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Tuna Orzo Salad
with olive tapenade dressing

Active: 25 minTotal: 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

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  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)


  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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This meal has 9 reviews

Delicious comfort food.

By: Rachel
Posted: Sep 02, 2019
Diet: Original

I really liked it! Only problem was that it got really watery. Maybe next time I will salt and drain the zucchini in advance. I don't normally like olives, but I ground them fine in the food processor and it was delicious!

By: Kristen
Posted: Sep 23, 2015
Diet: Paleo

Everyone raved about this in the reviews, but I thought it was just so-so. We used whole wheat orzo and yogurt -- maybe it would have been better with regular orzo and mayo? I did like how easy it was to throw together -- especially if you buy pre-quartered artichokes and pre-chopped olives!

By: Sundi
Posted: Jan 22, 2015
Diet: Original

This was fantastic and the leftovers were perfect for lunch the next day. I tried this when my husband was out of town, but I think without the artichoke hearts even he would like it.

By: Victoria
Posted: Sep 28, 2014
Diet: Original

The olive tapenade really makes the dish!

By: Erin
Posted: Mar 28, 2014
Diet: Original

Can't wait to wow the pants off people when I bring this to a picnic!

By: Rosemary
Posted: Oct 31, 2013
Diet: Original