The Perfect Tuna Salad
No matter how creative or spontaneous or inventive I aim to be with my weekday lunches, at some point I always end up craving just simple a tuna salad sandwich. Its lunchtime comfort food. Has it been a while since you last had tuna salad? Heres my favorite, most basic recipe. I think its just about perfect.
Theres not much to making tuna salad, really. My husband often just mixes the tuna with mayo and a few cracks of black pepper and calls it good! I like to add some crunch to balance out the cream, and so I mix in some chopped celery and shallots when I make it. A spoonful of pickle relish might not be the way you grew up with it, but try it the sweet-and-sour pickles add just a little something extra to each bite.
I also like water-packed tuna, partly because I think it has a cleaner tuna flavor. But if youre a fan of oil-packed tuna, by all means use that!
How To Serve Tuna Salad
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 midafternoon 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.
Use Mayonnaisenot Butteron Your Bread
Mayonnaise is my preferred fat when Im making grilled cheese or a tuna melt. The condiment is made with vegetable oil, which has a higher smoke point than butter, so your kitchen wont erupt in smoke before the bread is properly toasted and the cheese is properly melted. Mayo is also easily spreadable when cold, and who wants to wait around for butter to soften when all you want is a quick sandwich?
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Why This Recipe Works
- First of all, it’s easy to make. Just a few ingredients and 1 can of tuna are all you need.
- This simple tuna salad recipe is my favorite way to make tuna salad. You can easily add in chopped red onions, a spoonful of relish, or just about any other ingredient you may like. If you keep it simple, as the recipe is written here, you’ll love it too.
Protein Packed Tuna Salad
I happen to like tuna salad and I also like a classic egg salad. So basically, weve got the best of both worlds coming together in this easy recipe!
I love a high-protein, easy lunch but some days , I dont have a lot of time.
I mean seriously, who has time to cook elaborate meals these days? Between work, errands, and taking care of our families, we barely have enough time for fancy pants meals.
So yes, simple is key but lets be honest. Some days we need more to look forward to than a plain old sandwich.
Meet your new meal solution Tuna Salad with Egg.
Tuna Salad is awesome when youre making packed lunches for the field or just need something quick and easy.
It has 29 grams of protein, so youll be satisfied until dinner.
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Recipe Tips And Variations
- 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.
This easy Curried Chicken Salad makes the perfect sandwich, wrap, or low-carb lunch on a big bed of greens. This delicious, flavorful recipe uses almonds and fresh grapes, for just the right balance of crunch
Vegetarian Portobello Mushroom And Avocado Burger
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These perfectly spiced portobello mushroom burgers are better than fast food veggie burgers, and they’re easy to make at home. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these remarkable burgers.
The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray
Leftover meatloaf makes incredibly delicious sandwiches. Bake your meatloaf in muffin cups or cut standard slices into cubes to make these yummy meatloaf sliders.
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How Do I Keep Tuna Salad From Being Dry
To prevent your tuna salad from being dry, youll need to stir in at least one tablespoon mayo per one can of tuna. After mixing in the rest of your ingredients, taste the salad. If you want it creamier, stir in another tablespoon or two of mayo. A squeeze of lemon juice also adds moisture.
For a lighter salad, replace the mayo with yogurt. Or, for a looser, salad, opt for olive oil.
More Easy Fish Dinners
- This lemon butter salmon with potatoes and asparagus is another popular recipe on the blog. If asparagus is out of season, just substitute with broccoli!
- Fan of Mediterranean flavors? You have to try this Greek baked fish!
- You only need potato, fish and a few fresh yummy flavors to make these crispy salmon fish cakes. Delicious!
- Last but definitely not least, try this crowd pleasing lemony tuna spaghetti recipe.
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How To Make Easy Tuna Salad
Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients
If you have any ingredients left over from this tuna salad recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving recipes:
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How To Make A Quick Tuna Salad
Tuna salad doesnt have to be the mayonnaise-heavy concoction that we all know. The tuna and mayonnaise mixture is often accented with chopped celery, scallions or apples bites, or the typical quick dinner includes relish. Spice up your tuna salad with whatever sounds good to you. You can make a gourmet tuna salad by using freshly cooked tuna steak. Shred the steak into small pieces and add vinegar or dressing or both. Add whatever other complementing ingredients you like. For an Asian-inspired tuna salad dry adding wasabi powder, soy sauce, scallions, sesame seeds and red onions. In this video, Chef Fernando provides an online cooking lesson for making a quick tuna salad. For more great cooking demonstration videos, .
Tuna Salad Recipe
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’re 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.
- tip 3 Switch up this Tuna Salad Sandwiches recipe by stuffing tuna salad into hollowed-out tomatoes or avocado halves for a fresh take on lunch.
- tip 4 Try swapping out the tuna for chicken or ham, adding some spicy brown or Dijon mustard with the mayonnaise in the dressing.
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Is Canned Tuna Healthy
I say, yes! Canned tuna is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals and is low in saturated fat. Ounce for ounce, tuna is lower in calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than even the leanest cuts of beef and chicken.
I feel that canned tuna definitely deserves a spot in a healthy, balanced diet. Just be sure to moderate your intake as large sport fish, like tuna, are known to contain mercury.
Recipe Tips + Additions
Here are a few tips along with ideas to change it up.
- Tuna: Use any type of tuna as long as it is packed in water. This will result in the best and freshest taste.
- To avoid an overall mushy sandwich, consider spooning the tuna salad on toasted pieces of bread. That way the extra moisture from the tuna salad doesnt soak through the bread.
- For a healthier version, use plain yogurt instead of sour cream and serve it in lettuce wraps rather than between pieces of bread. This will cut down on fat and carbs!
- Or use mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise in order to use a healthier fat.
Additions: You can add dried fruit like cranberries, or for more crunch try adding chopped apples, celery, cucumbers, and/or red onion.
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How To Serve It
- Lettuce and cucumber are what I usually add to a tuna salad sandwich and sometimes tomatoes. Arugula or cress for a peppery bite would also go well.
- Or make a tuna melt by adding a slice of cheddar and then broiling it for a few minutes! You’d do this as an open-faced sandwich.
- Eat it in a tortilla wrap, croissant, pita bread, or just make a lettuce wrap if you need it to be low carb.
What Are The Ingredients In This Lazy No
The ingredients in this tuna salad are incredibly simple. And Ill say it again no need to pull out a knife unless you want to cut the sandwich!
Here are the ingredients in the Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad:
- canned tuna fish For this recipe, youll need 2 cans of tuna fish packed in water. Drain the water off and give it to your cat. Definitely stick with tuna packed in water, wild sustainably caught if you can. You can use pouches instead of cans if you want youll need 8 ounces of drained tuna for the full recipe.
- mayonnaise Use your favorite mayo for this recipe. I havent tested with Greek yogurt lately Ive been using avocado oil mayonnaise which I love!
- dill pickle relish Heres the special ingredient. One day I was making tuna salad, but had no pickles. Found some dill pickle relish, and tried it out. Surprise, it was great, and actually WAY easier than cutting pickles myself. I would steer clear of sweet pickle relish for this recipe however!
- garlic powder & onion powder Since were skipping the cut veggies, we need some powdered flavor. Dry garlic and onion help a lot!!
- fine sea salt & black pepper More flavor, dont skip. I love fresh ground black pepper, so thats my preference. Both of these help make up for the lack of veggies.
- dijon mustard I tested this tuna salad with and without mustard , and its great both ways. If youre a mustard lover, definitely add it for that little zingy boost! I forgot to photograph it, oops!
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Tuna Salad Without Celery Or Eggs Recipe
Want to throw together a quick tuna salad for lunch but dont have any celery? Have no fear! Ive developed a delicious tuna salad without celery recipe that uses ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or fridge.
Tuna salad is one of the easiest and tastiest things to have for lunch and it doesnt need to stick to the same celery and onion method in order to turn out fantastic.
While the vast majority of tuna salad recipes do call for celery and some of them even call for hard-boiled eggs , not everyone always has these ingredients in their refrigerators and they can actually be a bit divisive for some.
Thats why Ive made a tuna salad without eggs or celery recipe for everyone to enjoy!
Neither celery nor eggs are necessary in creating a delicious tuna salad so long as you have enough going on to keep the flavours interesting. So if youre searching for a quick, easy tuna salad recipe that doesnt use celery or eggs, then look no further!
Pick The Right Kind Of Tuna
I prefer using olive-oil-packed tuna, which is richer in flavor and much more moist than water-packed tuna. Look for sustainably fished tuna thats caught by pole and line, or brands with a label. Buying solid tuna allows you to flake tuna to the size you want and results in a salad with better texture.
Best Tuna Salad Recipe
Seriously, no joke, this is the best tuna salad recipe. Its the one my mom, and before that, my grandma has made for years. Its a classic recipe with simple, delicious ingredients. Flaky tuna is mixed with boiled eggs, crisp celery, onions, sweet pickles, and a creamy mayo dressing. Perfect for sandwiches or creamy tuna melts with some potato chips on the side!
A classic tuna salad recipe is one of my go-to easy lunches. Not only does it make for a super delicious meal, but its packed with protein and keeps me satisfied for hours. Also, theres no complicated methods or ingredients needed. And meal preps a cinch. I often make a batch of this salad on Sunday to enjoy for a meal and a snack on Monday and Tuesday.
With just a few basic ingredients probably already in the fridge and pantry, you can whip up a salad or sandwiches or even scoop it into half an avocado or lettuce wraps for a fancy dish!
How Many Calories And Ww Points In This Tuna Salad With Pasta
According to my calculations, each serving has 298 calories and:
7*SmartPoints 7*SmartPoints 7*PointsPlus
To see your WW PersonalPoints for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, !
To save WW Points you could opt for tuna packed in water, though it won’t be quite as nice. Those following the WW Purple Plan can also shave points by opting for whole grain pasta.
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Classic Tuna Salad Recipe
A classic tuna salad recipe is one of my go-to easy lunches . Not only does it make for a super delicious meal, but its packed with protein and keeps me satisfied for hours. Also, there are no complicated methods or ingredients needed. And meal preps a cinch. I often make a batch of this salad on Sunday to enjoy for an easy meal or a snack on Monday and Tuesday.
With just a few basic ingredients probably already in the fridge and pantry, you can whip up a salad or sandwiches or even scoop it into half an avocado or lettuce cups for an effortless lunch!
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VARIATIONS ON CLASSIC TUNA SALAD
- Southern tuna salad: Southern tuna salad is basically tuna salad with the addition of relish and hard boiled eggs. This recipe already calls for relish to get a satisfying salty crunch, so all youd have to add is chopped hardboiled egg.
- Light tuna salad: Lighten this recipe up by using greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and get tuna packed in water instead of oil. For a healthier version, you can also add chopped veggies to this dish. Try cucumber, fennel, or jicama.
- Spices: Add spices like curry powder or celery seed to add some variation to your tuna salad recipe.
- Heat: Make this spicy by substituting dijon with spicy mustard, and adding some diced jalapeno peppers.
- Avocado: Add healthier fats to make this an avocado tuna salad, by replacing some of the mayo with pureed avocado. Or just add cut up avocado pieces to the tuna salad.
- Pickles: If you dont have relish, add chopped dill pickle with a splash of pickle juice to the tuna salad.
- Fresh tuna: This recipe is typically made with canned tuna, but if you have fresh you can cook it through, allow to cool, then chop into pieces and follow the recipe as usual.
- Tuna melt: You can use this recipe to make a tuna melt sandwich. Place on toasted bread with lettuce and tomato on a baking sheet with a slice of Swiss or provolone cheese on top, and broil for 1 minute. You can also do this in a toaster oven.
HOW TO STORE TUNA SALAD
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