recipes
The Best Cold Tuna and Pasta Salad

The Best Cold Tuna and Pasta Salad

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Tuna and Pasta Salad? This is a beyond thrifty dish that lends itself perfectly to hot summer days and hungry tummies. Pasta is always on sale for around a buck a pound, even at the local Dollar Tree! Add a few simple other items and you are ready to ROCK!

I know prices on basics are starting to jump again. I don’t think we really have a gas shortage going on but there are a lot of hoarders who are panicking. They will CREATE a gas shortage and that, in turn, with drive other prices up.


Especially when you add in the COVID mess, the Texas freeze, and other factors that drive supply and demand laws. They are talking about skyrocketing prices for things like coffee, items that use corn, and more.

The Best Tuna and Pasta Salad

This is a great meal for penny-pinching – is protein-packed, and yet very tasty. It is a go-to of mine for summer picnics and potlucks as I stock up on Tuna when it is down to a buck for a 2oz bag.

Should you eat tuna?

Tuna is incredibly nutritious and packed with protein, healthy fats, and vitamins — but it should not be consumed every day. The FDA recommends that adults eat 3–5 ounces (85–140 grams) of fish 2–3 times a week to get enough omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients.

It makes a difference of course if you do bagged vs. canned tuna. Packed in oil vs. packed in water. (sigh) It is kind of hard to keep track of – but we avoid all canned tuna and go for water-packed or dry over oil-packed.

Now, that being said – after watching that Netflix Seaspiracy documentary, I have cut us WAAAAAY back on seafood. I do suggest you see it for yourself – it is about a lot more than just plastic straws in the water. I learned things like how they use food coloring to make a lot of salmon that preety pink/mango color! Eek!

Seaspiracy examines the global fishing industry, challenging notions of sustainable fishing and showing how human actions cause widespread environmental destruction.

I don’t want to give it all away, but it is an amazing look at what is wrong with both the fishing industry and the regulations of it. I think I need my own lake and to stock it with a few of our favorites – whew!

I love fish

I really do. Salmon is top at my list of favorites, with shrimp and tuna an almost tie for second place. Tuna wins for the practicality of it – and it’s shelf-life. A pack or can of tuna can last almost 2 years – making it a great source of protein to stock up on.

Tuna and Pasta Cold Salad

I use Miracle Whip because I like the slight “zing” that it adds – you will often see it on sale, and can score a 32oz bottle of it for under $2 when you combine it with a sale and coupon. Summer grilling season is the best time to stock up on it – along with your other condiments like ketchup, mustard, and bottled salad dressing.

If you choose to use regular mayonnaise, add a little garlic powder and maybe Parmesan cheese to zip it up a bit.

Tuna and Pasta Salad Easy Recipe

This is seriously an easy recipe – you merely dump all the ingredients into a bowl and stir them together. This makes a large enough batch where you and your family can snack off of it for a week or so!

Tuna Pasta Salad Ingredients

In a large bowl combine:

  • 1 box bow tie pasta cooked, rinsed, and drained.
  • 4 ounces Albacore tuna mixed with 1 cup of Miracle Whip
cold tuna and pasta salad ingredients

Now it is time for the Tuna and Pasta Add Ins

  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, diced – use sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 pound frozen peas, rinsed until thawed
  • 2 tablespoons of dill weed
cold tuna and pasta salad

Add them into that large bowl with the noodles and tuna. Stir it all together and chill overnight for the flavors to blend. You may have to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup Miracle Whip when ready to serve as the noodles absorb a bit of it while chilling.

tuna salad

Add More Protein to your Tuna and Pasta Salad

Take a few hard boiled eggs and either finely chop them up – or try this old trick from my Southern Great Aunt: Pop them into a garlic mincer and press them. Think of a Play-doh fun factory and how it comes out. That is almost the same thing – so the hard boiled eggs are almost impossible to identify.

That makes it great for your picky eaters who might not be thrilled at seeing eggs in their pasta salad.

pasta salad with tuna

note: Frozen peas are MUCH better than canned for holding up and for bright color, and go with the cheddar cheese that is a bit on the sharp side.

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