This classic tuna salad is creamy without too much mayo, perfectly-seasoned, and so easy to throw together! It is perfect for a last-minute or make-ahead lunch.

classic tuna salad sandwich

This recipe is…

Nothing takes me back to childhood nostalgia like a classic tuna sandwich! This recipe is my go-to lunch on busy days, and it is great for making ahead too. I know that you all have loved our classic deli-style salads like this Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans or this classic egg salad for the same reasons! Personally, I don’t like for my tuna salad to be overloaded with mayo. Instead, I use just enough to add a bit of creaminess and ensure that everything sticks together. This also allows the other flavors to really shine. Below we’ll walk you through how to make the best tuna salad, and our favorite ways to eat it!

Tuna Salad Ingredients

When it comes to tuna salad, I’m all about keeping it simple! This recipe uses just enough ingredients to make it taste great, but is also doable in about 5 minutes.

  • Tuna – Of course, you’ll need tuna to make this A 5-ounce can will feed about 2 people, depending on your appetite.
  • Mayo – Mayo provides a creaminess to the tuna salad and helps everything stick together. We prefer to use an avocado oil-based mayo that’s full of healthy fats, like this one. If mayo isn’t your thing, Greek yogurt makes for a great substitute!
  • Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard adds great flavor with just a bit of acidity.
  • Dill Relish – Tuna salad just isn’t tuna salad without pickles! I opt for an unsweetened dill relish like this one.
  • Spices – Simple spices like dill, onion powder, and garlic powder add a ton of flavor.

When looking for canned seafood, we recommend looking for a can that has the MSC blue fish label. This label indicates that the product is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, an organization that aims to make it simple for consumers to purchase sustainable, traceable, wild seafood. You can also order wild, sustainable canned tuna from Vital Choice, one of my favorite seafood suppliers!

As far as the type of tuna to purchase, I prefer to buy albacore tuna packed in water instead of oil. Albacore is a variety of tuna with a flaky texture and more mild flavor, which makes for a great end product!

classic tuna salad sandwiches stacked on top of each other on top of a marble board

How to Make Classic Tuna Salad

Since this tuna salad only requires a few pre-made condiments and dried spices, it really couldn’t be easier to make! Just place the tuna in a bowl, and break it up into rough chunks with your fork, then add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir them all together.

3 Ways to Eat Tuna Salad

Though it’s great straight out of the bowl, here are our 3 favorite ways to use tuna salad:

  1. Over Greens – simply dress a few cups of greens with a squeeze of lemon and some sea salt and put a scoop of tuna on top. We love using arugula or mixed baby greens.
  2. Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich – Toast two slices of bread, spread a scoop of tuna on one slice, then top with a piece of butter lettuce and serve!
  3. Tuna Melt – This is my absolute favorite way to eat tuna salad! You’ll first toast two pieces of bread, then spoon the tuna onto one slice of bread, place a piece of cheese on top (I like white cheddar) and put it in the oven to melt. SO good and absolutely classic comfort food!

Tuna salad will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator, so it is great for meal prepping, and an easy option since you won’t need to cook the tuna as you would with many other meals. Just know that it can’t be kept out at room temperature for over an hour, and it will not freeze well because of the mayo.

Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
By Cassy Garcia
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Perfect tuna salad sandwiches, just like mom used to make!


  • 1 5-ounce can tuna, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dill relish
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 slices bread toasted (we like Canyon for gluten-free)
  • Butter or Bibb lettuce leaves for serving


  • Place the tuna in a small mixing bowl and break it up with a fork, then add the mayo, mustard, relish, and seasonings and mix to combine.
  • Store the salad in the refrigerator for later use or enjoy immediately on a slice of toasted bread with lettuce leaves.

Recipe Notes

This tuna salad is also delicious served over a bed of greens!


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 996mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 4mg

Additional Info

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 341
Keyword: classic, dill, homemade, tuna

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never made tuna salad before because the idea of canned fish freaked me out but starting week 2 of whole 30 we needed something prepped for lunches so to the fed and fit search engine I went. This is a great base. We added to taste but really thankful for this classic recipe. Thanks so much!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Nicki!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    2. Maybe you are ready for a big jump in the canned seafood with some Salmon Cakes ( or Salmon Patties) . Yum yum