crunch if desired!
What to Serve with Tuna Pasta Salad (10 Easy Sides)
- French Fries
- Fresh Fruit
- Potato Chips
- Tortilla Chips
- A Simple Tomato and Zucchini Salad
- Onion Soup
- Tomato Soup
- Pick any side dish from this list to serve with your meal.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to munch in no time!