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This tuna salad recipe is fast and simple to prepare, uses fresh everyday ingredients, and makes the best tuna salad sandwiches or wraps!

If you like pantry tuna recipes, try my 15-minute Easy Canned Tuna Pasta or Sardine Salad.

close-up of tuna salad sandwich stack

Classic tuna salad

If you’re anything like me, you love the classics and aren’t swayed by fancy ingredients. That’s why I think this is the best tuna salad. It’s uncomplicated and everything you expect when you picture a traditional tuna salad from your childhood.

This creamy and crispy, inexpensive, and simple tuna salad is the one you’ve been searching for. It’s incredibly delicious, perfectly balanced, and you’ll feel good knowing what goes into it. Quick lunches will actually become something to look forward to!

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Tuna – I always buy canned tuna that’s packed in olive oil. Sure, it’s a few more calories, but it also tastes so much better and will never result in dry tuna salad!
  • Mayo – regular Hellmann’s is always my go-to for optimal creaminess. You could swap some of it for Greek yogurt, but I wouldn’t omit it entirely.
  • Dijon mustard – my secret ingredient to making this super tasty. You don’t taste the mustard itself; it just adds incredible savory taste! Don’t skip it.
  • Celery – it packs that crave-worthy crunch
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice adds an irresistible brightness
  • Red onions – they’re a mild tasting onion variety and work great in salads
  • Italian parsley – it’s more way flavorful than regular (curly) parsley and adds a punch of freshness to top it all off!
  • Salt & pepper – be generous with both

How to make tuna salad

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

mixing ingredients for tuna salad in a glass bowl

Prep your ingredients. Drain the tuna and add it to a bowl. Flake the tuna with a fork so that it’s your desired consistency. Add in the mayo, Dijon mustard, celery, lemon juice, red onion, Italian parsley, salt & pepper, and stir together. Taste and adjust as needed!

Substitutions and variations

  • I like to keep things fairly classic, but I totally get if you want to jazz it up! Try adding pickles, relish, or capers to give tuna salad a bit more tanginess.
  • Or use smoked tuna for something a little different.
  • Mix in some chopped avocado if you plan on eating it right away!
  • If you love the egg salad/tuna salad combo, add in a chopped hard boiled egg.
  • Zest half a lemon to punch up the lemony flavor even more.
  • Add a dash or two of hot sauce to give it a little kick. A few dashes of celery salt or Cajun seasoning would be fabulous as well.

How to serve it

  • Lettuce and cucumber are what I usually add to a tuna salad sandwich and sometimes tomatoes. Arugula or cress for a peppery bite would also go well.
  • Or make a tuna melt by adding a slice of cheddar and then broiling it for a few minutes! You’d do this as an open-faced sandwich.
  • Eat it in a tortilla wrap, croissant, pita bread, or just make a lettuce wrap if you need it to be low carb.

Leftovers and storage

  • Tuna salad will last up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container and still taste great.
  • Always make sure to refrigerate seafood right after making it and don’t let it sit out on the counter.
best tuna salad in a serving bowl

Questions about this tuna salad recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

close-up of tuna salad sandwich stack
5 from 4 votes

Easy Tuna Salad Recipe

This tuna salad recipe is fast and simple to prepare, uses fresh everyday ingredients, and makes the best tuna salad sandwiches or wraps!
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 (5 ounce) cans tuna (I prefer oil-packed ones) drained
  • 1/3 cup mayo or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or grainy mustard)
  • 1 stick celery chopped small
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons red onion chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sweet relish, chopped pickles (dill or sweet), or chopped capers


  • Drain the tuna and add it to a bowl. Mash/flake it with your fork to desired texture.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Serve in sandwiches (I usually add lettuce and cucumber to mine), wraps, or even lettuce wraps for a low-carb option.


  • Tuna salad will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.
  • It’s easy to halve the recipe to make 2 sandwiches… simply halve every ingredient (it’s probably easiest to eyeball the mayo).


Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 317mg, Potassium: 175mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 267IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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  1. Frank Harbin says:

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe, I used all natural Wild Planet Tuna with sweet onions and sweet relish with the other ingredients in the recipe turned out amazing !

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! 😀 Thanks, Frank!

  2. Stella says:

    5 stars
    This is so simple yet so delicious!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks, Stella!! 😀

  3. Lynnette Seilkop says:

    This is an amazing recipe. My husband loved it.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much, Lynnette! Glad to hear it!

  4. Joan Homer says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I like to use half mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. Like the tang. Chopped Granny Smith apple and some curry powder are great addition too. ❤️

    1. Natasha says:

      Love that!

  5. Alice adams says:

    First time made I loved it, just had with a pile of lettuce and chopped boiled egg. Will be doing more.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!