Nothing says contemporary food than this TUNA MACARONI SALAD. With its sweet, tangy, and savory mixture, this easy salad recipe is surely a crowd-pleaser with a lingering sensation of tuna and the silky smooth macaroni all coated in an amazing mayo-based dressing. This is a must-try tuna pasta salad for picnics, lunch, and even dinner!
This is one of the easiest Tuna Salad recipes you can do with your family which only uses simple ingredients that you can easily find in your local grocery store. Whenever I go grocery shopping, I often try to find ingredients for simple recipes that I could show you.
Luckily, I didn’t have to go far and high to find the ingredients for this Tuna Macaroni Salad. Developing my version of this recipe was also fun since the recipe is so simple, I could just let my flavor creativity flow and you should too.
What is Tuna Salad?
Tuna Salad has been in existence for more than 100 years now. The first written account for this is in 1907 with the original recipe being a mixture of tuna parts and mayonnaise. Seven years later, it immediately proliferated and multiple variations have been created.
Economically, chicken salad is more affordable than tuna salad. But if we talk about nutrition, tuna salad has more vitamins which makes it a healthier choice. Being a health-conscious gal (although I also indulge in some comfort food here and there), I would choose and recommend this Tuna Macaroni Salad any day of the week.
Ingredients for Tuna Salad Recipe
Macaroni, Tuna, and Mayonnaise – These are the basic ingredients for our tuna pasta salad recipe. Personally, I highly recommend making your own mayonnaise as it is free of additives and God knows what else is in there. You can see my Homemade Mayonnaise HERE.
The tuna gives off a naturally salty flavor and the macaroni balances everything out.
Celery, sweet relish, onions, red pepper, and parsley – you may see these ingredients as just garnishes or accessories but I promise you, it’s more than just that. These little bits and pieces of flavor give the whole dish its personality. I super love the crunch of celery for this Tuna Salad Recipe that’s why I tend to add more.
Eggs – I know what you’re thinking, “Eggs? Really?” Yes! Eggs are a good addition to this recipe as it packs a whole lot of nutrients and at the same time, it adds a good thick chunky texture to the pasty mixture.
Mustard – the iconic zing of mustard is a real crowd favorite. The mustard itself has a smooth and mildly spicy taste. Combined with the other ingredients here, you’ll have fireworks of flavors. It’s one of the flavors that will keep you coming back for more
What Else Can You Add?
This Tuna Pasta Salad makes a hearty lunch or even dinner. You can keep it as simple as it is or go all out by adding either…
- shredded chicken
- bacon bits
- grated carrots
- cheddar cheese
- diced cucumber
- sliced olives
How long is Tuna Macaroni Salad Good For?
This tuna salad recipe will be good for 3-5 days if covered properly. You can do this by placing it in an airtight container or covering the bowl with plastic wrap before refrigerating. Add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise to moisten it.
What Goes with Tuna Macaroni Salad?
This tuna salad is a comfort food classic that is a meal on its own. But don’t hold back when it comes to pairing it with other dishes. You may serve it with some crusty bread, potato chips, cool crisp veggies, or this Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob.
More Salad Recipes
Looking for more salads? I have tons for you.
How to Make Tuna Macaroni Salad
Cook macaroni following directions on the package. Drain and rinse well. Let it cool while working on the sauce. After cooling, refrigerate until ready to use. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice or vinegar, sweet relish, and mustard. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Once macaroni has come to room temperature or cooled down – remove from the fridge. Place in a large bowl together with tuna, celery, eggs, red bell pepper, peas, and onion. Add the prepared mayonnaise sauce to the bowl and thoroughly mix. Salt and pepper to taste. And then add parsley for garnishing. Store in a tightly sealed container for 4-5 days. If the salad seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise to moisten.
Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 1⁄2 lb macaroni , cooked and drained
- ¾ -1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 small lemon , juiced (about 2 tablespoons) or swap with vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons sweet relish
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 10 ounce tuna in water , drained
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs , chopped
- 1⁄2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1⁄3 cup diced onion
- 1 cup frozen peas , thawed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons parsley (optional for garnishing)
- Cook macaroni following directions on the package. Drain and rinse well. Let it cool while working on the sauce. After cooling, refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice or vinegar, sweet relish, and mustard. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Once macaroni has come to room temperature or cooled down - remove from the fridge.
- Place in a large bowl together with tuna, celery, eggs, red bell pepper, peas, and onion.
- Add the prepared mayonnaise sauce to the bowl and thoroughly mix.
- Salt and pepper to taste. And then add parsley for garnishing.
- Store in a tightly sealed container for 4-5 days. If salad seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise to moisten.
Tips & Notes:
- Swap macaroni with other sturdy pasta like fusilli, rotini, and the likes.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.