Tuna Macaroni Salad
I’m psyched to FINALLY bring you a throwback to my childhood, the classic tuna mayo macaroni salad; but this isn’t just any Tuna Macaroni Salad, this salad has a little extra with peas, it’s vinegar punch and dill relish 😋.
For our Memorial Day, we smoked a pork shoulder (check out my Smoked Pork Shoulder here) and I thought, hmmmm, what should I have as a summer side 🤔. Well, since I have an abundance of tuna and boxes of macaroni (we’re in the midst of COVID-19), I thought, why not some comfort of childhood. I don’t know about you, but I love a great tuna macaroni salad. The version I remember was macaroni, onion, celery, tuna and mayo. While these are simple and perfect ingredients, I knew I wanted to add my own spin; and why not some peas from my quarantine freezer, a punch of acid from vinegar, some zing from dill relish and hot sauce; delicious macaroni salad side, here you come…
I hope you enjoy my spin, enjoy and cheers 🍻.
- Macaroni Preparation – I like an elbow for this type of salad, but feel free to use any pasta you have. I also cook my macaroni very slightly pass al dente, form-ish to the bite. When my macaroni was done cooking, I added it to an ice bath to stop the cooking and chill the pasta. I would definitely encourage you to chill your macaroni before combining with the other ingredients.
- Type of Tuna to Use – I prefer albacore tuna in water. Albacore is a better source of hearty- healthy omega-3 fatty acids than other tuna types, two, I find this type more delicious in my tuna salad.
- Macaroni Salad Add-ins – This salad is heavy-ish on the onion and light-ish on the mayo, which is the way we like it. If you like less onion, go with 1 onion and if you want more mayo add to your liking. I also added peas to this recipe, but feel free to get creative with other add-ins, like mustard, hard boiled egg, bacon, cheese, green onions, red onions, etc.
- Refrigerating Your Salad – I’d suggest refrigerating the salad for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (preferably 6 – 7 hours) because it allows the ingredients to come together. If you make the salad ahead of serving time, take it out of the refrigerator for a few minutes to take the chill off (30mins to 1hour). If the salad seems dry (it will absorb moisture as it stands), stir in 1 to 2 TBSP of extra mayo, milk or half-and-half to moisten.
- Presenting Your Salad – I hate wasting feed, so I chopped up the celery leaves. Feel free to add chopped parsley for added freshness or paprika for some color, if you’d perfect.
Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 8 oz elbow macaroni, cook as directed and chilled
- 2 small onions, diced
- 3 celery stalks, deveiled and diced
- ½ cup frozen peas, blanched, drained and chilled
- 2 cans albacore tuna in water, drained
- ½ cup mayo
- 3-4 dashes hot sauce, my preference is always Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 2 TBSP dill relish
- 1 TBSP red vinegar
- Salt & Ground Pepper, for seasoning
- Cook the macaroni, as directed and chill.
- Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Once the macaroni is chilled, add to the mixing bowl and combine with the other ingredients.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour, enjoy with your favorite BBQ and cheers 🍻.