Classic Tuna Salad

"This is great if you're looking for the perfect recipe for traditional tuna salad. I got it from one of my favorite Cook's Illustrated cookbooks. The texture is perfect and not watery, which is one of the things I've always hated about some tuna salad recipes. The lemon juice also gives it a nice fresh flavor."
photo by limeandspoontt photo by limeandspoontt
photo by limeandspoontt
photo by DeliciousAsItLooks photo by DeliciousAsItLooks
photo by DeliciousAsItLooks photo by DeliciousAsItLooks
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
photo by DeliciousAsItLooks photo by DeliciousAsItLooks
Ready In:
2 cups




  • Place the tuna in a colander and drain well.
  • Shred the tuna with your fingers, breaking up any clumps until it has a fine and even texture.
  • Put the tuna in a medium bowl and mix in the lemon juice, celery, onion, pickles, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley until well blended.
  • Fold in the mayonnaise and Dijon until mixture is evenly moistened.
  • Salad can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Questions & Replies

  1. I print recipes to put in my own binder. WHY must the reason for the recipe by the "recipe by person" be included. It just wastes paper. Please consider NOT having that part of the recipe included in the printed recipe. Thanks
  2. its nice to know acknowlegement is a good thing.
  3. Why does it list red onion but the picture shows it with green onions?
  4. It looks like in the picture there is a tomato in the sandwich, but, not on the ingredients list??
  5. Thank you for taking the time to share this. I make almost the exact same recipe but never had the pepper or the garlic b/4. I believe I will try adding the garlic next time! Thank you again.


  1. Just a substitute tweak (short cut) for you - Use Tartar Sauce in place of the mayo and dill pickles. Hey, it's a condiment you normally use on... fish - right? Tuna, Tartar Sauce and Bread make a great lunch sandwich for work.
  2. A usual recipe...but I am from the "olive oil" packed albacore tuna rather than water packed. The flavor of olive oil packed tuna is twice as flavorful.
  3. I have never heard of using a colander to drain tuna. I use the lid of the can to press it out then give the juices to my cat. Break up the lumps with my fingers and all I get is fishy smelling fingers. Use a bowl and a fork and you get the sizes you want. NO celery, allergic to it and on white bread, not mentioned.... (:
  4. This was quite delicious! I had purchased chunk light tuna before I got home and found the recipe but I enjoyed it immensely! I was a bit concerned that I would not like the addition of lemon juice but it was fine. I also used sweet onion instead of red onion because I seldom have a red onion on hand. I recommend this recipe!
  5. I make tuna salad every week, to pack for lunch. Also, a fruit, a yogurt, a treat of some sort. All that irrelevant stuff aside. When I make my weekly tuna salad, you can find a balance of tuna in water, vs tuna in oil (all drained) to achieve a smooth classic tuna salad texture. I use ratio 2 in water, 1 in oil. Then, you can reduce the mayo. Anyone concerned with calories might find that helpful.


  1. hold the pickles, the garlic, the mustard and the parsley and you'll have a great tuna salad. Add an egg if you want to. Use Hellman's mayo.
  2. Followed the recipe but instead of pickles I used finely chopped jalapeños plus one teaspoon of horseradish- delicious
  3. Suggestion only tartar sauce instead of mayo and pickles.
  4. I like to add chopped pecans, chopped Gala apples, sweet chopped pickles, and mustard. Leave out the garlic, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
  5. we don't like mayo. substitute same amount of miracle whip.



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