Photo: Mark Thomas; Styling: Stephana Bottom
Prep Time
15 Mins
Cook Time
7 Mins
Serves 8

This colorful tuna macaroni salad features grated carrot, chopped celery, and red onion, all tossed in a creamy mayonnaise-yogurt dressing. We love incorporating yogurt into the dressing, as it contributes a tasty tang to the macaroni salad; however, you can go all-mayo if you don't have plain yogurt on hand. Serve this vibrant tuna pasta salad as a picnic-perfect side or enjoy it as a light main dish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.

Step 2

While pasta is cooking, combine celery, onion, parsley, carrot and tuna in a large bowl. Add cooled macaroni and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and whisk. Pour over pasta and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chef's Notes

Add veggies: Toss in chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers.
Trade pastas: You can use any short pasta shape in this recipe.

This recipe also appeared in the May 2010 issue.

Ratings & Reviews

Very good, with some variations

May 27, 2018
I added cut up sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts as suggested in the recipe. After reading the reviews I doubled the tuna and tripled the amount of dressing. And I added some fresh squeezed lime juice, which added a nice kick. This made a lot, but I was feeding a crowd. It was well received.

Michelle6724's Review

June 15, 2012
The reason you can barely taste the tuna is, I think, that what we think of as a "regular" can of tuna is only 7 ounces, and the recipe calls for 12 ounces. Try using one of those pouches of tuna - I think they are 12 ounces - or use 2 cans of well-drained tuna. My dad used to make his macaroni salad this way, and he added 12 ounces to a pound of really small whole "salad" shrimp (between 50-70 per pound), and used 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup yogurt, cider vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of ketchup to brighten the flavors and add a little color. It was just great, and a wonderful meal for warm nights while I was growing up in Miami. (By the way, don't use canned shrimp - use the smallest shrimp available fresh or frozen, and cut them up a bit if necessary.)

MeganEW's Review

June 06, 2012
Overall a pretty good recipe. I did change up a few things, only used 1/4 cup mayo and used 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt instead of regular. Next time i think i will probably add more tuna, i was wanting more of a tuna salad, and this is more of a pasta salad with a hint of tuna (i did let is sit a few hours like another reveiw suggested and still not as much tuna flavor as i was hoping for). I will def make this one again!

cbaczak's Review

June 19, 2012
Great base recipe. I used shallots instead of red onion to get a slight garlic flavor. I also added petite sweet peas and used Greek yogurt. Served it with some fresh fruit mixed with shaved coconut on the side. Perfect for a hot summer dinner.

JavaJenny's Review

June 25, 2010
I discovered too late that I was out of macaroni, so I used rotini instead with great results! I thought the dish needed a bit of a kick, but my husband said it was perfect, and after it sat for a while, I admit the flavors did wake up. Great easy, fast summer dinner. Large batch (8 servings) makes it perfect for pitch-ins or leftovers. Will definitely make this again.

BrennaRebekah's Review

October 05, 2012
This was so delicious and easy to make.

Judie2152's Review

June 07, 2013

mrscrazyed's Review

June 09, 2013
Even though I read and followed some of the reviewers' advice, I still came away disappointed with this salad. Cut the pasta in half and added more dressing. There was barely enough the first day, but the by the second day all of the dressing had been absorbed and the salad was quite dry. The dish also lacked flavor; it needs something more than just salt and pepper. There are better tuna salad recipes out there.

MEGSRECIPES2010's Review

March 17, 2012
Yummy! The tuna is very mild. Didn't have parsley so I used cilantro and the flavor was outstanding. This will be my new go to macaroni salad recipe.

JeanV4's Review

June 24, 2014
I added some green peas and a clove of garlic for more flavor. You could also add some herbs such as dill or basil.