Classic Tuna Salad
Classic Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is a classic for quick lunches and snacks. This tuna salad recipe is made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, and lemon and can be adapted dozens of ways. It’s creamy, filling, and easy to make!

In this recipe

  • Tuna Salad: A simple treat
  • What is the best tuna?
  • Swaps and suggestions for tuna salad
  • Tuna Salad Add-ins and Customizations
  • How to serve tuna salad
  • How to store tuna salad

Raise your hand if you didn’t grow up eating tuna salad sandwiches. anyone? That’s what I thought.

Tuna Salad: A simple treat

I have memories of sitting on Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire with my camp friends as a kid after a day of climbing. Lunch was always orange and tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And for dessert? Let’s just say a Hershey bar never tasted so good!

And now, in these times, the sandwich is just as fun (not to mention the cost savings). Spare me the frills; I’ll get to you in a moment.

For now, a classic tuna salad sandwich is all I’m looking for. That means Canned tuna, mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice and red onion if you like. Period. Spread it on some good bread and I’m that happy camper again. In fact, I take my sandwich out to the back porch to eat in the sun.

What is the best tuna?

Any can or jar of tuna will work in a sandwich. Just make sure you drain the water or oil before mixing it with the tuna salad ingredients.

That being said, tuna salad is no time to get fussy — just use what you have on hand.

Swaps and suggestions for tuna salad

I’m a total mayo gal, but if you prefer Miracle Whip or light mayo, go for it. I’ve never tried yogurt, but Greek yogurt might work, especially if you add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Toast or not, it’s up to you to make a sandwich out of it. Sometimes I’m in a good mood and craving a little crunch, and other times I just want the comfort of a soft bread.

No bread in the house? My better half always prefers tuna salad on saltines (?), but you could make some of these cookies or homemade soda bread.

Tuna Salad Add-ins and Customizations

The best thing about basic recipes is that you can easily adapt them to your own taste. Using my classic tuna salad recipe as a base, but then mixing things up with some excellent add-ins:

  • capers
  • olives
  • Sliced ​​gherkins
  • Chopped apples
  • Chopped fennel
  • Diced bell peppers of any color
  • Chopped pickled jalapenos from the jar
  • Grated carrots
  • Mustard
  • spring onions

You can also try these great herbs and spices for tuna salad:

  • thyme
  • oregano
  • Smoked Peppers
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh dill

If it sounds good to you, it probably is. If you want to get fancy, make Elise’s best tuna salad sandwich ever, although I have to speak to her about that claim.

How to serve tuna salad

For me, the next best thing to a plain tuna sandwich is a tuna melt. This is a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna salad. Smear some cheese on the sandwich, butter the bread on the outside and grill in a pan until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese is melted.

You could also do something like this with a tortilla. Simply place cheese in the center, top with tuna salad, fold like a burrito and grill to seal. But there is more! Make a wrap with pita or flatbread and add some veggies and sliced ​​tomatoes or cucumbers.

You can also serve this as an actual green veg salad with some extra veggies to finish.

Tuna salad is an easy afternoon snack when paired with crackers or spread on celery sticks. You can also take the virtuous route and top your veggies with a scoop of tuna salad for a healthy lunch.

How to store tuna salad

Leftover tuna salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap to keep other fridge smells out and tuna smells in.

More Easy Tuna Recipes

  • Melt tarragon tuna
  • Tuna Burger with Dill Olive Mayo
  • English Muffin Tuna Melts
  • Avocado Tuna Salad
  • Pan Bagnat (French Tuna Sandwich)
  • Pasta with tuna and arugula

Classic tuna salad

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

2 servings

This recipe makes enough for two, but it’s easy enough to double or even triple it to serve more people.


  • 1 (5 ounces) can tuna packed in water

  • 1 rib celeryrolled

  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon Red onionfinely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • prize Salt

  • prize black pepper


  1. Drain tuna:

    Open the can and hold it over the sink. Tilt the can and press the lid to allow the water in the can to drain.

  2. Mix the ingredients for the tuna salad:

    Mash the tuna in a bowl with a fork. Add celery, mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the spices to your liking. Cover and refrigerate or use immediately.

  3. Serve how you like it:

    Spoon tuna salad onto slices of bread to make a sandwich, spoon it onto crackers for a snack, or serve on a leaf salad for a healthy meal.

nutritional information (per serving)
256 calories
18g Fat
1g carbohydrates
21g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!