Savory, fresh and delicious, this nutritious tuna salad is packed with protein and goes a little lighter on the mayo!
Filled with fresh dill, crunchy celery and a handful of other tasty add-ins, it's terrific enjoyed on its own, in a sandwich, or over greens!
Tuna Salad, a Crave-Worthy Pick-Me-Up
Tuna salad is one of those foods that I find myself getting intense cravings for when I need a little boost of good protein.
And here's the thing that's kind of funny to me about this: while I do enjoy fish, it isn't necessarily my favorite food—the same goes for mayo!
So the fact that I absolutely LOVE tuna salad as much as I do is sort of an interesting thing to me.
But I guess it goes to show how complex our palates are and how perhaps it's the little details that make a difference when it comes to why we adore certain things.
I've been making this particular tuna salad recipe for years now, and I rarely ever deviate from it. It's that good!
It's a riff off of the one that I remember my mom making whenever she'd whip one up; and honestly, I really do think that it's all the little fresh and crunchy add-ins—those bells and whistles—that make me love this particular salad as much as I do.
Without them, tuna salad just wouldn't be the same for me, and wouldn't be nearly as delicious (and crave-worthy!) as it is!
A Fresh and Flavorful Tuna Salad Recipe
I'll admit that my tuna salad recipe has a few more ingredients in it than a classic “tuna and mayo” version; but these fresh, flavorful and crunchy ingredients are what make this tuna salad the best tuna salad recipe, at least in my book.
I love the flavor of fresh herbs, so I chop up some fresh dill, and add that in—huge flavor boost!
I also love the sweet-spiciness of a little touch of very finely minced red onion, as well as some finely diced crunchy celery; so those tasty ingredients get tossed into my prep bowl as well.
And for even more flavor, I add a touch of either yellow mustard or Dijon mustard, plus a kiss of lemon zest, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.
Because I'm not a big fan of what I consider too much mayo, I keep my tuna salad on the lighter side, which makes this a slightly lower-calorie and lower-fat tuna salad recipe—bonus!
The combination of fresh, flavorful and crunchy add-ins give an otherwise typical tuna salad a big flavor pop with a bit of a kick and some extra texture—a total must for me and my tastebuds!
Plus, this salad makes for the best tuna salad sandwich!
Just add a bed of fresh lettuce and some sprouts or micro greens onto some rustic bread or a toasted “everything” bagel, and you've got an incredibly satisfying and healthy meal.
How to Make Tuna Salad, My Way:😉
- Add your favorite variety of tuna (mine is solid white albacore tuna packed in water) to a bowl after draining it very well of the water (or the oil) it was packed in.
- Add in your mayo, your mustard, your fresh dill (or your favorite herb—chives are great, too), your red onion, the lemon zest, and some salt and pepper.
- Carefully fold all the ingredients together until well-combined; and either enjoy immediately, or keep in a covered container in the fridge for future use on sandwiches, crackers, over greens, or even with nothing more than a spoon!
Tips & Tidbits for Tuna Salad:
- Choose your favorite variety of tuna: My personal favorite is solid white albacore tuna packed in water; I also use chunk light tuna (in water) as well, but feel free to use your favorite.
- Fresh herbs for flavor: Fresh dill is wonderful with fish, but other delicious and complementary herbs include chives, parsley, thyme, or even cilantro.
- A hint of mustard: Typically, I use a bit of yellow mustard because I happen to like the intensity of it; but Dijon mustard is really tasty as well—or even whole grain mustard, which happens to be my hubby's fave in tuna salad!
- Ways to enjoy tuna salad: I like to enjoy my tuna salad in sandwich form on a toasted bagel or on rustic bread; but it's mighty tasty scooped up with “everything” pretzel thins (from Trader Joe's!) or crackers, or enjoyed over fresh greens, or even on its own.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
• 2 (5 ounce / 142 grams) cans no-salt-added solid white tuna in water, drained very well
• ¼ (scant) cup finely diced red onion
• 2 large ribs celery, finely diced
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
• ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon real mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon yellow, Dijon, or whole grain mustard
• ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• ½ teaspoon lemon zest
• ¼ teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch
-In a medium bowl, combine the well-drained tuna with the remainder of the ingredients, and mix well; keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Cook's Note: This post has been updated with even more love! And new photos!