This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

This classic Tuna Macaroni Salad is perfect for your summer BBQ’s. It is loaded with flavor and easy to make with simple ingredients.

Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad
Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Easy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe:

We love making cold pasta salads in the summertime. They are easy to prepare and made with simple ingredients. Cold pasta can easily be combined with a variety of ingredients. Mix with a creamy or light dressing to make the perfect side dish.

If you like tuna, then this is the pasta salad to make. Canned tuna is mixed with cooked pasta, peas and simple seasoning to create a delicious classic pasta salad recipe. This pasta salad can easily be served as a one pot meal idea.

Once the ingredients are prepared, it takes minutes to combine everything in a large bowl for a delicious meal idea. Take to your summer potlucks or enjoy for a light lunch throughout the week.

Check out this Easy Macaroni Salad Recipe also.

Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad

What is Tuna Pasta Salad?

Tuna Pasta salad is a delicious recipe that can easily be served in many different ways. We like serving as a main meal idea or as a side dish. Canned tuna is combined with chopped vegetables, a mayonnaise based dressing and seasoning to get a delicious pasta salad.

Ingredients needed - pasta, tuna, mayonnaise, ribs celery, red onion, relish, boiled eggs, salt and pepper, frozen peas, lemon

Ingredients: 

  • Elbow Macaroni Pasta 
  • Tuna Packed in Water (5 ounce cans) drained well 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Ribs Celery (finely chopped) 
  • Red Onion (finely chopped) 
  • Sweet Pickle Relish 
  • Hard Boiled Eggs (chopped) 
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Frozen Peas (thawed) 
  • Lemon (juiced) 

How to Make Tuna Macaroni Salad: 

  • Step 1 – Cook pasta in cold water – Cook the pasta based on the package instructions to al dente.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Then place in a large mixing bowl.  
  • Step 2 – Combine the Mayo Dressing Ingredients – In a separate bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Whisk together mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  Then stir in the chopped tuna.  
  • Step 3 – Add in the remaining ingredients – Gently stir in the celery and onion. Then add in hard boiled eggs and peas into the large bowl with the pasta.  
  • Step 4 – Mix Cooked Macaroni and Mayonnaise Mixture – Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the pasta mixture. Then stir until all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
  • Step 5 – Chill then Serve – Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then serve cold. 
Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad

Recipe Tips:

  • Cooking Pasta – Boil the noodles until they are al dente and according to package. We like to cook the pasta in salted water and a little olive oil. This prevents the pasta from sticking while it is cooking. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Prepare Ingredients – We recommend prepare the veggies ahead of time to save time when making this tuna mac salad.
  • Mayonnaise – Since mayonnaise is the main ingredient in the dressing recipe, we recommend using the Real mayonnaise. It will give you better flavor than whipped mayonnaise.
  • Chill Pasta Salad – Once the ingredients have combined, make sure to allow the pasta to chill in the fridge before serving.
  • Mixing Bowl – We recommend using a large mixing bowl to combine the pasta with the creamy dressing. This allows for the sauce to full cover the cooked pasta.
Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad with a serving on a spoon

What is the Best Tuna to use?

This pasta salad is best to use canned tuna in water. If you use canned tuna in oil or flavored tuna it will change the texture and flavor of this pasta salad.

Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad with Tuna Substitutions and Additions:

  • Seasoning – Feel free to change the seasoning or ingredients in this recipe. Fresh dill or fresh parsley is always a great addition. The taste is amazing when using fresh herbs. Sprinkle a teaspoon of paprika for color and taste.
  • Cheese – For delicious flavor, you can add in a tablespoon or two of cheddar cheese. The cheese gives it a pop of color and texture to the pasta salad.
  • Vegetables – This pasta salad would be delicious with added vegetables. We recommend adding in chopped cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or cucumbers.
  • Relish – You can easily substitute the relish for Dijon mustard for delicious flavor.
  • Pasta – We like the size of the elbow macaroni noodles, but you can use small size of pasta for this recipe.
  • Greek Yogurt – For a light dressing, feel free to substitute the mayonnaise for Greek Yogurt.
Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad with a serving on the spoon

Can I Make Tuna Macaroni Salad Ahead?

Yes, Tuna Macaroni Salad can be prepared ahead of time. We actually think it taste better prepared the night before serving. The ingredients marinate together perfectly to give this pasta salad so much flavor.

Can you Freeze Tuna Macaroni Salad?

Yes, you can freeze Tuna Macaroni Salad. Make sure to store properly in a freezer safe container. It is important to use quality mayonnaise to ensure that it doesn’t break down when thawing.

We estimate that the pasta salad will last in the freezer about 3 months. Freezing macaroni salad is a great way to make the pasta salad last longer.

Bowl of Tuna Macaroni Salad

How Long does Tuna Macaroni Salad last in fridge:

If the Tuna Macaroni Salad is stored properly, it will last about 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

How to Store Tuna Salad Leftovers:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Print Recipe for Tuna Macaroni Salad:

Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Tuna Macaroni Salad

5 from 5 votes
This classic Tuna Macaroni Salad is perfect for your summer BBQ's. It is loaded with flavor and easy to make with simple ingredients.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Calories 406

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Elbow Macaroni Pasta
  • 3 cans Tuna Packed in Water 5 ounce cans drained well
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Ribs Celery finely chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 3 Hard Boiled Eggs chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas thawed
  • 1 lemon juiced

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta based on the package instructions to al dente.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Then place in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Then stir in the chopped tuna.
  • Gently stir in the celery, onion, hard boiled eggs and peas into the large bowl with the pasta.
  • Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the pasta mixture and stir until all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then serve cold.

Recipe Notes

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 406kcal, Carbohydrates 40g, Protein 17g, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat 10g, Monounsaturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0.04g, Cholesterol 84mg, Sodium 627mg, Potassium 167mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 3g, Vitamin A 582IU, Vitamin C 8mg, Calcium 29mg, Iron 2mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

More Easy Pasta Salad Recipes:

This classic Tuna Macaroni Salad is perfect for your summer BBQ's. It is loaded with flavor and easy to make with simple ingredients. Take to your summer potlucks or enjoy for a light lunch throughout the week. #eatingonadime #tunamacaronisalad #macaronisalad

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!

PinYummly

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating