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
5 from 14 votes

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.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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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. 🙂

  2. This tuna salad was really good. I mixed it up to make tuna salad wraps for lunches during the week. I used light mayo and dill pickle relish in place of sweet relish just for personal preference. I then grabbed a low carb high fiber wrap and put fresh spinach, tomato and this yummy tuna salad on it and rolled it up. Delicious, filling and healthy lunch!

  3. I’ve come to learn that the “classic” version of most recipes is the best bet. This is no exception. If you want regular tuna salad, that tastes like tuna salad, this is it. Being a caveman, I didn’t finish reading the directions and just slopped all the ingredients a bowl. It takes a little more mixing, but I’d venture to guess it didn’t change the end result THAT much. Very simple to make.

  4. This sounds like a large amount for 4 servings. What size are the servings? I’m trying to make this recipe to serve 15, and it would call for 68 oz of tuna. Is that correct?

    1. 18 ounces of canned tuna excluding the liquid would be more than 4 standard size cans (5 oz) of tuna. That’s crazy.

      1. I made this recipe to be used mainly for sandwiches for a meal. I took into consideration that a meal is usually 6 ounces of meat so that’s why the amounts are listed as such. Feel free to adjust to your liking.

  5. Made this tonight as I liked all the dressing ingredients. Very tasty! Heads up! I used 3 – 5oz ( use to be 6oz) cans of Starkist; recipe calls for 18oz. To avoid a wet tuna salad, either use less of the dressing or add another 5 oz can.

  6. This tuna salad recipe reads so delicious… but I have another question for you. My husband bought white pepper recently to use for a chicken recipe that came out so delicious.. well… I’m not so great with spices… just adding them to foods/recipes, the quantity and the right spice for the right recipe…. and I am now out of black pepper til grocery day… Could white pepper be used on this tuna salad recipe and work out or what else could it be used on just to be able to use it?
    I enjoy reading all of your entries to my e-mail and am So Grateful you are out there to help us that aren’t so savvy…. so to speak…. with spice abilities…. Thank you so much Sabrina, and a Happy blessed New Years to you and yours!

  7. This would be great to have for lunch but I’m really going to love it as a snack with celery sticks and midget pickles!

  8. This tuna salad looks so creamy and delicious. Tuna salad is my kid’s favorite salad. I should make it for him!

    1. I’ve been making my tuna salad with relish since I was a kid, my grandmother always put relish and red onion in the tuna she made us ,with albacore white tuna in water. I can only eat tuna salad if it’s made this way.

  9. Thank you for this receipts, I’m not to much of a cook. But this i can do. Some thing easy. Thanks.?