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.)
How to Make a Tuna Melt
Another classic tuna recipe is the tuna melt. When a regular tuna fish sandwich isn’t enough, make a tuna melt! If you know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, you can make a tuna melt.
To make a tuna melt, get two slices of bread and spread butter on one side of each slice. Put some tuna salad and sliced cheese in between the bread slices to make a sandwich, butter side out. Cook your tuna melt in a skillet over medium heat until the bread is toasted on both sides and the cheese melts.
You can also make open faced tuna melts by piling tuna and slices of cheese on top of English muffin halves and popping them in your oven to melt the cheese. Try adding tomato or avocado slices to your tuna melt.
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.
- 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.
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