The Best Tuna Salad (from canned) and 3 Ways to Serve It


Here is the recipe + video of how to make the BEST tuna salad from canned and 3 ways to serve it for friends and family.

best tuna salad

Can you make canned tuna taste good?

Absolutely you can!! If you add the right ingredients and use the right canned tuna, you can create the BEST tuna salad that almost anyone will eat . I’ve experimented with several ingredients over the past few years, and I have perfected the version of tuna salad that my friends and family love.

Is canned tuna healthy?

Canned tuna that is wild caught is a very healthy source of protein~(20 grams in 3 oz of albacore).  Canned tuna with no added ingredients has roughly 100 calories. It contains vitamins A, B-12 and B-6, zinc, magnesium and a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.

What ingredients are in tuna salad?

Tuna salad can be made with many different ingredients, but most recipes all have mayonnaise, mustard,  and pickle relish.  Some common add-

ins are the following:

  • dijon, yellow or honey mustard
  • finely diced red onion
  • chopped boiled egg
  • fresh snipped dill weed
  • chopped celery
  • chopped apple

How I make perfect tuna salad: tips + tricks.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make what my family considers “perfect tuna salad.” I share them below and explain the why behind them in the video where I make this salad.

  • 2 cans solid white albacore in water + 2 cans yellow fin packed in extra virgin olive oil 
  • finely diced boiled egg salted and peppered
  • lemon pepper (sprinkled in stages)
  • sweet & spicy relish (I share my favorite brand in the video)

How do you serve tuna salad?

 In the photos below, I share my 3 favorite ways to serve tuna salad: as a savory spread to go with crackers, as a salad scoop with fresh fruit, and as a filling for sandwiches.

best tuna salad
Image: Iris O’ Brien


best tuna salad
Image: Iris O’Brien


best tuna salad
Image: Iris O’Brien

Some yummy tuna salad variations.

  • Use half plain Greek yogurt and half mayo for a lighter salad.
  • Use canned salmon or cooked chicken in place of the tuna.
  • Add diced apples (my mom made it this way).
  • Add a dash of curry powder for a unique flavor.
  • Use plain tuna with a splash of flavored EVOO; add pasta and cubed cheese.
  • Add curry powder and a tablespoon of Major Grey’s mango chutney for curried tuna salad.

I hope this recipe is helpful. If you have a favorite tuna salad ingredient that you’d like to share, let us hear about it in the comments. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

best tuna salad

The Best Tuna Salad

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

How to make the best tasting tuna salad from canned tuna.


  • 2 cans (4.5 ounce) solid white albacore packed in water, drained
  • 2 cans (4.5 oumce) yellowfin tuna packed in oil, drained (see notes)
  • 3/4 to 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery (about 2 ribs)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish (I use Wickles)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon honey mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon pepper (more to taste)


    1. In medium bowl, combine all tuna; season with half of lemon-pepper and toss to mix.
    2. Finely chop boiled eggs; season with salt & freshly ground pepper.
    3. Place egg into bowl with tuna; toss to mix.
    4. In small bowl, mix mayo, celery, relish, and both mustards; mix until smooth.
    5. Pour dressing into bowl with tuna; mix until well combined.
    6. Season with remainder of lemon pepper; add more if needed.


* May use 3 cans of water packed tuna and one can oil packed to reduce fat grams but still maintain flavor.

** Substitute fresh lemon juice + ground pepper for the lemon pepper seasoning if desired.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 284Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 84mgSodium 628mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 18g

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  1. I’ve started adding chow chow to my tuna, chicken and egg salad instead of relish.

  2. Beth, I am so happy you like the tuna salad! The lemon pepper really does make a huge difference, as does the Wickles relish. Game changer for sure!!! Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback!!!

  3. I’ve been making tuna salad in a similar way for years but would not have thought of putting lemon pepper or honey mustard in it. Game changer! I love your recipe although I’m not good at measuring the ingredients for the dressing. I can pretty much eyeball it. It’s delicious. I also love the addition of Wickles relish rather than any old sweet pickle relish. I’ve changed the way I make tuna salad with these additions.

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