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The BEST Tuna Pasta Salad

This is the Best Tuna Pasta Salad you have ever tasted! Creamy, crunchy, and delicious, you will love this variation on a classic cold salad covered in dill mayonnaise dressing.

For more tasty salads, you should try our Italian Pasta Salad and Pesto Pasta Salad.

Recipe Details

If you are a fan of Tuna Pasta Salad, then you have to try this recipe. It is the BEST! Made with fresh herbs for the best flavor, you’ll find that this version of the classic tuna pasta salad is much more complex and deliciously flavored. You’ll never go back to regular tuna pasta salad again!

  • TASTE: This Tuna Pasta Salad tastes delicious, with the pungent onion, albacore tuna, mild celery, and eggs, all covered in a richly flavored mayonnaise dill dressing.
  • TEXTURE: A creamy mix of hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise with crunchy celery and onion, every bite of this salad is addictive.
  • TIME: It only takes 20 minutes to make.
  • EASE: This recipe is so easy and quick to put together. You can even prep it ahead of time to make it more convenient.

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Tuna- Albacore is best, but you can use any canned tuna that you like.
  • Pasta- Elbow macaroni works well, but other types of small pasta can be used, too.
  • Dill- Fresh is best to give this Tuna Pasta Salad the most herbaceous flavor.
  • Mayonnaise- Any type is fine, but full-fat mayo offers the richest, creamiest texture.

Add-ins and Substitutions

  • Make a lighter version- For a healthier version of this pasta salad, you can substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise. Or you can also use a lighter version of mayo.
  • Substitute another pasta- Any small pasta variety will work here, so try this recipe with penne, ditalini, gemelli, fusilli, or cavatelli.
  • Add peas- This veggie adds a creamy texture and mild flavor that works well with the other ingredients.
  • Add Dijon mustard- Substituting a little of the mayo for Dijon mustard gives this salad a tangy flavor that’s delicious.

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad

  • Boil the eggs. In a small pot of water, place the eggs and make sure they are submerged. Let the water come to a boil and then turn off the heat. Cover and wait 8 minutes.
  • Peel and chop the eggs. Transfer the hard-boiled eggs to an ice bath and peel them when they are cool. Then chop the eggs into fine pieces. Set aside.
  • Cook the macaroni. Place the elbow macaroni in a pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  • Combine the ingredients. Add the drained tuna, chopped onion, celery, dill, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined. Serve chilled.

Recipe Tips

  • Use Albacore tuna– It’s rich in healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, and has more protein than other types. This tuna variety is also tasty and goes well with the other ingredients.
  • Boil the eggs longer- If you like your eggs more hardboiled, then leave them in for a few extra minutes. Conversely, if you prefer them more creamy and less boiled, shave off a couple of minutes.
  • Use an ice bath- To avoid overcooking the eggs, place them in an ice bath to immediately stop the cooking process. This also makes peeling them easier.
  • Cook the pasta al dente- You want the pasta to have some chew and also be able to hold up when mixed with the other ingredients, so cook it al dente.

FAQs

Should you rinse pasta when making pasta salad?

Because this pasta will be used for a cold pasta salad, it’s best to rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and also to cool it off faster.

Is it best to make pasta salad the day before?

You can easily store this Tuna Pasta Salad for a couple of days after making it, giving it time to really absorb the dressing without getting mushy. You can make it a day ahead so it has time to chill overnight before serving.

Serving Suggestions

This Tuna Pasta Salad is an easy salad to make and perfect for lunch, dinner, or a backyard barbecue. This tasty dish is the perfect side for almost any meal.

  • Chicken: Enjoy this pasta salad with Breaded Chicken Skewers, Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa, Smoked Chicken Thighs, or BBQ Chicken Wings.
  • Beef/Steak: Pair it with Garlic Butter Steak Bites, Braised Beef Short Ribs (VIDEO), Easy Beef Chili, or Flank Steak Tacos.
  • Seafood: Serve it alongside Cedar Plank Salmon, Beer Battered Cod, Panko Crusted Salmon, or Baked Shrimp.
  • Potatoes: Pair this pasta salad with some Air Fryer Baked Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, Crispy Air Fryer Baby Potatoes, or Air Fryer French Fries.

Make This Recipe in Advance

Make ahead: You can hard boil the eggs and chop the vegetables so that all you need to do is assemble this salad when you’re ready. Just store your ingredients in the fridge in the meantime.

Storing: The best way to keep this salad fresh is by placing it in an airtight container and keeping it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 5 days.

Freeze: This Tuna Pasta Salad won’t freeze well because it will thaw separated and mushy. It’s best to make it fresh.

More Delicious Pasta Salads!

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad topped with feta cheese on a plate.

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, rotini, and chicken in a bowl with a fork.

Pesto Pasta Salad (VIDEO)

BLT Pasta Salad

Full Recipe Instructions

Fill a small pot of lukewarm water and place 3 large eggs inside. Make sure the eggs are completely submerged. Let the water come to a boil and then turn off the heat. Cover and wait 8 minutes.

Carefully transfer the hard-boiled eggs to an ice bath and peel the eggs once they’re cooled.

Then chop the eggs into fine pieces.

Now cook 12 oz of elbow macaroni in Pot of water al dente. Make sure to Salt the water really well.

Drain 2 (5 oz) cans of albacore tuna and place the fish into a large bowl along with 1/4 cup chopped onion, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp black pepper, a Pinch of salt, 1 chopped stalk celery, 2 tbsp chopped dill. 

Mix everything together until it’s all well combined. Serve chilled

Steps for making Tuna Pasta Salad: combine the cooked pasta with the tuna, celery, onion, mayo, salt, pepper, dill, and eggs, then mix.

Notes

  • Use Albacore tuna– It’s rich in healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, and has more protein than other types. This tuna variety is also tasty and goes well with the other ingredients.
  • Boil the eggs longer- If you like your eggs more hardboiled, then leave them in for a few extra minutes. Conversely, if you prefer them more creamy and less boiled, shave off a couple of minutes.
  • Use an ice bath- To prevent overcooking and make peeling the eggs easier, place them in an ice bath immediately after boiling.
  • Cook the pasta al dente- This will give it a slightly firm texture and prevent it from becoming too soft when mixed with the other ingredients.

FAQs

Should you rinse pasta when making pasta salad?
Because this pasta will be used for a cold pasta salad, it’s best to rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process and also to cool it off faster.

Is it best to make pasta salad the day before?
You can easily store this Tuna Pasta Salad for a couple of days after making it, giving it time to really absorb the dressing without getting mushy. You can make it a day ahead so it has time to chill overnight before serving.

Serving Suggestions

This Tuna Pasta Salad is an easy salad to make and perfect for lunch, dinner, or a backyard barbecue. This tasty dish is the perfect side for almost any meal.

  • Chicken: Enjoy this pasta salad with Breaded Chicken Skewers, Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa, Smoked Chicken Thighs, or BBQ Chicken Wings.
  • Beef/Steak: Pair it with Garlic Butter Steak Bites, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Easy Beef Chili, or Flank Steak Tacos.
  • Seafood: Serve it alongside Cedar Plank Salmon, Beer Battered Cod, Panko Crusted Salmon, or Baked Shrimp.
  • Potatoes: Pair this pasta salad with some Air Fryer Baked Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, Crispy Air Fryer Baby Potatoes, or Air Fryer French Fries.

Make This Recipe in Advance

Make ahead: You can hard boil the eggs and chop the vegetables so that all you need to do is assemble this salad when you’re ready. Just store your ingredients in the fridge in the meantime.

Storing: The best way to keep this salad fresh is by placing it in an airtight container and keeping it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 5 days.

Freeze: This Tuna Pasta Salad won’t freeze well because it will thaw separated and mushy. It’s best to make it fresh.

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