I never get tired of an excellent tuna salad recipe, and of the hundreds of versions I’ve made, this version is the best. Serve on toast, crackers, a bed of greens, or grilled as a very delicious tuna melt.

A tuna salad sandwich on toast.

No matter how you mix it, making tuna salad at home is one of the easiest, most satisfying meals you can whip up from pantry ingredients

Start with my recipe and enjoy it just as it is, or throw in your own favorite must-haves. It’s ready in minutes and always handy to have when hunger strikes.

A tuna salad sandwich on toast.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Tuna salad instructions
  4. Tuna melt instructions
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. The Best Tuna Salad Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Tuna salad ingredients in a bowl and labeled.

Ingredient notes

  • Tuna: I prefer tuna packed in water with a dolphin-safe label. I usually buy cans, but you can use packets instead. Or, substitute oil-packed tuna (feel free to decrease the amount of mayonnaise if you do). To remove the oil from oil-packed tuna, add it to a fine-mesh sieve, rinse vigorously with cold water, and press with a spatula to extract all of the liquid out of the fish.
  • Mayonnaise: This recipe is heavy on the mayonnaise. Start with ¼ cup if you prefer and add more to taste.
  • Sweet pickle relish: Or substitute dill relish or minced dill pickles if you prefer that flavor.

Tuna salad instructions

  • Add the drained tuna to a bowl. Stir in the rest of your ingredients : Mayo, celery, onion, pickle relish, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tuna salad in a white bowl.

Tuna melt instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, butter one each side of two slices of bread. I like a white or wheat bread with lots of toast-able surface area.
  2. Lay one piece of bread in the skillet and top with a thick layer of your tuna fish salad. Top with a piece of cheese (preferably American) and a second piece of buttered bread (butter-side up).
  3. When the bottom bread is golden brown, carefully flip the entire tuna melt. Continue cooking until the second side is browned. Remove and devour!
I never get tired of an excellent tuna salad recipe, and of the hundreds of versions I’ve made, this is the version I make when I want the best. Served on a bed of greens or slathered between slices of your favorite bread, this is the classic recipe that works perfectly for tuna melts, too.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of tuna salad, enough for 6 sandwiches (2/3 cup per sandwich).
  • 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 (¼ olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard, fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or chives and salt and pepper to taste).
  • More mix-ins: Add a small amount of diced apple (Granny Smith would be perfect), 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 night’s dinner? Splurge and make tuna salad with it. Cook it through, then flake it up in this recipe.

More delicious deli salads

A tuna salad sandwich on toast.

The Best Tuna Salad

I never get tired of an excellent tuna salad recipe, and of the hundreds of versions I’ve made, this version is the best. Serve on toast, crackers, a bed of greens, or grilled as a very delicious tuna melt.
4.99 from 681 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 6 sandwiches
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 345


  • 4 (5 ounce) cans tuna packed in water drained (see note 1)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or less to taste (see note 2)
  • 1/3 cup celery finely chopped (about 1 rib)
  • 2 tablespoons red onion minced, about 2 small slices
  • 2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (see note 3)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, relish, lemon juice, and garlic. 
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

Recipe Video


  1. Tuna: I prefer tuna packed in water with a dolphin-safe label. I usually buy cans, but you can use packets instead. Or, substitute oil-packed tuna (feel free to decrease the amount of mayonnaise if you do). To remove the oil from oil-packed tuna, add it to a fine-mesh sieve, rinse vigorously with cold water, and press with a spatula to extract all of the liquid out of the fish.
  2. Mayonnaise: This recipe is heavy on the mayonnaise. Start with ¼ cup if you prefer and add more to taste.
  3. Sweet pickle relish: Or substitute dill relish or minced dill pickles if you prefer that flavor.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 4 cups of tuna salad, enough for 6 sandwiches (2/3 cup per sandwich).
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Mayo-free: Instead of mayonnaise, try making the dressing with plain yogurt or whipped silken tofu. You can also add lemon vinaigrette (¼ olive oil, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard, fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or chives and salt and pepper to taste).
  7. More mix-ins: Add a small amount of diced apple (Granny Smith would be perfect), a handful of thawed peas, or a couple of chopped hard-boiled eggs to your tuna salad.
  8. Lettuce wraps: Tuna salad is delicious wrapped in lettuce leaves or piled on a bed of lettuce.
  9. Tuna pasta salad: Make a tasty tuna pasta salad by adding cooked macaroni, rotini, or your other favorite small pasta.
  10. Stuffed tomatoes: Hollow out juicy tomatoes and fill with tuna salad for an old-fashioned, and super-delicious, lunch entrée.
  11. 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 night’s dinner? Splurge and make tuna salad with it. Cook it through, then flake it up in this recipe.


Serving: 0.66cupCalories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 19gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 516mgPotassium: 202mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 164IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!
Culinary School Secrets
Pro-level tricks to transform your cooking!

Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

You May Also Like

Questions and Comments

Thank you for your comments! Please allow 1-2 business days for a reply. Our business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am PST to 5:00 pm PST, excluding holidays. Comments are moderated to prevent spam and profanity.

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Just made this the best ever tuna salad Ever!!
    I did use white pepper not black and added some dill otherwise followed receipe. Delicious. Thank you5 stars

  2. I can never leave this recipe I eat like 10 tins of tuna a week just because of this. It’s just perfect I recommend this and this only5 stars

  3. My favorite way to prepare tuna salad is with fresh steamed or poached tuna, served on toasted homemade sourdough with a glass of white wine.4 stars

  4. Never had a tuna melt grilled cheese style…only open faced. This tuna salad is the best I have EVER had and toasting the sandwich on the stove. It was perfection!!! It had everything. Crispy, buttery, salty, acidy/lemony, crunchy, and very slightly sweet. It was better than any fancy fish sandwich. Better than anything I’ve eaten in a restaurant! Thank you!5 stars

  5. Just the way momma liked it, If I can say so, it’s just like hers and it melds really well with macaroni, And is excellent on a Ritz cracker, Awesomeness’.

  6. I made this with only one can of tuna, and substituted a bok choy stalk for celery. I’m not a huge fan of celery. It is delicious and a little less tuna-y for my husband who hates tuna, but liked this. Simple, easy, and most of all, delicious.

  7. Nothing left to be said…..Absolute Perfection. I used hot dog relish since it’s what I had in the house. BOOM! I’m convinced that this recipe must have snuck out of a restaurant somewhere!5 stars

  8. I just finished making this and taste tested it. Made a half recipe, used celery seed instead of celery (since there’s no celery in my house, and I have some sensory issues with celery anyways), decided to use about a 1/4 of an apple as a mix-in, and went a little easy on the relish and the onion.
    I must admit I was a little nervous since I don’t like relish or onions, but one taste and I had to stop myself from shouting! This is amazing, and I appreciate all the little tips you give for substitution. Going to have to make this again next time there are hard boiled eggs in my house.5 stars

    1. Wow Lindsey, I am so glad you ended up liking it! The hard boiled eggs will definitely be a great addition next time. – Meggan

  9. Good recipe. very tasty. But ever since I discovered Dill pickle relish, that’s all I ever use in recipes.

  10. This is nearly identical to what I’ve been making for fifty years, with the addition of two hard boiled, chopped eggs. Also, I use sweet white onions, and don’t usually have celery to include. IMHO, the sweet pickle relish is what sets it apart.5 stars

    1. Hard boiled eggs sounds delicious for this recipe, I’ll have to try! Thanks Karen! – Meggan

  11. I’ve never much liked canned tuna, but this combination of ingredients has sent my taste buds to the clouds! I recommend this recipe to everyone I know!5 stars

  12. I love this tuna salad. I did not have celery, used red, yellow, orange peppers instead. Fantastic, I added extra red onions, delish!!! I never thought of adding fresh lemon juice or garlic….perfect!!5 stars

  13. I chopped a bread n butter pickle since I didn’t have relish and it turned out really good! Thank you for the note about Mayo, I’m normally a huge fan next time I will use slightly less than the recipe calls for.5 stars

  14. This tuna salad recipe is the bomb. com!!!! I added a bit more sweet relish and it made for a tasty sandwich!5 stars

  15. OMG! Wow. I always mess up my tuna salad and so I thought I would try yours out. This is fantastic and I did not have any onions so I put in chopped up Apple with the celery and I used seed salt with turmeric and it was amazing I love this recipe thank you5 stars

  16. I made it for a midnight snack! Best recipe so far! I added a little sugar and egg to mine though and it was still so good!5 stars

  17. I discovered that adding a tablespoon or so of sugar neutralizes the overly fishy taste that Tuna often has.

  18. Taste great, I substituted light mayonnaise and it didn’t make any difference still great text I used to love going to a restaurant and having a tune about but all the restaurants I go to have stopped making tuna melt. What’s wrong with these people LOL5 stars

  19. Made this exactly as written- excellent. To bring it up a notch the next time, I added tarragon!! Wow! Just a teaspoon or two will do it. Yum!!!5 stars

  20. Thank you for the great recipe. I’ve made this recipe many times at this point and it’s excellent every time!!! I often sub in Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise because I like the slight sweetness it lends to the recipe.5 stars

  21. Hi Meggan,
    I also made your tuna salad. (canned in water) It is absolutely delicious!! I’ve been trying to get my youngest son Jude (12) to try new things. Processed is almost all he will eat. I made him the stuffed tomato option. I used cherry tomatoes instead. Only to make it less overwhelming. I cut the top with a small knife like a pumpkin. Used a toothpick to scrape the inside and kinda shake out the insides. The tuna salad makes the perfect paste to reapply the top. It’s a very easy finger food. I’ve even served them as hors d’oeuvres. My son loves them!! Thank you so much!!!5 stars

  22. I always use red wine vinegar for tuna melts (swiss cheese, too) I have often found that my tuna fish salad ends up runny no matter what I use in it, I’m thinking it’s the celery? Love your version and will try it this weekend. Wish me luck, no matter how much I drain the tuna or towel dry the celery, it ends up with watery salad the next day.5 stars

    1. Hi Vicky! I hope you love our recipe but if it separates, just give it a stir! I always make it ahead and it’s fine, but now the pressure is on. I hope you love it! -Meggan

  23. Delicious! Added a good handful of chopped parsley and a dessertspoon of chopped capers. Didn’t have pickle relish so used one large pickle finely chopped instead. Then decided to go all out and finely grated the zest of half a lemon. Glad there’s leftovers!!!5 stars

  24. Wow! That is the BEST tuna salad recipe!! Had it on wheat toast with avocado slices and lettuce, yum!!!!5 stars

  25. Perfect! I made it with dill relish instead of sweet because I’m cutting carbs and this was DELICIOUS5 stars

  26. OK. I am just one person with one can of tuna. I cut the recipe by 1/4 but I forgot to read the note about heavy on the mayo. That was way too much 1/4 cup per can of tuna. I don’t even have a 1/4 cup measuring cup. My smallest is 1/3 so I filled it about 2/3 full. I could have used more onion and relish, but perhaps the mayo drowned it out. If I attempt this again I will try 1 tablespoon of mayo and more onions and relish.

    1. Hi Birder, I’m sorry about your tuna. I would definitely recommend starting with less mayo if you’re sensitive to the taste. I hope your next tuna salad is better. – Meggan

  27. I had a tuna wrap from a deli while we were traveling. I have been trying to replicate it for awhile now. This is it!! So delicious.5 stars

  28. Very good recipe. Added a tablespoon of dijon and a some extra celery and relish to add a bit more flavor4 stars

  29. Great base! I added some mustard and mushroom umami. Subbed green onion for celery and a shallot for the onion and garlic lol so I tweaked it a ton but thanks for giving me an idea! My husband is enjoying this for lunch this week!

  30. Best tuna salad ever! We couldn’t believe how delicious it was. A delicious balance of everything. Thank you!5 stars

  31. I am going to try this Tuna Salad recipe.
    However, I only want to use 2 5 oz. can of tuna.
    From the perspective of the tuna ingredient, I am halving the recipe.
    But, if I apply the reduction factor of 1/2 to all ingredients, the celery looks like its being short-changed.
    1/3 Cup becomes 1/6 Cup — how do you even measure 1/6 Cup?
    Also, some of the other ingredients seem to be poor candidates for halving.
    I have always wonder if it is possible to reduce a recipe by some factor by applying that factor equally to all ingredients!
    I suspect the process of reducing a recipe is NOT always a linear one — what do you think?

    1. Hi Ray, I would recommend just using half a rib of celery. Culinary math is tricky sometimes when reducing recipes, so 1/3 of a cup is 16 teaspoons, half of that would be 8 teaspoons, or 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons. I hope this helps! Take care – Meggan

    2. Ray,
      This recipe calls for 4 – 5 oz cans of tuna. If you are using a single 2.5 oz can of tuna, you would have to divide each ingredient by 8! I divided by 4 because I used a single 5 oz can, here is what I came up with, you would have to divide by 1/2 again:

      5 oz can tuna
      <1/4 cup mayo
      4 tsp celery
      1/2 T red onion
      1/2 T sweet relish
      3/4 tsp lemon juice
      1/4 clove garlic
      salt & pepper5 stars

  32. The nutrition content appears to be incorrect. For 2/3 cup of the tuna salad, it’s only 1gm protein?

    1. Hi Pamela, you’re totally right, it was wrong. It was only pulling 4 ounces of tuna total, not 20 ounces (because we had it listed as 4 (5 ounce) cans and didn’t correct it). It’s fixed now! 19g protein per serving. Thanks for finding that, and I’m really sorry. So embarrassing. Thanks. -Meggan

  33. Just made this… it’s fantastic with some key alterations. I was saddened by absence of celery, so I added celery. I also topped the salad with some delicious roasted red peppers. Next time I’ll add some lemon juice and see how that goes :) And maybe a little less sweet. Overall, super delicious recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Veronica! I’m so glad that you added the celery, food should never make you sad! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! -Meggan

  34. I have been making tuna salad for 20+ years. Never have I ever. This is so similar to what I’ve always done. BUT, this is next level. Exactly why I looked on line to see if there was something even better than mine. There is! Yours!5 stars

  35. Haven’t tried this yet but I’m sure going to. I’m also going to try some of the other sandwich recipes. Thanks for the site.

  36. SO GOOD! And if you like spice I highly recommend adding a tablespoon of potbelly hot peppers (it’s a giardinara mix w more like green olives) and it perfects this recipe and adds more crunch. love it on toasty seedy grain bread

  37. Yummmmm! I chopped everything finely, omitted the sweet relish & onions (SO can’t handle the latter), added extra kalamata/green olives & used leftover grilled Ahi tuna shredded! Taking this, (as well as homegrown tomatoes, sliced avocados, water crackers & Brie) to the beach later & can NOT WAIT!5 stars

    1. Hi there, glad you enjoyed it! You can keep leftovers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. – Meggan

  38. Wow really good recipe. I used it for Salmon Coho (not my favorite ) and your recipe came out great! Thank you, Diana

  39. I just made this recipe which BTW was my first time making tuna salad! It turned out Amazing! I did leave out the celery since I didn’t have any on hand and it was still awesome. Put it on some white bread with some Romaine lettuce, tomatoes and strips of bacon. Super fast and easy to make and completely delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Kimberly, the recipe card is in the post and it lists out how much of each ingredient you’ll need. Sorry about that! – Meggan

  40. I gave it four stars because I prefer the dill relish. I also prefer my tuna melt on sourdough bread with cheddar cheese. That’s my preference. If you have never tried it, you might wanna give it a whirl. I’

  41. Am I allowed to say it? FREAKIN’ AWESOME!! Bachelor number 1 here and I love to cook. A simple meal with a simple recipe designed to impress. With a glass of Prosecco……………..ummmmm.5 stars

  42. My family and especially my husband and I love this recipe!

    We like things really zesty and crunchy so we add more of the following ingredients: 2 ribs of celery, 4 tablespoons of relish, extra yellow and red onion, and I chop up two pickles for some salty not sweet flavor (Claussen brand pickles are the best!) I don’t add extra garlic or lemon juice to the recipe though.

    As a pregnant woman, It’s hard to find protein sources outside of the usual chicken and beef. I use the brand Safe Catch tuna and this is just the best recipe and healthy too! Thanks so much.5 stars

  43. This is an uninformed recipe from the get-go. Tuna in water? What a waste: water leaches out most of the omega-3 oils and flavor! Then you say if you buy tuna in oil, smash the oil out through a sieve – whoops, there goes the omega-3’s again. The best possible scenario is to buy tuna in olive oil – dump tuna and oil into the mix, and use less mayonnaise…5 stars

    1. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but my personal preference for tuna packed in water does not make me “uninformed.” It is just my “preference.” I am not eating tuna salad for the omega 3’s and not ever dish has to be maximized for its nutritional value. I do love when people are able to tweak recipes to their own preferences, in your case using tuna packed in oil and using less mayonnaise. Enjoy! -Meggan

  44. You were so rite less than 10 minutes with crackers and or toaster bread filling better the next day children loved it

  45. This was the best recipe I ever made. My 96 years old mother in a low never eat tune in her life. I toasted 2 slices of rye bread 1 slice of tomato and a small amount of lettuce. She loved. She sad, please make more. I hand chop all the ingredients very fine. She asks me what was in the tuna. I sad Tuna5 stars

  46. Wow, your recipe is so awesome. I have never known this recipe. Thanks for sharing. I will try to follow your recipe and I hope it looks delicious as your picture. I will share this recipe for my friends and my family. I think they love it too.5 stars

  47. Delicious. I made this as an appetizer (my husband thought is dinner 🙂) you don’t taste the actual onion and garlic. Very flavorful.5 stars

    1. Hi Tracy, it should keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Just make sure it gets refrigerated as soon as possible after you make it. – Meggan

  48. Love this recipe as it is how my mother made it with one exception: Sub out the lemon juice and use dill pickle juice instead. We use sweet relish to offset the tang of the pickle juice.

    On light toast with some crispy iceberg lettuce…yummy.5 stars

  49. Normally I tinker with a recipe but this one seemed to have everything just the way I would expect right from the start. I was very impressed with the balance of this salad, keeping it for future reference! Looking forward to seeing what else you have! :)5 stars

  50. I usually don’t leave reviews for recipes, but for this one I had to make an exception. This tuna salad is fantastic. I was a little bit skeptical of the addition of the sweet relish, but I had some so I gave it a shot. Delicious. The fresh garlic was also a lovely touch which I hadn’t thought of adding before. Enough savory power, enough zip, just a touch of sweetness from the relish, it really worked. It all came together to create a lovely combination. My kids–who found the fishy smell of the tuna off-putting–loved it. Also, I used frozen chopped celery. I was worried that it wouldn’t come out well with the frozen celery, but after reading accounts of success with it I tried and it was wonderful. Thanks for the delicious recipe!5 stars

    1. Hi Christina, that’s wonderful! Thank you soo much for the lovely comment, I’m glad your kids loved it. – Meggan

  51. This recipe is very similar to the tuna salad I’ve made for years, with a couple of exceptions…
    First, I love good mayonnaise (I use Duke’s), but 1 cup of mayonnaise is just WAY too much, IMO. Only 1/3 – 1/2 cup is needed.
    Second, it has more balance and zip with the addition of 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (regular yellow is okay too).
    Overall very good recipe, but be careful unless you like a whole lot of mayonnaise.

  52. Hi, I love tuna salad sammiches,but I usually only use mayo and relish. I’m going to try it with the other ingredients you listed, especially the lemon juice (fresh squeezed, of course) and garlic.Also, I love to cook salmon on the grill, with a little bit of butter and dill weed, over hickory chips. I always cook a big fillet, and use the leftover salmon and to make this salad with salmon instead of tun. Delicious!!!

  53. I love tuna but I’ve always found it difficult to make just right at home. This recipe is amazing! I use it all of the time! Definite winner!!!5 stars

  54. I like to substitute avocado for the some of the mayo. I’ll also add sun dried tomatoes, finely diced up into the tuna mix. I do not like red onion as much as white onion (which is a little sweeter in my opinion). I also do not add extra salt. There really is no need. It’s one of my go-to meals!

  55. This really is the BEST tuna salad recipe! I usually just throw a little of this and that I to my tuna when I make it and sometimes it just isn’t quite “right”. But this recipe takes all the guesswork out and the result is the perfect tuna salad. It’s worth putting in the fresh ingredients rather than dried— so take the few extra minutes and do the chopping!5 stars

  56. I love this recipe and added a little mustard.
    Does albacore make a difference?
    Thank you.
    Lizzy5 stars

    1. Hi Lizzy! I have honestly never made this with albacore. I tend to stay away from it because of the higher mercury levels, I just love tuna and I’m always eating my limit. So if I eat albacore, that just means less. So I’m not sure! I imagine it’s just personal preference. I love the idea of mustard. I might try some Dijon next time. Thank you! -Meggan

  57. I also add sautéed onions in butter to the melt and sliced tomatoes! Killer☺️. Only problem is turning over😋5 stars

  58. We make ours a tiny little bit differently than this but the most important thing to remember is: buy quality, wild caught albacore. In a side by side taste comparison, salad made with the cheap stuff tasted like it washed up on shore and laid in the sun for awhile before processing. The good stuff does not have that off-putting “hey I’m a fish” odor. 😊5 stars

    1. A word of caution on Albacore. It has the highest mercury content. Best choice is Skipjack, also labeled as chunk light. Even Yellowfin is safer but it’s larger than Skipjack. It’s best to go for smaller varieties.

  59. I’m SOOO glad to see that you didn’t add mustard (gaaag)! I make my tuna almost the same way, except that I add a bit of fresh minced dill when I have some. Also, try using “Duke’s” mayo. It’s absolutely delicious.5 stars

  60. This is excellent! I made a tuna melt with a toasted pita, melted sharp white cheddar, tomato and sprouts. the sprouts give it a fresh nutty flavor. I work on a yacht and will be making this for my crew!5 stars

    1. Hi Mike, agreed. Sometimes the nutrition calculators have values that are totally wacky. I recalculated it within the recipe card and got 264 calories per serving without bread. That’s assuming about 2/3 cup tuna salad, so if your portion is smaller, your calorie count might be smaller. I’m assuming 6 servings per batch. Thanks for pointing that out! So sorry about that. -Meggan

  61. Best over leafy green lettuce with tomato slices. I put it on lightly toasted Oro wheat with buttermilk ranch dressing for lunches. The addition of garlic & lemon put the right touch on this recipe.5 stars

  62. You can also substitute avocado instead of mayo or mix reduced amount of mayo with avocado (using a food processor to mix the avocado with the mayo–or just use all avocado. Another option is to use the mayo that’s made with avocado oil.

  63. I used kalamata olives instead of pickle relish. I don’t want my tuna salad to be sweet. I also added water chestnuts for extra crunch. And I added some Italian seasoning. It was very good! I think the mayo amount is a bit too much so I added an extra can of tuna. Next time I will just use a little less mayo. Maybe 3/4 cup.5 stars

  64. I used Veganaise instead of Mayo and added avocado, serrano, tomato, cashews, and a little bit of mustard and it was FANTASTIC! Thank you!!5 stars

  65. Just made this for lunch and we both loved it. I didn’t find that it needed any additional salt since the pickle relish is already salty, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. I’ll definitely be making this again. Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

    1. Yes! I used to do this all the time, I had a friend from Ukraine and that was his preferred salad. Tuna with eggs. It is literally so good, and I haven’t thought of it in years. Thank you for the reminder! -Meggan

  66. I made this tuna recipe for my family. Now this is the only tuna recipe I make. They love it. Thank you.5 stars

  67. Awesome recipe
    Easy to follow, simple and yet so delicious and nutritious! This will be on top of my favorites now.5 stars

  68. This is soooo good! I added half the mayo and had it with a simple salad on the side & Croûtons. It was delish!5 stars

  69. It looks so healthy and yummy. My son loves to eat so much and ask me make it for her whenever i have free time. It helps to enrich my recipes for my family. not only this recipe, i also love all your recipes. Thanks for your sharing.5 stars

  70. Good tasting – I subbed Sweet Pepper Relish, white onion, and celery salft for the celery and left out the garlic (inadvertently), and it was excellent. Bookmarked.5 stars

  71. I agree with all, except the sweet relish..I detest sweet relish in deviled eggs as well. Both always reminding me that as a boy I had to suffer through what seemed to be many endless Presbyterian “after church pot luck lunches” with my family! What I do is add two teaspoons of Wright’s “Liquid Smoke” with two of the large cans of solid white tuna IN OIL, and mix in well at the end. This addition tastes exactly like “smoked” tuna fish salad, and it’s a very pleasant change,. The upshot of my doing this is that I get many compliments on my “Smoked Tuna Salad”! Try it…for a pleasant change!4 stars

  72. I LOVE tuna salad. It’s my comfort food and I’ll order it anywhere as well as make it at home a good bit. I was looking for a new recipe today because my current one just wasn’t hitting the spot.

    This. Is. The. Best. Tuna. Salad. Ever.

    Trust me. I was worried the garlic might be too much but I used a normal size clove and just went for it. I’ll never use another recipe. This one is incredible.5 stars

    1. Im worried about the relish, but might add some dill, looks yummy 😊 about to make it an put in a soft white roll as that’s all I have !

      Thanks for the inspiration 😊

      Teena5 stars

  73. My wife is catholic and since it’s lent we eat fish on Friday. Being that co-vid 19 has shut down all the restaurants, this was awesome! Thanks5 stars

  74. Trying to find different things to eat during our national quarantine and this recipe really kicks up the tuna fish sandwiches from days past. I used cajun spice and black pepper and served open face on wheat thins. Awesomeness! How do you keep from eating it out of the bowl before you get it on your plate? Thank you for making day 13 lunch exciting and flavorful!5 stars

  75. Started trying to eat healthier and this mostly ticks the boxes for me. Thanks! Any tips to help reduce sodium?5 stars

  76. I added capers and skipped the salt. But what a delicious recipe thanks for sharing such a delicious treat. I’m making tuna melt sandwiches tonight. But I’m also doing a tuna wrap for myself. YUMMY 😍5 stars

  77. Wow, you’ve covered all the bases on possible variations of tuna salad. Not much more to add, except these two ideas: Sometimes I mix in shredded cabbage (sort of a glorified coleslaw!). Also, for wraps, I use tortillas or raw (veggie) wraps. I like to use vinegar a lot and absolutely don’t use any other kind other than balsamic.5 stars

    1. The best tuna salad recipe ever!!! This is the first tuna salad recipe I’ve tried to make. To my surprise, it’s better than then deli!!! I also added it to my regular salad! Now I can save money by making my own sandwiches for lunch!! Score!! Thanks!5 stars

    2. Thank you so much Christina! Such high praise. :-) I’m really glad you like it! -Meggan

  78. Thanks for the tip about lemon juice! I didn’t know that.

    Why not use tuna that’s packed in rice brain oil? You won’t need mayonnaise. I looked up rice bran oil, and it’s very healthy stuff. Tastes good, too. Pour off some of it. I always chop up an onion and stir in some sweet relish.

    This will surprise you: Forget the salad and the bread. Heat the tuna up in the microwave and eat it with a spoon.

    Hot tuna!

    Thanks from Jim Shea in Thailand5 stars

  79. Husband and I tried this tonight. We kept the ingredients as listed except halved the mayo and even then that was way too much and had to add more tuna to compensate. Still, it is an interesting recipe with a crisp, fresh-feeling, fresh-tasting crunch that I think we are going to keep around for a while.5 stars

  80. I have never been able to make good and tasty tuna salad. Never! This recipe is exactly what I’ve been trying to do. It is absolutely delicious. It has all the right taste bud flavors. I seasoned it a little Cajuny, so it lights up and pleases. So tasty!!! Thank you fir this recipe. My search is over.5 stars

  81. Great recipe! I had way too much tuna on hand and I love how you even mentioned what to do if you only have oil-packed tuna and your tips of how to adjust the tuna salad recipe to personal tastes. Overall, great recipe and great suggestions! Thanks!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Amy, I definitely have. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to chop veggies. I do like the crunch though, and the flavor. If you don’t want to use them, just omit them entirely (you will obviously have less salad overall) or you could replace them with something you DO like, such as carrots? It sounds weird but I’ve tried it, I like it. Or just nothing. You could also add in hard-boiled eggs if you’re feeling crazy. But just leave out whatever you don’t like! Thanks. -Meggan

    2. Hi Joanne, we have no idea why Amy was thinking of leaving those out (she hates them? allergies? who knows). -Meggan

    3. Yes I have and it was great..just not a heavy crunch. I dont like the onions and celery either. And it was still good to me. Had a light crunch from the sweet relish. I also added a little honey mustard to mine for a little extra flavor.5 stars

    4. Yes. I added eggs, honey mustard and extra sweet relish for crunch. I dont like those either. I ommitrd the garlic as well. It was really good on a sandwich and I ate some chips with it.5 stars

  82. Hello,

    How long can the Tuna Salad last in the fridge? I would like to use this for lunch meal prep.

    Please let me know

    Thank you5 stars

    1. Hi Kazekage, 4 days at the most. That’s the standard CDC amount of time for leftovers. The texture might also change a little bit after a few days. So as far as food safety goes, 4 days yes. But as far as your personal taste, you’ll have to see if you still like it at Day 3 and 4! I have never had a problem but everyone is different. It’s a great meal-prep idea. Thanks! -Meggan

  83. Hi Meggan!

    This tuna salad recipe looks so yummy! My tuna salad usually comes out different each time because I just throw a bit of this and bit of that, each time.

    I’m going to have to actually make THIS recipe because it looks divine!

    I also wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe on my “49 Easy, Healthy and Nut-Free School Lunch Ideas” post round-up, with full credit back to you and your wonderful website.

    Thanks for sharing such a great recipe with us!
    -Cherelle5 stars

  84. Excellent recipe, still don’t understand why every single recipe online has to jibber jabber for fifteen minutes before getting to the point, list the ingredients and quantities first then put your big ol’ spheel after because I’ll already have my browser closed and be eating by then.5 stars

    1. Hi Bob, you should ALWAYS look for a “jump to recipe” button at the top of every recipe website you go to. Most sites (such as mine) have them, so it saves you the trouble of scrolling. It takes you right to the recipe. As for why we jibber-jabber, that’s how we make money. So just look for that button! Sorry for the trouble. -Meggan

  85. I add as much celery as tuna practically as I <3 celery. I use a lot of relish but prefer Cain's Tangy Dill Relish instead of sweet, and use Old Bay Seasoning as it already has paprika in it. I use white onion as that's what is always on hand. I add extra lemon juice and lots of fresh ground pepper, but have never tried adding garlic … hmmm.5 stars

  86. Awesome recipe! I was looking to jazz up my standard tuna,mayo, boiled egg, and relish recipe and this is it. The lemon,red onion and garlic just give it something extra that my go to recipe did not have. I also added celery salt instead of celery I like the flavor of celery just not the celery itself. Does that even make since? LOL Thanks!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much Jennifer! Yes, that makes sense about the celery. Celery can take a lot of effort to eat! :D -Meggan

  87. I usually make tuna salad as side dish in my busy day. That’s great you share tips and a lot recipe for canned tuna, thanks so much.5 stars

  88. Tuna Salad is great! It is a perfect combination, I always love fish, they are always on my menu. added Tuna Salad to the menu for the weekend. Thank you for sharing the recipe to do it5 stars

  89. Best. tuna. salad. EVER! I can’t wait to try the tuna melt recipe. I sampled the final product before adding salt and pepper and it was perfect… I added the salt and pepper and tasted it again. I died and went to heaven. Thanks for the awesome recipe!5 stars

    1. Thanks Brian! I love that you think it is the best! Maybe I should put ‘ever’ at the end of the recipe title? :D Thanks for your feedback! -Meggan

  90. I followed your instructions. It is really delicious and fragrant. a special recipe, only a little celery, I don’t seem to fit its taste5 stars

  91. The ingredients are on point but the bread is completely too burnt for my liking. I honestly wouldn’t even have use that bread for the picture , it throws the whole mouth watering idea off. Yet I’m sure it taste good just wayyyyy to burnt to sell to the public.5 stars

    1. The photographer that shot this recipe for me was fired in January. It’s on my list to reshoot, so hopefully soon I can get this fixed. Thank you, sorry about that! -Meggan

  92. This is the basic recipe I have always used but I add 2or 3 chopped hard boiled eggs, lemon juice and finely chopped red and green pepper!5 stars

  93. 1 Cup of mayonnaise is way too much. I had to add another 5 oz can of tuna into the mix just to make it reasonable, and even then it was too much mayonnaise. I suggest people start with half a cup of mayonnaise and adjust accordingly.4 stars

  94. Your ingredients/proportions worked out fine….love tuna salad.  But I love as a sandwich.  In the store debating between french bread and potato rolls????  This time went with the soft and chewy potato rolls.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Robert! That means a lot. I love it too so it always makes me happy when someone is willing to try it. :D -Meggan

  95. FOUNDATION TO A GREAT RECIPE. I’m admittedly a bit obsessive about following a recipe to the letter the first time I try it (to be as objective as possible in my review), but it’s rare that I have all ingredients on hand to do so. This time I did. and went for it. One cup of mayo sounded like too much, but given all the positive reviews, I just threw it in. I should have gone with my gut and started with half that amount and added more if necessary–with the full cup, it looked like a mayo soup. Fortunately I had a six-ounce can of tuna on hand to mix in. With that, the consistency was just right for my taste.

    With extra tuna salad, I split the batch into two before seasoning. One I seasoned with salt & pepper per the recipe, the other I used Old Bay seasoning (and also added two diced hard-boiled eggs). Both were excellent, but will go with less mayo, Old Bay and eggs as my permanent go-to. Thanks for sharing this!5 stars

  96. Hi,

    This was great. It taste like a deli-style tuna sandwich with rye. It taste fresher and better. Instead, I used a quarter of squeezed lemon to replace of the lemon juice. Also, Albacore. Thank You for this fresh receipe.5 stars

  97. Girl, tuna never gets old! This recipe is really good. I make my own mayo to keep the sodium down. I had NO idea Hellman’s was so salty! Keep the recipes flowing, thanks for this classic! 5 stars

  98. Yum! Gotta have that pickle on the side when having a tuna sandwich! I used a dill pickle instead of sweet for the relish (personal preference), but it was delicious! What kind of pickles do you usually prefer? I like Bubbies because they don’t use vinegar in their brine. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Hi Sam! I’m super delinquent in replying to your comment. I ADORE Bubbies products, I always have the kraut in my fridge. A spoonful a day for gut health at minimum, or it’s the easiest way to add a side of vegetables to my plate without any prep at all. I love the pickles too! So much better than the shelf-stable ones (gross). Do you ever work with bloggers? I love you guys. Have a great day! :D -Meggan

  99. I am probably really late to the party but I love a good tuna sandwich. I am on board with most of this but the sodium content is a bit high for me. I also meal prep my lunches for the week and had to think of ways to keep my tuna from becoming too watery over the course of a couple of days. I borrowed an idea from subway. I use tuna in water but take the draining of the water a bit further than most so that I get the tuna very dry and very well mixed. Their technique is on youtube & it works very well for the water I always seemed to have at the bottom of my mixing bowl.. I also add only lemon or lime, celery and mayo. However, i am experimenting with using both greek yogurt and mayo for the extra nutrient boost. For the yogurt I will try to drain it of whey so that it does not become watery over the couple of days it takes for me to consume the tuna salad. I also add the veggies to the sandwich as toppings. I typically add spinach, lettuce, bell pepper, red onion, shredded carrot & mushroom. For the meal prepped sandwiches for lunch I add a slice of cheese (preferably a cheese with a lower so sodium content and as few additives as possible) & little Dijon to the bread and pack that separate from the tuna. The veggies are also packed separately in either a baggie or reusable container.

    This is a little extra work when I am ready to eat at lunch  but allows me to get a serving of veggies in a D.C. Meal prep my lunches for a couple of days at the same time.

    FOr the grilled sandwich I recently read that using mayo instead of butter works very well. Ive not tried that yet but I’d like to try mayo made with olive oil for this’d technique as it would be  slightly be lower in saturated fat.

    Will definitely add minced garlic to this. 

    One last thing finely chopped dried fruit like tart cherries or cranberries are also great additions.

    I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I love your recipes. However, I do have to modify them for sodium & fat as I am on a weight loss journey. I like the flavor profiles of your recipes. 🙂

    Thank you so much for your wonderful posts.5 stars

    1. Such a great idea! I make curried chicken salad on a weekly basis, I’ve never tried adding it to tuna salad. I’m sure I will love it. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks Barbara. :D -Meggan

  100. Just made your tuna salad recipe. Wasn’t in the mood for bread so used butter lettuce to wrap. May never eat it any other way! Thank you!5 stars

  101. Hmm. Thanks for the advice as I never thought of adding pickle relish
    or lemon juice
    & garlic. It taste Great already…

    Now for the tuna, are there not more omega 3’s in oil pack tuna?

    Well I grabbed my cans of whitefish & tuna as only had that lying around, but just before adding I finally realized that its Friskies tuna n whitefish :-O
    A close call but at least the cat is happy. I’ll have to wait till I get to the store tomorrow so I can be happy :-(5 stars

  102. Wonderful recipe! I am a bit finicky when it comes to tuna salad but the ratios and flavours in your recipe were PERFECT!5 stars

  103. Hi Meggan,
    . I Love a good Tuna Salad but I lost my receipe over the years. I came across yours online and decided to give it a try. I did make a few modifications though. I pretty much followed your receipe as you have it. What I did change, was I finely chopped sweet pickles in the processor instead of Sweet pickle relish. I used the same amount as your receipe called for. I also added 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, finely chopped. I used 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip and 1/3 cup Kraft Mayo, instead of 1 cup of Mayo.
    I’ve been told that this is THE best Tuna Salad I’ve ever made. Thank you very much for getting me back on track with Tuna Salad. Very Sincerely, Teddy5 stars

  104. Hello Meggan,
    I’m old, like really old.  Growing up and until I think like the 80’s all tuna was packed in oil.  Then someone figured out packing it in water.  Now you can buy either way.  I prefer the oil packed as I grew up with it.  I just take the tuna out of the can in my hands (well washed) and squeeze the heck out of the tuna over the sink.  Then I make whatever I want with it.  Like your yummy tuna salad recipe. I think the oil gives the tuna more flavor.  But everyone can decide for themselves.  My grandchildren swear they only like water packed tuna.  But they gobble down my oil packed tuna every time.   I think I’ll wait a few years to tell them.  5 stars

    1. Hilarious, Nora! And actually, I’m obsessed with oil-packed tuna now. I finally tried it. And it makes sense because more fat, and fat is DELICIOUS. So yes. I’m a changed woman. :) I appreciate your comment!

    1. Hi Joe! I like both kinds of relish, glad you made it to your taste. To make a melt, spread butter on two pieces of bread (1 side of the bread). Take 1 piece of bread and place it butter-side down on a pan over medium-high heat. Add a piece of cheese and 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of tuna salad. Top with a second piece of buttered bread (butter side out). When the bottom piece is golden brown, flip it over and cook the other side. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions! Take care.

  105. Just surfing through Pinterest this morning & found this recipe. I got right up & made it (I cut it in half) & love it. I did add a little more celery & relish than the recipe calls for.5 stars

    1. Hi Jen, thanks so much for your comment!! You know, sometimes I add more celery and relish too. I think it’s totally a personal preference on how much crunch you want. I’ve also added carrots which I love, especially when I’m feeding it to my kids. My mother-in-law adds green olives. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  106. I love tuna salad and tuna casserole. I prefer the water packed also, and found it interesting that you don’t like it warm but you’ll make it into a melt? lol.. to me the oil makes it slimy. ;)5 stars

    1. Patti, my mom shares your opinion. No idea what my deal is. :) I think I like the contrast of hot bread with cold salad? Same reason I like to dip hot pizza in cold ranch. There is probably a technical name for what is wrong with me. :)

  107. Erm … I actually do like tuna in oil, Meggan! I like it because the oil soaks into the bread and makes it yummy. I usually try to choose olive oil, though. ;-)
    I really love that you’ve given me a proper tuna salad recipe here. I usually just open up the tuna and slap it on some bread with some mayo and tomato!5 stars

    1. Well that’s awesome, Helen! I do think it is likely that there is a difference between the tuna in oil you’ve had and the stuff in the US. Not positive but it’s entirely likely! And even if it’s exactly the same, I certainly haven’t given it a fair shake. I only ever make tuna salad with canned tuna and the oil + mayo combo seems like overkill to me. But I trust your foodie judgement. :)

  108. I love a good tuna salad sandwich. I often make them when I want a quick lunch. In fact, I have all of the ingredients – I can have this for lunch today :)5 stars

    1. It is one of the quickest lunches around! I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand too. So convenient. Thank you so much!

  109. I like packed in water as well, it’s too rich for me in oil. This is a very tasty sandwich and I have to say I’m a tuna melt kinda girl.5 stars

    1. Like I said… put “melt” on the end of anything and it sounds better. Hot fudge sundae melt? Check. Oreo melt? Check. ;)

    1. It’s never too early for lunch! I’ve always preferred having lunch for breakfast, anyway. :) Thank you for visiting !

  110. Meggan, I am totally with you on preferring water packed tuna. Once upon a time you could only get oil packed tuna, but since I found water packed, I’ve never looked back. I think people think tuna is more flavorful when packed in oil, but I like the flavor of water packed and certainly don’t need the calories.

    1. Susan, I have heard that about tuna packed in oil. Specifically when I was googling something along the lines of “why would anyone eat tuna packed in oil” that was the general feedback. Perhaps because I’m not a big consumer of fish in general, I don’t necessarily WANT more flavorful tuna! Ha! ;)

    2. Personally I’ve always like tuna in oil. I adore the extra flavor. Tuna in water tastes flat to me. Tuna in oil has the flavor I grew up in with my Italian famly5 stars

  111. I was planning to make something with tuna today, but might as well make a tuna sandwich for myself! Looks so delicious!5 stars