Tuna Salad


Serve this classic tuna salad on crackers, atop lettuce, or in a sandwich.

Classic Tuna Salad Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Ali Domrongchai

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
4 servings

Tuna salad is a classic for a reason. This combination of tuna with a light mayonnaise dressing works on a sandwich, in a salad, or scooped up with crackers, cucumber slices, or chips. We like to add a little Dijon mustard to the mayonnaise for the dressing to give it a little bite; if you want even more tang, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in the mixture. Then, mix in your tuna; use either oil-packed or water-packed tuna here. The crunch you get from celery is essential to a good tuna salad. The red onion echoes that texture, with a little extra zing of flavor. If you are looking for extra pops of salty umami, stir in a tablespoon of capers (if they are salt-packed capers, be sure to rinse them first). We stir in some parsley here, but feel free to play around with other herbs. Delicate herbs like dill, basil, and tarragon are especially nice with tuna salad; stir in a tablespoon of chopped herbs instead of the parsley, or along with it. A pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and you are ready to go.

From there, pick your tuna salad eating partner. We’re partial to a classic sandwich with rye or whole wheat bread — layer it between lettuce leaves so the tuna salad dressing doesn’t soak into the bread. We also love eating it atop a salad of crispy, crunchy romaine lettuce or other greens dressed with a vinaigrette; the tart dressing pairs nicely with the tuna salad. You can scoop it up with endive spears or crackers, or eat it from the bowl; this classic recipe goes with just about anything.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 (6-ounce) cans water- or oil-packed tuna, drained

  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced

  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Lettuce, crackers, or bread for serving


  1. Whisk together mayonnaise and mustard in a medium bowl. Add tuna, celery, red onion, and parsley and mix with a fork until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, and serve over lettuce leaves, in a sandwich, or on crackers.

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