Tuna Macaroni Salad

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Tuna Macaroni Salad is a classic potluck recipe and is so easy to throw together. It is creamy and delicious with lots of hard-boiled egg, peas, celery, onion, and sweet pickle relish. This simple pasta salad goes great with a sandwich, burgers, bbq chicken. You name it!

Tuna Macaroni Salad

This Tuna Macaroni Salad recipe easily feeds 10 to 12 people as a side and is perfect for your next picnic. There’s something about a cool and creamy recipe that really hits the spot during the hot summer months. And this Tuna Macaroni Salad only tastes better with time so feel free to make it a day or two in advance. If it has lost some of its creaminess, just stir another tablespoon or two of mayonnaise in before serving.

Tuna Macaro9ni Salad makes a classic picnic side


Tuna Macaroni Salad is a really budget-friendly recipe. Adding a can of tuna to pasta salad gives it plenty of flavor and some protein without the expense of a more protein-laden recipe. Leftovers make a great lunch.

Tuna Macaroni Salad make a quick and easy picnic side.

More Picnic Sides

Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make!

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Tuna Macaroni Salad is a classic potluck recipe and is so easy to throw together. It is creamy and delicious with lots of hard-boiled egg, peas, celery, onion, and sweet pickle relish.
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 (12-ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding the peas the last minute of cooking time. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and add to a large bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made a day in advance.

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27 thoughts on “Tuna Macaroni Salad

  1. I went with the other recommendations and added mustard, then I also added dill relish and white balsamic vinegar similar to what I wd do with potato salad or tuna salad by itself. I sauteed the onions and used yellow ones to make them milder bc someone said the red ones were too much. It is very yummy and the proportions are just right! TY!

  2. This recipe is simple, economical, tasty, and does not disappoint. Perhaps next time — and there will be a next time — I’ll “experiment” but this time I used only the ingredients indicated. I tripled the recipe and we (family of 4) ate it for BOTH Lunch and Dinner on Ash Wednesday (alongside refrigerator biscuits). Result: NO complaints and NO leftovers!

  3. Very similar recipe to what I grew up with only my mom added shredded carrots (for color) and didn’t add hardboiled eggs. I made this recipe and added carrots and a few teaspoons of Dijon mustard – it was delicious and a hit! Making it again for the 4th.

  4. Nicely balanced recipe and simple to make. I don’t normally offer variations, but have to say that if you dump the frozen peas into the pasta after it is drained, and stir together, the cold peas will stop the pasta cooking, and they will be sweeter than if you add them to the cooking water. Less work, sweeter peas = win win! I didn’t have enough mayonnaise and subbed a third cup of homemade greek yoghurt was fine.

  5. Try this with frozen cheese tortellini. It’s delicious. Also instead of relish, try your favorite Italian dressing with the mayo. Always a crowd favorite.

  6. i use mini penne pasta, 3 boiled eggs, 2 stalks of celery, sweet onions (red onions are too strong), sweet pickle cubes (not relish), 1 large can of solid white tuna and 1 regular can of tuna. use mayo, just a small amount of french’s yellow mustard, 1/4 tsp or so of dried mustard, a little cayenne pepper, krazy jane’s mixed up salt, some lemon pepper seasoning, kosher salt only if needed and cracked black pepper. my family loves it and we will eat it as a light dinner.

      1. I always boil extra pasta and freeze it. It thaws quickly in the fridge and is not mushy. It’s handy for a quick meal.

  7. I’ve made this recipe twice and it’s super tasty! Like others I added 3 cans of tuna more relish and tablespoon of yellow mustard. Fabulous recipe!

  8. Great recipe! Swapped celery for shredded carrot simply because I didn’t have any and since I used regular onion instead of red it added a little variation and took care of the lack of color. Also only had jalapeno tuna (sorry… didn’t intend to change it up so much) and it definitely gave it just the right amount of heat for all those hot and spicy food eaters out there.

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