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Overhead image of a white bowl with tuna macaroni salad with a fork sticking out and another small bowl in the top righthand corner.
Course dinner, lunch, Side Dish

Healthy Tuna Macaroni Salad {with Peas}

By: Elysia
Servings 6 servings
A classic homemade comfort food, this Healthy Tuna Macaroni Salad with peas is loaded with fresh vegetables and protein for a kid-friendly pasta salad that's perfect for a crowd. Tossed with a simple Greek yogurt and mayo dressing, it's the ultimate light and yummy macaroni salad recipe that's so quick and easy to make! {Gluten-free-friendly}
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins

Ingredients
  

For the macaroni salad:

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 can flaked albacore tuna packed in water and drained
  • 3/4 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 medium red onion finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (can also substitute Dijon or whole grain mustard)
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice (or sub in apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta until just past al dente.
  • Drain the pasta immediately. You can run some cold water over it to stop the cooking process. Cool the pasta in the fridge while you finish preparing the veggies and macaroni salad dressing.
  • While the pasta is cooking and cooling, mix together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the cooked pasta, flaked tuna, green peas, celery, red onion and fresh herbs (if using) to a large bowl.
  • Add the dressing and toss until evenly distributed. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for later.

Notes

  • Boost nutrients: I typically like to use fibre-enriched macaroni pasta like Smart pasta or whole-grain elbow pasta for extra fibre and nutrients, but it’s a personal preference which pasta you go with.
  • Flavour the noodles: Generously salt the water you’ll be cooking the macaroni in to help flavour up the pasta. If you skip this step, the macaroni salad may taste a little bland. 
  • To quickly cool the pasta: You can add the green peas to the pasta salad partially frozen if you’re making the salad a little bit in advance. They will thaw once in the salad and will help to cool down the pasta as well.
  • To add extra creaminess: The pasta tends to absorb some of the dressing if left to sit for a few hours. To make it creamy again before serving, add some milk one tablespoon at a time, until desired creaminess is achieved.
  • To make more kid-friendly: If you prefer a more basic, kid-friendly pasta salad, you may wish to leave the fresh herbs out. You can also soak the raw onion in a bowl of cold water to give them a milder flavour or leave them out altogether.

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 15gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 417mgPotassium: 240mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 153IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg
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