Mom’s Tuna Salad

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This classic tuna salad recipe is quick, easy, filling, and delicious.

classic tuna salad with lettuce and crackers on plate

This Tuna Salad recipe is an American classic.

For me, it’s nostalgic and reminds me of lunches with my mom.

Not only is tuna salad high in protein to keep you full, but it’s also easy to make!

Just like other healthy salad recipes, tuna salad should be frequently mixed into your meal prep and plans.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make an easy classic tuna salad. This recipe serves 4, you can halve it if needed:

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans of albacore tuna (packed in water, not oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Veganaise (or mayo of your choice)
  • 3 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (I use Real Salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced celery (from 1 stalk celery)
  • Optional add-ins:
    • 2 tablespoons finely minced red or green onion
    • 2 teaspoons minced dill pickles or fermented pickle relish

Tuna Sustainability

When it comes to tuna, I like to buy from brands that are committed to sustainability. I buy my tuna (and almost all pantry staples) on ThriveMarket online for the best prices and because of their commitment to selling sustainable brands. Here’s my partner link for 40% off your first order for new customers if you want to check them out.

How to Make Tuna Salad

Flaked tuna salad is one of the easiest meals you can make. It doesn’t require any cooking and comes together in about 5 minutes.

Step 1: Flake the Tuna

I like to make this all in 1 bowl to save dishes. Open the can(s) of tuna and use a fork to flake it. Go the extra mile and get it really flakey for that classic tuna salad texture. Add the minced celery (and onions if using) and push it all to the side to make the dressing in the same bowl.

tuna salad ingredients

Step 2: Make the Dressing

In the other side of the bowl, use the same fork to mix together the mayo, relish, salt & pepper to make the dressing. Mixing together the dressing before mixing it with the tuna makes a difference in the final texture and flavor.

tuna salad

Step 3: Enjoy Your Tuna Salad

Enjoy your classic tuna salad on bread, with crackers or cucumber slices, or in lettuce wraps.

Tuna salad keeps in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Grab the full recipe below in the printable recipe card.

tuna salad with crackers and cucumbers
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prepared_tuna_salad_in_bowl_Elizabeth Rider

Mom’s Tuna Salad

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Chop, Mix
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This classic tuna salad recipe comes together in less than 5 minutes for a healthy filling meal or snack. I always make 2 cans because it keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days (cook once, eat 2-3 times!) but you can easily halve this recipe if needed. This recipe makes 4 regular or 3 large servings. Play around with the celery, relish, and optional onions to make it exactly how you like it.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans of albacore tuna (packed in water, not oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Veganaise (or mayo of your choice)
  • 3 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced celery (from 1 stalk celery)

Optional Extras:

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced red or green onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill pickles or fermented pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Instructions

Step 1: Open the cans of tuna and drain & discard the liquid. In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to flake the tuna until it’s all uniformly flaked (about 60-90 seconds).

Step 2: Finely chop (mince) the celery and add it on top of the tuna. Push the tuna and celery to the side of the bowl if possible. This allows the dressing to be mixed in the same bowl to save dishes.

Step 3: In the other side of the bowl, quickly mix the Veganaise, relish, sea salt, and black pepper (and minced onion/pickles/fermented relish if using) to make the dressing, then mix the dressing into the tuna and celery. Adjust salt and pepper if needed (I almost always add more pepper). Serve on cucumbers, crackers, or bread.


Notes

I think Albacore tuna has the best taste so that’s what I buy. I also like to buy from brands that are committed to sustainability. I typically get the Wild Planet brand.

Keywords: tuna salad recipe

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Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life. 

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