Kalyn's Kitchen

Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles

What makes this Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles so good is the dressing of mayo, tuna oil, lemon juice, pickle juice, and Spike! And I use lots of tuna and less pasta for a salad with a lot fewer carbs than you might think! 

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Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles finished salad in bowl and on serving plates

This Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles is something I came up with one day when I was hungry and wanted to cook with pantry ingredients. I usually take photos and write down the recipe when I’m experimenting in the kitchen, but even though I did that, I wasn’t sure I would post this recipe, because after all, does the world really need another recipe for Tuna and Macaroni Salad?

Then I noticed that all day after I made this I kept going back to the fridge to get a little more of the salad, and the next day when my nephew Jake came over he ate a big bowl full, and I decided this tuna and macaroni salad was really pretty fabulous.

Flavor additions here include a generous amount of chopped dill pickles, capers, and green onions, but I think it’s the dressing that’s a mixture of mayo, olive oil drained from the tuna, lemon juice, dill pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) that makes this salad so spectacular.

Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles process shots collage

How to Make Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. I probably wouldn’t have made a salad like this if I hadn’t had a couple of cans of this delicious Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil (affiliate link) in the pantry.
  2. I drained two 5 ounce cans of tuna and saved 2 tablespoons of the oil to use in the dressing. 
  3. I wanted a salad with lots of tuna and not so much pasta, so I used 1/2 box of macaroni, about 1 1/2 cups total. You can use even less pasta if you want to reduce the carbs!
  4. Be sure to add plenty of salt to the water when you cook the pasta for a more flavorful salad.
  5. When the pasta is done but still a bit firm drain into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water. Let pasta drain well. 
  6. Add the lemon juice, dill pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) to the oil. Then whisk in 1/4 cup mayo to make the dressing.
  7. Dice the dill pickles and thinly slice the green onions. I also chopped up the capers because I love capers and I wanted that flavor distributed all through the salad. (I forgot to take a photo of that!)
  8. Put the drained tuna into a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients and break tuna apart with a fork.  Then gently mix in the diced dill pickle, sliced green onion, and chopped capers.
  9. Gently stir in the drained macaroni.  (You want the tuna to stay in chunks.)
  10. Then mix in the dressing, season the salad to taste with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and either chill for an hour or two or serve right away.Enjoy!

 

More Tasty Ideas with Canned Tuna:

Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers 
Low-Carb Zucchini Noodles with Tuna and Green Olives 

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles finished salad in bowl and on serving plates

Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

This Tuna and Macaroni Salad is spectacular because of the dressing of mayo mixed with the tuna oil, lemon juice, pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning!

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni (see notes)
  • two 5 oz. cans tuna packed in olive oil (see notes)
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles (or less if you don’t like dill pickles that much)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 T chopped capers (or less, if you’re not a big fan of capers)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil drained from the tuna
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. dill pickle juice (or a little more if you like it sour)
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup light or regular mayo

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions (about 8 minutes for Dreamfields; don’t overcook.)
  2. When pasta is done, drain into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water.
  3. Let the macaroni drain well.
  4. While the macaroni drains, drain off the oil from the tuna and save 2 tablespoons of oil.  Mix it with lemon juice, pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), then whisk in the mayo to make the dressing.
  5. Chop the dill pickles, slice the green onions, and finely chop the capers.
  6. Put the drained tuna into a bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients and break tuna apart with a fork, keeping it in chunks.
  7. Mix in the chopped pickle, sliced green onion, and finely chopped capers, then gently mix in the macaroni.  (Don’t over mix; you want the tuna to stay in chunks.)
  8. Mix in the dressing until the salad is as wet as you’d like it, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and either chill for a few hours or serve right away.
  9. This keeps well in the fridge for a few days, although it probably won’t last that long.

Notes

You can use less pasta if you prefer or use whole wheat macaroni for a healthier pasta option. I use Genova Tuna in Olive Oil (affiliate link) for any recipe that uses canned tuna. I used my fresh frozen lemon juice for this recipe. If you don't have Spike Seasoning, use any all-purpose seasoning mix.

This recipe created by Kalyn years ago when she was hungry and didn’t want to go to the store.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 784mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If made with whole grain pasta, this Tuna and Macaroni Salad would be good for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. It’s too high in carbs for low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Pasta Recipes or Salads to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles

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    12 Comments on “Tuna and Macaroni Salad with Dill Pickles”

  1. Well, I've been making this for a couple of years now and the addiction keeps getting stronger! Kalyn, thanks so much for sharing this and all of your other wonderful recipes. I've made this tuna one several times just in the past 2 weeks because everyone who comes to my house wants some and I end up with nothing but an empty bowl! One time, I ran out of elbow macaroni and substituted it with wide egg noodles and have found that I actually like it better with the bigger noodles.

    Gotta go – I'm hungry for some right now!

  2. THANK YOU Susan. It makes me crazy when I do that, fixing now!

  3. Typo. ..I think under the picture of chopped pickles and green onion you mean onions instead of olives, though olives might be good, too.

  4. Ellen, so glad you liked it. I love the addition of mustard; great idea!

  5. We tried this for dinner tonight – and it was easy and delish! I added a Tablespoon of mustard to the dressing too. Yum!

  6. Barb, I am JEALOUS of your supply of Italian tuna. I've only had it once, but it was amazing. Thanks for sharing that recipe; sounds like something I would love!

  7. Kalyn this has my name all over it…..perfect salad for a hot Texas day. Thank you for sharing it. My friends from Italy keep me stocked with Italian tuna when they visit each summer. Once you've had Italian tuna….it's impossible to go back . ?
    Here's a dip/spread they taught me to make using the tuna.
    Drain 2 cans of tuna, place in a dish and add enough mayo to make a creamy texture. Add anchovies paste from a tube to taste and rinsed capers to taste. Refrigerated…then serve with thin slices of French or Italian bread. Simply delicious!

  8. Becky, I should try some of the tuna from Caputos, although this brand is pretty amazing (especially for the price.) Don't you think capers are perfect with canned tuna, love!

  9. I love tuna and use it at least once a week in a salad. If you're ever in Caputo's Market they have a imported canned tuna that is absolutely the best I've ever had!! I also add capers to it!

  10. Joanne, I really loved that combination too!

  11. I love the brininess of the pickles and capers though I don't think i've ever thought to pair them! Very cool idea.