I had a craving for Tuna Macaroni Salad today*, and since it’s a perfect hot weather main-dish salad, I thought I’d share it with you, too. I’ve based this on the way my mom used to make it, but Mom never followed a recipe, so I’ve come up with my own proportions. Also, she used only mayonnaise, but I prefer the flavor and creaminess of the mayo and sour cream combo in my version.
For a great make-ahead hot weather meal, cook the macaroni in the morning when using the stove might be a little easier to handle, or if your grill has a side burner, do it outside! Mix up the salad and chill until serving time. Pack Tuna Macaroni Salad in a cooler for an easy ready-to-eat picnic meal or a great potluck dish.
Recipe: Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 3 cans tuna, drained
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream
- Dash of black pepper
Cook the macaroni until al dente – just tender to the bite. Follow the directions on the package for best results.
While the pasta is cooking, open the cans of tuna and drain them well. Empty the tuna into a large mixing bowl, and add the chopped onion. Measure out the mayonnaise and sour cream and dump those in the bowl, too, and maybe add a dash of pepper to the bowl. (I don’t usually add salt, since the tuna usually seems to have plenty.)
When the time for cooking the macaroni is almost up, put the frozen peas into the pot and stir well. When the macaroni is tender, dump the pasta & peas into a colander and rinse with cold tap water until cool. Shake the colander gently to help it drain very well, then dump the macaroni & peas into the bowl with the tuna.
Gently mix together until well combined. You can serve this immediately, but it’s really much better if you make it ahead of time and chill it thoroughly. When you’re ready to serve, you may want to add a bit more mayo and/or sour cream, if it seems dry due to the pasta absorbing all the available moisture, or you could stir in just a bit of half & half or milk.
Serve Tuna Macaroni Salad with sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, or sliced bell peppers for a nice, cool and easy meal on a hot day.
Makes about 6 main dish-sized servings.
* Yes, really. I don’t get cravings for chocolate or desserts or sweets. Ever. Mine tend to be related to memories. Occasionally I get a craving for corn bread served with navy beans cooked almost to death, like my grandma used to make. Comfort food for the win.
Bobbie Laughman is a part-time caregiver and freelance writer seeking to prove the existence of intelligent life on the internet. The data so far is scant, but steadfastly she perseveres.