This Tuna Macaroni Salad is a perfect side dish for a potluck, family reunion, or BBQ! It’s creamy, full of flavor It is super simple to make and packed with all of those classic pasta salad flavors we know and love!
If you like Macaroni Salad then you would love my traditional Macaroni Salad Recipe!
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Tuna Macaroni Salad
Grilling season is upon us and that means we need delicious and easy side dishes! If you love tuna salad, then you are definitely going to love this take on pasta salad. My tuna macaroni salad is the type of side dish that you just can’t get enough of. It is packed with flavor and so easy to make!
The flavors in this pasta salad are delightful. The savory, flaky tuna and hard boiled eggs pair well with the acidic pickles, crunchy onions and celery, and creamy dressing. You can serve this pasta salad right away or you can store this in the fridge for a few hours before serving for the flavors to really develop!
Tuna Salad Ingredients
Tuna macaroni salad uses easy to find ingredients for ease! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Macaroni Noodles: I used classic macaroni elbows for this pasta salad, but you can use any of your favorite short noodles!
- Canned Tuna: Canned tuna adds protein and flavor here. You can use your favorite canned tuna!
- Pickles: I dice up some dill pickles on my own. You can also use relish if you prefer.
- Celery: Dice up the celery into small pieces. The celery offers an amazing texture!
- Red Onion: I really like the flavor that red onion brings to the table. If it is too strong for you, you can replace it with the white part of green onions or shallot!
- Boiled Eggs: I like to add boiled eggs to the mix. You can skip them if you aren’t a fan!
- Salt & Pepper: Salt and pepper to taste!
- For the Dressing: Mayonnaise, Sour Cream, Frozen Peas, Dried Dill, Sugar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Dijon Mustard, Red Wine Vinegar, and Pickle Juice are used to whip up a super flavorful, creamy dressing for this pasta salad!
How to Make This Recipe
- Boil the Pasta: Boil pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Prep the Ingredients: To a large bowl, add the cooked macaroni, tuna, pickles, celery, onion and hard boiled eggs.
- Make the Dressing: Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Add the Dressing: Add dressing on top of the pasta salad ingredients and toss to coat.
- Serve: Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days!
Tips for Success
- This recipe is super versatile! You can switch out the tuna for canned salmon or shredded chicken. Or, try adding some different vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, or corn!
- Not a fan of red onion? No worries, you can substitute the red onion with shallot or green onions! These both still have flavor but aren’t quite as strong.
- Add the frozen peas right into the mix! Don’t worry about thawing the peas before adding them.
- Don’t skip salting the pasta water! This adds flavor to the pasta which helps with the overall flavor of the tuna macaroni salad. I highly recommend always salting the water when making pasta for any recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make tuna macaroni salad ahead of time?
Definitely! This is a great pasta salad to make ahead of time if you need. If you’d like, you can keep the dressing and the pasta salad separate until it is time to serve, so that it doesn’t dry out. However, you can store it with the dressing mixed in and then add a bit more mayo or sour cream before serving to make it nice and creamy again!
What kind of canned tuna should I use?
I like using albacore tuna that is packed in water. If you use tuna that is packed in oil, it might change the flavor a bit and add a more oily texture.
How to store leftover tuna macaroni salad?
To store any leftover macaroni pasta salad, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days!
What to Serve with Tuna Macaroni Salad
You can eat this tuna macaroni salad on it’s own for a light lunch, or pair it with some of my favorites!
- Easy Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
- Skirt Steak
- Steak Kabobs
- Homemade Baked Beans
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
More Easy Recipes to Try
Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
- 5 ounces canned tuna
- 2 tbsp pickles, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
- salt and pepper
- Boil pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Drain rinse with cold water and set aside.
- To a large bowl add the cooked macaroni, tuna, pickles, celery, onion and hard boiled eggs.
- Add dressing on top and toss to coat the pasta.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days!
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth, set aside.
- Don't skip salting the water. It really flavors the whole dish!
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Add more dressing as needed. The macaroni salad does dry out after a day or too so add more dressing, sour cream or mayonnaise to make it creamier.