This tuna salad recipe is easy to make with canned tuna and a few simple mix-ins that give it the best flavor. It’s perfect for a quick, healthy lunch!
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 recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients. It’s the best tuna salad!
This tuna salad is a versatile, healthy, protein-packed lunch. Serve it on a croissant, roll or between two slices of hearty whole grain bread. It’s also delicious on crackers. For a low carb meal, serve tuna salad in lettuce wraps or over salad greens.
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. If you’re missing an ingredient you can leave it out or use one of my substitution ideas.
- It’s a healthy, high protein and tasty lunch that will keep you full for hours.
Tuna Salad Recipe Ingredients
You’ll need just a few ingredients to make this tuna salad recipe.
- 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, depending on your preferences. 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: Adds a wonderful sweet and tangy flavor. 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: Celery adds a delicious crunch. 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.
How to Make the Best 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 the tuna salad right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s perfect for meal prep!
What Kind of Tuna to Use
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. Also look for tuna with no salt added, so that you can control the amount of salt.
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 skipjack wild tuna in water. Skipjack is a light tuna, and it has less mercury than solid white albacore tuna.
Tips for the Best Tuna Sandwich
- Toast your sandwich bread to help it hold up to the tuna and to keep it from getting soggy. I like to use a hearty whole grain bread.
- Add flavor and texture by adding lettuce, tomato, avocado and/or cheese to your 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 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 salad.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a classic tuna salad ingredient. It brightens up the flavors.
- Mustard: Mix in some Dijon mustard or yellow mustard for added flavor.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs are a great way to change up the flavor of tuna salad. Try parsley, dill or chives.
- Avocado: Mashed 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. Use avocado instead of mayo or Greek yogurt to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Vegetables: Try adding finely chopped crunchy veggies such as carrots, bell pepper or cucumber for extra crunch and to add more nutrition to your 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.
- Tuna Melt: Use your tuna salad to make a Tuna Melt, which is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna.
More Easy Lunch Ideas
Best Tuna Salad Recipe
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna in water, drained
- ¼ 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 in lettuce wraps, over salad greens, 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.