Thursday, April 11, 2013

Recipe Review - The Best Tuna Pasta Salad

I know it's not nearly summertime, and this is typically hot weather fare, but I love this pasta salad year round. I have made this particular pasta salad for many years, and will defend it as the best version of a cold tuna pasta salad to anyone. Actually, everyone I've shared it with has asked for the recipe and never went back to their old standbys, so I guess it defends itself with flavor. I'll warn you nonbelievers that it has both Miracle Whip and Mayonnaise in it, so for those of you out there that insist on only one or the other, make an exception this time. I promise that the combination of the two is part of what makes this salad so fantastic. I hope you enjoy!

best tuna pasta salad
The Best Tuna Pasta Salad
Ingredients - 12oz mini pasta shells, cooked & drained, 12oz chunk albacore tuna, drained (feel free to use chunk light if that's your thing), 1c chopped celery, 1c chopped green pepper, 1c mayonnaise, 1c Miracle Whip, 8oz Kraft cheese crumbles, salt and lots of pepper to taste

tuna pasta saladInstructions - Cook your pasta al dente while prepping the rest of the ingredients. I tend to dice my veggies pretty finely, but chop them how you like. If you don't like bell pepper, you can use 1c thawed green peas, but you will miss that extra crunch of the pepper in the salad. Using real mayo and real Miracle Whip is important to this recipe, and so are the cheese crumbles. We like to use the 3-cheese variety, but you can get just cheddar crumbles too. Mix all your ingredients together in one big bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, then add a bunch more pepper. Yum! Chill at least 2 hours before serving, but overnight is best. Because the pasta salad seems to tighten up while it sits, you may want to add a little more mayo or Miracle Whip tossed in before serving. The picture below is just mixed, while that at the top is after it has sat overnight, and is ready to serve. This is great as is, but fantastic with a side of your favorite potato chips. Eat and enjoy!
tuna pasta salad
Another couple tips? Most pasta shell boxes are 16oz. Often, I will just cook the whole 16oz, but you will need to up the mayo/Miracle Whip by about 1/2c total if you do this. Want more veggies, too? Go for it! Most times, my 1c is heaping anyways. As long as you follow the basics here, you can't go wrong. And, don't forget the black pepper!