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Tuna Pasta Salad

This dish is one I associate with my student house at McMaster University. I ate SO MUCH tuna pasta salad in University, I’m sure there are others who, when they eat tuna salad, think of me. I have a deep love for Tuna in all the forms it comes and in all the forms you can prepare it, but a simple pasta salad, will forever be my favourite. Get ready for some serious comfort food. This will make enough for 4 servings for normal people or 2 servings for hungry students who love onions and tuna.


2 peppers (I use cubanelle)

2 onions

4 cans of solid tuna

½ cup mayo

1/8 cup seafood sauce (or cocktail sauce, whatever you call it)

2.5 cups dry pasta of your choice


Onion Powder

Garlic Powder


Salt (for Pasta water)


In a bowl, fluff up your tuna so it makes it easier to combine. If you buy solid tuna like me, just stab it with your fork until it all falls apart. Note: I always use solid white tuna when buying tuna from a can. I like that I can see the shape of the fish and I just feel weird buying chunk or flaked because who knows what’s really in there! I’m sure someone would have this argument for solid tuna too, but whatever, it makes me feel better.

Dice up all of your veggies into bite sized pieces and add them to your tuna.

Add your mayo, cocktail sauce, spices and mix. Note: I do all my spices based on taste and preference, but if I had to measure, they would each be about 1 tsp.

If you’re turning this into a pasta salad, cook the pasta per package instructions and run the cooked pasta under cold water. A few times in my tuna career I skipped the cold water rinse and man, it’s gross and weird. If you do this, stick it in the fridge until the noodles cool down.

There’s a few other things you can do with this base recipe! I’ve outlined them for you here.

Tuna Casserole: Sub the mayo out for some milk, add cheese and a can of cream of mushroom soup. I would still use regular noodles, but some would say egg noodles are better for this. Put it in a baking dish, bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes. For added fun, add breadcrumbs to the top.

Tuna Sandwich (bonus points if you make it a melt!): omit the pasta from the recipe above, put your tuna between two slices of bread, add cheese and enjoy! If making a melt, broil one slice of toast with the cheese on top until melted (about 3 minutes), Once it’s ready, add it to your sammy!

Tuna Salad: Add the mixture (with or without pasta) to lettuce, no need for extra dressing, and mix. If you like a nice peppery flavour, I would recommend a bed of arugula.


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