Delicious Tuna Macaroni Salad

Looking for a quick and easy dish to bring to your summer gatherings? Our Tuna Macaroni Salad is the perfect choice! Creamy, flavorful, and loaded with fresh ingredients, it’s sure to be a hit. Check out the full recipe below and give it a try this weekend!


  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and cooled
  • 2 cans tuna, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Macaroni:

  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool, then set aside. Cooling the macaroni prevents it from becoming mushy when mixed with the other ingredients.

Mix the Salad Ingredients:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled macaroni, drained tuna, diced celery, finely chopped red onion, sweet pickle relish, and chopped fresh parsley. These ingredients add a great balance of texture and flavor to the salad.

Make the Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste. The Dijon mustard adds a subtle tang that complements the creamy mayonnaise.

Combine and Chill:

  1. Pour the dressing over the macaroni mixture and toss until everything is well coated. Make sure the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the salad.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Chilling the salad allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.


  1. Once chilled, give the salad a quick stir and transfer it to a serving dish. Enjoy your Tuna Macaroni Salad at your next picnic or BBQ!


  • Tuna Options: You can use tuna packed in water for a lighter option or tuna packed in oil for a richer flavor.
  • Add-ins: Feel free to add other ingredients like chopped bell peppers, hard-boiled eggs, or olives for extra flavor and variety.
  • Mayonnaise Substitute: For a lighter version, you can use half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt or a light mayonnaise.
  • Herb Variations: If you’re not a fan of parsley, try using dill or chives for a different herbaceous note.


This Tuna Macaroni Salad is a classic favorite that’s easy to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser. The combination of creamy dressing, tender macaroni, and flavorful tuna with crunchy celery and tangy pickle relish makes for a delightful dish. Perfect for summer picnics, BBQs, or as a quick weekday meal, this salad is versatile and delicious. Make it ahead of time and enjoy the compliments from your family and friends!


Can I make this salad ahead of time? Yes, this salad can be made up to a day in advance. In fact, letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator allows the flavors to develop even more.

How long can I store leftovers? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Give it a good stir before serving again.

Can I use a different type of pasta? Absolutely! While elbow macaroni is traditional, you can use any small pasta shape like shells, rotini, or penne.

What can I substitute for mayonnaise? You can use Greek yogurt, sour cream, or a combination of both for a lighter, tangier dressing.

Is this salad gluten-free? To make this salad gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pasta.


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Enjoy this refreshing Tuna Macaroni Salad at your next gathering!