Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad – yes, you read that right. This pasta salad is so dang good I made it two days in a row last week and doubled the recipe the second time I made it just to guarantee leftovers for my lunch.
These flavors were the best impulse decision I’ve made in the kitchen in a while. I really liked this salad from the first bite, but my family went absolutely crazy over it!
Tuna pasta salad is a popular favorite for a good reason. And as much as I love the classic, sometimes it’s fun to change things up.
If you’ve been around me for long, you’ve probably caught on that my favorite ways to mix recipes up usually involve some heat. Green chiles, habaneros, serranos, jalapenos, cayenne, you name it, we probably love it.
That little bit of heat that jalapenos add to this pasta salad contributes something special. If you’re leery of the heat, start with half the amount and increase from there. (Side note: the creamy dressing really does help control the heat in this recipe. It isn’t super spicy as the recipe is written.)
Do you love jalapenos? My family really does, so we use them in a lot of recipes. The jalapeno adds a whole new depth of flavor to this Jalapeno Corn Coleslaw and this Jalapeno Honey Butter is pretty amazing on all sorts of breads.
Have you tried a fruit salsa? This Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa is a hit with kids and adults. Cranberry Pepper Jam is a cheeseboard favorite every time I serve it.
Are you a salad lover? There’s nothing like a fun dressing to mix things up and this Honey Lime Jalapeno Vinaigrette is perfect for that.
Jalapeno Ranch Dip, Spicy Guacamole, and Queso Blanco Dip are a few more snacks that you are going to love.
Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Drain and rinse until the pasta is cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jalapeno juice, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cool pasta to the dressing and stir to coat the pasta.
- Add the tuna, cheese, jalapeno, onion, and parsley. Stir again to mix well.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces mini penne, elbow, or small shell pasta
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons juice from jarred jalapenos
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10-12 ounces tuna in water, well-drained
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks or cubes, about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup jarred sliced jalapenos, chopped fine, about 1/3 of a 12-ounce jar
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions or finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped small
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, adding a generous tablespoon or so of kosher salt to the water as it cooks. Drain and rinse until the pasta is cool.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, jalapeno juice, salt, and pepper. Add the cool pasta to the bowl and stir to coat the pasta. Add the tuna, cheese, jalapeno, onion, and parsley. Stir again to mix well.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
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