The awesomeness of this recipe is that you can add a variety of different types of veggies to make it to your personal liking or to adapt to whatever you have on hand. I always add frozen peas, green onion, celery, and tomatoes, but I also love stirring in a couple of different types of the optional add-ins that are listed in my recipe (posted below).
Because personal preferences vary regarding the “perfect creaminess factor” for a mayo-based pasta salad, the amount of Miracle Whip that I use in this salad can be adjusted to fit your taste…just add more to make it creamier. My recipe lists “1 or 2 cans (7 oz. each) tuna.” I like to add two cans because my family LOVES tuna! However, one can of tuna will work if that’s your preference.
A few pointers in making this pasta salad that I want to share:
- I always add a couple of BIG pinches of kosher salt and drizzle a little bit of olive oil into my pasta-c00king water.
- Be sure not to overcook the pasta…it should be slightly "al dente" so it won’t fall apart when it gets stirred into the salad.
- When adding frozen peas or corn to a pasta salad, put the frozen veggies into a colander in the sink. When the pasta is finished cooking, dump the pasta and its water into the colander containing the frozen veggies to “thaw” the veggies in a flash. Then rinse the pasta with cold water for a couple of minutes…and you’ve killed two birds with one stone!
This recipe will yield a large, family-size bowl of delicious pasta salad. It's great served by itself as a light meal or as a yummy side dish. Enjoy!
12 oz. elbow macaroni
1 cup frozen peas
2 green onions (both green & white parts), thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, small dice
1 tomato, diced
1 to 2 cans (7 oz. each) albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1-1/2 cups Miracle Whip (or more for additional creaminess)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp chopped dill pickles
1 tbsp pickle juice
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)
Optional add-ins (veggies cut into small dice):
Zucchini (peeled or unpeeled)
Green or red bell pepper
Garbanzo beans (drained)
Black beans (drained)
Cook noodles according to package directions (be sure not to overcook). Before draining the cooked pasta, add the frozen peas into a colander in the sink. When the pasta is done, pour the pasta/pasta water into the colander containing the frozen peas (this will thaw the peas perfectly). Then run cold water over the pasta/peas for about 2 minutes to cool the pasta. Shake colander to remove excess water. Place pasta/peas in a large bowl and place in refrigerator to continue cooling. While pasta is chilling, cut up the veggies you will be adding to the pasta.
To prepare the salad, combine the cooled pasta/peas, tuna, green onions, celery, and tomato (including any other add-in veggies of your choice). Then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt/pepper and/or Miracle Whip if needed.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Note that when the salad is refrigerated, the pasta will absorb the mayo-based moisture. Prior to serving, add a bit more mayo and/or a splash of milk.