Tuna Salad


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to RecipeJump to Video

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.

More Easy Salad Recipes

Tuna salad on a slice of bread with lettuce.

BEST Tuna Salad Recipe – Easy & Healthy

5 from 106 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
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 below to see how easy it is to make!



  • 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley, chives and/or other herbs
  • ½ tablespoon 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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

You May Also Like

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Perfect proportions, right up my alley! Added a dab of sweet relish. Thanks for the excellent recipe!5 stars

  2. I made this last night but didn’t have any parsley. As I started making it, I had a brainwave and decided to use some celery leaves instead. I took the lighter ones from the inner stalks and chopped them fine and added them in. It turned out delicious!5 stars

  3. I made this recipe as part of your meal prep on a budget and my husband, and I loved it. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  4. Loved it! It was so easy to make, so fresh and you can eat it many ways. I added a little extra Dijon mustard and it was fantastic!5 stars

  5. I have been looking for healthy recipes that taste good. I’m glad I found this. It’s really good. I can’t help but experiment with recipes, so I added a few hard-boiled eggs in the mix, and since I didn’t have celery on hand, I used dill relish. Thanks for sharing this.5 stars

  6. Great recipe! I added fresh dill and parsley, a bit of lemon juice, olive oil, extra dried dill, green onion, and a bit of garlic powder and paprika powder. Absolutely divine! I will start making this once a week for lunches.5 stars

  7. This is good stuff!!  I sometimes add seasoned salt instead of sea/Kosher salt and we love ours as a sandwich with a slice of your favorite cheese lightly toasted in a tabletop sandwich maker. Yum!5 stars

  8. I always add 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced and diced. That’s how my Mom made it and I can’t make it any other way.5 stars

  9. Best tuna salad I have ever had. I will be serving it at an upcoming picnic.

    I added 1/4 lemon juice as suggested in the video and a few Basil leaves since they were next to my parsley.5 stars

  10. Only comment is I mixed all the ingredients other than the tuna.  Then flaked up the tuna and incorporated it into the other ingredients.  Oh yea, I did add a splash of lemon juice.  Ate with boston lettuce leaves which ended up a delicious healthy meal.5 stars

  11. My hubby said it tasted fresh and good. I agreed with him. I added no salt and only 1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper and finely diced Serrano pepper. We had the tuna salad with fresh tomatoes and hard boiled egg on the side. It not only tasted good, but it was a colorful plate.5 stars

  12. YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM!!!!! The only thing missing was avocado and lime juice, but that was my personal tweak. My son added capers. The base of this recipe is AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.5 stars

  13. Simple and delicious!!!  I used a sweet onion.  Red onions give me heartburn 😞 but everything else I followed!!  Defiantly a keeper ❤️5 stars

    1. The nutritional information on my website will always be per serving. For this recipe, each serving is between 1/3 or 1/2 cup!

  14. Recently discovered you on You Tube, and I’m devouring all your videos. Thumbs up for your refreshing approach to food prepping, genius.

    Wasn’t to sure what to prepare for lunch this afternoon. I looked in the fridge and pantry and realized I had all the ingredients, so I gave it a try. Placed it on a bed of lettuce. It came together in record time.
    It was delicious and filling. The celery was a great additional surprise.5 stars

    1. Welcome to the Downshiftology community Michael! Happy to hear you’re loving the recipes so far – especially this tuna salad! Excited to see what you make next :)

  15. Hi! Thank you so much for the recipe! It’s so easy to add what fresh herbs you have on hand, and it makes each salad quite different! Nice for variety in the lunches. All I had was coriander/cilantro, and I put it in a corn tortilla, it was fabulous! Thank you! 5 stars

  16. This is a wonderful recipe. I used Lummi Island’s canned Wild Albacore tuna from Washington State. Your recipe is the perfect measurement and content of ingredients to allow this beautiful tuna to be appreciated true to its wonderful flavor and texture.5 stars

  17. This recipe is absolutely great!
    Tastes amazing, and it’s well suited for breakfast or lunch. I had it inside of an avocado pit and it was the best breakfast I’ve had in a while.
    Thank you for such an easy and tasty recipe!5 stars

  18. Made this recipe for lunch yesterday and my husband said it was the best tuna salad he’s ever had and I have to agree! 10/10 recommend!! 5 stars

  19. So yummy! I like to steam the celery to soften it a bit before mixing it in! We love having it on buttery croissants! 😋🥐5 stars

    1. I soften the celery because it is a texture preference for me. I still love the fresh flavor the celery gives! 💗

      1. Made this for my family and 5 out of 5 people agreed it was perfect!
        And SO easy to make!
        Thank you.5 stars

  20. I LOVE this tuna salad. I’ve been making it weekly for about three months! Thanks for sharing :)5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you love this tuna salad Virginia! It’s definitely a Spring/Summer staple.

  21. I made this today and I’m already restocking the ingredients because it’s that good. Will be on high rotation.5 stars

    1. I made it yesterday and my husband stole the leftovers for lunch today, now I have to go to the store and get stuff to make it again today as well 🤣 definitely going to be a popular one in my house!5 stars

  22. This is the best tuna recipe I’ve ever made! The parsley and red onions really make it a standout. I love it and serve it over spring mix to reduce my caloric intake. 5 stars

    1. Hi Courtney – There is actually about 1.75g of carbs in this recipe, but the recipe card calculates this to be about 1g.

  23. Lovely! We enjoyed this so much with just a tiny bit of chopped pickle. Not sure about the health balance this way but man alive was it good!5 stars

  24. Your tuna salad does deserve the name “BEST Tuna Salad Recipe.” The tuna brand recommendation and the lower amount of mayonnaise were on point. In a daring move, I added fresh tarragon :-))5 stars

  25. I was never fun of tuna and in Argentina we usually eat it with rice.
    Love the combination of flavors. Now I have a simple and healthy way to eat tuna. Thanks4 stars

  26. I made the recipe,I used Miracle Whip instead of Mayo.Used green onions instead of red onions. It was still great. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  27. By far the best tuna salad recipe!  So happy I found it!!  I normally don’t make tuna sandwiches often, but I’ve made this 4x in 1 month. It really is delish!!  Thank you so much. 5 stars

  28. Ur Recipe Is Excellent !!
    It Is Almost Identical To The One I Used @ 42nd Street
    But We Also Added Some Capers And A Drizzle Of White Wine
    Give It A Try…. It Is To Die For Too…..5 stars

    1. Hi there – The ingredients and full instructions will always be listed out towards the bottom of the page in the recipe card.

    1. Hi Suzana – I’m thrilled that you love this tuna salad recipe! Sometimes it’s just those little tweaks that make it the best. Enjoy!