Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuna and Macaroni Salad Recipe with Dill Pickles, Capers, and Green Onions

Tuna and Macaroni Salad
It's the dressing of mayo mixed with the tuna oil, lemon juice, pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning that makes this Tuna and Macaroni Salad so spectacular!

This Tuna and Macaroni Salad Recipe with Dill Pickles, Capers, and Green Onions 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 that makes this salad so spectacular.

I probably wouldn't have made a salad like this if I hadn't had a couple of cans of this delicious Tonno Genova Tuna in Olive Oil in the pantry, and I saved some of the flavorful oil to add to the dressing. I love this tuna so much that when I couldn't find it in my stores any more, I started buying it by the case from Amazon.com.

I wanted a salad with lots of tuna and not so much pasta, so I used 1/2 box of Dreamfields Macaroni, about 1 1/2 cups total.  Be sure to add plenty of salt to the water when you cook the pasta for a more flavorful salad.

I drained two 5 ounce cans of tuna and save 2 tablespoons of the oil to use in the dressing.  Add the lemon juice, dill pickle juice, and Spike Seasoning to the oil.

Then whisk in 1/4 cup regular or light mayo to make the dressing.  (I usually use a mix of light and regular to get the best of both worlds!)

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.

Dice the dill pickles and thinly slice the green onions.

I chopped up the capers because I love capers and I wanted that flavor distributed all through the salad.

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.

Gently stir in the drained macaroni.  (You want the tuna to stay in chunks.)

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!


Tuna and Macaroni Salad Recipe with Dill Pickles, Capers, and Green Onions
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she was hungry and didn't want to go to the store.)

Salad Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup macaroni (I use Dreamfields Macaroni for a lower-carb pasta)
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna packed in olive oil (I use Tonno Genova Tuna in Olive Oil.)
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 (I used my fresh frozen lemon juice)
1 tsp. dill pickle juice (or a little more if you like it sour)
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
1/4 cup light or regular mayo (I used a mixture of both)

Instructions:
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.)  When pasta is done, drain into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water.  Let the macaroni drain well.

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, then whisk in the mayo to make the dressing.

Chop the dill pickles, slice the green onions, and finely chop the capers.  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.  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.)

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.  This keeps well in the fridge for a few days, although it probably won't last that long.

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South Beach Suggestions:  
If made with Dreamfields Low Carb pasta or whole grain pasta, this salad would be good for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Canned Tuna and Pasta:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce ~ Simply Recipes
Quick and Easy Penne Pasta with Red Bell Peppers, Garlic, Capers, Olives, Tomatoes and Tuna ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Easy Mediterranean Tuna and Artichoke Pasta ~ Gluten Free Goddess
Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Tuna Macaroni Salad ~ Food on the Food
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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10 comments:

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

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  2. Joanne, I really loved that combination too!

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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!

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  5. 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!

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  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!

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

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

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

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

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