Easy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

I love pasta salads, and with warmer weather on the horizon, picnics and barbecues are imminent. Pasta salads are a perfect accompaniment, and travel well in a cooler. I also love tuna salad, so this very simple recipe for tuna pasta salad was right up my alley.

A friend of mine from years back owned a site called Old Fashioned Living. She sold it to a company that I work for, so in a strange twist of fate, I am now the editor of my friend’s old site. :) I was browsing around there the other day, working on updating the site with spring type articles, and came across this article called Pasta Salads for Spring & Summer Meals. The first recipe listed caught my eye, and I had everything on hand (hence why you see my picture on that site LOL!). It was delicious and very easy to make. I’ll be trying the other recipes on that article soon!

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Rainbow Deviled Eggs & Egg Salad

Tuna Macaroni Salad
printable version

3 cups uncooked macaroni
2 cans light tuna in water, drained
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayo)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. seasoned salt (I just used regular salt, just to taste)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


Cook macaroni, drain and rinse with cold water. Place in a large bowl. Add the drained tuna, celery and onion. Toss gently to mix. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, juice and seasonings. Add to the macaroni mixture and toss with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Chill and serve.


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  1. HoneyB says

    Whenever we make what we call macaroni salad here I use a can of tuna and green peas (thawed frozen peas). It is the only way I really LOVE to eat this salad – but believe it or not…I do not care for Tuna on its own!

  2. Kid Vs. Produce says

    This is one of my favorite comfort foods, but I can't recall ever making it for the kids. I totally need to put this in the rotation!

  3. Marie says

    That looks delicious Amanda. I have never included tuna in my pasta salads, but clearly I need to try it, coz that looks amazing!

  4. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says

    My Florida seaside town is all about fresh fish, and fishing is one of my favorite hobbies. But I still just LOVE canned tuna. Thanks for another delish looking tuna recipe to add to my growing list!

  5. Megan says

    I have never had tuna in my pasta salad before either and I'm wondering why not? It's a great idea. Another good one Amanda!

  6. Deeba PAB says

    What a small place the world is, and what an amazing coincidence! I love the tuna salad as much as I love the serving platter! Beautiful!!

  7. cookies and cups says

    This type of salad used to be my favorite growing up…one of those things that my mom would make! Haven't had it in a while, so thanks for the recipe!!

  8. Kisa says

    My mother passed down a "Julia Child spaghetti" recipe to me that was a blend of pasta, canned tuna, chopped walnuts, chopped black olives, chopped parsley, chopped walnuts, and shredded gruyere. Toss with olive oil and s&p to taste. It is to this day a family favorite, and I've done it with many variations and substitutions. Yum! And pretty healthful, too… Oh yeah, forgot a bit of onion in there as well…


  9. Kathy says

    I agree with Cookies & Cups above. I grew up with this salad that my Mom made since the 1950’s in PA. This was an easy meal especially for those Fridays in Lent when we didn’t eat meat. A must to add is “celery seed” in addition to the chopped celery. It gives a unique yummyness to the salad. The salad does not taste like fishy tuna. So if you want to serve the fish protein but not the taste this is a winner for all. I just put this together even in the winter. Can’t wait for it to chill.

  10. Danielle says

    Thanks! Totally needed a quick “pasta/macaroni salad” recipe and found this of which I had most all of the ingredients!

  11. Jo says

    I now put a bit of olive oil and lemon juice in any cooked pasta and refrigerate over night before adding other ingredients. Makes a huge difference! Love this recipe, it was comfort food in my youth. Thanks!

  12. JoJo says

    We grew with one very similar, but we do not use the lemon juice, and use Miracle Whip rather than mayonnaise. We also add chopped tomatoes, green olives, cucumber, and celery seed. YUMMY


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