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Tuna Macaroni Salad

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close up shot of Tuna Macaroni Salad in a bowl with tongs
Loaded with delicious ingredients and creamy dressing, this old-fashioned tuna macaroni salad is a classic recipe for all your summer gatherings.
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Table of Contents
  1. Tuna Macaroni Salad Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This easy tuna macaroni salad is always sure to please whenever you add it to the menu. This dish is the perfect mix of creamy, tangy, and salty, and it’s so easy to make, you can pack it in a lunchbox or serve it at a picnic. 

close up of Tuna Macaroni Salad with tongs

Tuna Macaroni Salad Ingredients

Tuna Macaroni Salad raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna in water, drained
  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • ½ cup finely diced sweet yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

PRO TIP:

Make sure to choose tuna packed in water. Tuna in oil would change the consistency of this salad.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

ONION: You can substitute finely diced red onion for the sweet yellow onion in the salad.

MAYO: You can substitute Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise in this macaroni tuna salad. 

MIX-INS: There are plenty of ingredients you can add to this simple salad depending on your preference. Try a little bit of cheddar cheese, green onions, hard-boiled eggs, or green peas for a few ideas.

How to Make This Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

You can make this dish ahead of time. It needs to chill for at least one hour and the flavor gets even better the longer it sits. 

STEP ONE: Using a large bowl, add the cooked macaroni pasta, canned tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, diced onion, sweet relish, dill, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.

PRO TIP:

Mix the ingredients together gently as you don’t want to break the pieces of pasta.

tuna macaroni salad ingredients folded together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Cover well with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

How To Serve

Serve this cold tuna macaroni salad for a side dish or an easy lunch. Add our tomato sandwich or cucumber sandwiches alongside the salad so that you have an even heartier and extra filling meal to keep you going during the day.

Check out our other tuna recipes for even more ways to use this delicious protein. Our tuna casserole is a great dinner option while our tuna melt takes your tuna sandwich to the next level.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of this classic macaroni salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this pasta salad as the pasta will become soggy and the creamy dressing will be watery once thawed.

a spoonful of Tuna Macaroni Salad

Simple ingredients and fresh flavors make this tuna pasta salad a fantastic choice for potlucks and barbecues this summer. With a creamy homemade dressing and plenty of delicious ingredients that you can customize to your liking, this simple recipe has it all.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this macaroni and tuna salad recipe ahead of time?

This tuna pasta salad recipe needs at least an hour to chill in the fridge, overnight is even better. Making this recipe in advance would be a great idea.

What kind of canned tuna should I use?

Make sure you are using tuna packed in water. Tuna that is packed in oil would change the consistency and texture of the salad.

Can I add other veggies to this macaroni salad with tuna?

This great recipe has plenty of flexibility for customization. Add or take out any ingredients based on your preference.

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close up shot of Tuna Macaroni Salad in a bowl with tongs

Tuna Macaroni Salad

5 from 2 votes
Loaded with delicious ingredients and creamy dressing, this old-fashioned tuna macaroni salad is a classic recipe for all your summer gatherings.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups dried macaroni, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 10 ounces tuna in water, drained
  • cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • ½ cup sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Using a large mixing bowl, add the cooked macaroni, tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, diced onion, pickle relish, dill, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  • Cover well and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Notes

  • Make sure to choose tuna packed in water. Tuna in oil would change the consistency of this salad.
  • You can make this dish ahead of time. It needs to chill for at least one hour and the flavor gets even better the longer it sits.
  • Mix the ingredients together gently as you don’t want to break the pieces of pasta.
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