A tasty cold tuna pasta salad with green olives for a bright burst of flavor. This creamy macaroni salad is perfect for potlucks and BBQ’s, or hearty enough for a quick yet filling meal on it’s own! You’ll want to make this one again and again.
Tuna Pasta Salad
This cold tuna pasta salad with olives is one of my favorite childhood dishes. It reminds me of the classic tuna casserole, except there’s no baking required so it’s perfect for summer.
The tuna is filling and packed with protein while the olives give it a burst of salty, briny pop!
I add onions for flavor and celery for crunch. It all comes together with real mayonnaise.
This tuna pasta salad is hearty enough to be served for dinner, take in a brown bag lunch or great as a side dish.
After all, summer is the season of picnics and cooking out!
I love this pasta salad with tuna for so many reasons, but the best part is that it’s easy to customize.
Don’t like green olives? Substitute with peas or just leave them out altogether.
The vinegar flavor really makes a difference though. And even my husband who doesn’t like green olives gobbles this up!
If I’m taking this to a party, I just cut them in half so they’re still large enough to pick out by those who don’t care for them. More olives for me!
If you want to bulk up this salad even more, you can add shredded carrots, cucumber, red bell pepper or other veggies.
How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad
When making a hot pasta dish (like Ricotta Pasta with Beef), I usually cook it al dente so it’s still chewy and finishes cooking in the sauce.
With macaroni salad, I cook it until the pasta is on the soft side. It will still absorb a lot of the mayo, but it keeps it nice and creamy.
One last tip: make sure you salt your boiling pasta water before cooking. This flavors the pasta!
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
- 8 oz (1/2 box) macaroni or other small pasta
- 2 cans tuna, drained
- 1/2 cup green olives, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring salted water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook according to the package instructions until soft.
- Drain pasta and rinse in cold water, allowing excess water to drain again.
- Place macaroni in large bowl along with tuna, olives, onion, celery and mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Add additional mayo if needed since it will be absorbed as it chills. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.