This canned mackerel salad recipe is quick and simple to make and delicious in sandwiches or wraps. It's a tasty alternative to tuna salad!
You may also like my Canned Salmon Salad or this Easy Tuna Salad Recipe.
Why you need to try it
Honestly, I feel like mackerel is the forgotten middle child in the canned fish family, but it's time for it to get some of the glory, in my opinion. It's a fantastic-tasting healthy fish that adds a flavor punch to your sandwiches! I also like how it's another creative and easy option for a filling, inexpensive, and simple lunch.
If you're thinking about what to make with canned mackerel, try this easy pantry meal. You already enjoy tuna salad, so chances are that you will love this recipe as well. I think it's time for mackerel to get a little love, you guys.
Love mackerel? Try this Canned Mackerel Pasta.
What is mackerel?
- It's a super tasty fish! Canned mackerel can vary a lot in taste depending on the brand. It's got loads of omega-3s and good stuff in it. My favorite brand that I've tried is King Oscar. It's milder and less "fishy" tasting than some brands. This post is not sponsored; it's just the brand I liked best when testing this recipe!
Ingredients you'll need
- Mackerel - this canned fish is inexpensive and packed with nutrients
- Mayo - I love adding mayo to salads for sandwiches since it has that classic creamy texture and a bit of tang
- Dijon mustard - a little Dijon gives it a wonderful savory depth without actually tasting like mustard itself. Don't leave it out!
- Lemon juice and zest - it adds a vibrant touch. I used my Microplane to zest the lemon.
- Celery - for that perfect crunch
- Capers - not strictly necessary, but they just pair so well with seafood!
- Onion - we're using red onion for more flavor and additional crunch
- Parsley - fresh parsley is the easiest way to instantly add freshness to any sandwich
- Cucumber - for more crunch, but leave it out if you're not serving this right away
How to make canned mackerel salad
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Prep your ingredients. To a bowl, add the mackerel (drain it, and then flake it with a fork if desired), mayo, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, capers, red onion, parsley, and cucumber.
- Gently mix together, then and adjust ingredients if needed and add salt & pepper to taste.
- Use your favorite bread to make a sandwich, and add toppings!
Substitutions and variations
- This recipe is very flexible! Feel free to add/adjust/omit ingredients as needed.
- You could swap the capers for chopped pickles or relish.
- Sun-dried tomatoes would go great in here if you happen to have some on hand.
- A couple of dashes of hot sauce would make a tasty addition too if spicy is your thing! I can't resist adding a little sriracha.
What to serve with this recipe
- All of your favorite toppings that you'd add to a tuna salad sandwich will work just as well here!
- I like to throw in some lettuce, tomato, sprouts, or even a slice of cheddar.
- You can't go wrong with pickles or potato chips on the side.
Leftovers and storage
- Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure to refrigerate it fairly soon after making it. If it's been sitting out for any amount of time, discard it or eat it right away.
- We don't recommend freezing this one.
More sandwich ideas for lunch
Questions about this canned mackerel salad? Talk to me in the comments below!
Canned Mackerel Salad
- 2 (4 ounce) cans mackerel drained, see note
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice + zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 stick celery chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers drained & chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons red onion or scallions chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons cucumber chopped (optional, see note)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prep the ingredients and add them to a bowl. Gently mash/stir together. Give it a taste and adjust ingredients as needed (e.g. add more lemon juice or salt & pepper).
- Serve in a sandwich, wrap, lettuce wraps, etc.
- Makes about 2 sandwiches (up to 4 if you don't fill them much). To halve the recipe, use 1 can of mackerel and halve each ingredient (it's fine to eyeball this recipe... it's very flexible).
- Mackerel taste/quality can vary a lot from brand-to-brand. The best one I've tried is King Oscar.
- Skip the cucumber if you don't plan on eating it right away (it'll make it more watery if it sits).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
susan stone says
Excellent recipe. I used Earth Planet mackerel. Also added some finely minced sweet pickles. I liked it without them, but wanted just a hint of sweet. Capers are a really nice addition, and think the lemon peel and parsley really help hide the fishiness.
I'm so pleased it was a hit, Susan! 🙂 I like the sweet pickles idea too.