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Tuna Orzo Salad
with olive tapenade dressing

Active: 25 min Total: 25 min
This tuna orzo salad works for picnics and weeknight dinners. Instead of using a typical vinaigrette, we use flavorful olive tapenade to bring the ingredients together. You'll have enough tapenade for tomorrow night's dinner too!


Olive tapenade:
  • Olives - 1 cup , pitted ((kalamata or green both work))
  • Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
  • Capers - 2 Tbsp
  • Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
  • Thyme leaves - 1 tsp
  • Anchovy paste (optional) - 1 tsp
  • Olive oil - 3 Tbsp
Tuna Orzo Salad:
  • Tuna - 1 lb , canned ((in water or oil is fine))
  • Mayo or plain yogurt - 1/4 cup
  • Artichokes - 1 can , quartered
  • Cherry tomatoes - 1/2 pint , halved
  • Olive tapenade - 1/2 cup ((ingredients listed separately))
  • Orzo - 1/2 lb
  • Thyme - 4 sprigs , leaves of
  • Lemon - 1 , juice of


  1. Tuna - Drain and then mix with mayo or yogurt. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Artichokes / Tomatoes - Prep as directed.
  3. Make tapenade - Combine olives, garlic, capers, Dijon, thyme, anchovy paste, and olive oil in a food processor. Puree until it breaks down. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

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  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add orzo. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain.
  2. Mix orzo with tuna, artichokes, thyme, 1/2 cup (118 ml) of tapenade (save remainder for tomorrow night's dinner), and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with cherry tomatoes.



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