Food Friday: A Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper

It’s Summer.
This is Minnesota.
I’m of Scandinavian heritage.
That means: Of course we’ll have Tuna Ring Salad at least once!
I grew up Lutheran, Scandinavian, and ya sure, you betcha, I talk Minnesotan!
Maybe this isn’t actually a Scandinavian dish, I guess I’ve never researched that, (does anyone know??) but it’s such a standby for anyone born Minnesota Lutheran Scandinavian, that I associate this dish with my heritage.
So, I thought I would share with you a Minnesota Memory from my growing up years of what a traditional summer picnic meal looked like!  Besides its being, well, tradition, there are two other good reasons for you to make this recipe in summer! It’s easy and it’s cool on a hot night when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen!
I have one more very important reason for making Tuna Ring Salad!  My son loves it and he always requests it!
So, here is the recipe, handed down from my Swedish mom, followed by the total “traditional summer picnic” meal–A Minnesota Memory for me:
Tuna Ring Salad
Yield: I’m going to say 4-6, but this depends on your family; as is the case with most of my recipes, you can increase the ingredients for the size of  your family, or use less of an ingredient like celery, for example, if someone doesn’t like it (like my son!)
  • 1 box of ring macaroni (we use Creamettes)
  • 4 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can tuna, drained (I use tuna packed in water)
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (add more according to taste) (I use Hellmann’s Light Mayo sometimes)
  • onion, chopped (more or less to your taste); or use dried minced onion

  • Cook macaroni as directed on package. (I don’t salt the water.)
  • Boil the eggs.
  • Cool both the macaroni and unpeeled eggs in the refrigerator. (Run the eggs under cold water and then place covered with cold water in the fridge for faster cooling.)
  • Mix cooled macaroni with celery and onion.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice on tuna (about 1 tsp).
  • Peel, wash and slice eggs, reserving some for decorating the top.
  • Mix tuna into macaroni mixture, then mayo/salad dressing and then carefully mix in cooled, sliced eggs (which will fall apart somewhat–that’s ok).
  • Refrigerate until serving.
  • If salad seems a little dry, add more mayo/Miracle Whip.
  • Arrange reserved slices of egg over top of salad and sprinkle paprika over all.

For a true Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper experience, serve with salty potato chips, dill pickles, cut-up watermelon, buns with butter, and slices of luncheon meat and cheese.  A cold pitcher of lemonade and maybe some homemade sun tea and a pan of “bars” and pail of ice cream for dessert will just about do it to complete your Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper (from my 1960’s Minnesota experience)!


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10 Replies to “Food Friday: A Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper”

  1. Hi Wendy,
    My husband is of Czekoslovakian background and they love their dill cucumbers too. Now I am one of them because they are a favorite of mine too!!
    Dorothy 🙂

  2. Denise,
    Thank you, dearie! I'm glad you liked it! The other thing I like about it, which I forgot to mention, is it's pretty cheap to make! I always like that!
    Love ya,

  3. Shelby, you are welcome any time! We enjoyed this recipe tonight–it turned out good! And we had just enough left over for you!

  4. Karen,
    Yeah, Tuna ring salad southern style! I love it!
    I made it tonight, and was so rejoicing in how super simple it is! We've had such a hot summer this year, so I'm looking for all the recipes that I can like this. I hope you'll enjoy it, Karen, and let me know if you adapt it and make it even better!

  5. Alex,
    We have to live up to that “Minnesota nice” reputation, ya know:) Glad you like us! Thanks so much for following!

  6. Yum! Printing your recipe now. I'll have to see if I can start a tuna ring salad trend down here in the South. With 90+ temperatures all summer long so far, we're always looking for ways to stay cool. 🙂

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