This Healthy Macaroni Salad with Tuna is something my Mom made often while we were growing up. It's the perfect side salad for a BBQ, picnic or potluck and I love that it's only 4 ingredients!
It's like a tuna sandwich, but instead of bread, it's encased in macaroni. Maybe I think of it that way because I love tuna sandwiches! But what surprised me most is that my kids absolutely love this salad! Because apparently, they don't even like tuna. It's interesting how kids won't eat something unless it's offered by someone other than their parents.
Had I been the one to introduce this salad to them, I'm guessing they wouldn't have eaten it. However, since Grandma made it, they were all over it! But I guess I shouldn't be surprised- my kids pretty much love everything that their Grandma makes. And although it may have tuna in it, tuna is simply a supporting character - macaroni is still the star of the show! And what kid doesn't love macaroni? In fact, my kids love macaroni more than almost any other food. It was not only my son's very first solid food, it was one of his first words; or 'nanaroni' as he called it back then. Macaroni is pure comfort food! And this Macaroni Salad with Tuna is serious summer comfort food!
This Healthy Tuna Macaroni Salad (without peas) is a simple salad that can be thrown together last minute or made ahead. It's served cold so it's perfect for feeding a crowd or bringing along to a potluck, picnic or BBQ! The bonus is... it only has 4 ingredients:
- macaroni (I use 'smart pasta' - see below)
- green onion
- low-fat mayonnaise (I use Hellman's ½ the fat because I think it tastes the best)
- tuna (packed in water)
💭Calories in Tuna Macaroni Salad
If I'm going to eat macaroni, I want to make it as healthy as possible. This recipe has 204 calories per serving and is Weight Watchers friendly at 6 WW points on the blue plan per serving. I use a light mayonnaise with half the fat (Hellman's is my favorite) and since whole wheat pasta takes such a long time to cook (and I find it a bit too dense), I prefer to use “smart pasta”. Smart pasta tends to cook faster than whole wheat but you still get 4X as much fibre than white pasta. Although it’s not quite as healthy as the whole wheat, you are still getting those additional benefits. And if you’re not a fan of whole wheat, it’s a good alternative. This will make your healthy tuna pasta salad even healthier than if you used white macaroni!
I love this recipe because you can make it ahead or throw it together last minute. We often have macaroni salad with tuna on hot days with BBQ Pork, steak, or Fried Chicken and grilled veggies. It's also great for feeding a crowd or bringing along to a potluck!
This will last up to 4 days in the fridge, but I only like to keep it a day or two at most. As I noted, it's best fresh. If you want to prep it in advance, then add the tuna and green onions closer to serving.
So, if you're looking for a simple and healthy macaroni salad with tuna, then give this a try!
📋 Healthy Macaroni Salad with Tuna Recipe
- 340 g - box elbow macaroni * I use SMART pasta
- ½ cup mayonnaise * I use Hellman's ½ the fat
- ¾ cup green onions, chopped *about 5 green onions
- 184 g -can of tuna, flaked drained
- Cook macaroni as directed on box * I add a tsp of olive oil to the water I boil it in. This prevents it from sticking.
- Once cooked, drain and cool. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. * If you are in a hurry, you can rinse the macaroni with cold water to cool it faster!
- Drain tuna and add to macaroni, along with mayonnaise and green onion. Stir until incorporated.
- Garnish with additional chopped onion. Serve cold.