Southern Tuna Macaroni Salad


Creamy from eggs and mayonnaise, tangy and acidic from mustard, pickles and chow chow, with a nice crunch from celery and onion. The Cajun spice just rounds it out with a blend of spices, the pimentos add a pop of color and sweetness, and tuna complements and ties all the flavors together in this Southern macaroni salad. Could top with some parsley for added color! Put this in a tortilla or melt some cheese on toast and make an open-faced sandwich!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
8 servings


  • ½ cup diced red onion

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ½ cup chopped pimento peppers

  • 5 tablespoons dill pickle relish

  • 2 tablespoons chow-chow (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 ribs celery, diced

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped

  • 2 (6.5 ounce) jars tuna packed in oil


  1. Place diced onion in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander.

  2. While onion soaks, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain into the same colander as red onion and run under cold water to stop cooking and cool to room temperature.

  3. Place mayonnaise, pimentos, relish, chow-chow, mustard, Cajun seasoning, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add pasta, red onion, and celery and stir to combine. Gently fold in tuna and eggs to combine.

Cook's Notes:

Getting high-quality tuna packed in olive oil is going to make or break this dish. I would splurge on the Tonnino brand.

You can use chopped pepperoncini instead of chow-chow.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

523 Calories
28g Fat
46g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 523
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 35%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 775mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 42mg 3%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 341mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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