Delicious and so easy to make, this tuna salad sandwich recipe isn’t just quick to prepare, it’s budget-friendly too.
The staple of the school lunchbox, sometimes there’s nothing better than a tuna salad sandwich. When it comes to sandwich fillings, tuna fish salad gets a bit of a bad reputation, but when made properly and packed with delicious ingredients – it’s a quick and easy option for lunch. Wrap it up tightly or put it in a Ziploc bag to keep it together and it’s the perfect lunch for school, work, or on the go.
A good tuna salad sandwich recipe makes the most of the fish involved and has plenty of room for variation. So you can tailor it exactly to your tastes.
Don’t like mayo? Swap for Greek yogurt. Think it’s missing some flavor? Use other condiments to keep the tuna salad recipe creamy, like mustard, sriracha, tomatoes, or jalapeños.
Alongside all the vegetables I’ve added here, this tuna salad recipe is packed with goodness. Tuna is naturally high in Vitamin B12 and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. This can keep your heart healthy, lower cholesterol, and maintain healthy function of the eyes and brain.
Canned tuna specifically is still very good for you, especially if it’s been minimally processed. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and high in essential minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Tuna Salad Ingredients
- Tuna: Use canned rather than fresh for this tuna fish salad recipe. Make sure to drain it before using it.
- Red onion: You can use white or shallots, but red is the best compliment to this tuna fish sandwich recipe.
- Celery: If you’re not a celery fan, you can substitute for cucumber, carrot, bok choy, or even celeriac.
- Cucumber pickle: aka Dill pickles. You can buy these jarred from the grocery store or make them at home. You can also use sweet pickle relish.
- Mayonnaise and mustard: Add them to this tuna salad recipe for more flavor. You can swap the mayo out for a vegan alternative, Greek yogurt, or sour cream. For mustard, I like using Dijon, but use whichever you prefer.
- Salt: season to taste. You can also add pepper alongside the salt for a boost of flavor.
- Parsley: You can use coriander, chervil, or even rosemary for this tuna fish recipe.
- Lemon juice: A staple ingredient for any fish dish, lemon will give a new depth of flavor to the classic tuna salad sandwich.
You’ll also need two slices of your favorite bread. I like to use wholewheat. But you can use any bread of your choosing – multigrain, sourdough or classic white are the best options for tuna salad.
You’ll also need some lettuce leaves or other leafy greens. This keeps your tuna salad sandwich from getting soggy.
Best Canned Tuna for Tuna Salad
For the best tuna sandwich, try to pick out high-quality canned tuna. The best is olive oil-packed tuna, but you can also use tuna packed in water or in brine. You can also use Albacore tuna or yellowfin tuna.
How to Make Tuna Salad
For the best tuna salad recipe, start by chopping up all the ingredients finely – around bite-sized pieces for easy mixing. Drain the tuna from the cans. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna and the veggies, together with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Mix to incorporate – you will have a creamy salad.
Tuna Salad Variations
Tuna salad recipes are so versatile, that you can swap ingredients in and out to tailor them to your tastes. Some of my favorite ways to jazz up a classic tuna sandwich recipe are to add red bell pepper, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, or even hard-boiled eggs. Most veggies that you have to hand will complement the subtle flavor of tuna, so feel free to adapt it however you like it.
The tuna mix can be served with a green salad or with chopped boiled potatoes to create a tuna potato salad. Or, serve with avocado, alongside a baked sweet potato, or as part of a veggie bowl.
Of course, another way to serve the tuna salad is to make a sandwich. And the ways how to make a tuna sandwich your own are truly limitless!
Best Tuna Salad Sandwich
To make this tuna salad sandwich, take your bread slices. I like to toast them, but if you prefer them soft, skip this step.
Place some lettuce or your chosen salad leaves on the bread (this will stop it from getting soggy). Add 1/4 to 1/3 of the tuna salad onto the leaves. Add more leafy greens, then top with the second slice of bread. This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches in all.
If you prefer, you can replace the bread with a tortilla. Add the salad leaves to the tortilla, then spoon over the tuna salad and roll together.
How Long Is Tuna Salad Good for
This tuna salad recipe should be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container. It can be made in advance and is great for meal prep.
Because of the mayonnaise, this tuna salad sandwich recipe will only keep for around 5 days if properly sealed in an air-tight container. It shouldn’t be left out on the counter as the mayo can spoil in a few hours.
Can You Freeze Tuna Salad
The short answer is no.
A tuna salad recipe, like other protein salad recipes, uses mayonnaise, which doesn’t respond well to freezing. Whilst it’s, technically, safe to do so, the freezing process changes the texture and taste of the salad itself. The veggies are also prone to becoming limp and retaining too much water during the freezing process – which will make your sandwich soggy. So I don’t recommend freezing it.
More Delicious Sandwich Recipes
- Crispy Chicken Sandwich
- 5-Minute Turkey Sandwich
- Egg Salad Tea Sandwich
- Cucumber Sandwich
- The Best Lox Bagel
If you try this tuna sandwich recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Tuna Salad Sandwich
- 7.4 oz tuna 2 small cans, drained
- 3 oz red onion 1/2 cup chopped
- 3 oz celery 1.5 stalks; 1/2 cup chopped
- 1.4 oz pickled cucumber 1 medium sized; 1/4 cup sliced
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 0.17 oz parsley few leaves; or coriander, chervil, or even rosemary
This will make enough tuna salad for 3-4 sandwiches. To make the sandwiches, add
- 6-8 slices bread whole wheat, multigrain, sourdough, white, etc.
- 6-8 leaves lettuce or other leafy greens
Make the Tuna Salad
- Chop up all the ingredients finely – around bite-sized pieces for easy mixing. Then drain the tuna from the cans.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna and the veggies, together with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Mix to incorporate – you will have a creamy salad.
Make the Tuna Sandwich
- Optionally, toast the bread slices.
- Place some lettuce or your chosen salad leaves on the bread (this will stop it from getting soggy). Add 1/4 to 1/3 of the tuna salad onto the leaves. Add more leafy greens, then top with the second slice of bread. Enjoiy!
- This tuna salad recipe should be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container. It can be made in advance and is great for meal prep. Because of the mayonnaise, this tuna salad sandwich recipe will only keep for around 5 days if properly sealed in an air-tight container. It shouldn't be left out on the counter as the mayo can spoil in a few hours.