Italian Tuna Potato Salad: the Quick and Delicious Recipe for a Summer Lunch

Total time: 50 minutes
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Italian Tuna Potato Salad is a simple and tasty dish, a cold summer salad, to be prepared instead of a classic potato salad, a versatile recipe that you can serve as a side dish, main course or as an appetizer. It can be made ahead of time and enjoyed for lunch or dinner.

To prepare it, we simply boil the potatoes, cut them into cubes and enrich them with the addition of drained tuna, cherry tomatoes, shallots – which you can replace with red onionsextra virgin olive oil, salt and parsley or basil, which will make the salad even more fragrant. Once ready, let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour, so that the flavors blend well, and take it out a quarter of an hour before enjoying it: you can also serve it in small quantities as an appetizer or for an aperitif.

What is Italian Tuna Potato Salad?

Italian tuna potato salad is a flavorful and refreshing dish that combines tender potatoes, high-quality tuna, red onions, capers, and sometimes olives and cherry tomatoes, all dressed in a light vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like parsley. The key difference between Italian tuna potato salad and the typical tuna potato salad lies in the dressing and additional ingredients. While the traditional version often uses mayonnaise as a base, giving it a creamier texture, the Italian version opts for a zesty vinaigrette, which provides a lighter, more vibrant taste. The inclusion of Mediterranean ingredients like capers and olives also adds a distinctively tangy and savory flavor profile to the Italian version.

Tips for The Perfect Italian Tuna Potato Salad

  • Use waxy potatoes like red or Yukon gold for better texture. They hold their shape better after boiling and provide a firmer bite.
  • Peel the potatoes while they are still warm, as the skins will come off more easily. Cut them into bite-sized cubes for easy mixing and eating.
  • Season the potatoes while they are still warm. This allows them to absorb the flavors better. Use plenty of good-quality extra virgin olive oil and adjust the salt to taste.
  • Mix the ingredients gently to avoid breaking the potatoes too much. This helps maintain the salad's texture.
  • Serve the salad slightly chilled or at room temperature for the best flavor. If it’s been in the fridge for a while, let it sit out for a few minutes before serving.

What Are The Best Types of Potatoes To Use For This Salad?

In our recipe we used red potatoes, with a yellow and compact pulp, suitable for this preparation because they maintain cooking and remain firm, but you can also use the classic yellow-fleshed potatoes. What's important is that they're not floury.

Can I Add Other Ingredients to This Salad?

Yes, you can! Capers or olives can introduce a briny, tangy element that complements the rich tuna and starchy potatoes. Hard-boiled eggs add a creamy texture and additional protein, making the salad more substantial. Fresh vegetables like bell peppers or cucumbers contribute a refreshing crunch and vibrant color, while artichoke hearts can provide a slightly earthy, delicate flavor. Additionally, incorporating a dash of lemon zest or juice can brighten the dish, balancing the olive oil's richness and the tuna's savory depth.

Can I Make The Italian Tuna Potato Salad Ahead?

Yes, you can! You can prepare it up to a full day before serving it, storing it in the fridge. This way, the various tastes and the ingredients will meld together nicely, giving you an even tastier recipe. Before serving, however, remember to take it out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

More Salad Recipes To Try For This Summer

Chickpea Salad

Green Bean Potato Salad

Greek Potato Salad

Seafood Salad

How to Store Italian Tuna Potato Salad

You can store the Tuna Potato Salad in the refrigerator for 1-2 days in an airtight container. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before enjoying it.


900 grams
Cherry tomatoes
to taste
Olive oil
to taste
to taste
Drained tuna
250 grams
to taste

How to Make Italian Tuna Potato Salad

Cook the potatoes, they need to boil for at least 35 minutes or until they are soft.

Peel them while they're still warn and cut them into even cubes.

Also, cut some cherry tomatoes into small wedges.

Cut the shallots in thin slices – or red onion, if you prefer.

Pour the potatoes into a nice bowl and season with plenty of oil and salt, mixing to distribute the dressing.

Add the ingredients to enrich the salad: tuna, shallots and cherry tomatoes.

Give it a good, gentle mix to toss the ingredients together. To garnish, add a touch of parsley or fresh basil. Let the salad rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.


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