If you’re like me, you struggle to fit all the major food groups into your meals. Not only does it take a while to prepare all of the veggies, carbs, and proteins, but it can get expensive too. This pasta salad is inexpensive, super quick, and covers your grains, proteins, vegetables, and fruits in one dish.

This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember and this summer, I decided to make it for my best friends at our very first summer barbecue without parental guidance. ‘Twas a success. You need to try it.

summer pasta salad

Photo by Dani Weinstein

The Johnston Summer Pasta Salad

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:8-10 minutes
  • Total Time:15 minutes
  • Servings:4 people
  • Easy


  • 1 box whole grain penne
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 bouquet broccoli
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 11 oz no drain packaged tunafish
  • 3 glugs olive oil
  • 3 glugs red wine vinegar
  • 3 pinch salt
  • 3 pinch pepper
  • 2 spoonfuls mayo
Photo by Dani Weinstein
  • Step 1

    Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes.

    Photo by Dani Weinstein
  • Step 2

    Cut broccoli into small florets and boil for 3 minutes.

    Photo by Dani Weinstein
  • Step 3

    Drain broccoli and rinse under cold water.

  • Step 4

    Chop onions, peppers, and cherry tomatoes.

    Photo by Dani Weinstein
  • Step 5

    Drain pasta and rinse it under cold water.

  • Step 6

    Take tuna out of package and add in 2 spoonfuls of mayo.

    Photo by Dani Weinstein
  • Step 7

    Add all veggies (broccoli, peppers, onions, arugula, and tomatoes) and all of the tuna to the pasta, then gently mix it in.

  • Step 8

    Dress with oil and vinegar (to taste).

  • Step 9

    Serve at room temperature.

    Photo by Dani Weinstein