Healthy Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

Let's Get Ready for Baby! Sign up for our monthly pregnancy email series, and you'll get regular updates on your baby's development, helpful timelines to get ready for their arrival, must-have baby needs and so much more! PLUS, you'll get instant access to the MomsWhoThink "Ultimate Guide to Baby Naming in 2022." CLICK HERE to get started!

Grilling season is on its way, and it isn’t just all about the meat. There are plenty of chilled sides that need to be served as well.

Cole slaw, macaroni salad and potato salad are all popular sides for barbecues, but sometimes you want to change it up a bit. That’s why this tuna macaroni salad is a great addition to any meal.

The tuna macaroni salad is similar to any macaroni salad you would eat starting with a mix of macaroni and mayonnaise as a base. However, it is the addition of tuna, eggs and veggies like pepper, onion and celery that take it to the next level. These added ingredients also enhance the nutritional value of the dish.

Tuna is a great source of protein. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and amino acids that are essential for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. Onions also contain amino acids as well as fiber, folic acid and B vitamins. Peppers are a good source of vitamin A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Celery contains essential minerals and vitamins like folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium

The recipe is also a healthier take on traditional macaroni salad due to the use of a lighter, salad dressing type of mayonnaise.

Another bonus is that this recipe is easy to make. Just prepare macaroni, mix ingredients, chill and serve. Spending less time in a hot kitchen will be an added bonus on a summer day.

And while this healthy recipe for macaroni salad is perfect as a side for barbecued meat, it is also hearty enough to be a meal all on its own. Served with iced, unsweetened tea, it’s a perfect warm weather meal…there’s nothing like a cold pasta salad when the temperature is soaring.


1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna, water pack, drained
4 hard cooked eggs, finely diced
¼ cup celery, chopped
¾ cup carrots, grated
½ cup salad dressing, mayonnaise-type
2 Tablespoons onion, minced
¼ teaspoon pepper


1. Place water in large saucepan and bring to boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine macaroni, tuna, eggs, celery, and carrots in a large bowl.

3. Stir together salad dressing, onion, and pepper. Spoon dressing over salad; toss until evenly combined.

4. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 4 Servings, about 1 ½  cups each


Calories 520
Total fat 30 grams
Saturated fat 5 grams
Cholesterol 237 milligrams
Sodium 509 milligrams