Frugal Lunch Ideas: Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad is an extremely easy meal with four core ingredients. It can be eaten hot or cold, can easily be bulked up for extra people, or turned into a dinner with an extra ingredient or two. It was one of my main forms of sustenance as a student, and I’ve kept making and eating it through into my adult years.


First, check you have these (vague) ingredients. I say vague, as it doesn’t REALLY matter what kind of dressing it is, as it just needs to be mayonnaise-dressing related depending on your tastes. I’ve also made this with Aioli, Thousand Island, Caesar, and plain old budget Mayo. It really just depends what you like and what you have. I always keep my eye out for dressings on special for this purpose. The tuna is generally best without added flavour, but use what you have. I find a small tin is fine for two people. Usually, I would actually use fresh parsley (or an equivalent herb), but our herb garden died of terrible neglect while we were in America recently and we haven’t gotten around to re-planting, so I’m using expensive basil-in-a-tube instead of my free stuff like a regular schmuck.


Boil your pasta (a little more than a cup per person should do it, unless you’re super hungry), drain it, and put it back into the pot to mix everything in.


Add the three ingredients until its a nice slimy texture. If you wanted to turn this into more of a meal, you could also stir through cooked peas.


Delicious. This is a great little snack, and you can pretty much always have the ingredients in the cupboard without having to worry about them expiring on you. It’s also a nice easy one to share with small children.

This recipe is part of my challenge to live on a grocery budget of $350 a month. To read more about this personal challenge click here, and feel free to take it yourself (adjusting it to your household size – we are two adults and a baby remember!) and get involved sharing your recipes, tips and tricks, and any feedback you like. If you would like to be kept up to date, please subscribe for email updates!

For my Frugal fish n chips ($1.50 per serve) click here.

For my Frugal stew ($1.38 per serve) click here.

For my Frugal soup (less than $1 per serve) click here.

For my Cheap Chicken dinner (less than $3 per serve) click here.

For a great dessert, try my Frugal apple crumble here.


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