Salad week continues with this Tuna Avocado Macaroni Salad. This salad is topped with a creamy dressing and it’s packed with fresh produce such as cucumbers, bell peppers, peas, avocado, carrots, and onion.  This jazzed-up macaroni salad recipe would make the perfect additional to any dinner table (main course, or side), pot luck, or barbecue!

A macaroni salad loaded with vegetables on a plate.

Ingredients

This salad features lots of fresh vegetables, most of which are diced (smaller than chopped).

  • Elbow macaroni noodles – 8 oz dry.
  • Canned tuna – I always purchase tuna that’s in water. Omit the tuna entirely for a vegetarian salad, or replace it with shredded chicken.
  • Carrots – I shred the carrots, but if you don’t have a vegetable shredder you can small dice instead.
  • Red onion
  • Peas – frozen and thawed.
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers – red and green, diced.
  • Avocado

For the dressing

  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Granulated sugar – can substitute honey if you want something more raw.
  • Dijon mustard

A gold spoon scooping up a mixed vegetable and tuna macaroni salad.

How to make Avocado Macaroni Salad

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a pot of water to boil, once boiling add some salt, then the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse in a colander user cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl.
  2. Add the mix-ins. To the pasta add: tuna, carrots, onion, peas, cucumber, and peppers. Toss to combine. A large bowl with fresh assorted vegetables.
  3. Make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk the mayo, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. A glass bowl with mayo, vinegar, and dijon mustard in it.
  4. Pour the dressing over the macaroni salad and toss to combine. Two photos, the left photo has a mayo mixture overtop tuna macaroni salad; the right photo is the dressing mixed into the macaroni salad.
  5. Add the avocados. Right before serving mix in the diced avocados. Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh chives (if you have any).

Diced avocados overtop a tuna macaroni salad.

FAQ and Tips

Are there other vegetables I can add to this macaroni salad? You can add or subtract as you please.  I think broccoli or cauliflower florets would work well in this salad.

You can assemble the salad beforehand and keep it stored in the fridge, however, don’t add the avocados until right before serving otherwise the avocados will brown.

How should I store the leftovers? Store covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.

To make this a vegetarian macaroni salad, omit the tuna.

What if I don’t like tuna? You don’t have to use tuna in this recipe. You can omit it entirely or replace it with shredded chicken.

A plate full of tuna macaroni salad.

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Tuna Avocado Macaroni Salad

Servings 8 servings
A macaroni salad loaded with tuna and an array of colorful and vibrant fresh produce!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 4 oz canned tuna drained (use tuna that's "in water")
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots if you can't shred the carrots, you can small dice
  • 1/2 cup red onions finely diced
  • 1/2 cup peas frozen and then thawed
  • 1/2 cup cucumber diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 2-3 avocados diced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling salt the water, then add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse in a colander under cold water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl. 
  • Add the tuna, carrots, onion, peas, cucumber, peppers, to the large bowl. Toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator (covered) while you make the dressing.
  • In a small bowl whisk the mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Pour the dressing over the pasta then stir to combine. Add the diced avocados right before serving (so they don’t turn brown). Top with chopped chives and freshly cracked pepper. 
  • You can assemble beforehand. Keep chilled in the fridge… but don’t add the avocados until right before serving (as noted). 

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 9gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 257mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1831IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
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