Tuna salads are most definitely a top nostalgic dish! For sure!!!
I grew up eating it with crackers or in a sandwich. My best friend's grandma would make it for her and I would, of course, be there for lunch or dinner! Those tuna sandwiches with always come with a side of fruit punch. And oh my gosh!! It was the best thing in the world.
My mom would make it with less mayo, add diced jalapeños, tomatoes, onions. It was more on the fresh side. My cousin Stefani would make tuna salad with diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños..very similar to my moms... However, she would also add chopped lettuce and if I remember correctly, corn as well!
All this to say, there are many ways to make tuna salad and it's the easiest to make, but not always a go to fan favorite. But I do remember eating it quite often when I was younger...
Now, let's talk about this recipe. It's my mom's recipe. She made it for us on Fridays, during Lent season. My sister and I, were like... This is the best tuna salad recipe ever!!! I decided to make it more nutrient dense, by swapping out the regular pasta, for brown rice pasta and using avocado oil mayo instead. Also, the addition of the sauteed onions and celery, just make the dish very flavorful! It just works!
If you wanted any other fresh veggies, it could work as well! I think chopped bell pepper would work great in this recipe too!
I honestly crave this recipe, especially if it's topped on a salad or on a tostada drizzled with sriracha! It's the best!!
Tuna Pasta Salad
3 cans white tuna, drained
2 cups brown rice fusilli pasta or any kind of short pasta
1 medium celery stalk, diced (½ cup)
Half small white onion, diced
⅓ cup pickles, diced
½ cup avocado oil mayo
3 tbsp jalapeños pickling liquid/ or any pickling liquid you have *optional
Half lemon, juiced
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
Start a very large pot of water and bring it to a boil, add some salt to the water then start boiling the pasta and cook to package instructions, you want it a little over al dente. Drain and cool.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium low and saute the diced onion and celery for about 8 minutes, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Should be softened and translucent. Allow to completely cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, pasta, onion, celery, pickles, jalapeno pickling liquid, and mayo. Add the lemon juice, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix till completely combined. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed. Allow to chill in the fridge for a couple hours.
Serve on a tostada, lettuce cups, topped on a salad or as a sandwich. Drizzle with Sriracha or with a side of escabeche (pickled jalapeños and carrots)