Quick Curry Tuna Salad

by Julie Cohn

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Today is the perfect day for one of our family favorites, Curry Tuna Salad. It is really hot right now in Phoenix.  It got up to 107 degrees today, and it is supposed to be 109 tomorrow.  On a day when we would rather bathe in ice cream, it was too hot to grill outside and definitely too hot to run the oven in the house. We want something cool to eat for dinner.  

This curry tuna salad is quick and easy to make, refreshing, and a crowd-pleaser.  The combination of flavors – the egg, apple, tuna fish, and curry complement each other so well.  I usually serve this salad with raw veggies or a green salad for a super cool summer meal.  Yes, it is also great for a summer picnic, just double the recipe and keep chilled until serving.  

Key Ingredients

There are five key ingredients in this salad that you should use to keep the recipe consistent, but you can substitute with other ingredients if necessary (with substitution ideas below).

  • Pasta Noodles: You can use any kind of pasta noodles but elbow or shells work best in the recipe.  
  • Eggs:  The eggs add a wonderfully creamy flavor to the dish.  If you are vegan, you can leave the eggs out.   
  • Apple:  Use fresh apple.  If you do not like apple, use dried cranberries.  Honey crisp or red delicious apples are best.
  • Tuna Fish:  Light tuna in water is best for this recipe and light tuna has less mercury than white.  
  • Curry:  Curry is incredible in this curry tuna salad, but if you really do not like the flavor of curry, leave it out.
  • Salt: You can eliminate the salt if necessary but the salt brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.  
  • Onion Powder: If your family likes onion, fresh onion is preferred, but grate it finely (about 2 Tbsp) You can also use fresh green onion.  
  • Mayonnaise:  For a healthier option, use olive oil mayonnaise, which has more healthy fats.  Try to avoid avocado mayonnaise as the avocado flavor tends to clash with the apple.  

Serving ideas

  • To make this curry tuna salad extra pretty, stuff it in a hollowed-out tomato or serve on a bed of crisp lettuce.  
  • Use tri-colored pasta to make it more colorful. 
  • Serve in individual glass dessert cups as an appetizer and garnish with cherry tomatoes.  

Curry Tuna Salad

  • 1/2 lb. Elbow Macaroni Noodles
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Apple
  • 12 oz. Tuna Fish
  • 1/8 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Mayonnaise

Fill a saucepan with water and salt, and heat to boiling.  Add elbow noodles and cook for approximately seven minutes.  While noodles are cooking, heat eggs to a rolling boil, reduce to low and simmer for about 11-12 minutes, until hard-boiled.  Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water.  Set noodles in the refrigerator to cool.  Drain hard-boiled eggs and cool in cold water with a few ice cubes thrown in.

Core and slice the apple, and chop into small tooth size pieces.  You can peel the apple first if you prefer, but apple peel makes the dish pretty and is good fiber.  

Remove the noodles from the refrigerator and add apple pieces.  Chop egg into small pieces and add to noodles.  Add tuna fish, curry, and onion powder or fresh onion.  


Add the mayonnaise and stir everything together thoroughly.  Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  You can also make this earlier in the day to serve for dinner. Garnish with chives for color.  This Curry Tuna Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  

Looking for some other cool summer recipes?   These should do the trick!  


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