Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pasta Salad with a Tuna Twist

It's time for another salad side dish to go along with all the summer BBQs and cookouts! This recipe comes straight from my mom and it's too good not to share. She has been making this pasta salad for years and it's always a hit at every get together. I'm not sure when the first time was that she made it, but it's always requested and loved by everyone, especially my husband. If he had his way, I'd be making this pasta salad every week!

Like every good cook who has their own signature dish, my mom never wrote down how much of each ingredient she put in the salad.  It would always taste the same though and always be so good that it was never really a problem. She would mix up the dressing, give it a taste, and then add a little bit more of whatever was needed to get just the right tangy flavor. I happened to make this salad for the last family event but only had ingredients to work from.  I mixed it up a couple times until I felt that I got it 'mom-perfect'.  I added a little of this and a little of that and the final result was a creamy, tangy, fresh pasta salad that goes great with pretty much anything!

Tuna Mac Pasta Salad

  • 2 c mayo
  • generous 1 c miracle whip
  • generous 1 c sour cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs macaroni noodles (or other pasta, I used small shells)
  • 2 ½ c frozen peas
  • 1 ½ c finely chopped celery
  • ¾ c finely chopped onion
  • 3 cans tuna, drained and squeezed well

1. Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. 
2. Drain and rinse under cold water. Let dry slightly. 
3. Mix dressing ingredients together.  
4. Mix remaining ingredients together and toss with ¾ of dressing, reserving the rest.  
5. Refrigerate overnight.  
6. The salad will dry out slightly overnight so add enough remaining dressing to bring back moisture before serving.*

This recipe makes about 20 servings.

You can mix in all the dressing when first making the salad if you'd like. It will seem like it's too wet, but it will get drier overnight. I'd recommend only mixing in part though because you'll have more control over the consistency and moisture.

Need a smaller serving? The following will serve 6 to 8 people.

  • 2/3 c mayo
  • 1/3 c miracle whip
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lb macaroni noodles
  • 3/4 c peas
  • 1/2 c celery
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 can tuna

Follow the same directions as above.

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