Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad

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Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad – yes, you read that right. This pasta salad is so dang good I made it two days in a row last week and doubled the recipe the second time I made it just to guarantee leftovers for my lunch.

These flavors were the best impulse decision I’ve made in the kitchen in a while. I really liked this salad from the first bite, but my family went absolutely crazy over it!

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna pasta salad is a popular favorite for a good reason. And as much as I love the classic, sometimes it’s fun to change things up.

If you’ve been around me for long, you’ve probably caught on that my favorite ways to mix recipes up usually involve some heat. Green chiles, habaneros, serranos, jalapenos, cayenne, you name it, we probably love it.

That little bit of heat that jalapenos add to this pasta salad contributes something special. If you’re leery of the heat, start with half the amount and increase from there. (Side note: the creamy dressing really does help control the heat in this recipe. It isn’t super spicy as the recipe is written.)

Tuna Pasta Salad with Jalapenos is a winner

Jalapeno Recipes

Do you love jalapenos? My family really does, so we use them in a lot of recipes. The jalapeno adds a whole new depth of flavor to this Jalapeno Corn Coleslaw and this Jalapeno Honey Butter is pretty amazing on all sorts of breads.

Have you tried a fruit salsa? This Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa is a hit with kids and adults. Cranberry Pepper Jam is a cheeseboard favorite every time I serve it.

Are you a salad lover? There’s nothing like a fun dressing to mix things up and this Honey Lime Jalapeno Vinaigrette is perfect for that.

Jalapeno Ranch Dip, Spicy Guacamole, and Queso Blanco Dip are a few more snacks that you are going to love.

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad is a summer favorite.

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Drain and rinse until the pasta is cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jalapeno juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the cool pasta to the dressing and stir to coat the pasta.
  4. Add the tuna, cheese, jalapeno, onion, and parsley. Stir again to mix well.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad - you're going to love this!

Not a fan of tuna? This salad is awesome with canned chicken too.

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Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad is a summer favorite.

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad

4.84 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 17 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces mini penne, elbow, or small shell pasta
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons juice from jarred jalapenos
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-12 ounces tuna in water, well-drained
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks or cubes, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup jarred sliced jalapenos, chopped fine, about 1/3 of a 12-ounce jar
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions or finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped small

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Drain and rinse until the pasta is cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jalapeno juice, salt, and pepper. Add the cool pasta to the bowl and stir to coat the pasta. Add the tuna, cheese, jalapeno, onion, and parsley. Stir again to mix well.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Not a fan of tuna? This salad is terrific with chicken too.

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal · Carbohydrates: 29g · Protein: 19g · Fat: 35g · Saturated Fat: 9g · Cholesterol: 53mg · Sodium: 663mg · Potassium: 217mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 433IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 158mg · Iron: 2mg
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Jalapenos add something special to this Tuna Pasta Salad!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. karen marie says

    I love tuna and pasta salads. This sounds great. I’m a little surprised at the jarred jalapenos rather than fresh but I can see it working well – jarred jalapenos are pickled, so …

    For the longest time I could not understand why I didn’t like canned tuna as much as I did when I was younger, and then I discovered that it’s because I don’t like tuna packed in water! One would think that tuna packed in oil would be greasy – it is totally not. It is incredibly delicious – so delicious, one can eat it straight from the can with no dressing. Nom! 5 stars

  2. Gloria Payne says

    I’m about to make your Jalapeño Tuna Pasta Salad and wanted to clear on the ingredients. Is there 10 cans of 12oz. Tuna or is it 10oz to 12 oz tuna . Please let me know please as I so want to make this salad really soon.
    Thank you for this recipe and all your other recipes
    Gloria

    • Mary Younkin says

      oh my goodness, it’s just 10-12 ounces TOTAL of tuna fish. I’ll make a note in the recipe to make sure it’s clear, Gloria. (2) 5-ounce cans or (1) larger one.

    • Lizette says

      This looks very delicious. What would you recommend to substitute mayonnaise to cut back on the sodium for my mother’s diet?

    • Mary Younkin says

      I imagine it will work with less mayo and sour cream to make up the difference, Lizette. However, a sour cream dressing will not hold as nicely in the fridge. (Just a heads up, it will be watery later.)

  3. Alex says

    Hi Mary!
    I was craving macaroni salad for the weekend & your recipe appeared! I LOVE
    jalapeño anything so I just made it! All I can say is YUM! I am a fan of this & YOU! Thank you for bringing joy into my life! Now on to my plate of jalapeño tuna salad!5 stars

  4. Donna Trease says

    This is so delicious. We have a 29 year old Male, a 71 year old Male, and I am a 65 year old female. We liked it warm and cold. Thank you for sharing! Very easy to make. You’ll want to double this great dish.5 stars

  5. steve logie says

    Very good and tasty! Just the right amount of heat for get togethers. For myself I’ll heat it up a bit!5 stars

  6. Anne says

    Aloha! This is the third time I am making this. Wheat (makes my skin break out) and rice (puts me to sleep) and I don’t get along so … I used Miracle Rice made from seaweed. Added slivers of radish, fresh diced red and green jalapeño, pickled garlic, purple cabbage, string carrots, parsley and black seed to the fresh mix. I had some salted cod patties I had made up in the freezer so I diced and cooked instead of canned tuna. I made my own mayo with egg, avocado oil and pickled jalapeño juice. THE BEST YET!!! I can send you a picture if you want.5 stars

  7. Ann says

    The dressing is delicious and so good with the tuna and pasta. I did not include the cheese in the salad and instead served the tuna pasta salad with cheese and crackers on the side.4 stars