I don’t know about you, but when it starts to get hotter, my salad repertoire grows exponentially. I don’t know many people who enjoy being in a hot kitchen when it’s hot outside. If you do, then kudos to you! Honestly. We typically eat more cold meals, salads, and pasta salads in the summer months. They’re easy to double for lunch the next day and for lunch on the weekends. Salads like this Tuna Noodle Casserole Pasta Salad are PERFECT for potluck or cook-outs, too.
This pasta salad is hearty enough for a main dish and tasty enough for a side dish. “S” even agreed that it was delicious and he added a little more than usual to his plate. That’s ALWAYS a good sign!
This is a tribute to a favorite lunch buffet we used to frequent when I was a growing up. Joe’s Pizza and Pasta had many delicious items on their buffet, and their tuna pasta salad was one I looked forward to every week. It was a bit simpler than what I’ve whipped up here. It was mainly pasta, mayonnaise, tuna, Parmesan, and peas. I’ve added some of my favorite flavors from our tuna salad and integrated them into this buffet salad-inspired pasta salad.
They also had the most simple and amazing Minestrone with the LARGEST vegetables I’ve ever seen in my life. Some of their carrot slices were 2 to 3 inches in diameter. It was simply fresh vegetables, pasta, sometimes beans, and a simple tomato broth, but MAN was it delicious! That was the first place I had ever seen breakfast pizza. It was pizza with a white sauce, scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. Trust me, that’s on the list of things to try to recreate along with that Minestrone.
While pizza isn’t really something you’d bring to a potluck – well, maybe you would, it just depends on the pot luck – this Tuna Noodle Casserole Pasta Salad is definitely something you could bring and I’m willing to bet they’d love you for it!
The combination of flavors in this dish elevate your typical tuna pasta salad into something fabulous! You may want to triple this recipe, because I imagine HEAPING spoonfuls being loaded on disposable plates at any potluck this salad attends. You might want to have recipe cards handy because I’m sure people will want this one for their own recipe box.
Tuna Noodle Casserole Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces pasta cooked and cooled
- 6 ounces drained tuna in water
- 1 1/2 cups low fat mayonnaise
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced radish
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas thawed
- 2 large hard boiled eggs diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any salt or fat. Drain and cool completely.
- Place drained and cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl; add remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir will until combined.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.