How To Make Classic Tuna Salad

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Expert Tips And Tricks For The Perfect Tuna Salad Every Time

Classic Tuna Salad Recipe
  • Start with the right canned tuna. Tuna that is packed in water makes for better tuna fish salad recipe every time.
  • Chop the celery well. Celery is great for added texture, crunch, and savory flavor. But if they chunks are too big, it messes up the whole thing. Use a fine chop and you wont have cumbersome pieces in your way.
  • Choose a good bread. I personally recommend croissants in my tuna fish sandwich recipe but use what you like. This is the best tuna salad so if you want to make it extra special, choose a unique sandwich bread and it will make you feel like youre on vacation.

Season The Tuna Salad

For the last step, just stir in the mayo and mustard, and this classic tuna salad with a twist is ready to enjoy!

This recipe is just as versatile as the classic that inspired it. Enjoy it on bread or toast as a sandwich, spread it on your favorite crackers, or simply heap it on lettuce for a lunchtime salad. The latter is Carli’s favorite way to enjoy it she notes that it’s a frequent flier on her lunchtime table!

What Goes With Tuna Salad

While this recipe is great on its own, theres so many creative ways to serve it.

  • Sandwich: Make it into a sandwich along with a layer of lettuce and tomatoes.
  • Wrap: Turn it into a wrap with my cassava flour tortillas.
  • Lettuce Wrap: Use butter lettuce leaves for a lighter, low-carb option.
  • Stuffed Avocado or Tomato: Stuff it into avocado or tomato halves.
  • Dip: Serve it with crackers or chips.

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Mayo & Greek Yogurt Work Together

We didnt want our tuna salad to be too mayo-y . So our secret to using less mayo? Use Greek yogurt too. Greek yogurt helps to make the salad ultra creamy while keeping the calories low. It also keeps it from being so rich that it feels uncomfortable after you eat it. Mayo and Greek yogurt work perfectly together: we also use this trick in our Healthy Ranch Dressing to keep the calories low.

How To Serve Tuna Salad

Classic Tuna Salad Recipe

For me, the next best thing to a plain ol tuna sandwich is a tuna melt. Thats a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna salad. Slap some cheese on the sandwich, butter the bread on the outside, and grill it in a pan until the bread is crisp and golden, and the cheese melts.

You could do something similar with a tortilla, too. Just place cheese in the center, top with tuna salad, fold it like a burrito, and grill it to seal it. But theres more! Make a wrap with pita or flatbread and add some greens and sliced tomatoes or cucumbers.

You could also serve this as a true salad on top of greens with some extra vegetables to round it out.

Tuna salad makes a simple mid-afternoon snack when paired with crackers or spread onto celery sticks. You can also take the virtuous route and top your greens with a scoop of tuna salad for a healthy lunch.

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How To Make A Tuna Melt

Looking for new ways to serve this tuna recipe? Make it a melt!

My kids LOVE tuna melts! A tuna melt is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna in it. You can even add sliced tomato and bacon. Yum!

  • Warm a skillet over medium-high heat. Then, butter each side of two slices of bread. We like white, wheat or sourdough bread with lots of surface area.
  • Lay one of the pieces of bread in the skillet and top it with plenty of tuna salad.
  • Top the tuna with a slice of cheese and a second piece of bread .
  • After about 4-5 minutes and when the bottom bread is nice and toasty, carefully flip the entire sandwich.
  • Cook the second side until it is golden brown. Remove and enjoy!

What Type Of Tuna To Use:

There are several canned tuna varieties to choose from, depending on your needs. Chunk light tuna is probably the most common and one of the less expensive options. Chunk light is smaller pieces and may appear a little shredded. Solid albicore is more expensive, but youll get nice big solid chunks of fish that will give your tuna salad more texture, and it can be a little less smelly. For more canned tuna language defined, check out Tuna Terms You Need to Know from Cooks Illustrated .

As for whether you should get your tuna packed in oil or water, that is a personal choice. Oil pack will give you a richer tuna salad, while water pack will give you a less caloric tuna salad. I find oil pack to be messy and difficult to drain, so I choose water pack for that reason alone.

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How Long Does Tuna Salad Last

If it doesnt get eaten up first because it really IS that good, tuna fish salad will keep in the fridge for a few days. Because it has fish and mayonnaise in it, be careful to not leave it out on the counter for too long.

Make that tuna fish sandwich and put the tuna salad back in the fridge in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible! The best tuna salad is fresh and safe to eat!

Gather The Ingredients For The Classic Tuna Salad

BEST TUNA SALAD RECIPE | easy & healthy

To make this tuna salad recipe, you will, of course, need tuna. Carli prefers chunk light tuna in a pouch, which is more efficient to store and easier to use than canned tuna, as it lies flat and requires no draining.

“I love tuna in a pouch!” says Carli. “I used to carry these in my lunch box for school.”

The tuna is combined with diced red onion, diced dill pickles, and golden raisins for sweetness. The salad is then seasoned with a mix of mayo and Dijon mustard for a touch of heat.

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This Is The Classic Tuna Salad Recipe Youve Been Longing To Make

Theres something to be said for those classic recipes that remind us of home and childhood. Think MEATLOAF, CHILI, TOMATO SOUP and GRILLED CHEESE. Now that we have your attention, heres another youre sure to appreciate. This CLASSIC TUNA SALAD RECIPE that you can pull together in minutes and enjoy in so many different ways!

Just to be clear, this is not the can of tuna stirred up with a dollop of mayonnaise and a sprinkle of salt and pepper recipe. Instead, this is the real deal. Youre about to enjoy a homemade tuna salad that evokes a welcome meal at favourite lunch counter, delicatessen or family-run restaurant.

Were so confident youre going to love it, were going to encourage you to share the LINK with your friends on social media and Pinterest. This classic recipe is ready for new eyes.

Classic Tuna Salad Recipe Your Mom Used To Make

Tuna Salad sandwiches bring back childhood memories of mom whipping up a bowl and scooping spoonfuls onto our toast or croissant. It was quick, easy, healthy, and delicious.

There are lots of ways to prepare tuna salad but I always go back to what I know to be the best the CLASSIC Tuna Salad Recipe!

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Ive seen recipes using all kinds of ingredients, from curry to relish. Im sure theyre tasty but sometimes I just like the memory of the classic tuna salad.

Heres how my mom used to prepare our weekend lunch favorite.

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Classic Chicken Salad 047 Lb

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Recipe Tips And Variations

Classic Tuna Noodle Salad
  • Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of tuna salad, enough for 6 sandwiches .
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Mayo-free: Instead of mayonnaise, try making the dressing with plain yogurt or whipped silken tofu. You can also add lemon vinaigrette .
  • More mix-ins: Add a small amount of diced apple , a handful of thawed peas, or a couple of chopped hard-boiled eggs to your tuna salad.
  • Lettuce wraps: Tuna salad is delicious wrapped in lettuce leaves or piled on a bed of lettuce.
  • Tuna pasta salad: Make a tasty tuna pasta salad by adding cooked macaroni, rotini, or your other favorite small pasta.
  • Stuffed tomatoes: Hollow out juicy tomatoes and fill with tuna salad for an old-fashioned, and super-delicious, lunch entrée.
  • Ahi Tuna Salad: Is the Ahi tuna looking fabulous at the fish market, or have you got an extra bit of ahi tuna from last nights dinner? Splurge and make tuna salad with it. Cook it through, then flake it up in this recipe.

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Heres How To Make Our Classic Tuna Salad Recipe:


The ingredients in themselves are a classic. Gathering up some favourite vegetables, a few flavour boosters plus tuna and mayonnaise sounds like the perfect plan and the finished salad proves it. Colourful, flavourful and creamy whats not to love?


Although I could have chopped all of the veggies by hand, I opted instead to use a food processor and suggest you do the same. Using a food processor makes the entire process so easy. A few quick pulses followed by a smooth blend ensures your salad is the perfect consistency.


Once your tuna salad is blended and seasoned to your liking, its time to decide how to enjoy it. Easiest way is to put a heaping dollop into a small bowl and serve with chopped veggies on the side for dipping. This is a great way to enjoy it on the run, when youre pressed for time or if you just want a quick healthy lunch.

You can also serve it old-school where you stuff it into a hollowed tomato or add rounded scoops onto avocado halves. Again, quick and healthy is the idea.

Lastly, and yes, this is my absolute favourite way, is to make a GRILLED TUNA MELT. Using this tuna salad as the filler of a crispy sandwich created complete with melted Swiss cheese its so awesome I can barely stand it. You decide on your favourite way and then enjoy!

Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1 Cut the celery and any other vegetables youd like to add into a small dice so its still easy to make a sandwich. 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped sweet red bell pepper, dill pickle, pitted olives, or water chestnuts are all good stir-ins for the tuna salad.
  • tip 2 Mayonnaise or salad dressingwhats the difference? They are both thick, creamy dressings that contain vegetable oil, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. Mayonnaise also contains egg yolk and is less sweet than salad dressing. They can be used interchangeably so you decide which you prefer.
  • tip 3 Stuff tuna salad in hollowed out tomatoes or avocado halves for a fresh take on lunch.
  • tip 4 Swap out the tuna for chicken or ham, adding some spicy brown or Dijon mustard with the mayonnaise in the dressing.

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What Are The Ingredients For A Tuna Salad

  • Canned tuna Choose the one in water, not oil.
  • Mayonnaise A staple of creamy tuna salad.
  • Celery Chop it up nice and fine. It adds a refreshing crunchy texture to your tuna fish recipe.
  • Red onion Mince it to distribute that pungent taste throughout the salad a bit better.
  • Sweet pickle relish Dont knock it til you try it. My husband was anti-relish in tuna salad until I made this recipe for him.
  • Lemon juice The secret for the best tuna salad.
  • Garlic Another one to mince for even spreading.
  • Salt and pepper To taste.

What Type Of Tuna Is Best For Tuna Fish Salad

Classic Tuna Salad & Keto Tuna Melt | Keto Recipes

Not all brands of canned tuna are created equal, either in terms of their flavor profile or their health benefits. My favorite sustainable, dolphin-safe brands are Wild Planet and Safe Catch . This post on the best healthy, tasty canned tuna options is a great read.

For this recipe, I suggest using tuna packed in water. If you only have tuna packed in olive oil, you can drain and rinse it using a mesh strainer. In a pinch, this salad taste great with canned salmon.

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Parmesan Makes It Shine

Now, we know what youre thinking. Parmesan cheese isnt a classic tuna salad ingredient. And its totally optional! But if you add just a touch, it gives it an even more savory, delicious and irresistible flavor. If you dont have it on-hand, dont go out and buy it especially! But if you have a container of shredded Parm on hand , add a sprinkle and experience the magic.

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Tuna Salad: A Simple Pleasure

I have memories as a child sitting atop Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire with my camp friends after a days climb. Lunch was always oranges and tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And for dessert? Well, lets just say a Hershey bar never tasted so good!

And now, in these times, that sandwich brings just as much pleasure . Spare me the bells and whistles Ill get to them in a minute.

Right now, a classic tuna salad sandwich is all Im after. That means canned tuna, mayo, celery, lemon juice, and if you like, red onion. Period. Slather it on some good bread and Im that happy camper again. In fact, Im taking my sandwich out to the back porch to eat in the sunshine.

A Fresh And Light Classic Tuna Salad Recipe That Is As Versatile As It Is Delicious Perfect In A Sandwich Wrap Salad Or As An Appetizer

How To Make Better Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad

Everyone should have a great tuna salad recipe in their collection its just so perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, but can easily be dressed up as an appetizer!

I am an official ambassador for Chicken of the Sea. Chicken of the Sea provided me with EZ-Open cans for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Growing up, I was NOT a tuna fan. Probably because back then, I had an aversion to anything that came from the sea. I know, I was crazy! As an adult, Im expanding my palate more and more, and that includes trying tuna again. Low and behold I really love it now! Its such a great source of protein, and I love the fresh, light flavor.

When Chicken of the Sea reached out to me to work together, I had grand ideas for a tuna casserole recipe but the more I thought about it, I really wanted to bring you guys my classic tuna salad. Its ready in about 5 minutes, with zero cooking time, and is SO versatile!

This is definitely a great base tuna salad recipe, but feel free to add in your favorite things. A chopped hard-boiled egg or two really adds some great flavor as well! If youre not a pro at hard-boiling eggs, Ive got you covered hop over HEREfor a tutorial .

Chicken of the Sea now has these great new EZ-Open cans just pull the tab! No more fumbling with a can opener, ever. My favorite variety is the solid white albacore tuna, but they have several other varieties .

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Whats In The Best Tuna Salad

Clarification: whats in our best tuna salad? Here are all the ingredients we found to be 100% necessary to make a premium, classic tuna fish salad:

  • Tuna: either water packed or oil packed work
  • Veggies: celery, red onion, and dill pickles are all a must!
  • Creamy sauce: both Greek yogurt and mayo work in combo to make a seriously creamy salad
  • Flavor: Lemon, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper
  • Secret ingredient: Parmesan cheese: just 1 tablespoon makes the flavor pop!

Mix it all together, and bam! Youve got that classic lunch recipe, mastered.

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