Southern Tuna Macaroni Salad
Tuna macaroni salad holds a special place in my heart. It reminds me of big summertime cookouts and family reunions in Elberton. In my mind, I can see my funny aunt Adrienne smiling her pretty, infectious smile while whipping up her always requested tuna macaroni salad. It’s just not a cookout without Aunt Adri’s tuna macaroni salad!
I’m surprised to hear a lot of folks have never had tuna macaroni salad before. Maybe it’s more of a southern thing because I grew up on this stuff. I didn’t like it as a child though (the whole tuna thing, ick) but as I got older I fell in love. It’s made with elbow macaroni pasta, tuna, mayonnaise (Dukes), hard-boiled eggs, relish, diced veggies and seasoned to perfection. What you end up with is a creamy, cool tuna pasta salad that belongs right next to the potato salad.
Tuna macaroni salad is pretty doggone addictive as well. I find myself dipping into it whenever I go into the kitchen, a spoonful here, a spoonful there. I prefer it plain as a side dish next to grilled meats, but you can eat it with crackers, rolled in lettuce, or even as a sandwich topped with fresh tomatoes (which is what my husband does)
It comes together really easy and honestly there’s no correct recipe as far as measurements. Everybody makes it different and that’s the beauty of it. It’s one of those pasta salads that you just taste as you go, adding in as much or as little ingredient as you like.
Watch me make this tuna macaroni salad from start to finish!!
Get the Recipe: Tuna Macaroni Salad
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup finely diced mixture of celery, green bell pepper, and onion (see note)
- 1/4 cup dill relish
- 2 tablespoons sweet relish
- 2 6 oz cans tuna, drained
- 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise, I used Dukes
- black pepper, Old Bay, seasoning salt to taste
- parsely, paprika, garnish
- Cook pasta according to package and rinse with cold water when done. Drain & set aside.
- In a large bowl, add cold pasta, chopped eggs, celery, bell pepper, and onion mixture.
- Toss to combine.
- Add in dill relish, sweet relish and tuna.
- Stir to combine.
- Stir in mayonnaise.
- Season to taste with black pepper, Old Bay and seasoning salt (if needed)
- Spread into a casserole dish.
- Garnish with paprika and parsley flakes.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
ADD MORE MAYO: If you find your salad isn't as creamy the next day feel free to add in more mayo.