Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad; old recipes and…. Cheez Whiz?!

This is not my mother’s Tuna Salad.

She would have never put tomatoes in it. Both the pepper and celery would have been minced and even then only a small amount.

She might have been adventurous and added the olives but certainly not the white beans…..

I can hear her say ‘Heavens!’ at the very thought.

Most importantly, she would have made the dressing using Miracle Whip (a staple in her kitchen) and cream.

I like mine better…..

Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups (4.2oz, 125gr) farfalle pasta
  • 1 tbs salad olive oil
  • 9oz (270gr) tuna, drained and broken apart
  • 1 3/4 cup (15oz, 450gr) white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed if canned
  • 3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes, about 1/2 cup, cut in haf
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed green olives, cut in haf
  • 2 – 3 ribs sliced celery, about 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon
  • 1 tbs fresh snipped chives
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs fresh snipped chives 
  • 1 tbs fresh snipped tarragon
  • 2 tbs salad olive oil

Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • When done, drain, rinse with cool water, put in a large bowl and toss with 1 tbs olive oil.
  • Dressing:
  • In small bowl whisk yogurt, mustard and lemon juice.
  • Add oil, a bit at a time and whisk well.  Add herbs.
  • Add half of the dressing to the pasta and toss gently to coat.
  • Add  the rest of the ingredients to the pasta and stir well.
  • Taste and add as much more dressing as desired.  I use it all.

Print Recipe

I’ve been spending time in ‘kitchens past’.

It’s been hot here (okay, I know, we are not suffering alone…). When it’s hot I can’t do my usual things during our 90 minute evening TV time. I’m usually on my laptop, catching up on emails, social media, etc. When it’s hot it’s too hot to be sitting with my laptop generating heat.

And I certainly can’t be handling wool yarn to do any knitting or crocheting!

So I’ve been sorting through some old recipes….. really old recipes. Most were my mother’s; some were mine from when I had my first kitchen.

I love some of the names of my mother’s recipes: ‘Aunt Caroline’s Cookies’, and ‘Mae’s Dill Pickles’….. which is a completely different recipe from ‘Ma’s Pickles’.

Obviously that told my mother everything she needed to know about the recipe but it leaves the rest of us clueless.

I was excited to find among my old recipes one of my favorites (as I remember): ‘Broccoli in Cheese Custard’.

Then I read it….

Cheez Whiz.

It used 8oz of Cheez Whiz.

Yes. apparently I used to actually eat Cheez Whiz.

Out of curiosity I did a search on Cheez Whiz to see if it still existed.

Sadly, it does….

At the top of the search results was the Wiki entry, of course, followed by the official Kraft Cheez Whiz page.

It was the third result, though, that got my attention: Is There Any Real Cheese in Cheez Whiz?

Turns out – not really. It started out containing processed cheese which is barely cheese as it is, then went downhill from there. Sometime in the last 20 years even the processed stuff was fazed out.

Read it if you care (It’s actually rather interesting – Kraft developed it for the Brits in the ’50’s).

Now If I can figure out a Cheez Whiz substitute I can make my Broccoli Custard.

On the positive side I found the recipe for Irish Soda Bread that our landlady gave me when we lived in Ireland. That’s going on my to-do list to make as soon as the weather cools enough to turn the oven on.

And on that note – I also found a small (smaller than smart phone) 30 page ‘Arm & Hammer Baking Soda’ recipe book, circa 1924.

I love going exploring in my own stuff…. I should do it more often.

Well, we have 4 more days in the high 90’s F forecast. Who knows what I might find…

Last update on August 24, 2016

3 thoughts on “Tuna Cannellini Pasta Salad; old recipes and…. Cheez Whiz?!”

  1. We could use a little of your heat here. Looking forward to the Irish soda bread recipe once the weather breaks. Here, they use Cheez Whiz on nachos in bars – horrible!

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