Dill Pickle Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

If you have ever attended an event with me, one that involves copious amounts of food, you know that I bee-line it straight for the macaroni salads.  I love them.  I do not know why, but I haven’t met a macaroni salad that I didn’t like. Also, on the weekends, I try to cook a couple of big dishes so that we have leftovers to start us out for the week.  One of the things I like to make is a large macaroni salad.  It makes for a quick lunch and they are so easy to make. One of my go-to options is my Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe.

Dill Pickle Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

Recently, we had some family visit us to help get some projects done around the house as we were preparing for an adoption home study (which, after this post explains, has been put on hold for a bit).  One of the things I promised them for coming down to help was that there would be plenty of good food and drinks.

It was a family gathering of sorts, on the weekend, so naturally a macaroni salad was made.  My Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad recipe was born from a base tuna macaroni salad that I scribbled down from an empty tuna can years ago – when I looked in my fridge after starting on this base recipe, I did the “oh, I should add this…and this would be tasty…and I should try to use this up” dance.  In the end, I wound up with a really tasty macaroni salad, one that I have now replicated a few times since as my husband and I both really enjoy it.  As you can already figure out from the title of this post, I have affectionately titled the recipe “Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad”…and do not knock it until you try it, trust me!  I can’t imagine making tuna macaroni salad any other way after this one.

A couple of things to note:

1.  This recipe results in A LOT of macaroni salad.  I always have to use my largest serving bowl.  So, halve this recipe as needed.

2.  When you add the dried dill weed, it will seem like too much.  It is not, I promise!

3.  The bacon is optional.  I have only added it one time and I actually used turkey bacon.

Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad

Dill Pickle Tuna Pasta Salad


  • 1 (16 oz) package small shell pasta
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 oz. cubed cheddar - or - 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 2 cups mayo
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tuna, drained


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in pot and cook for 8 to 10 minutes (until al dente) and drain. Rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, milk, pickle juice, dill, salt and pepper. Mix in the tuna, onion, celery, frozen peas, cheese, and bacon (if using).
  3. Mix in cooked pasta.
  4. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours before serving

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Dill Pickle Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

Tell me in the comments section – what is your favorite type of macaroni salad?

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