A Classic Tuna Salad Recipe makes last-minute meals a breeze to prepare. Mix pantry staples with a few fresh ingredients and you’re ready to eat!
Classic Tuna Salad Recipe
This tuna salad sandwich recipe has just enough mayonnaise to bind it together without being overwhelming.
Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and pickles give it brightness and tang, creating a refreshing and filling blend.
If you need another quick lunch option, you’ll love this gourmet grilled cheese that’s loaded with all kinds of toppings.
Tuna Sandwich Tips and Tricks
- Get the most out of your lemons. Start with room-temperature citrus and roll it across the counter while pressing firmly with your palm.
Or, pop lemons in the microwave whole and heat for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Try Greek yogurt instead. The consistency is similar to mayonnaise, but it’s lower in both fat and calories.
Plus, it adds a little extra tang to this classic tuna salad recipe.
- Skip the salt. Canned fish is naturally a bit salty, and the additional ingredients add a little more as well.
I wouldn’t recommend adding more, but at least taste it first and adjust as needed.
- Want to make it ahead of time? Tuna salad with pickles will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Add a little spice. Swap the Dijon for your favorite spicy mustard or add a dash of cayenne or hot sauce.
Chopped-up jalapeños are also delicious but wear gloves to protect your hands.
Obviously, a tuna sandwich is the most common way to eat this.
Choose your favorite sliced bread — whole wheat and sourdough are both delicious — and toast it first so it’s extra sturdy.
Pumpernickel and rye taste a little more earthy and sweet. Or, scoop up mouthfuls of tuna salad with pickles using your favorite crackers or pita chips for something quick and easy on the go.
If you need a low-carb option, wrap the mixture in Bibb lettuce leaves or spoon some into the center of pitted avocados.
You could even serve this classic tuna salad recipe over fresh greens or as a dip with sliced cucumber, carrot, or bell pepper.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Can Opener – It seems like a no-brainer, but a good can opener can save your hands and a lot of frustration as well!
- Mixing Bowl – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
- Citrus Juicer – This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons so much easier.
- Silicone Spatula – These are nice and sturdy, so you can whip up this easy tuna salad sandwich recipe in a snap!
Tuna Salad Sandwich Recipe FAQ
Absolutely! In fact, you can increase the ingredients by any amount to make as much as you need.
Tuna salad with pickles will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to store it in an airtight container, and add a little extra mayo for moisture if needed.
If you want to jazz up your sandwiches, add some lettuce, sliced tomato, and even cheese on top.
Cheddar, American, Swiss, or Colby Jack are all mild in flavor and melt down smoothly if you want to pop your sandwich in the toaster oven.
Some people even like to toss in a few potato or tortilla chips for extra flavor and crunch!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Salad Recipes
Classic Tuna Salad Recipe
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 12 ounces tuna, 2 cans, drained
- 1/2 cup finely diced celery
- 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced dill pickles
- Bread, lettuce, and/or tomato (for making sandwiches, optional)
- Mix together mayonnaise, black pepper, dijon mustard, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until an evenly combined sauce forms.
- Add drained tuna, celery, red onion, and pickles to the bowl and stir with a spatula to distribute the sauce evenly throughout the salad ingredients.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator prior to serving.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published July 2021, updated and republished May 2023
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