Tuna Potato Salad (insalata di tonno e patate)

Italian tuna potato salad is an utterly delicious, zingy, and healthy salad that uses simple ingredients like potatoes, tuna, olives, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and capers.

Italian tuna potato salad on a white bowl placed on a turquoise surface.

It is finished off with a dressing that leaves a rich and lasting flavor. The salad is super easy to make and is a perfect dish that you can enjoy on a warm day.

What is Italian tuna potato salad?

Insalata di patate e tonno (tuna potato salad) is a very popular side dish in Italy, it is prepared mainly during spring and summer since it features ingredients, such as lemon and parsley that give it a very fresh touch.

In Italy, this salad is served mainly as an antipasto (appetizer) or as a light and healthy meal on its own. I have never seen this salad served as a side dish, but this doesn’t meant it can’t be! I will pair it with a veggie sandwich for example.

Italian style tuna and potato salad.

What potatoes are the best for this salad?

When making a salad with potatoes, you want the potatoes to hold shape and shine through the salad. They shouldn’t be mushy or fall apart. Instead, they should be intact, and the flavor should stand-out.

Cubed potatoes on a round cutting board.

So, keeping all these things in mind, the best potatoes for this dish are the waxy type. That’s because waxy potatoes have high moisture levels and low starch levels. As a result, they tick all the boxes for a potato salad. So, look for Yukon gold, fingerling, or baby potatoes when making this dish.

How do you prepare the dressing?

What is a salad without a flavorful dressing? For this delicious Italian tuna potato salad, we are going to use the following ingredients:

  • Olive oil: Olive oil is often a primary ingredient for a salad dressing. So, we are going to use it as a base for this salad as well.
  • Capers: Capers are known for their salty, olive-like, and tart flavor. Chop them up, and they give a pickle-like taste to the dressing. 
  • Lemon: Every dressing needs an acidic ingredient. For this dressing, I have used lemon juice and zest as well. Lemon juice not only brings in acidity but also adds freshness to the dressing. 
  • Wine vinegar: you can either add red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar. Depending upon the flavors, it’s all about your preference.
  • Parsley: Freshly chopped parsley adds earthiness and a peppery flavor to the salad.
  • Seasonings: a pinch of salt and black pepper is enough to do the magic.
Ingredients for dressing displayed on a cutting board.

Put all these ingredients in a jar, seal the lid tightly and shake for 1 minute until everything is well combined.

How to store the salad?

If you have leftovers, no need to worry. Simply place it in a dry, air-tight jar and store it in the refrigerator. Thanks to the vinegar, it will last for about four days. Moreover, make sure you don’t leave the salad out at room temperature for more than two hours. 

A close-up of the potato and tuna salad.

Can you make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this tuna potato salad ahead of time. Simply store it in an air-tight jar and place it in the refrigerator. You can take the jar on the go the next day to work.

Besides, if you are preparing it for a dinner party, you can also prepare everything ahead of time separately. And when the serving time draws closer, assemble everything, add the dressing and serve the salad fresh. It works well either way.

Other Italian salads you might enjoy:

Tuna potato salad recipe.

Italian Tuna Potato Salad

This Italian tuna potato salad is an utterly delicious, zingy, healthy salad that uses simple ingredients like potatoes, tuna, olives, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and capers.
prep 15 minutes
cook 15 minutes
total 30 minutes


  • 2 lb (900 g) waxy potatoes (cut into chunks)
  • 1 can 5 oz tuna in olive oil (160 g) (drained)
  • 7 oz (200 g) cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup (130 g) olives (any kind you prefer)
  • 1 medium (100 g) red onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp capers (rinsed)

For dressing

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp capers (chopped)
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Place potatoes on a pot and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and boil until potatoes are tender.
  • Put potatoes on a large bowl, add 1 teaspoon of oil, mix to coat and allow to reach room temperature.
  • Add all ingredients for the dressing on a jar with lid, close it, and shake the jar until everything is combined. Set aside.
  • Place tuna, cherry tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers onto the bowl with potatoes.
  • Pour over the dressing and toss gently to coat well.
  • Adjust with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
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One Comment

  1. Lovely potato and tuna salad! I’ll definitely make it. And that dressing! That’s why I love Mediterranean food, it’s so healthy and delicious 😋