Classic Tuna Salad

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A classic tuna salad recipe is one of my go-to easy lunches. Flaky tuna is mixed with crisp celery, onions, dill pickles, and a creamy mayo dressing.

Perfect for tuna salad sandwiches or creamy tuna melts with some coleslaw on the side!  Whip up a salad or sandwiches or even scoop it into half an avocado for a fancy (and low carb) dish!

Tuna Salad sandwiches in a tray

How to Make Tuna Salad

Tuna is a great protein that requires very little prep making it the perfect addition to tuna casserolestuna macaroni salads or even just to top a bed of lettuce! Because it’s so easy to make, tuna fish is a great lunch recipe!

  1. TUNA Drain a can of flaked tuna in water. Albacore tuna has the freshest flavor, any brand will do as long as it’s packed in water. Put the tuna into a bowl and use a fork to gently separate the pieces.
  2. ADD-INS Add diced celery, chopped dill pickles (or sweet relish if you prefer), sliced green onion and mix well. These all add great flavor and crunch, you can add in your own favorite including sweet dill pickles or diced cucumber!
  3. DRESSING Gently fold in the mayonnaise, the Dijon, and lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and keep chilled!

If you’ve got fresh herbs on hand, add them in! Don’t be afraid to add a dash of your favorite spice mix. I like to serve tuna salad sandwiches on whole wheat bread or a darker loaf like rye. It’s also delicious on croissants like shrimp salad!

Calorie Cutting Tip: If you’d like to cut some of the calories, replace some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.

Tuna Salad ingredients in a bowl

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

If it doesn’t get eaten up first because it really IS that good, tuna fish salad will keep in the fridge for a few days. Because it has fish and mayonnaise in it, be careful to not leave it out on the counter for too long.

Make that tuna fish sandwich and put the tuna salad back in the fridge in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible! The best tuna salad is fresh and safe to eat!

To Freeze

Tuna salad can be frozen, but may need to be drained after it is thawed out. Celery & pickles will lose some of their crunch so you might like to add a bit extra upon defrosting.

Tuna Salad mixed in a bowl with bread next to it

More Easy Salads

Did you love this Tuna Salad recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Tuna Salad sandwiches in a tray
4.87 from 43 votes
Review Recipe

Tuna Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This easy tuna salad recipe is perfect in tuna salad sandwiches or next to some coleslaw!


  • 12 ounces white flaked tuna in water, drained
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 dill pickles finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  • Drain the tuna well.
  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Use to top a salad, in sandwiches or to add to pasta salads.

Recipe Notes

Tuna salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
Stir and add some salt & pepper to refresh flavors. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 366, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 783mg, Potassium: 208mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 210IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1.6mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best tuna salad recipe, how to make tuna salad, tuna salad, tuna salad sandwiches
Course Fish, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
top view of Tuna Salad Sandwiches with writing
Tuna Salad sandwiches on a plate with writing
top view of Tuna Salad sandwiches on a plate with writing


Tuna Salad sandwiches on a plate with a title
ingredients and a plated Tuna Salad sandwich and a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. This sounds delicious! I’m in the UK and was wondering if gherkins are almost the same as dill pickles? We don’t have dill pickles here! Also can we use spring onions instead of green onions? Also something we don’t really get here. Myself and many other brits would love it if most of the recipes on Pinterest weren’t solely aimed at Americans or gave us alternative ingredients that we can source here.
    Many thanks.

    1. Gherkins are much sweeter, but with a similar texture to dill pickles. They would be a good alternative. Spring onions will work perfectly. Enjoy the recipe Sarah!

  2. I make mine about the same as this regular recipe. I use some 0% Fage’ yogurt and cut down on calories by using a light mayo. I only us one TBS of mayo to three TBS of yogurt and keep the basic ingredients the same. It give the tuna more of tang to the taste.4 stars

  3. curious why you mentioned Mayonnaise as a problem ingredient when leaving the tuna salad out. Mayonnaise by nature is acidic and actually helps prevent the growth of bacteria in the tuna salad. It is a misconception that mayo is to blame if left out in a room temperature. You perpetuate the myth when you accuse mayo of being a problem. I quote: Commercially produced mayonnaise, does not need to be refrigerated, according to the report. Food scientists find it’s because mayo undergoes strict testing and “its acidic nature slows the growth of the bacteria associated with food-borne illnesses,” according to NPD Group.

  4. I like to put the drained tuna in my small food processor. It does a great job of making the tuna easy to mix with the other ingredients plus giving it a light and airy texture. I also use sweet pickles in my tuna salad instead of dill, but this is just a matter of taste. I add diced green onion or diced red onion and chopped boiled egg (I also chop this in my small food processor).4 stars

  5. Holy, I never really enjoyed tuna and chicken sandwiches until I came across your recipes, and I love them now, thank you for opening my eyes to good flavors and delicious sandwiches.

    1. Sorry to hear that Joy, this recipe is a popular one among readers! Did you add the full ¾ cups of mayonnaise? That should prevent it from being dry.