Make an easy summer salad that is packed full of protein with this tuna macaroni salad recipe.
This twist on a traditional macaroni salad is light and delicious! Fully loaded with tuna, crunchy veggies, sweet and tangy pickles, and elbow macaroni, all mixed in a creamy tangy dressing!
While we love tuna casserole during the cooler months, this salad is great for a hot weather dinner or lunches!
We have partnered with Chicken of the Sea to bring you this recipe.
Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Perfect at a potluck or picnic, tuna macaroni salad is a light and refreshing option.
- Make ahead and for lunches throughout the week! The flavors will blend even more as it chills.
- Pasta salads are so versatile and this recipe has variations from Hawaii to the South!
- It’s delicious and nutritious as an entree salad or tuck a few scoops into a pita pocket or wrap for an energizing workday lunch!
- Stretch it even further with the addition of extra veggies or pasta.
Ingredients & Variations
Tuna – Canned tuna such as Chicken of the Sea is a protein that is affordable and accessible. If tuna isn’t available, canned salmon, canned chicken, or bay shrimp will work as well.
Elbows – Elbow macaroni, shells, or any small pasta that the dressing can cling to is perfect in this recipe! Whole wheat pasta, plant-based pasta, and gluten-free blends will work as well.
Add-Ins – Both sweet and tangy dill pickles (or sweet pickle relish) amp up the flavor and celery, diced red bell pepper, and a little white onion add color and crunch!
Dressing – Greek yogurt keeps this salad lower in calories (and reduces the mayo). Relish, mustard, and vinegar varieties can be experimented with whatever’s on hand, simply adjust to your preference. Fresh dill is a great addition for a fresh summer salad taste.
Variations – Peas, chopped sundried tomatoes, shredded carrots, diced red onion, or chopped hard-boiled eggs can be added.
How to Make Tuna Macaroni Salad
The tuna adds a little extra protein and flavor to a classic macaroni salad!
- Make dressing and set aside. Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions.
- Place all ingredients (per recipe below) in a large bowl & gently toss with dressing.
- Season with kosher salt & black pepper to taste and garnish with fresh sprigs of dill or sliced pickles.
Storing Tuna Macaroni Salad
Keep tuna mac salad in a covered container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Stir and adjust seasonings before serving. Pasta salads do not thaw well so freezing is not recommended.
More Tuna Favorites
Did you make this Tuna Macaroni Salad? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
Dilly Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles
- 2 cans tuna 5 oz each
- ¾ cup celery diced
- ½ cup sweet pickles chopped
- ½ cup dill pickles chopped
- ⅓ cup red pepper diced
- ¼ cup white onion minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped , or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- ¾ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup light dressing or mayonnaise
- ¼ cup relish
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Top with dressing and gently toss to combine.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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