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This tuna salad recipe is easy to make with canned tuna and just a handful of other ingredients. It’s perfect for a quick, healthy lunch!

Looking for more tuna recipes? Try my Tuna Melt and Tuna Casserole recipes next!

Two tuna salad sandwich halves with lettuce stacked on top of each other.

Whenever I’m not sure what to make for lunch, I turn to this tuna salad recipe. In fact, I always keep my pantry stocked with canned tuna just so I can make this tuna salad! It’s a protein-packed lunch that can be served in a variety of ways. I love it in a sandwich, but I also enjoy it served in avocado halves or with crackers.

I make my tuna salad with protein-rich Greek yogurt instead of mayo. It’s a simple swap that I think makes the best tuna salad. I also add in chopped celery for crunch and sweet pickle relish for a touch of tangy flavor. Of course, there are lots of delicious possibilities when it comes to making tuna salad. Below I’ve listed some of my favorite ideas for tuna salad add-ins.

Tuna salad in a small white dish.

Tuna Salad Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need just a few ingredients to make this tuna salad recipe.

  • Tuna: You’ll get about two servings of tuna salad per 5 ounce can of tuna. Below you’ll find my tips on which kind of tuna is the best for tuna salad.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt or Mayonnaise, depending on your preference. Greek yogurt is thick and full of protein and a great healthy swap. 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.
  • 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.

Tuna salad ingredients in a mixing 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. If you want to indulge, you can’t beat tuna salad served on a croissant.
  • 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.
Tuna salad sandwich with lettuce.

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.
Tuna salad served in a sandwich made with toasted whole grain bread and lettuce.

More Easy Lunch Ideas

Two tuna salad sandwich halves with lettuce stacked on top of each other.
5 from 6 ratings

Best Tuna Salad Recipe

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This tuna salad recipe is easy to make, healthy and perfect for meal prep lunches. Serve it in a sandwich, in lettuce wraps or with crackers.


  • 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.
Serving: 1/4 recipe, Calories: 78kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 155mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 60IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1.2mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Lunch
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