Karlynns Tuna Salad Recipe Tips & Tricks
Happy cooking everyone!
Love you more than chocolate!
While this post was generously sponsored by Catelli, all opinions and the recipe remain my own.
Storing And Serving Tuna Macaroni Salad
I find pasta salad a little tastier when it isnt cold from the fridge room temperature is ideal. That being said, you can make this pasta salad a whole day in advance and pull it out 30 minutes before serving it might even be tastier the next day. Be sure to taste and season it again once chilled, as cold temps dull the seasoning of the dish. A little salt and a few cracks of pepper are just the thing.
Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
It was the perfect pasta lunch thats loaded with flavor and texture. The secret to why our recipe is so delicious is because we use lots of tuna. Yes, we love it and added 3 cans to the recipe for maximum tuna in each bite. With the added chopped celery and other awesome ingredients its not a boring dish. Its the party-perfect bowl of easy pasta salad to bring to the next potluck or party.
Video: Best Tuna Pasta Salad
You May Like: 72 Inch Sandwich Salad Prep Refrigerator
How Do You Make Tuna Pasta With Mayo
Mayo REALLY makes this salad. Its the binder and its the flavor too! We prefer real mayo for our tuna macaroni salad. You can use other binders like yogurt, sour cream, but mayo is our choice. You can add as much or as little mayo as you like, you can always add, but you cant take out like my grandma said. So if you like a creamy tuna macaroni salad just add more mayo. We just mix it in with our pasta salad ingredients and then place it right into the refrigerator. Since this pasta salad has mayo its important to keep it chilled.
Cold Make Ahead Pasta Salad
Like with most macaroni salads with a creamy dressing, the pasta is going to really absorb that dressing overnight in the fridge. The tuna macaroni salad will still be delicious and the pasta will boast all of the wonderful flavors of that creamy dressing that is has soaked up.
Ive read some recipes that call for tossing the pasta with a small amount of olive oil before adding the creamy dressing which I think ruins everything that we love about a good macaroni salad. The pasta should absorb some of the creamy dressing in my opinion.
How long will tuna macaroni salad last in the refrigerator? The tuna macaroni salad will keep up to four days when refrigerated in an airtight container or well covered bowl.
Read Also: Disposable Salad Dressing Container To Go
How To Make Macaroni Salad With Tuna:
How To Make Tuna Macaroni Salad:
Cook macaroni according to directions on package. While pasta is cooking, drain cans of tuna well. Chop hard boiled eggs and shallot. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, relish, celery seed, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir well to combine.
Stir in tuna.
Once macaroni is cooked, drain well and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled. Pour drained macaroni into a large bowl. Pour mayonnaise mixture onto pasta.Then add chopped eggs and shallot, followed by thawed peas. Stir well.
Cover with plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
Read Also: Ingredients For Tuna Fish Salad
Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad
This Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad is an easy-to-prepare side dish perfect with sandwiches. A quick summer salad recipe for picnics!
I couldnt let the summer go by without sharing our favorite Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad. Although I love our potato salad recipe like none other, there are times when I need a quick side dish. I love this recipe because theres no peeling & chopping potatoes. Theres no dressing to mix. This is just a simple 5 ingredient salad that your family will love.
This tuna macaroni salad is another of our favorite comforting side dishes that youll be excited about sharing with your family and friends.
Simple Tuna Macaroni Pasta Salad
What youll need to make this delicious tuna macaroni salad without peas:
Tuna Macaroni Salad Ingredients
Elbow Macaroni we like the regular pasta best but you can use whole wheat pasta if that is your preference.
Tuna I use a couple of the larger cans of tuna in my tuna mac salad. We prefer the chunk light tuna because it has good flavor. The solid white albacore tuna is milder in flavor and is sometimes confused for chicken, but is also a great choice for this pasta salad recipe.
Mayonnaise use a good quality real mayonnaise that you enjoy. We are a Dukes mayonnaise household so that is my preference. If you want to lighten the dressing up a bit you could use half mayo and half plain Greek yogurt. I love mayonnaise so my tuna macaroni gets all mayo in the recipe.
Dill Salad Cubes I love the taste of a dill relish with tuna. If you prefer a sweet pickle relish then go ahead and use that instead.
Lemon Juice adds a bit of tang to the dressing and works well with tuna fish.
Seasonings sea salt, black pepper, onion powder and Old Bay seasoning.
Red Bell Pepper for color interest and the sweet red pepper is delicious in pasta salads. I used a large red bell pepper or use two smaller red bell peppers.
Celery texture, flavor and color.
Red Onion for mild subtly sweet onion flavor and color interest. I also slice up some green onions for garnish but that is completely optional.
You May Like: Modern Greek And Salad Bar
Whats In Tuna Macaroni Salad
This salad has lots of protein to make it hearty enough to enjoy as a meal, and veggies add a nice crunchy texture.
- Canned tuna: I like using albacore because I think its got the best flavor. You dont get that metallic fishy taste that you can get with some kind of canned tuna.
- Macaroni: This is one ingredient that we are kind of snobs on! If you can find it, get Creamette brand macaroni because it cooks the best and has the best flavor.
- Hard Boiled Eggs: Make your own on the stovetop or buy pre-packaged to save time.
- Veggies: peas, celery and onions diced finely add crunch and freshness. Frozen peas are a must .
- Sauce: The sauce is made with mayo, pickle relish, mustard, salt and black pepper. You could add a little hot sauce to zest it up, or play around with flavors like adding garlic powder or paprika.
Key Steps To Awesome Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Prep order is important. A truly great tuna macaroni salad is the coming together of several different elements hard-boiled eggs, seasoned chopped vegetables, perfectly cooked pasta, and a vibrant dressing and you should prepare each of those in that order. Boil the eggs while you chop the dressing. Marinate the vegetables while you cook the pasta. Make the dressing while the pasta chills. You goal is to have everything is ready and close to the same temperature at the same time.
- Season the vegetables. There are a couple of reasons to season or marinate the vegetables. First and foremost is flavor: the celery and peppers will be sweeter and the red onion mellows just a tad with the help of some salt and lemon juice. That salt and acid also help these vegetables keep their snappy texture in the creamy dressing.
- Shock the pasta. Shocking the pasta means rapidly dunking it into an ice bath after draining. The result is perfectly cooked pasta that wont overcook as it cools and wont absorb so much dressing that the salad will be dry or gluey.
- Use a mayo-yogurt dressing. Mayos richness is actually its downfall when it comes to pasta salad it makes what could be a delightful balanced salad heavy and gloppy. A mixture of mayo and whole-milk yogurt makes this salad sing. The tang of the yogurt matches the richness of the mayo, bringing the right degree of balance.
Also Check: Chicken Parmesan Salad Wendy’s
Cold Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 2cupscooked elbow macaroni
- 1 5ozcan tuna, drained, fork mashed
- 1/2cupgreen pepper, chopped
- 1/2cupred onion, chopped
- 1/2cupcelery, chopped
- Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.
- Mix together all of the ingredients until well combined.
- Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until serving.
How To Make Easy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe
We already talked about adding extra tuna. Now the part to make this dish great is choosing the pasta. We prefer smaller pasta so that its not too filling and so that each bite is loaded with more tuna. Small elbow macaroni, ditalini, rotini and farfalle or bow tie is our favorite. Theyre smaller, taste tender and arent too filling. All recipe details and photos are in the recipe box below.
Don’t Miss: Crispy Chicken Salad Chick Fil A
How To Keep Your Macaroni Salad From Drying Out
There are several different ways to keep your tuna mac salad from absorbing too much mayonnaise and drying out. Here are a few suggestions:
- Cool it down Allow the pasta to cool before mixing in the mayo mixture. You can sprinkle some very cold water over it to help cool it down or toss with some ice cubes. PRO TIP: If using frozen peas, mix the peas with the macaroni to help it cool faster and thaw the peas at the same time.
- Keep some of the pasta water As the noodles are cooling, they might become a little dry. Set aside 1-2 cups of pasta water to toss with the noodles. As the noodles cool, so will the water. Just gently toss a little bit at a time, you probably wont even need all the pasta water.
- Toss it in a little oil You can also toss the noodles in a little bit of oil after the pasta has cooled down a bit. Dont add the oil when the pasta is too hot. Only add a small amount at a time until noodles are coated. This creates a barrier making it more difficult for the noodles to absorb the dressing.
- Adjust the mayo-sour cream ratio The more sour cream you use, the less the dressing will be absorbed. The trade-off here is that by reducing the mayonnaise, you may be sacrificing some of the flavor. Play around with the ratios to see what works best for you.
Tuna Noodle Salad Ingredient Information:
- Tuna fish: I prefer to use chunk light canned tuna in water. Be sure to drain the tuna really well before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.
- Macaroni: My preferred pasta for this is elbow macaroni, but you can easily sub in the same amount of any other small pasta.
- Vegetables: I typically make this with minced onions and diced celery for delicious flavor and crunch. My mom often adds diced carrots as well. Expert tip: if raw onion flavor is too strong for you, soak the minced onions in cold water for about 10 minutes and then drain really well before adding it to the other ingredients.
- Mayonnaise: Mayo is the perfect binder for this recipe. Full fat or light both work, Hellmans is my favorite!
- Seasonings: I like to keep it simple with just kosher salt and freshly ground back pepper, and I do it by taste. But if you prefer even more flavor, feel free to add your favorite seasonings or fresh chopped herbs to kick it up a notch.
You May Like: Chicken Salad With Plain Yogurt
How Long Does Tuna Salad Last
If it doesnt get eaten up first because it really IS that good, tuna fish salad will keep in the fridge for a few days. Because it has fish and mayonnaise in it, be careful to not leave it out on the counter for too long.
Make that tuna fish sandwich and put the tuna salad back in the fridge in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible! The best tuna salad is fresh and safe to eat!
Tuna Macaroni Salad Creamy Dressing
Start by getting your pasta going while you work on everything else. Youll want to cook the elbow macaroni noodles according to package directions until al dente and tender.
My general method for cooking pasta is to add some cold water to a large pot, cover it with a lid , and bring to a boil. When boiling add some salt to the water then add the pasta and give it a stir. Cook for ten minutes and it should be perfectly tender.
Next, prepare the creamy dressing by combining the mayonnaise and seasonings together then set aside.
The tuna should be well drained so place a small colander over a small bowl and add the canned tuna so it can drain well while you prep the vegetables.
Dice the celery, onion and bell pepper into small pieces and have it ready to go when combining the whole thing together.
Read Also: Store Bought Salad Dressing Keto
How To Make This Tuna Macaroni Salad From Scratch
Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and allow it to cool.
In a salad bowl add all the remaining ingredients for the salad.
In a small bowl whisk well the dressing ingredients.
Once the pasta is chilled, add it to the salad bowl together with the dressing.
Toss to combine, then serve.
Southern Style Tuna Macaroni Salad: The Perfect Potluck Dish
One of my favorite side dishes to make for potlucks is my southern tuna macaroni salad. This tuna pasta salad always gets praised, and most people really dont realize how effortless, and cheap my tuna macaroni salad is to make.
First, and foremost, I make my southern tuna macaroni salad without peas. Peas ISSA NO! No peas in my tuna macaroni salad, it is just not my thing. I also refuse to use miracle whip! So no, this aint no tuna salad with miracle whip recipe yall. I prefer to use Best Foods aka Hellmans mayonnaise for my tuna macaroni salad!
You May Like: Salad And Go Breakfast Time
More Potluck Salad Favorites
If youre looking for other potluck favorites, try our classic Macaroni Salad, which is the recipe this tuna mac salad was derived from, or a hearty helping of Bacon Ranch Red Potato Salad, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad or lightened up Egg Salad. For a unique spin on classic tuna salad, Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps are a fun twist and Tuna Pasta Salad is also quite delicious. My friends have some great options too, like Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad and Italian Cucumber Tomato Salad.
Tuna Macaroni Salad Faqs
1What can you mix with tuna, other than mayo?
In this salad, we use a combination of mayo and Caesar salad dressing which keeps the salad from tasting like straight mayo.
If youre opposed to combining tuna and mayo, youve got to try this mayo-less Mediterranean Tuna Salad its one of our favorites!
2How long does Tuna Macaroni Salad last in the fridge?
We like this salad best the same day its made, but if properly stored, it can last 3-5 days in the fridge.
Dont leave the salad out for more than 2 hours at room temperature bacteria can begin to grow.
3How do I keep macaroni from absorbing too much of the mayonnaise?
Pasta will continue to absorb liquid, so the best way to avoid this is to either enjoy the salad soon after being made or by adding the dressing gradually, adding more to moisten as needed.
Chilling the salad in an airtight container in the fridge also slows down the absorption of the mayo. Chilled in an airtight container, moisture cant evaporate the same.
4How do you keep tuna salad from drying out?
Keep the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge as much as possible. If needed, add a few additional tablespoons of leftover Caesar salad dressing or even a splash of milk to keep things nice and creamy.
Recommended Reading: Gluten Dairy Free Salad Dressing