Catie's Island Tuna Salad

Catie B


I found this recipe many years ago and adapted it. During the years I made this, the heavy vinegar, spicy, Italian dressing rotini pasta was going from party to picnic, and although beloved by all, I could not eat it. Being allergic to vinegar, I needed an alternative, something I could enjoy, eat healthy, yet offer something different from a regular pasta and veggie with mayo salad. This is recipe was my answer for healthy, light, and satisfying. It has been a hit wherever I have served it, and the recipe has been copied by friends for years. I hope you enjoy it and make it yours too!

★★★★★ 5 votes
30 Min
Stove Top

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Notes from the Test Kitchen:
This is  a cool refreshing salad that would be great at any summer picnic or even for a light dinner. It's full of flavor and texture. I chose the fresh minced onions and they provided a little crunch along with the green pepper. I loved the mixture of mayo and sour cream, it really made this salad creamy. This will be on my must-make list this summer!


7 oz
(2 cups dry) macaroni pasta
1/2 c
mayonnaise or salad dressing (i.e. Miracle Whip)
1/2 c
sour cream
1/2 tsp
celery seed
1/2 tsp
onion salt (I omit and use 1 1/2 tablespoons minced onion)
7 oz
can of tuna, drained (I rinse and drain tuna again to lessen strong flavor)
17 oz
can of sweet peas, drained, or 1 cup thawed frozen sweet peas
3/4 c
mild cheddar cheese, diced small
2 Tbsp
minced green pepper
1 Tbsp
diced pimento
note: if you omit onion salt and use fresh onion as stated above, you may salt and pepper to taste.

How to Make Catie's Island Tuna Salad


  • 1Cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain, and rinse with cold water to chill and rinse starch. Drain. Place macaroni in a large bowl.
  • 2Combine salad dressing, sour cream, celery seed, black pepper to taste, and about 1 tsp salt (add salt to taste ONLY IF you are omitting the onion salt). Gently blend the dressing into the macaroni in bowl making sure all macaroni is well coated with dressing.
  • 3Gently blend remaining ingredients into the pasta.

    Note: I use two 5 oz. cans tuna for fuller salad. You can substitute tuna with ham, luncheon meat, or chicken.

    Also, you can substitute lite sour cream, lite MIracle Whip, low fat cheese, as desired.

    NOTE FOR GLUTEN FREE: This recipe is excellent using the rice/quinoa blend of macaroni, such as Andean Dream.
  • 4Serve on plates. I often garnish plates with bright orange carrots, green celery, and cucumber sticks for a colorful plate. Can line plate with a large lettuce leaf upon which to lay the serving of salad as well. Makes a lovely luncheon salad.

Printable Recipe Card

About Catie's Island Tuna Salad