Tuna and Orzo Pasta Salad

a bowl of orzo with canned tuna and herbs

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5 from 6 reviews

Olive oil-packed tuna is mixed with orzo, celery, dill, lemon and mayo to make this light and flavorful cold tuna and orzo pasta salad. 


Units Scale
  • 1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) uncooked orzo
  • Two 5-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise, plus more to taste
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 2 to 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley (or more to taste)
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Optional Additional Ingredients

  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Capers (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Grated carrot
  • White or red onion, finely chopped
  • More fresh herbs (mint or basil)
  • Arugula or sprouts (roughly chopping the arugula makes it easier to eat in the salad)



  1. Cook the orzo according to package instructions, or use your Instant Pot to make Instant Pot Orzo
  2. Let the orzo cool to room temperature while prepping the rest of the ingredients. 
  3.  In a large bowl, combine the orzo with the entire cans of tuna (tuna + oil), mayonnaise, celery, green onion, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix well. 
  4. Add a few grinds of black pepper and a generous amount of salt to taste.
  5. Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking, adding more mayo and/or lemon juice if needed.
  6. If this salad has been refrigerated for a day, you'll probably have to adjust the flavors again before serving, most likely adding more lemon and salt. 


This tuna salad keeps for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator