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
I’ve always been a big fan of tuna salads and macaroni salads alike. It’s the perfect mash-up and I cant believe I haven’t shared this amazing salad before with you! This is a perfect marriage of flavor right here, from the flaky savory 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.
Ingredients in Tuna Macaroni Salad
I kept this recipe nice and simple with only two ingredients that need to be chopped up. Dump everything in a bowl, mix, and you’re ready to go! Keep scrolling for the full recipe and ingredient amounts.
- Elbow macaroni – This recipe will work with other small shapes such as farfalle, penne, and rotini.
- Red onion – You can use other types of onion such as white, yellow, or scallions.
- 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 yo drain your tuna well before using it in this salad.
- Mayo – Any type of mayo will work.
- 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.
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
How to Make Tuna Macaroni Salad
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- 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 – 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.
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!
How to Store Leftovers
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.
What to Serve With Tuna Macaroni Salad
This versatile little side dish has been a long time world wide favorite for good reason. I love to pair this little salad with any and all things BBQ, big meat dishes, and just about anything that feels or tastes summery!
- Oven Baked Beef Brisket
- Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs
- Beer And Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers
- Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- Pork Loin Roast
- Beer Can Chicken
- Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
- Easy Meatloaf
- Firecracker Chicken
- Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon
- Rosemary Garlic Pork Roast
More Must Try Recipes:
- Avocado Tuna Salad
- Easy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Macaroni Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Easy Coleslaw
- Fattoush Salad
- Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Mixed Fruit with Lemon Basil Dressing
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Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 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 - 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.