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Classic cold tuna salad with onions, celery, tomatoes and peas.

Cold Tuna Salad for Hot Summer Nights

Perfect for a summertime meal or side dish this cold tuna salad hits the spot.
Course Main meal salad, Pasta Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cold salad, cold tuna salad,, tuna salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 467kcal
Author Joe Boyle


  • 8 oz. pasta, medium or small shells also could use macaroni elbows, bow ties, rings or rotini
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt for the pasta water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, diced about 1 cup diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced about 1 cup diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced about 1 cup diced
  • 8 oz. canned tuna, (2, 5 oz. cans, drained) I used Genova yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil. I really prefer Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna, which is only tuna, salt, and no added fillers.
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
  • 2/3 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing also could use mayonnaise, or a combination of mayo and plain Greek yogurt
  • green onion, sliced as a garnish if desired


  • Cook pasta in water with about a tablespoon of kosher salt added according to package instructions. Once there is 1 minute left to cook, add the frozen peas to the water. When finished, strain the pasta and peas in a colander or wire mesh and run cold water over them until cooled, about 45 seconds. Place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Open the tuna cans and drain off excess oil or water and add to the bowl along with the chopped vegetables, spices and salad dressing. Fold together until all the pasta has been coated evenly.
  • Refrigerator for an hour before serving.


  1. The nutrition information is based on having the salad as a main entree. It works well as a side dish too. In this case you'd probably have enough for 6 or 7 servings, (maybe like taking the salad to a potluck).
  2. No additional salt was added, just the Lawry's seasoned salt. You could taste before serving to add some more salt but I like to leave that up to the individual.
  3. This recipe is super flexible and the quantities are not set in stone. Use what you feel is best for you.
  4. I have always used Miracle Whip salad dressing for tuna salad but I realize it is full of calories. If you'd like to cut some of the calories you could use a 50/50 blend of Greek yogurt. Even whole milk Greek yogurt is half the calories of Miracle Whip.
  5. Adding the frozen peas to the pasta water right at the end is a genius tip I saw somewhere. It works so that's how I do it.


Calories: 467kcal