Pasta Salad Recipe:
Use Your Imagination!

When the weather turns hot, I get out this pasta salad recipe. On a sweltering summer day, no one feels like eating anything hot, but we still need the energy that a full meal provides.

pasta salad recipe

This is a perfect summer meal. It's light and refreshing, but full of filling and nutritious ingredients.

The beauty of this one is that it is so easily modified. You'll notice that I haven't specified any quantities. Make enough pasta to feed your family, and then throw in enough of the other ingredients so that it looks tasty to you! You can also experiment with other ingredients, and invent your own delicious quick meals.

I always make more of this than I'll need, because the leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • rotini
    • canned tuna
    • curry powder
    • turmeric

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • mayonnaise
    • frozen peas

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a saucepan
    • a large bowl
    • a can opener
    • a large spoon

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a strainer for draining and rinsing the pasta (highly recommended)

    The recipe


    canned tuna, drained

    frozen peas

    curry powder


    Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
    Drain it and transfer it to a large bowl.
    Add the mayonnaise - just enough so that the pasta is well-coated but not soggy.
    Add the tuna.
    Add the frozen peas.
    Add the curry powder, to taste.
    Add the turmeric - just enough to give the salad a lovely yellow color.
    Mix well.
    Serve immediately, or refrigerate until you're ready to eat.


    • Use any chunky pasta (like fusilli or macaroni) instead of rotini.

    • Use fresh cooked fish instead of canned tuna.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • What about using canned salmon instead of the tuna? Or canned ham or chicken?

    • Add any frozen or fresh vegetables. Frozen corn might be nice. How about small broccoli florets, either uncooked or lightly steamed?

    • Use your own homemade mayonnaise.


    • If you plan to eat the salad as soon as you have made it, rinse the pasta under cold water several times before putting it in the bowl. This will cool it quickly.

    • There is no need to thaw the frozen peas. The warm pasta and the hot weather will thaw them quickly. If you do prefer to thaw them, put them in a strainer and run cool water over them.

    • Always keep food safety in mind when using mayonnaise. Keep the pasta salad refrigerated until you're ready to eat it.

    Menu suggestion

    For a light summer supper, serve this dish with

    • crackers and cheese

    • sliced tomatoes and cucumbers

    If you enjoy this pasta salad recipe, you may also like these other easy salad recipes: