Homemade Tuna Salad – A Lunch Time Classic!

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A classic tuna salad recipe is an easy lunch and can be made ahead of time for meals throughout the week.

This recipe combines flaky canned tuna with celery, onions, pickles, and mayonnaise for a refreshing and satisfying lunch!

plated Classic Tuna Salad sandwich
  • It’s quick and easy to prepare.
  • Tuna salad is versatile, add in any of your favorite ingredients.
  • A good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • It’s great to make ahead and serve for lunches or with crackers as a snack.
Tuna Salad ingredients in a bowl

Ingredients for Tuna Salad

I love an easy lunch sandwich, from chicken salad to ham and cheese, and this tuna salad recipe is no exception.

  • Tuna: I prefer water-packed tuna over oil-packed tuna as it’s lighter, but you can use any variety.  Solid tuna has larger pieces, while chunk tuna has smaller pieces.
  • Dressing: The dressing for this tuna salad recipe is really simple and uses mayonnaise as the base. Lemon juice and a bit of Dijon mustard are added for some tang.
  • Add-Ins: Diced celery, chopped pickles, and sliced green onion add flavor and crunch.


Vary this salad by adding different flavors and textures. Here are some favorites:

  • Add fresh herbs (like flat-leaf parsley or dill).
  • For extra crunch, try diced red bell pepper or red onion.
  • Elevate this salad with capers, chopped olives, or chives.
  • To stretch the salad further, add chopped hard-boiled egg.
Tuna Salad mixed in a bowl with bread next to it

How to Make Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is so easy and requires very little prep.

  1. Drain the tuna well (recipe below).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine drained tuna, mayo, dill pickles, celery, green onion, Dijon, and lemon juice.
  3. Gently stir them together. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • I like to serve tuna salad sandwiches with lettuce leaves and tomato on whole wheat bread or rye.
  • This tuna salad recipe is also great tucked into large tortillas as a wrap.
  • We love to serve it with potato chips on the side (and I usually sneak a few into my sandwich too)!

Lighten It Up a Little

If you’d like to reduce the calories, replace some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. It will have a slightly more tangy flavor but still be delicious!


If it doesn’t get eaten up first because it IS that good, tuna fish salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

More Tuna Favorites

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

plated Classic Tuna Salad

4.96 from 134 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Tuna Salad

This easy tuna salad is refreshing and satisfying, made with tender chunks of tuna, crisp celery, tangy pickles, and creamy mayonnaise.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Servings 4 servings

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  • Drain the tuna well.

  • In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, dill pickles, celery, green onion, Dijon, and lemon juice. And mix to combine.

  • Add the tuna and gently break it up with a fork. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Use to top a salad, in sandwiches, or to add to pasta salads.

Tuna salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 
Serve tuna salad as a sandwich, over lettuce, or as a wrap in a tortilla.

4.96 from 134 votes

Calories: 369 | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

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

Course Fish, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
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ingredients to make Classic Tuna Salad in a bowl and plated Classic Tuna Salad sandwich with a title
plated Classic Tuna Salad sandwich with a title
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