The secret to this delicious pasta salad is a creamy low-fat dressing made with bottled roasted red peppers. If you have cooked chicken on hand, you can substitute it for the tuna.

Ruth Cousineau
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 1998


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.

  • Combine tuna, 1/3 cup red peppers, onion (or scallions) and capers in a large bowl.

  • Combine yogurt, basil, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and the remaining 1/3 cup red peppers in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.

  • Cook pasta until just tender, 10 to 14 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add to the tuna mixture along with the red pepper sauce; toss to coat.


Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.

Nutrition Facts

258 calories; protein 15.9g; carbohydrates 39.1g; dietary fiber 5.8g; sugars 3.3g; fat 5.2g; saturated fat 0.7g; cholesterol 15.5mg; vitamin a iu 685.2IU; vitamin c 18.7mg; folate 33mcg; calcium 73.3mg; iron 2.8mg; magnesium 76.7mg; potassium 227.8mg; sodium 475.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (7)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
I LOVE this recipe and make it all the time. Often use green onion in place of scallions (as green onions are in the fridge more often!) and don't usually add capers. Extra roasted red pepper slices and peas (often on hand in the freezer) help punch up the veggies. I usually serve it over a bed of spinach with some shaved parmesan on top. I like it even better the next day... makes for great lunches and easy suppers! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Didn't make the grade for flavor or texture An attempt at a more healthy salad that does NOT pass the test. The sharp onion overpowers the subtle tuna and sauce. The whole wheat penne has the wrong wrong wrong with this dish because it did not pick up any of the pepper sauce flavor. My first reaction was disgusting but that may be too strong. Some die hard health nuts may suffer through eating this but I don't see anyone actually enjoying it. My son is trying to heat it now to save our invested time and ingredients Pros: Healthy Cons: Flavor combinations textures Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Last minute dinner dish was a wonderful surprise! We were looking for a way to use up some red peppers we roasted and our meals require flavor without sacrificing healthy ingredients. This meal fit the bill perfectly. I read the recipe too quickly and didn't realize you had to puree some ingredients to make a creamy sauce but that was the only small hiccup. It came together quickly and was the perfect amount for a meal (we had a side of fruit) and lunches the next day. I like that it uses yogurt to make the cream sauce instead of actual cream or other fatty ingredients. The flavors blended nicely such that neither the tuna red onion or capers were overpowering. We are really excited to have come across this recipe and have no doubt it will become a go-to for us. Pros: healthy ingredients heats up nicely next day satisfying Cons: requires a blender Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe is very refreshing...and you can feel great about eating it too! Very balanced flavors. I made it exactly as described except I added more sliced roasted red peppers. The sweetness of the peppers paired well with the salty tangy flavors of the capers and lemon juice. Will definitely be making it again soon! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious! I did not have scallions so I minced some sweet onion and added peas as recommended by another reviewer. It looks beautiful and tastes wonderful. Pros: Easy to make and very good. Love the dressing! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Hearty yet refreshing and light! I've been looking for alternatives for my husband's lunch as he is not able to warm food up and has pretty much been eating sandwiches for years. I made this recipe for him and divided it into two lunches. We both tried it before I packed everything up and agreed that it was absolutely delicious. It has a perfect balance of flavors and is delightfully light. Great for summer. And I think I'll be using it as my go to potluck dish. It's still pasta salad but different enough from normal pasta salads to probably draw some positive comments: ) Pros: flavors perfectly balanced Cons: nada Read More
Rating: 5 stars
very tasty - loved it I had to quit the onions and garlic this time but I'll certainly use them next time;) I'm loosing weight fast and these recipes are my heaven. I also changed a bit the preparation:) Pros: light tasty Cons: no cons Read More