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Tuna Pasta Salad

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.

The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

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.

The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

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!

The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

Whenever I need a dish to pass, it’s easy to whip up a cold pasta salad like Taco Pasta Salad, Spaghetti Salad with Italian Dressing or Bacon Cheddar Ranch Pasta Salad.

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 best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

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.

The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

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!

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The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

The best cold tuna pasta salad! This creamy macaroni salad with mayonnaise is great for potlucks or add peas for a complete meal!

Tuna Pasta Salad

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Classic cold tuna pasta with green olives for a burst of flavor. This creamy dish is perfect for potlucks, BBQ or a quick yet filling meal.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Did you make this recipe?

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    Brenda J Gerstenslager

    Saturday 8th of February 2020

    I made this early this morning after saving it and I really like it! The green olives make it one good Tuna Pasta Salad! I will definitely be using this recipes for sure! Next time I may add chopped eggs also and a little more mayo to keep it creamy! Loved it! Thanks for sharing this one! Brenda

    Barbara Albach

    Saturday 20th of July 2019

    This was just delicious. I had a rotini riced based GFpasta that had broken up a bit that was perfect for this salad. I used a some sliced olive salad with pimentos - perfect for this. Didn't have any onion, so I added a bit of sweet relish. I made about half the recipe with 1 can of tuna. The olives really made the dish for me. Great light summer dish!

    Rebekah

    Saturday 20th of July 2019

    Thank you so much for your comment!