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Tuna Pasta Salad

This creamy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe is served with macaroni, eggs, celery, onions, peas, and of course- tuna fish. This makes an easy lunch, snack, or side dish that is pulled straight from the fridge and served cold!

Be sure to try my Egg Salad, Potato Salad, and  Italian Pasta Salad recipes next!

A bowl with Tuna Pasta Salad with creamy macaroni, eggs, tuna, and peas.

Tuna Pasta Salad

I wish that I had created this recipe years ago, because it is a major life saver in the summer months when you have a hungry family bopping around. My husband just hopped off the lawn mower and this is my new favorite protein-packed snack to give him. (He even loves having it for dinner!)

It also makes a great lunch to pack up for work, school, camping, road trips, etc. 😁

Be sure to browse through all of my pasta salad recipes!

A glass bowl with ingredients for making Tuna Pasta Salad before being stirred.

How to Make It (Summary)

Note: **See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Combine dressing ingredients and set in the fridge to chill.
  • Boil macaroni in salted water until just al dente and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
  • Combine pasta, tuna, celery, onions, peas, hard boiled eggs, and toss with the dressing.
  • Transfer to a clean serving dish and garnish with paprika and/or diced green onions.
  • Chill for 4 hours prior to serving.

Pro Tips

  • Drain the tuna very well to prevent the tuna salad from becoming watery.
  • Drain the pasta very well as well and rinse it until completely cooled.
  • If you have older eggs, use those as they’re easier to peel. You can also add ½ teaspoon baking soda to the water if using fresh eggs, which will help with peeling as well.
  • Chopped bacon makes a great garnish for this as well.

Make-Ahead Method

  • This can be made 1-day ahead of time.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish just before serving so that you can stir it first. 

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

A glass serving bowl filled with Tuna Pasta Salad with a spoon.

Tools For This Recipe

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Tuna Pasta Salad with hard boiled eggs, onions, and peas in a bowl.

Tuna Pasta Salad

5 from 15 ratings
This creamy Tuna Pasta Salad recipe is served with macaroni, eggs, celery, onions, peas, and of course- tuna fish. This makes an easy lunch, snack, or side dish that is pulled straight from the fridge and served cold!

Ingredients

  • ¾ lb. macaroni
  • 3 (5 oz.) cans tuna packed in water, drained well.
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, see notes
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed

Dressing:

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet relish
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne, optional

Optional Garnishes

  • Pinch paprika
  • Diced green onions

Instructions

  • Combine dressing ingredients and set in the fridge to chill.
  • Boil macaroni in salted water until just al dente, about 7 minutes (verify time on package).
  • Drain and rinse with cold water until the water on the bottom of the colander comes through cold. Drain as much of the water as possible, (I lay my macaroni on a dry dish towel).
  • Cut the hard-boiled eggs into pieces of desired size, reserve some to garnish on top if desired.
  • Add the pasta, dressing, and all remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir until evenly combined. Transfer to a clean serving dish.
  • Garnish with green onions and paprika.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to overnight. The pasta will absorb more of the dressing during this time. Serve!

Notes

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs:
  • Submerge the eggs in 2 inches of cool water in a pot on the stove-top.
  • Gradually bring them to a boil.
  • Once the boil is reached, cover the pot and remove them from the heat.
  • Let them sit for 12 minutes.
  • Place them in a colander and rinse them under cool running water to stop the cooking process. Then peel and dice.

Pro Tips:
• Drain the tuna very well to prevent the tuna salad from becoming watery.
• If you have older eggs, use those as they’re easier to peel. You can also add ½ teaspoon baking soda to the water if using fresh eggs, which will help with peeling as well.
• Chopped bacon makes a great garnish for this as well.

Make-Ahead Method
  • This can be made 1-day ahead of time.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish just before serving so that you can stir it first. 

The Nutritional Information shared is an estimate and is per cup. This recipe makes approximately 13 cups.

Nutrition

Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 545mg, Potassium: 176mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 238IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
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38 comments on “Tuna Pasta Salad”

  1. This is a perfect summer dish! It’s going into rotation!

  2. Stephanie’s recipes have never disappointed and this was no exception. Thought this sounded good for a hot summer day. This was beyond delicious and has way more flavor than your typical tuna salad with pasta. The dressing is what makes this soooo good. I did add chopped red pepper used pickled red onions and a few tablespoons of sour cream.
    Thank you Stephanie for another amazing recipe!

  3. I am sorry but the amounts are impossible to follow. I tried to r3educe the recipe to 6 cups and it came out to items like 1.85 egg! How do I change it to customary measurements?

    • Hi Vera, if you change the servings to be a customized amount, the ingredients are going to change proportionally. In your case, I would just halve everything, which would mean using 2 eggs.

  4. Sprinkle some French Fried Onion Rings.(like the ones used for the Green Bean casserole) over the top just before serving. That extra little crunch is great.

  5. My husband and I can our own albacore tuna, trying this recipe was a must. It was very good. I added a few more petite peas, green peppers and garnished with bacon and green onions. I also used Chef Merito fish seasoning instead of regular salt. Excellent. I think I will add a bit of horseradish as another commenter mentioned before, sounds good. Thanks!

  6. This is so delicious! I have to get to it before my husband eats it all. 

    • Ohhh I’m SO happy to hear that!! Husbands do tend to love this one, I speak from experience! You’re the best Dina, thank you so much for the review!! -Stephanie 💗

  7. Will be making this week but do not like tuna so I will use chicken instead.

  8. My tuna mac salad was good with just mayo and s&p, but your dressing is à game changer. Perfect for a main dish or for a side on a hot summer day.

    • Hi Tracy! I’m so happy that this recipe kicked things up a notch for you! Wahoooo!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, you’re the best! -Stephanie

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