Easy Tuna Salad Recipe
This easy tuna salad recipe makes the best tuna sandwiches! This classic tuna salad is the perfect recipe to make ahead for quick lunches.
When you’re craving a tuna sandwich, you need a simple tuna salad recipe that will give you a crave-worthy tuna fish sandwich. This easy tuna salad is made with just a handful of ingredients. It’s the best tuna salad!
This tuna salad is quick and easy to make, and it keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. You can make it ahead and have a healthy, satisfying lunch ready to go. Use this tuna salad to make a classic tuna salad sandwich, served on a croissant, roll or bread. It’s also delicious on crackers! For a low carb meal, serve your tuna salad wrapped in lettuce leaves or on a bed of greens as a salad.
If you like this tuna sandwich recipe, you’re going to love my healthy chicken salad recipe and my easy recipe for classic egg salad. These are the three recipes that I rotate between when I make sandwiches for lunch on the weekend. If you asked me to choose a favorite between these three easy sandwich recipes, I couldn’t. They’re all so good!
I use plain Greek yogurt in my tuna salad recipe. You can use mayonnaise instead, if you prefer. I like to make tuna salad without mayo, using Greek yogurt, because it makes a healthy tuna salad. (Also, I don’t care for mayo.) You can also use mashed avocado to make a dairy-free tuna sandwich without mayo!
This tuna recipe is so easy to customize. I’m sharing my best classic tuna salad recipe, and you can add your favorite ingredients to your tuna salad.
Why You’ll Love this Tuna Salad Recipe
- It takes just minutes to make.
- This tuna salad recipe uses just a few ingredients, and it’s easy to change up the flavors. You probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen. If you’re missing an ingredient you can leave it out or substitute.
- It’s a healthy, high protein and tasty lunch!
How to Make Tuna Salad
To make this tuna salad recipe you will need just a few ingredients:
Tuna: Canned tuna is something that I always keep in my pantry. One 5 ounce can of tuna will serve two people. Below I’ll give you tips on which kind of tuna is the best for tuna salad.
Plain Greek Yogurt or Mayonnaise: You can use either plain yogurt or mayo in your tuna salad. Greek yogurt is thick and full of protein and makes a healthy tuna salad. If you’re new to using Greek yogurt, I promise it won’t make your tuna taste like yogurt. The yogurt or mayo helps to bind the tuna together. You can use more or less depending on how creamy you like your tuna salad.
Relish: I recommend reading the ingredient labels and choosing a relish with a list of ingredients that you recognize. Some relishes are made with some interesting, not so good for you ingredients! When I tested this tuna sandwich recipe, I tried and tried to make it work without relish because I wanted a tuna salad made with real food ingredients. I found that tuna salad just isn’t the same without relish, so I compromised and bought the healthiest relish I could find. I prefer sweet pickle relish over dill relish in this tuna recipe.
Red Onion: I love the pop of flavor that red onion brings to tuna salad. The key is to chop the onion finely and to not use too much – a little onion goes a long way.
Celery: I like to make tuna salad with celery because the celery adds a nice crunch. I usually won’t buy a whole stalk of celery just for tuna salad, though. If you don’t have celery in your fridge, chopped cucumber, carrot or bell pepper are great crunchy substitutes.
Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are important for flavor. Add the salt and pepper to your tuna salad last and adjust the amount to taste.
To make this tuna salad, start by opening your cans of tuna and draining off the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to use a can opener to cut the lid almost all the way open. Leave the lid attached to the tuna can just a little bit, hold the can of tuna over your sink, turn it upside down, and press down on the lid to squeeze out the liquid. Then use a fork to carefully pull the lid open and scoop the tuna from the can into a bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to your bowl and use a fork to mix everything together. Add more Greek yogurt or mayo, as needed, if you want your tuna creamier. Taste the tuna salad and add extra salt and pepper as desired.
Serve your tuna salad right away or keep it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What Kind of Tuna to use in Tuna Salad
The best kind of tuna for tuna salad is tuna packed in water, not oil. You don’t want extra oil in your tuna salad.
Look for cans of wild tuna that are labeled, “pole and line caught” to be sure that other species weren’t harmed when the tuna was caught. My favorite tuna is Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand Skipjack Wild Tuna in water, which is labeled as “pole and line caught one at a time.” Not only is this tuna responsibly caught, the tuna tastes like it’s higher quality and it seems like you get more tuna per 5 ounce can than other brands. I also love that the only ingredients are skipjack tuna and water. (This post is not sponsored, I’m sharing because I just really love this tuna.)
Tips for the Best Tuna Sandwich
- Toast the bread for your tuna sandwich to help it hold up to the tuna and to keep it from getting soggy. Try a hearty whole grain bread for a healthy and satisfying tuna fish sandwich.
- Make this tuna sandwich recipe your own by adding lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, or whatever you like in your tuna sandwich.
- Tuna sandwiches are best when you serve them right after making them. To make ahead, prepare the tuna salad, refrigerate, and wait to assemble your sandwich right before serving.
- For a low carb meal, serve your tuna stuffed into hollowed out tomatoes or in avocado halves.
More Tuna Salad Ideas
- Egg: Growing up, my mom would often make us tuna salad with egg. You can do this by mixing some chopped hard boiled egg into your tuna salad. It’s like a tuna salad and egg salad in one, and it is delicious! Plus you get even more satiating protein when you add hard boiled eggs to your tuna sandwich.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a classic tuna salad ingredient. It brightens up the flavor of tuna salad.
- Mustard: Do you like your tuna salad with Dijon mustard or yellow mustard? Mustard is another way to add a different flavor dimension to your tuna fish.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs are a great way to change up the flavor of tuna salad. Try parsley, dill or chives.
- Avocado: Avocado can act as a binder and replace the mayo or Greek yogurt in tuna salad. It’s a great way to add healthy fat and flavor! Using avocado instead of mayo or Greek yogurt makes dairy-free tuna salad.
- Vegetables: Try adding finely chopped crunchy veggies such as carrots, bell pepper or cucumber for extra crunch and to add more nutrition to your tuna salad.
- Apple: Chopped apple adds a surprisingly delicious sweet twist to this tuna recipe.
- Chickpeas: Either mashed or coarsely chopped, chickpeas can help to stretch your tuna fish so you can use less tuna and get more tuna salad. Chickpeas are a great source of vegetarian protein.
- Capers: Capers add a salty, briny flavor to tuna salad.
- Tuna Melt: Use your tuna salad to make a Tuna Melt, which is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna.
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna in water, drained
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise, plus more as desired
- 2 tablespoons relish
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place drained tuna in a medium bowl.
- Add the plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise), relish, red onion, celery, and a little salt and pepper.
- Stir with a fork until everything is well combined. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve tuna salad on bread, rolls, croissants or crackers. For low carb, serve tuna salad on a bed of lettuce, in hollowed out tomatoes, or in avocado halves.
- Tuna salad may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- You can also use mashed avocado in place of the plain Greek yogurt or mayo for dairy-free tuna salad.
Mmm I love tuna salad! This looks delish!
Thank you, Becca!
Can we make this with fresh tuna
and not the canned one
This recipe works best with canned tuna.
Sounds really good! Never think of using yogurt instead of mayo and add relish. Will definitely give that a try ! Thank you!
You will love it! Greek yogurt is one of my favorite healthier substitutes.
The only sugesstion I might might is find a way to NOT drain the water from the can. Maybe a little dry oatmeal in the bowl first. That water contains many good things!
I made your easy sheet-pan baked chicken for dinner and it was delicious. I plan to try this one tomorrow with the onions and yogurt, as I’ve never tried this. I noticed you say to use butter on the tuna-melt, but I discovered Ghee not too long ago and have been using it. Supposedly, it’s a bit better for you, and it tastes great.
Thanks for the easy recipes, I’m actually starting to look like I can cook, now. 😛
I’m happy to hear that you are finding new recipes that you enjoy! Ghee would work great, here. Happy Cooking!
On the ingredients you said ” 2 5 ounces of tuna , does that mean 2-5 orrrrrr?
Thank you for pointing that out. You’re right, it was confusing and I’ve updated the recipe to be more clear. You use 2 cans of tuna, and each can is 5 ounces.
Tasty and simple. Thank you
It works very well
I’m trying to reduce my cholesterol so I was looking for substitutions for mayo in my tuna salad. I’d used Greek yogurt previously as a binder for my tuna salad, but it tasted a little too tart for me. I came across your recipe suggesting using avocado as a binder and it was perfect! I love avocado so this ideal for me. I also added celery, green onions, sliced black olives, sweet relish and cooked egg whites to the tuna salad. I put in between two slices of double wheat fiber bread with lettuce, tomatoes, clover sprouts, jalapeno slices and dill pickle planks. I served it with Funyuns, but I also eat French Onion Sunchips to be a little healthier.
Iv’e been doing it all wrong! I can’t wait to try your Tuna, Chicken and Egg salad recipes! Also the deviled eggs! Thank You Kristen!
I tried it and it’s good
I just tried your tuna salad recip. It’s simple and taste really yummy. Thanks for specific ingredients!
Very tasty and easy to make.
I haven’t tried tuna salad with yogurt yet, but will. I usually chop a pickle rather than pickle relish. That way I know exactly what’s going into the recipe.
I’ve looked at a variety of recipes that call for relish. But some call for dill relish and yet a lot call for sweet relish. What do you recommend for your recipe? It’s a lot simpler than some off them (Right up my alley.)
You can use whatever kind you prefer. I always use sweet relish when I make tuna salad. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
I have made this before but not this recipe. I sometimes used too much of one thing or another and it would overpower the combination. I like simple yet tasty options and I appreciate the ingredient amounts.
I saw in someone’s comments that they tried your deviled egg recipe. One thing I use that gives mine a bit of a kick is, I substitute part of the Mayo with horseradish sauce. Nothing fancy or made from scratch. I like how it adds a twist to them
Hi, loved your tuna salad. I need help cooking pork chops. They always come out tough no matter baked or in the skillet. Thanks from Porky!
Hi Nancy, I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I’d recommend trying my Baked Pork Chops or Smothered Pork Chops recipes. Both posts include tips on how to cook pork chops without drying them out.
Can you add Siracha or chilly powder to make it spicy ?
Sure, I think sriracha would be best.