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Cold Tuna Macaroni Salad With Homemade Genoa Dressing

My husband and I both enjoy cooking, visiting local restaurants, and exploring food from all over the world.

Cold tuna macaroni salad

Cold tuna macaroni salad

Delicious Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe

I often make spur-of-the-minute meals that are inspired by what we have on hand. When it comes to baking, I follow recipes strictly—but many of my other home-cooked meals are by guess and by gosh. Most of them, I am happy to say, turn out well.

Recently, I made a cold tuna macaroni salad and shared some with our good neighbors, who loved it and asked for the recipe. I told them that there was no exact recipe but that I would make notes of ingredients and amounts when I made a similar one again. I'll share my husband's delicious Genoa dressing recipe, as well.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup petite green peas, frozen
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup Genoa dressing (see recipe below)
  • 2 (7-ounce) cans water-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions. Drain well.
  2. Combine all of the rest of the ingredients and add to the macaroni.
  3. Toss well and chill.
  4. Add additional dressing, if needed.
  5. Makes eight good-sized servings.

Genoa Dressing Recipe

My husband makes a delicious homemade dressing that he calls Genoa dressing. That is the star of the dish that pulls everything together, tantalizing the taste buds.


  • 1/4 cup Heinz salad vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary


  1. Crush or grind the herbs in a mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together and shake well before use.
Genoa dressing

Genoa dressing

Variations and Suggestions

It is so easy to adjust or even change the ingredients according to one's taste.

We had some leftover cooked broccoli, so I added it to the salad pictured above. The time that I shared it with our neighbors, I added some chopped hard-boiled eggs to the mixture. I used kalamata olives in place of black olives.

Also, at that time, I had some green table onions on hand. I also had some fresh parsley in the last salad. Instead of going grocery shopping for those ingredients, I simply used some dried onions this time and omitted the parsley.

Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe. It is the perfect time to use up some extra vegetables you may have already cooked or chop up some others that are raw. Radishes would add some extra flavor and crunch, for example, and some grated zucchini would be a good addition.

Because of the protein of the fish and all of the vegetables, this macaroni salad is colorful and healthy. Use whole wheat elbow macaroni for an extra nutritional boost. Substitute canned salmon or even canned chicken as a substitute for the tuna, or leave it out entirely. Make this salad your own, and enjoy!

© 2020 Peggy Woods