Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is a light and fresh comfort food classic. Made with a few simple ingredients such as canned tuna, mayonnaise, onion and celery, it’s the perfect combination of creamy and crispy. Serve this in a sandwich, wrap it in lettuce, or stuff it in avocado halves for a healthy, throw-together lunch.

Tuna salad on a slice of bread.

You really can’t beat a classic tuna salad. As a kid, this recipe was often packed by my mom for school lunches. And as an adult, I often eat it wrapped in lettuce, sandwiched between gluten-free bread or served alongside my flaxseed crackers. I also love tuna stuffed avocados for a tasty, low carb lunch – it’s the best.

It’s incredibly easy to make with canned tuna and a few pantry staples – hooray for simple recipes! So if you’re ever stuck in a lunch rut, having this basic recipe up your sleeve will definitely come in handy.

Tuna Salad Ingredients

All you need for this recipe are a few essential ingredients.

  • Canned Tuna: I prefer wild tuna in cans with water, but any variety works.
  • Mayonnaise: This is your creamy binder. You can use store-bought or make mayonnaise at home – it’s easy!
  • Celery: For that fresh crunch with every bite.
  • Red Onion: Finely diced red onion always provides the perfect savory balance.
  • Parsley: A few tablespoons of fresh herbs really make this tuna salad recipe the best.
  • Dijon Mustard: 1/2 tablespoon
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste
Tuna salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.

How To Make Tuna Salad

To get started, you’ll need to drain your tuna. After cutting the lid with a can opener, press the lid against the tuna and tilt the can to drain all the liquid out over a sink. Remove the lid and place the tuna in a medium sized bowl.

Then, add the mayonnaise, celery, red onion, parsley, and dijon mustard to the bowl. Use a fork to mix everything together, while breaking up any large pieces of tuna. Season with salt and pepper to taste – and that’s it!

Tuna Salad Variations

Not a fan of mayonnaise or want a bolder flavor? Here’s a few suggestions to add some depth to this recipe.

  • Replace mayonnaise with regular or greek yogurt for a lighter, creamier option.
  • Use mashed up avocado if you want to exclude the mayonnaise.
  • Add broccoli rice and turn it into a broccoli tuna salad.
  • Add dried fruits such as raisins, or freshly diced apples.
  • Make it extra crunchy by tossing in diced up cucumbers or shredded cabbage.
  • Spice it up with some curry powder, other spice mixes, or chopped herbs.
  • Squeeze lemon juice as you’re mixing for a brighter flavor.
Tuna salad piled on a piece of bread.

What Goes With Tuna Salad?

While this recipe is great on its own, there’s 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.
Tuna salad sandwich on a plate.

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

Tuna salad tastes the best when it’s eaten fresh, but it can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Because this has fish and mayonnaise in it, don’t leave it sitting on the countertop for too long in room temperature.

If you want to freeze this, the answer is yes! Just place the salad in a freezer safe container and store for up to 2 months. Just note that after you’ve thawed it in the fridge, drain out the excess liquid once more. Then, give it a good mix before eating.

Tuna Salad Recipe Video

While this recipe is easy to make it always helps to watch a quick video (and learn a few tips). Give it a watch below!

More Easy Salad Recipes

Tuna salad on a slice of bread with lettuce.

BEST Tuna Salad Recipe – Easy & Healthy

4.99 from 80 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Tuna salad is a light and fresh comfort food classic. Made with a few simple ingredients it's an easy, flavorful and healthy lunch recipe. Watch the video above to see how easy it is to make!


  • 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley, chives and/or other herbs
  • 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. Then, add the tuna, mayonnaise, diced celery, diced red onion, herbs, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl.
    Ingredients for tuna salad in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  • Enjoy the tuna salad plain out of a bowl, wrapped up in lettuce, or in a sandwich.

Lisa’s Tips

  • If you’d like a creamier texture you can always add more mayonnaise.
  • My favorite tuna is albacore tuna and I always purchase Wild Planet brand.


Calories: 172kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 322mg, Potassium: 173mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 148IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tuna salad, tuna salad recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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169 comments on “Tuna Salad”

  1. Tried this recipe and I love it ! Super simple and delicious. Very good for a quick light lunch when you don’t feel like cooking. I definitely recommend it, I have it has a sandwich which cereal bread. 5 stars

  2. Absolutely delicious!5 stars

  3. Perfect recipe! We make this once a week! Tons of flavor and I’ll never use any other tuna after trying wild planet 5 stars

  4. Our favorite go-to tuna salad. It’s simple & delicious. Can be made one day before for a quick morning breakfast.5 stars

  5. I’ve always been a mayo and pickles tuna salad person but I am converted! This was so yummy!5 stars

  6. What is the serving size? 

  7. Made this today and absolutely loved it! So easy and flavourful. I’ve added green onion in stead of parsley and a bit of lemon juice to freshen it up. Thans you Lisa!5 stars

  8. wow this tuna salad hit the right spot for me its delicious. Thanks Lisa you are a life saver.5 stars

  9. Hi,
    I am just now enjoying this delicious salad. It is super easy and full of tasty ingredients, which is really great, as I am a student in the middle of examination period :D :) .
    Thank you so much and greetings from Czech Republic :)5 stars

    • Hi Barbora- A simple and easy recipe to whip up when you’ve got exams! Hope they went well :)

  10. Dare I say… even better than the chicken salad! I loved it.5 stars

  11. Just made this and it’s so so good!! Really easy to make too so I’m sure it will be a weekly staple in our home. My toddler loved it too :)5 stars

  12. The best recipie for tuna I tried!!!!! I saw your video and inmmediantley went to the kitchen and did it for dinner… We LOVED it!!!!! I used organic avocado oil mayonaise….
    I definitly will try more of your recipies.
    Soooo fresh and so easy to do….5 stars

    • Hi Carolina – Wonderful! So thrilled you loved this class tuna salad :) Looks like you’ll need to try my chicken salad next!

  13. Easy and delicious! Loved it!5 stars

  14. Perfect amount of crunch and flavor- excellent recipe 5 stars

  15. Tried it! And it’s lovely 🥰5 stars

  16. Absolutely amazing tuna salad. I added some diced cucumber, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and substituted shallot for red onion. There is an error in the Tuna Salad Ingredients list, it says 2.5 ounces of tuna. The actual recipe is for 2 – 5 ounce cans of tuna. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  17. Amazing and delicious recipe! Is there a healthier alternative than mayonnaise that I can use to keep it all together? 5 stars

    • Hi Sarah- Glad you enjoyed this tuna salad! You can find a few alternatives written in the post such as yogurt :)

  18. Delicious! Was craving fish salad today. Love your colorful pictures too!5 stars

  19. Just made this and as her other recipes it did not disappoint! I’ve never added parsley to my tuna before but yum.
    I honestly don’t remember what my life was like before downshiftology recipes. 😂😍5 stars

  20. Yum!! Delicious recipe. I added a small handful of dried cranberries and served on toasted bread with spinach. Will definitely be making again. 5 stars

  21. Amazing! I added a little bit of lime to make it a tad tart, and it was fantastic! I am not much of a fan of parsley but I decided to follow the recipe as is, and was not disappointed! 5 stars

  22. Thanks for this yummy recipe!

    I’m getting ready to make it with a squirt or two of Horseradish-mustard – my personal goto!5 stars

  23. Hi Lisa,

    I’m wondering if you have a recipe for gluten-free homemade sandwich bread?

  24. This recipe is HEAVEN! So perfect, so flavorful and so quick to put together. I ate it with pita bread. But Lisa, you did make a mistake – when something is THIS delicious, you must cut the number of servings in half…Thank you!5 stars

  25. Hi Lisa! With the shelter in-place lifestyle we have all been experiencing lately, I have been upping my salad game by making some of your simple and nutritious salads! Today, I made the BEST Tuna Salad Recipe, which was sooo yummy! I wanted to add abit more protein, so added some garbanzo beans as well! My hubby and I enJOYed it on chopped romaine lettuce 🥬👏🏻🍽🐟
    Thank you for all you and sending out a virtual hug, Laura 💗😊5 stars

    • Hi Laura – Wonderful! Happy to hear both you and your hubby enjoyed this salad :) Hope you are staying safe and healthy.

  26. Simply amazing, couldn’t be happier with the result! 5 stars

  27. So full of flavor and yummy! We took your suggestion and had them open faced on toasted bread with butter lettuce. My husband said he’ll never order tuna fish out again and I’m on the hook to make this when he gets a craving (like again tomorrow!). Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  28. Thanks Lisa for again a very yummy, easy and healthy recipe. I was literary done in 5 minutes. I added some Greek yoghurt for extra smoothness and put the tuna salad on toasted sourdough with rocket. Sooooo delicious!5 stars

  29. Delicious, easy and super filling!!! I added some chopped cucumbers for the extra crunch! THANK YOUU!5 stars

  30. Thanks for the recipe! I cant wait to try it! 

    Greetings from Mexico :)

  31. So simple yet so tasty! Never thought of putting mustard or celery in my tuna salad but it made it so much fresher. I didn’t have any chives so I added fresh basil and it still worked, didn’t even need to put it in a sandwich just ate it straight out the bowl and it was such a nice, light change to all the carb based things I’ve been eating.Definitely having again today :-) 5 stars

    • Hi Maddie – The celery gives it a nice crunch and mustard for extra flavor :) Glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  32. just dropping a line to thank you! Thank you for sharing it. I never thought a can of tuna could turn to a fantastic recipe like this!!5 stars

  33. Love all of your recipes, Lisa – especially this one! I usually eat this on bread, or scooped into a red bell pepper. Here to support so you can continue making wonderful recipes! Favorite food blogger!! 5 stars

    • Aww, thanks so much! I’m thrilled you’re loving all of my recipes. I truly appreciate the support! And I love that you stuffed the tuna salad into a red bell pepper. Such a great combo. :)

  34. Excellent recipe! As all your creations. Lisa you are wonderful and you deserve much more than a quick review 💕5 stars

  35. Lisa, thanks for reminding me how delicious tuna salad can be. I had gotten lazy and was just adding mayonaisse most of the time. Adding fresh herbs, onion and mustard took it to awhole other level!5 stars

  36. I’ve literally made this 2 days in a row! Delicious! The only thing I did differently was I added white vinegar (it’s a Sicilian thing ;). I don’t know why I never thought to add mustard? But bravo 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Best tuna salad I’ve ever had ❤️ Thank you for your content! 5 stars

    • Yay, I’m so happy you loved the recipe Allie! The Dijon mustard really does add that special touch. And I’ll have to try it with a little vinegar next time as well. We all learn from each other! :) x

  37. Delicious and the addition of celery is a must – makes it fresh and gives it a bit of texture!5 stars

  38. I did not have celery so I substituted with grated carrots instead, yellow onions instead of red and I used dried herbs de Provence. Still turned out great!5 stars

    • Hi Heena – This recipe is definitely very customizable, so I’m glad it turned out great with the carrots and yellow onion!

  39. Perfect and full of flavor! I put mine on a slice of toasted Ezekiel bread and butter lettuce. Also, my kids loved it! 5 stars

  40. Delicious, nutritious and quick. Thank you Lisa! 5 stars

  41. Thank you so much! This was delicious! I inadvertently left out the mustard (and substituted cucumbers for celery) and it was still really tasty!5 stars

  42. Delicious!  I just had it for lunch on half of an avocado.I5 stars

  43. Looks damn tasty. I am loving it. Your articles are really awesome and cool to be frank. it makes me crave and make my mouth water! Keep sharing much more cool content often. Cheers to you

  44. Easy and delicious. Ran out of celery so had to sub with apple instead, still tastes awesome. :)5 stars

  45. Okay this truly does look like the ultimate tuna salad! Your photography is so beautiful too!5 stars

  46. this is such an easy recipe! Thanks for sharing5 stars

  47. Enjoy it in a Sandwitch, as a dip or as a Salad. Always super yummy.5 stars

  48. I add chopped black olives, grated swiss and cheddar, grated carrot and a little more dijon to my tuna salad. 
    I cannot thank you enough for all your recipes! I look forward to your videos each week.

  49. What a perfect combo of textures and flavor! I love tuna already, and you just took my tuna game up a notch. Thank you for the great recipe!5 stars

    • Hi Candice- So glad you’re loving all the flavors in this recipe! Definitely one to keep on hand to dress up your canned tuna :)