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Tuna Macaroni Salad

Updated on January 10, 2015

Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

A cold tuna macaroni salad is great as a side dish at a barbecue, perfect for a potluck, and even to make ahead to take for lunches at work.

I got this recipe from my mother. This is what she would put out at baby showers or bring to family reunions. It was also something that my mom would bring along with us when we went camping.

If you take it on a camping trip do remember to keep it cold using a cooler with ice or an ice pack. This is not a meal that you can let sit out and get warm. We used to take it with us so we would have something ready for us to eat when we arrived.

I like making a cold tuna macaroni salad whenever there is a heat wave in the summertime. Since I cook the pasta in the microwave, I can have a nice meal without ever having to turn on the oven. This is perfect since during a heat wave the last thing you want to do is add anymore heat to your home.

Now that I have to work 12 hour continental shifts I can make this on my day off. Then I will have a bunch of meals already prepared and ready to take to work, i just have to scoop it out into a smaller container.

Photo By: whatsittoyou

Preparing and Serving Bowls

Pyrex 8 Piece Ribbed Bowl (4) Set Including Assorted Colored Locking Lids (Ribbed)
Pyrex 8 Piece Ribbed Bowl (4) Set Including Assorted Colored Locking Lids (Ribbed)

This Pyrex set is perfect for making and storing your meals. They are microwave safe so you can use the large bowl to cook the pasta in. Then mix it and store it in the same bowl.

The bowls also come with lids which will to help keep the food fresh in the fridge. Plus it is perfect for transporting it to a pot luck and the lids will help to keep the bugs out at a barbecue.

There are also smaller bowls that you can use to take a smaller serving to work for your lunches. They are dishwasher safe so they are easy to clean.



  • Macaroni Noodles
  • Kraft Miracle Whip
  • Tuna
  • Optional:
  • Green Onions
  • Celery
  • Green Pepper
  • Red Pepper


  1. Put 4 Cups of macaroni noodles into a microwave safe bowl
  2. Add 8 cups of water
  3. Set the microwave for 18 minutes
  4. Stop the microwave and stir approximately every 5 minutes to keep the pasta from sticking together
  5. When it is finished pour it into a strainer and then rinse the pasta and the bowl with cold water
  6. You can than put the pasta back into the bowl
  7. Add 2 cans of tuna
  8. Add 4 heaping tablespoons of Kraft Miracle Whip and stir until all the pasta is moistened
  9. Put it into the fridge to cool for at least one hour.
  10. Optional Choices:
  11. I add chopped up green onions in my recipe
  12. You could also chop up green onions, celery, green pepper and red pepper
  13. Leave them to the side so people could add in what they want to their serving or add it to the whole bowl

How Easy Is This to Make?

3.4 stars from 57 ratings of Tuna Macaroni Salad

Personal Choices For Your Tuna Macaroni Salad

To me there are two key elements to what makes this dish so delicious. One is using Kraft Miracle Whip instead of Mayonnaise. The second is keeping it simple. When I make a tuna pasta salad I only have the macaroni, tuna, miracle whip, and chopped up green onions.

If I am making it for a group, I can chop up some extra items for people to add to their personal serving like celery or green and/or red peppers. I would recommend using this technique when preparing it for you and your family the first time you make it.

That way each of you can see what tastes like when it is plain compared to when you add other toppings. While these ingredients will make it more colorful, it will also alter the taste and texture of it. This is a great way to see which way you and your family prefer it to be made.

Want More Salad Recipes?

Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year
Salad of the Day (Williams-Sonoma): 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year

Here is a great book if you are looking for a wide variety of salad recipes. They range from the leafy green to potato or pasta type.


How Do You Like Your Tuna Pasta Salad, Plain or Filled With All the Toppings?

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    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning LOTD!

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 3 years ago

      This would be great with peas or broccoli! Looks delicious.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      I like mine with a nice seasoning and chock full of fresh vegetables.

    • HalloweenRecipes profile image

      HalloweenRecipes 3 years ago

      I like mine with real mayo!

    • RainFern profile image

      RainFern 3 years ago

      Sometimes I add peas into my pasta salad. I don't always add tuna if I don't have any, but adding celery is such a great idea! I love that crunch that you get from celery! I use ranch dressing to flavor my pasta salads. Depending on the brand of ranch, the results can be superb!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Plain! Well done on LOTD!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 3 years ago

      Congratulations on getting Lens of the Day for this delicious recipe, thanks for reminding me of it. I haven't had any in a long time.

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago

      I include hard boiled eggs and peas. Although I grew up with elbow macaroni and Miracle Whip I use small shells and Hellman's mayo now! Funny how sometimes our tastes change. Nice idea to keep the topping separate. Congrats on LotD.

    • Heather Grayson profile image

      Heather Corbett 3 years ago

      I love to put peas in mine.

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 3 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the day! That tuna salad looks yummy. =)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I use to make this all the time when the kids were small