As a farm girl from rural Wisconsin, summer meant hot weather, no air conditioning, helping in the garden and often “cold suppers’. Sunday lunch was usually a beef roast, which we sliced for sandwiches on homemade bread during the week served with cucumber salad or fresh strawberry shortcake. Or one of my favorite summer cold dishes, Tuna macaroni salad, or maybe it is Tuna Pasta Salad.
When you say “Macaroni salad” to a “southerner” they most likely think of elbow macaroni noodles mixed with sweet pickle relish, chopped red peppers and mayo.
Tuna Macaroni salad is slightly different. It is shell noodles, peas, celery, onion, celery salt, mayo and of course tuna.
It is such an easy thing to make. You don’t even really need a “recipe”.
Start with cooking about a cup of shells. You can use elbow or bowtie, but I prefer the way the shell cradles the bits of tuna and mayo goodness as you eat it.
In a bowl add 2-3 stalks of celery cut up, ¼ cup red onion diced small, and a couple of dollops of mayo, along with 1 can of tuna, drained.
Just before the shells are done, add to the boiling water, 1/3 cup baby frozen peas. Stir just a minute or two. Drain the shells and peas and run under cold water to cool. I will throw in a couple of ice cubes in the noodles to help them cool a little faster. Once cooled slightly and drained, add to the bowl. Mix together and season with celery salt and fresh pepper. If it seems dry add a bit more mayo, or a little milk.
Sometimes I add fresh dill, or diced cucumber or even some capers. If you like it “spicy” you could add chopped jalapeno or even a squirt of Sriracha!
EAT NOW….which is my preference…or refrigerate to chill and then eat. If you chill it, you may have to add a bit more mayo or milk as the noodles will absorb the liquid.
I hope that you love this yummy dish as much as I do. It’s just so summery! And very versatile. It can be a “main course” or a great side. If you are going to a potluck, you can mix all the ingredients expect the tuna and the mayo, and just add them before you serve.
Title: Tuna Macaroni Salad
Time: 20 minutes
1 cup uncooked shell noodles
1/3 cup frozen baby peas
1 can tuna packed in water, drained
2-3 stalks celery sliced thin
¼ cup red onion, diced
½ c Mayo (more or less to coat)
Boil noodles over high heat in salted water. Add the peas to the water the last minute of cooking. Drain, rinse with cool water.
In a bowl, add tuna, celery, onion, mayo and noodles. Stir until noodles are coated. Season with celery salt and pepper. Add more mayo or a little milk if mixture appears “dry”.