Every home cook needs a classic Tuna Salad recipe!

There are SO many different recipes out there, but this is the best tuna fish salad recipe! Homemade tuna salad is economical and easy to make with canned tuna and a few ingredients!

Tuna salad sandwich cut in half to show inside


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Nothing is better than a cold tuna fish salad sandwich on a hot day or a toasty tuna melt on a cold one! Canned tuna salad is one of those iconic recipes that everyone loves. Every version is different, but this simple tuna salad recipe is the foundation for all kinds of other variations like Tuna Noodle Casserole, Tuna Macaroni Salad, and Curry Tuna Salad! 

Tuna Salad Ingredients

Making tuna salad is a snap because the mild flavor of tuna fish goes with everything! Wondering what to put in tuna salad?

Pair it with apples or egg, and for a tangier flavor, substitute the mayo for Greek yogurt. For a spicy version, a dash of sriracha punches up the flavor!

Make it your own family classic with any of the following simple add-ins!

  • NUTS: Chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • VEGGIES: Sundried tomatoes, diced jalapenos, or shallots.
  • HERBS & MORE: Black olives, chopped dill, basil or even mint!

Tuna Salad ingredients on a marble board

How Do You Make Tuna Salad?

Here are some tips for making a great tuna salad.

  1. Whether tuna is packed in oil or water, it needs to be thoroughly drained. Just open the can but leave the lid on top of the tuna fish. Press down on the lid and turn it over into the sink and let it drain.
  2. Using a fork, remove the meat from the can and fluff it in a bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and any add-ins you like.

Add to salads, avocado halves, or pasta salads. For the best flavor, don’t forget to chill before serving.

Tuna Salad in a white bowl

How to Make a Tuna Salad Sandwich

For the best flavor, start with chilled tuna fish salad.

  1. Place pieces of lettuce on each half of your bread of choice (plain or toasted) and scoop tuna salad in the center of one half.
  2. Spread to the corners of the bread with a fork. Add onion slices, tomatoes, or sliced cheese, if desired, and place the other bread half on top.

Simple, fresh, and delish!

How to Make a Tuna Melt

Tuna melts are an easy and delicious meal any day of the week! But especially perfect when the weather is chilly. 

  1. Spread mayo (or spread of your choice) on each piece of bread (your choice, but we like sourdough or no knead bread!).
  2. Spread tuna on one side of the bread and top with sliced cheese.
  3. Place both slices under a broiler for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Remove from oven and top with tomatoes, onions, or jalapenos.

Enjoy open-faced or cover the cheese with the other slice of toasted bread and enjoy!

Tuna Salad on bread with bowl of tuna salad in background

Healthy Snack Ideas

Tuna is a terrific, healthy snack for everyone, especially kids!

  • Scoop it into hollowed tomatoes, peppers, or celery stalks.
  • Or serve it with apples or sliced pears as a side!

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last? 

Tuna salad will last about four days in the refrigerator but will start to develop moisture.

To refresh it, simply drain it, stir it and add a little salt and pepper.

Tuna salad should not be frozen as it will thaw out very soft and mushy. But it’s so easy to make, why not just make a fresh batch?

Tuna salad sandwich cut in half to show inside
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Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad is light, creamy, and full of flavor! Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Candace


  • 12 ounces white flaked tuna in water drained
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • ¼ cup relish or 2 pickles diced
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Drain tuna well.
  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Add on salads, sandwiches, avocado halves, or pasta salads.
5 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 376 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 666mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 176IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Appetizer, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American

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Tuna Salad Sandwich cut in half with writing

Tuna Salad on bread with bowl of tuna salad in background with writing
Tuna Salad on bread with bowl of tuna salad in background with a title
Tuna salad in a white bowl with writing
Tuna Salad in a bowl and on pieces of bread with a title

Adapted from Spend With Pennies


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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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