Creamy, full of flavor, and easy to make, this Tuna Macaroni Salad really has it all! Serve it as a side dish at your next picnic or impress everyone at the potluck. You just can’t go wrong when you serve this simply delicious macaroni salad!

A blue and white bowl is filled with tuna macaroni salad.

Tuna Macaroni Salad

If I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met a macaroni salad I didn’t love. Even the most lackluster ones are usually still pretty tasty! Macaroni salad always makes the best side dish, appetizer, or light lunch. No picnic or potluck would be complete without a macaroni salad! With all that being said, this tuna macaroni salad is currently taking first place on my list of favorite macaroni salad recipes, and trust me – that’s a pretty extensive and competitive list.

Once you try a bite of this easy to make macaroni salad though, you won’t be too confused as to why it’s my current favorite! It’s got a ton of complex flavors from ingredients like champagne vinegar, low fat greek yogurt, and an array of tasty veggies. Not to mention the tuna itself is delicious, too! If you’re a tuna lover like me, you’re going to gobble this stuff up like crazy. I feel like I’m always finding new ways to enjoy tuna – after all, it’s an affordable, delicious protein, so why not?! Of all the ways I can serve it up, this macaroni salad is quite possibly the best way to dress up a couple cans of albacore tuna.

With summer slipping by every day, you should make this tuna macaroni salad ASAP! It’s scrumptious all year long, but all of those fresh flavors just scream “summertime” to me. Oh, and have I mentioned that this recipe is SO very easy? The only annoying thing about making this salad is that you’ll have to wait at least an hour to dig in so it has time to cool in the fridge. I know it’s going to be tempting to steal a small serving before it goes into the fridge, but I promise it’s so well worth the wait!

Ingredients for macaroni salad are in a large bowl.

How to Make It

This recipe is crazy easy to whip up! It takes no time at all to mix it all together – just remember to let it chill before you dig in!

Make the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.

Transfer and add. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the celery, pickles, bell pepper, peas, onion and tuna.

Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.

Combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine.

Chill. Cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

Enjoy! Stir the salad again right before serving. Serve chilled.

A bowl filled with macaroni salad is placed on top of a blue placemat.

How long will tuna macaroni salad stay fresh?

When kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this homemade macaroni salad will stay fresh for up to 4 days! Just remember to stir it up before serving, as the dressing may tend to fall towards the bottom of the bowl.

Also, this is a great day-ahead recipe! If you know you’re wanting to serve it for a special occasion, make this tuna macaroni salad the day ahead and let it chill overnight. I find that when chilled overnight, it’s really at its best.

What is champagne vinegar?

Contrary to the title, the vinegar used in this recipe contains no alcohol! It actually gets that name because it’s made from the same grapes as chardonnay and pinot. Champagne vinegar has a fairly mild taste in comparison to other vinegars and is SO perfect for this recipe! I find that the light tangy taste compliments the tuna and other ingredients wonderfully without overpowering them.

If you can’t get your hands on a bottle of this slightly floral vinegar, then white wine vinegar will also be delicious.

A macaroni salad is garnished with parsley.

Can’t get enough macaroni salads? Me neither!

For more easy family recipe ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

A blue and white bowl is filled with tuna macaroni salad.

Get the Recipe: Tuna Macaroni Salad

A classic made better, Tuna Macaroni Salad is the retro potluck dish that's a hit with everyone. Tender pasta, tuna, peas, veggies all combined in a sweet/tangy dressing that's ready in minutes.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet pickles
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 5 ounce cans albacore tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise, I use Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo
  • 1/4 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Equipment

  • bowl
  • saucepan

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
  • Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the celery, pickles, bell pepper, peas, onion and tuna.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine.
  • Cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Stir the salad again right before serving.
  • Serve chilled.

Notes

Tuna Macaroni Salad can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 308mg, Potassium: 182mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg