Italian Tuna Salad


A bright and balanced Roman-style tuna salad with crisp celery, Castelvetrano olives, and sundried tomatoes.

Roman-Style Tuna Salad

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
6 servings

This Italian tuna salad combines oil-packed jarred tuna, sundried tomatoes, red onions, juicy olives, and celery, all tossed in a lemony honey mustard dressing. This recipe is a perfect example of how a handful of pantry ingredients can become a meal that sings. It all comes together in 20 minutes and is a great recipe to make ahead for a week of lunches.

This salad is full of flavors and textures. The crisp celery and quick pickled red onions, briny Castelvetrano olives, and vibrant sundried tomatoes accentuate the tuna. The salad is brought into balance with the dressing with added savory and brightness and a touch of sweetness. A fresh basil garnish gives the whole salad an herbal lift.

The recipe calls for oil-packed jarred tuna but oil-packed canned tuna would work as well. It will be a bit drier than the jarred version so be sure to add a little olive oil to it before adding it to the salad.


  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 3 6.7-ounce jars oil-packed tuna (such as Tonnino), drained and flaked into large pieces

  • 1 6.7-ounce jar pitted Castelvetrano olives, drained and roughly chopped (about 1 cup

  • 1 8 1/2-ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and roughly chopped (about 1 packed cup)

  • 3 large celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1/2 cup  loosely packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (from 1 [1/2-ounce] package)


  1. Place onion in a small bowl, and add red wine vinegar; set aside.

  2. Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large bowl. Fold in tuna, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, celery, and basil. Drain onions, and fold into tuna mixture. If serving immediately, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over tuna salad, folding to coat. (Alternatively, cover tuna salad, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, folding to coat just before serving.)

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