Dinner Ideas, Grilling, Pasta, Salads

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 ๐Ÿ˜‹.

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 ๐Ÿค”. 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…

The perfect summer side!

I hope you enjoy my spin, enjoy and cheers ๐Ÿป.

Some Notes

  • 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 refridegatoring 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. If the salad seems dry (it will absorb moisture as it stands), stir in 1 to 2 TSBS 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

This is a classic tuna mayo macaroni salad with a little extra punch with vinegar and dill relish ๐Ÿ˜‹
Total Time 30 mins
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American


  • 8 oz elbow macaroni, cook as directed and chilled
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, deveiled and diced
  • ยฝ cup frozen peas, blanched, drained and chilled
  • 2 cans albacore tuna in water, drained
  • ยฝ 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 ๐Ÿป.
Keyword Macaroni Salad, Tuna Macaroni Salad

3 thoughts on “Tuna Macaroni Salad

  1. Canโ€™t wait to try out your recipe of tuna macaroni salad. It looks easy to put together and so YUMMY at the same time!

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