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You’ll love this potato salad recipe that is packed with Mediterranean flavors. This chunky tuna and potato salad is made with potatoes, tuna, olives, capers, onion, and a selection of tasty spices and seasonings. It’s not a mayonnaise-based salad. Instead an extra virgin olive oil based vinaigrette dressing pairs beautifully with the potatoes and tuna. Similar to tuna Niçoise but without the green beans, this protein packed Italian tuna potato salad (insalata di patate e tonno) makes a wonderful meal or side dish.

A bowl of Italian tuna potato salad with red onions, olives, and parsley, accompanied by a half lemon, a bowl of olives, parsley sprigs, and a salt cellar with a spoon—all on a white surface.

Pair this no mayo Italian tuna potato salad with anything from burgers to pizza. Tuna and potatoes are the stars and you’ll love the zesty lemon vinaigrette dressing.

If you love trying out new salad recipes, why not also try an iceberg wedge salad, melon prosciutto salad, or Chinese chicken salad.

A bowl of Italian potato salad with chunks of tuna, red onion slices, and olives is topped with herbs. Next to it is a smaller bowl filled with olives.

Why You’ll Love It

Tastes so fresh: Making your own vinaigrette and using fresh potatoes, onions and parsley adds plenty of fresh flavors to this delicious tuna potato salad.
Easy to prepare: Once you’ve cooked the potatoes, there’s not much else to do apart from combine the ingredients.
A versatile dish: You could enjoy this tuna and potato salad by itself for lunch or a light evening meal, or have it as a side dish alongside burgers, pizza or your favorite grilled meat.
Nutrients in every bite: The recipe is gluten free and boasts an array of different vitamins and minerals. The combination of tuna, potatoes, fresh lemon, and onion are good for you as well as delicious.

A bowl of Italian tuna potato salad featuring boiled potatoes, chunks of tuna, kalamata olives, red onion slices, and fresh parsley, with a halved lemon and more salad visible in the background.

Tuna Potato Salad Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Yellow baby potatoes: Fingerling potatoes would work well in this recipe or you could use baby Dutch gold potatoes, baby red potatoes or Yukon Gold.
Tuna: Canned tuna is oil is good but make sure you’re using a good brand since it’s one of the main flavors in the dish. I like this tasty canned yellowfin tuna.
Extra virgin olive oil: This is the basis of the dressing. Again, use a good brand.
Lemon: To add a zesty zip to the flavor.
Olives and capers: You can omit one or both of these ingredients if you aren’t keen on them.
Red onion: Adds a savory flavor to the cooked potatoes and tuna salad. Sub sweet onion or shallots if you prefer.

Assorted ingredients for a tuna potato salad recipe, including small potatoes, lemon halves, capers, mustard, vinegar, parsley, red onions, olives, and a bottle of olive oil—all beautifully arranged on a marble surface.

How to Make Italian Potato Salad with Tuna

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Cook the potatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add a pinch of salt and the potatoes and boil until fork tender. Drain, let the potatoes cool a little and cut in half.
Make the dressing: Whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice and zest, some of the garlic powder, and some salt and pepper until combined.
Combine the ingredients: Add potatoes to a large serving bowl, and then add some garlic powder and the tuna, onions, capers, olives, and fresh parsley. Toss with the lemon dressing and add more salt and pepper if needed.

An Italian tuna and potato salad recipe with olives, red onions, and herbs. Surrounding items include a bowl of olives, a sliced lemon, parsley, and a striped cloth.

Substitutions and Variations

Extra vegetables: Add marinated artichoke hearts or sun-dried tomatoes. Drain them first before adding to the salad.
Add some crunch: Sliced radishes, cucumber, pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts would add some crunch and be a nice contrast with the buttery potatoes.
Spice it up: Add a splash of hot sauce to the dressing or some crushed red pepper flakes. You could even add a touch of Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard.
Add more herbs: Try fresh dill, tarragon, basil, or oregano.
A touch of cheese: Some parmesan cheese or feta cheese would also be good in this Italian tuna potato salad.

A plate of tuna potato salad featuring chunks of tuna, red onion pieces, olives, capers, and garnished with parsley. A squeezed lemon and greenery are in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Nibbles to begin: Start your meal with this unusual tomato feta soup.
One the side:
This salad would pair well with a sheet pan Caprese pizza or even some buffalo chicken tenders. You can also have tuna potato salad without anything else, just as a light dinner or lunch in its own right.
Something sweet: Lemon sheet cake would make a tasty dessert, as would blueberry crumb cake.

Close-up of a fork holding a bite of no mayo tuna potato salad made with yellow potatoes, olives, tuna, capers, and herbs. A plate with the same dish is visible in the background.

How to Store Tuna and Potato Salad

Store: Keep leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freeze: This doesn’t freeze well. The potatoes would thaw out mushy and the dressing would separate.

A close-up of a potato salad with tuna featuring yellow potatoes, chunks of tuna, kalamata olives, red onion slices, and chopped fresh herbs, served in a wooden bowl. A halved lemon and parsley are seen in the background.

Top Tips

Boil the potatoes whole: If you cut them before cooking they will crumble more easily, so cook them first and let cut.
Generously season: As you aren’t using a mayonnaise-based dressing, ensure you add plenty of salt, pepper and garlic powder to add maximum flavor to the tuna potato salad’s tangy dressing.
Tone down the onion: If red onion is too strong for you, substitute a shallot instead.

A close-up of a Mediterranean tuna potato salad with yellow potatoes, red onions, olives, capers, and chunks of chicken, garnished with parsley. A sliced lemon is visible in the background.

Tuna & Potato Salad Recipe FAQs

Is this best served warm or chilled?

That’s completely up to you. You can make it a day ahead if you wish and stir in a little extra oil and vinegar before serving. Or you can enjoy it warm if you serve it shortly after cooking the potatoes.

Can you use a mayonnaise-based dressing instead?

If you prefer a creamy dressing, you can use your favorite or else simply stir some ranch dressing mix into mayonnaise. The vinaigrette dressing in the recipe does pair beautifully with the potato and tuna flavors though.

Could you use fresh tuna instead of canned?

Sure. Just cook it first (I like to sear mine in a skillet) and the proceed with the recipe.

A wooden bowl contains a Mediterranean style tuna potato salad with red onions, kalamata olives, and chopped herbs. A halved lemon, bunch of parsley, jar of olive oil, and a bowl of olives are placed around it.

Italian Tuna Potato Salad Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Italian Tuna Potato Salad

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Pair this tasty Italian tuna potato salad with anything from burgers to pizza or enjoy it as a side dish. Tuna and potatoes are the stars of the dish and you’ll love the vinaigrette dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 Pounds baby potatoes, yellow
  • ¼ Cup olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 5 Ounces canned tuna, in olive oi, drained
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 Handful parsley, fresh, chopped, optional for garnish

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted into a potato with ease.
  • Add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a small mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Drain potatoes and let them cool slightly for 5 minutes before slicing them in half.
  • Transfer potatoes to a large serving bowl and season with remaining ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Add tuna, sliced onions, olives, capers, and parsley. Pour in the dressing and toss the salad to coat the potatoes.
  • Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes

Boil the potatoes whole: If you cut them before cooking they will crumble more easily, so cook them first and let cut.
Generously season: As you aren’t using a mayonnaise-based dressing, ensure you add plenty of salt, pepper and garlic powder to add maximum flavor to the tuna potato salad’s tangy dressing.
Tone down the onion: If red onion is too strong for you, substitute a shallot instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 1115mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This delicious Italian tuna potato salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare and the tangy lemon vinaigrette adds a wonderful flavor to the potatoes and tuna. You can enjoy this as a standalone meal, whip up a batch for a buffet or party, or enjoy it as a side dish.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! I’m really glad I gave it a shot because now it’s my absolute favorite.