Classic Tuna Salad

Classic Tuna Salad is the PERFECT combo of creamy and crunchy, made with tuna, mayo, celery, mustard, and seasoning, ready in no time at all!

We’re all about fast and easy lunches, and this month we’re prepping our Classic Chicken Salad, Crab Salad (Seafood Salad), and Macaroni Salad!

Classic Tuna Salad

Classic Tuna Salad is the PERFECT choice for an easy and quick lunch, made out of savory tuna and crunchy celery, mixed with mayo, mustard, and relish, and a dash of lemon juice. I like to make a big batch of this on Friday, so we have quick lunches all weekend.

You can serve this tuna on top of a salad, or on a sandwich with lettuce and sliced red onion. I also like to make this with a side of crackers, or with some Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls.


Tuna Salad will last in a sealed container refrigerated for 2-3 days. I don’t like to freeze tuna salad because the mayo will not defrost well.



  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Apple
  • Red onion
  • Avocado
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Bell pepper
  • Sun dried tomatoes

Quick and Easy Tuna Salad


  • I like to serve tuna salad on toasted bread. This way the bread holds up better and doesn’t get too soft with the moisture from the tuna and mayo.
  • If I serve this on top of salad greens, I like to include tomato slices and extra wedges of lemon for flavor and pops of color on the tray.
  • Hollow out tomatoes and serve tuna inside for an easy brunch recipe that looks like you spent forever making it!
  • Serve tuna salad topped with fresh dill, parsley, or chopped green onions.
  • Hollow out an avocado and add to the tuna salad, then serve inside of the avocado shell.


Southern tuna salad is basically tuna salad with the addition of relish and hard boiled eggs. This recipe already calls for relish to get a satisfying salty crunch, so all you’d have to add is chopped hardboiled egg.


  • Lighten this recipe up by using greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and get tuna packed in water instead of oil.
  • Add spices like curry powder or celery seed to add some variation to your tuna salad recipe.
  • Make this spicy by substituting dijon with spicy mustard, and adding some diced jalapeno peppers.
  • Add healthier fats to make this an avocado tuna salad, by replacing some of the mayo with pureed avocado. Or just add cut up avocado pieces to the tuna salad.
  • For a healthier version, you can also add chopped veggies to this dish. Try cucumber, fennel, or jicama.
  • If you don’t have relish, add chopped dill pickle with a splash of pickle juice to the tuna salad.
  • This recipe is typically made with canned tuna, but if you have fresh you can cook it through, allow to cool, then chop into pieces and follow the recipe as usual.
  • You can use this recipe to make a tuna melt sandwich. Place on toasted bread with lettuce and tomato on a baking sheet with a slice of Swiss or provolone cheese on top, and broil for 1 minute. You can also do this in a toaster oven.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

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Classic Tuna Salad
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Classic Tuna Salad

Classic Tuna Salad is the PERFECT combo of creamy and crunchy, made with tuna, mayo, celery, mustard, and seasoning, ready in no time at all!

Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword classic tuna salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Refrigerate 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 315 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 18 ounces tuna drained well
  • 1/2 cup celery minced


  1. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, relish, pepper and lemon juice to a large bowl and mix well before adding in the tuna and celery and mix well again.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Facts
Classic Tuna Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 57mg19%
Sodium 606mg26%
Potassium 261mg7%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 240IU5%
Vitamin C 1.8mg2%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tuna Salad

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

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  1. I made this today so I could have a tuna salad sandwich for lunch. I used the Wild Planet 5oz cans of albacore and used three of them, so it was 15oz instead of 18oz. I also added one hardboiled egg, which seemed to soak up some of the excess moisture and left it super thick and creamy. It tastes wonderful! This is the perfect base recipe that leaves plenty of room for modification; I added a large amount of dried dill and paprika to mine for a bit of added flavor. The batch is rather large and I didn’t pay attention to that when making it — oops! I guess that just means I’ll be having a lot of tuna over the next few days. I’m not mad about it. 🙂

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