Tuna Macaroni Salad – This recipe for healthy tuna pasta salad is flavorful, satisfying, and ideal for a light summer supper. It’s a fantastic make-ahead pasta salad that’s ideal for potlucks or barbecues. It’s high in carbohydrates from the pasta, protein from the tuna, and vitamins and fiber from the vegetables. Olive oil is high in healthy fats and tasty. Elbow noodles, peas, tuna, celery, red onion, mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt are used to make this Healthy Salad. It’s a simple, nutritious recipe that’s ideal for meal prep and is perfect for the whole family. It’s light, tasty, and high in protein. You can prepare it using materials you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. This salad is a tried-and-true recipe! It’s simple, quick. My kids adore this pasta salad, which we frequently have for lunch, but it also works well as a supper or side dish.
Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe:
This Tuna Macaroni Salad recipe serves 10 to 12 as a side dish and is ideal for your next picnic. During the sweltering summer months, there’s something about a cold and creamy dish that truly strikes the spot. And because this Tuna Macaroni Salad improves with age, you may cook it a day or two ahead of time. If it’s become too creamy, add another spoonful or two of mayonnaise before serving.
Tuna Macaroni Salad is a very low-cost dish. Adding a can of tuna to pasta salad adds flavor and nutrition without the price of a more protein-heavy dish. Lunch can be made from leftovers.
A Traditional Favorite Recipe:
Tuna Macaroni Salad is a dish that is underappreciated. It’s one of those lunches that most of us recall our mothers preparing. It is cheap and produces a lot. I can’t stop myself from digging into a bowl of this stuff. It’s one of my go-to comfort meals (besides THE BEST EVER POTATO SALAD). This traditional pasta salad is a whole dinner in itself!
- macaroni elbows
- tuna in a can
- hard-cooked eggs
- sour pickle relish
- the seed of celery
- juice of lemons
- seasoned with salt and pepper
- peas that have been frozen
How To Make Tuna Macaroni Salad?
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and set aside to cool somewhat. I prefer micro shell noodles, but any sort of bite-size pasta would do.
- While the noodles are cooking, prepare the celery and onion, drain the tuna, and heat the peas (you could also add the peas to the boiling pasta water during the last minute of cooking).
- Combine the mayonnaise and Greek yogurt until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, tuna, celery, onion, and peas. Toss the salad with the dressing to coat.
If you wish to cook this dish ahead of time, I recommend not adding the sauce until you’re ready to serve; otherwise, the noodles will soak up the sauce and it won’t have the desired creaminess.
Tips And Tricks:
- Cooking the pasta in strongly salted water makes a huge impact in the flavor of your pasta!
- Finely chop the onions to provide complexity to the dressing without providing a severe bite.
- Use high-quality tuna, such as solid white albacore tuna packed in water. It’s substantial and meaty, yet it has a clean, non-fishy flavor. If you can’t locate albacore, chunk light tuna wrapped in water is a good substitute.
- Make the pasta ahead of time – For the greatest flavor, make the pasta salad ahead of time with warm pasta (do not rinse with cool water before folding it into the dressing). When the pasta is warm, it absorbs all of the flavors of the salad dressing the finest, making this meal really delicious.
Dressing For Tuna Pasta Salad That Is Healthy:
I just combined balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best! Feel free to adjust the amount of oil and/or vinegar to your liking.
- If you don’t have elbow macaroni, any short pasta will serve, such as rotini, farfalle, or cavatappi.
- For more vegetables, add fresh cherry tomatoes, avocados, or red onions.
- Replace the canned tuna with canned crab meat or salmon.
- If you don’t like seafood, substitute grilled or rotisserie chicken for the tuna.
How Long Can Tuna Pasta Salad Be Stored In The Fridge?
When stored in an airtight container, this healthy tuna pasta salad may be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
What Is the Best Way to Keep Tuna Pasta Moist?
When the pasta is refrigerated, it begins to absorb the mayonnaise and yogurt, making the salad taste less creamy.
Add an extra dollop of yogurt (or mayo) shortly before serving to keep the salad wet.
Can I Make The Tuna Macaroni Salad Ahead Of Time?
Yes. This meal requires cooling time, and the longer the ingredients are combined, the better they taste. It is best to prepare this meal at least 1 hour ahead of time and up to 1 day ahead.
Can I Use Mayonnaise Instead Of Miracle Whip?
Yes, you may substitute Miracle Whip with this item if you like the taste. Mayonnaise is recommended since it does not interfere as much with the distinctive flavor generated by the other components.
Can I Substitute Chicken For The Tuna?
Because they balance the fishiness with acidic, pickled tastes, the components in this salad work nicely with tuna. If you don’t want to use tuna, chicken is a fine replacement.
Is There a Replacement For Vinegar?
Just a dash of mustard. You won’t be able to detect any mustard flavor. It will add just enough tang to balance out the other flavors.
Can I Use a Different Type Of Pasta?
This dish calls for elbow macaroni, a classic noodle form. You could, however, use any pasta form you choose. Cavatappi or shell pasta would be excellent choices.
Why Not Use An Onion Instead Of a Shallot?
Shallot has a little onion taste that does not dominate the other ingredients. If you like, you may use an onion instead.
Which Canned Tuna Should I Use?
I exclusively use water-packed canned tuna. The viscosity and texture of the tuna pasta salad will alter whether you use canned tuna in oil or other seasonings.
How Can You Quickly Defrost Frozen Peas For Tuna Pasta Salad?
My mother taught me a simple way to defrost frozen peas: put the peas in a colander. After that, pour the heated pasta water and pasta over the peas. The pasta water’s heat will chill the peas just enough for this salad.
Is It Possible To Make This Dish Gluten-Free?
Yes, it is extremely simple to make this salad gluten-free. Simply substitute gluten-free pasta (rice or chickpea are both excellent) for the usual wheat pasta, and this dish is ready to go!
Can This Recipe Be Made Using Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Or Any Low-Fat Mayonnaise?
Yes, you can certainly use low-fat mayonnaise in this recipe. In reality, I usually prepare this dish with olive oil mayonnaise.
Is Tuna Pasta Salad Served Warm Or Cold?
This salad is often served cold. On chilly days or when I’m in the mood for a nice supper, I like to serve it warm.
Directions For Storage:
Refrigerate any leftover salad in an airtight jar for up to 3-4 days. If the dressing has been absorbed by the spaghetti, you may need to add extra milk.
This recipe does not keep well in the freezer.
What Goes Well With This Salad?
This tuna macaroni salad is filling enough to eat on its own, but it also goes well with the following foods:
- Salad of fruits
- White bread with a crust
- A salad of leafy greens with carrots, tomatoes, croutons, and cucumbers.
- Crudité of vegetables with hummus
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 1 box elbow macaroni
- 3 cans tuna packed in water, properly drained
- 3 sliced hard-boiled eggs
- 1 diced shallot
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup dill pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup thawed frozen peas
Cook macaroni according per package guidelines.
In a separate dish, whisk together the mayonnaise, relish, celery seed, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. To mix, stir everything together thoroughly.
Stir in the tuna.
When the macaroni is done, drain thoroughly and rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool. In a large mixing basin, combine the drained macaroni.
Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the macaroni.
Then stir in the diced eggs and shallot, followed by the thawed peas. Stir everything together thoroughly.
Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the bowl for a couple of hours before serving.
This tuna pasta salad can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To make this dish dairy-free, omit the yogurt and replace it with pure mayonnaise.
Skip the mayonnaise and replace it with pure yogurt to reduce fat and enhance protein.
If you use macaroni, I recommend decreasing the uncooked quantity to 2.5 cups.
As with any pasta salad, feel free to add more or less of any item to suit your preferences.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 245Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 77mgSodium 495mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 11g