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This easy Tuna Macaroni Salad is a great twist on a classic side dish. It’s perfect for a BBQ, potluck, or even enjoyed as a meal on its own for a simple weeknight dinner. Bursting with pieces of flaky tuna and sweet peas, everyone will want to go back for seconds.
Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe
I’ve always been a big fan of tuna salads and macaroni salads alike. It’s the perfect mash-up and I can’t believe I haven’t shared this amazing salad before with you! This is a perfect marriage of flavor right here, from the flaky savoury tuna to the bright peas, the acidic onion, and the perfectly al dente pasta – you’re about to fall in love with this side dish!
This tasty side dish is so incredible and so good, it’s the kind of side dish that will keep you sneaking back to the fridge to snack on it some more. There’s just the perfect amount of acid, chew, creamy texture, and crave-able flavor. Serve this up beside any of your favorite proteins or just munch away on a big bowl of the stuff – I won’t judge!
I don’t think tuna salad gets enough loves. When made properly you can get a side dish that packs flavor, creamy texture, and a great source of lean protein. Throwing some macaroni pasta in there was just the last logical step – and believe me it’s a welcome addition.
Tuna Macaroni Salad Highlights
- Incredibly Easy. That’s right, all you need to do is boil some macaroni, chop some veggies, drain some tuna and mix everything up.
- Tasty And Delicious. It’s obvious but worth mentioning. If you’re a tuna salad fan, you’re going to love this pasta salad version. Utterly delish!
- Super Versatile. You don’t have to add the veggies I added, add your favorites or what’s in your fridge. Your salad your rules!
- Elbow macaroni – This recipe will work with other small pasta shapes such as farfalle, penne, and rotini.
- Red onion – You can use other types of onion such as white, yellow, scallions, or even shallots for a milder onion taste.
- Celery – You can use more, less, or no celery at all. Whatever you prefer!
- Peas – I really love the sweet bursts the peas give this salad. You can leave them out if you like, but I really recommend leaving them in!
- Tuna – Make sure you drain your tuna well before using it in this salad.
- Mayo – You can use store bought mayo or make your own using my recipe.
- Sour cream – I like to use sour cream in this salad so it doesn’t have such a mayo-y taste. You can use any ratio of sour cream to mayo that you like.
- Relish – I used sweet relish for this salad, however any type you have hand will work.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
- Cook the pasta. Boil the pasta in well salted water until al dente. After you drain the pasta, rinse it well with cold water.
- Make the salad. Rinse the frozen peas under hot water and drain well. Add the cooked pasta and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss well.
- Chill and serve. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
What Else Can I Mix Into My Macaroni Salad?
This recipe is so simple, so delicious, and so versatile. Give these mix-ins a try!
- Canned salmon
- Shredded chicken
- Bell peppers
- Fresh herbs
- Hardboiled eggs
- Feta cheese
Can I Make Tuna Macaroni Salad Ahead?
This is the perfect recipe to make ahead! If you’d like, you can mix the mayo, sour cream, and relish separately and add it right before serving to make sure your pasta salad is extra creamy. It will still taste delicious if everything is all mixed together, though!
What Kind Of Canned Tuna Should I Use?
I recommend using canned tuna in water for best results. Canned tuna in oil will definitely change the flavor of this salad.
Store your leftover macaroni salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last 3-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe! The pasta and mayo will break down as they thaw and give you a mushy mess.
More Delicious Recipes To Try
- Avocado Tuna Salad
- Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Easy Coleslaw
- Fattoush Salad
- Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Easy Tuna Melt
- Cook the pasta – Boil the pasta in well salted water until al dente. After you drain the pasta, rinse it well with cold water.
- Finish the salad – Rinse the frozen peas under hot water and drain well. Add the cooked pasta and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl and toss well.
- Chill and serve – Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Store your leftover macaroni salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last 3-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe! The pasta and mayo will break down as they thaw and give you a mushy mess.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.