Tuna Salad Sandwich

filed under: Food + Drink on January 22, 2019

A Tuna Salad Sandwich is one of my kid’s favorite after-school snacks. It is definitely one of my go-to meals when I am hungry and want something fast! We love Tuna recipes and this Tuna Mornay, Tuna Melt Casserole, and Open Faced Tuna Melt are some of our favorites!

Tuna Salad Recipe

This is a flavor-packed recipe.  I admit, there are days when I grab a can of tuna, add some mayo and celery salt, and am done! But there are also times that I want the most satisfying and delicious tuna salad sandwich ever… and this recipe fits the bill.

Tuna Salad

To this recipe, I add mayonnaise, seasonings, and shallots. The crunch comes from the onions, so I do recommend picking the best (freshest) shallot you can find.

The easiest way to make a tuna salad sandwich is to prepare the tuna salad, get your bread, and start layering. Our favorite (and the most classic way of eating it) is to grab a piece of bread (not toast!), lay lettuce on the bread, scoop the tuna salad on top of the lettuce, add sliced tomato, and then cover with another piece of bread. Serve with some chips or fries and you are good to go!

Tuna Salad Ingredients

How to Make Tuna Salad

Easy ingredients combine to create what I am sure will be your FAVORITE tuna salad recipe!

The formula could not be easier: Prepare, Combine, Assemble, Enjoy! I like to chop all the shallots, pickles, and garlic and then start the assembling process. I also like to make each sandwich upon request. The longer the tuna salad sits on the bread the soggier it may be.

More Easy Lunches You’ll Love

Tuna Salad Recipe

What Kind of Tuna to Use

I prefer using a tuna canned in water. When you are draining the tuna prior to use, as most recipes will recommend, you could lose some of the flavor if it was packed in oil. Tuna packed in oil can absorb some of the flavor of the tuna.

In general, water-packed is usually what folks choose because it has fewer calories and retains more omega-3s. Not to mention it can taste “fresher”.  One thing that I highly recommend is to make sure that you fully drain the water from the packed tuna.  Extra moisture in the tuna salad is not typically considered a good thing.  A watery tuna salad mixture will make the sandwich a little sloppy and could also make the bread soggy.

How to Make Tuna Salad

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

This recipe makes a lot of sandwiches, so you may need to refrigerate the leftovers. To maximize the shelf life of tuna salad for safety (and make sure it still tastes good!), refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.

The BEST Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad Ingredient Variations

The great thing about tuna salad is that it can be changed up based on what you have on hand.  Keep the ratios the same as the recipe below but swap out what you love.

Greek Yogurt– Replace the mayo with yogurt for a healthier and lighter option.

Red Onion– I prefer shallots as they have a wonderful onion flavor but are not overpowering. Some folks really prefer a strong onion flavor and opt for red onion or even a sweet onion.

Celery– If you want even more crunch and texture you can add in chopped celery. 

Croissants– My favorite way to eat tuna salad! However, I have to remember to buy them special because it’s not something we normally have on hand. Our next favorite option is 12-grain bread, but in truth, any sandwich bread will work!

Make it a Wrap –  Completely change the game by making it a tuna salad wrap.  We use a flour tortilla, some romaine lettuce leaves, tomato, sometimes some extra pickle, and wrap it all up!  This is also a great alternative if you are taking these on a picnic because the tortilla holds everything together nicely.

Feel free to get creative and add/replace your own favorite ingredients.

4.39 from 13 votes
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This will be your new go-to recipe for tuna salad!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tuna Salad Sandwich
Servings: 12
Calories: 206 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 4 cans (20 ounces) tuna, drained
  • 1 cup (239g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • sliced bread of your choice
  1. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, shallot, pickle, lemon juice, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. (You could also add a little celery salt for added flavor.)

  2. Lay a piece of bread on your plate (or slice a croissant) and top with lettuce, tuna mixture, and then a slice of tomato.

  3. Serve Immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Patricia Bunch says:

    Dear Amanda. I just made a comment in Facebook. I hope you read it. 💕

  • Colleen says:

    This looks like the perfect recipe for a great tuna sandwich!! Can’t wait to make it!! Sounds delicious!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Molly says:

    That’s a lot of mayo for one can of tuna, I d only use enough to keep the ingredients together, 1/4 to 1/3 cup. Love the pickle juice and lemon to brighten the salad.

    • Amanda says:

      The recipe calls for 4 cans of tuna.

    • Joseph T Reinek says:

      it says 4 cans

  • Bryan M Collins says:

    Three total teaspoons of salt for this recipe with the lemon juice, dill pickle pieces, AND mayo?!?? I just made this, only used two of the teaspoons, and it is borderline too salty. Otherwise tasty. But made as the recipe calls for…high blood pressure city!

    • Amanda says:

      Feel free to adjust the salt to your tastes. 🙂

  • Susan says:

    I made this with a 12 oz can of tuna and half of the other ingredients listed. I would caution anyone following this recipe to leave the salt out until the very end! It turned out way too salty for me. Next time!

    • Amanda says:

      The recipe calls for FOUR (5 ounce) cans of tuna. So yes, if you decrease the tuna amount you will also need to decrease the salt amount.

  • Hannah's Mom says:

    I use these ingredients plus I always add a hardboiled egg diced up, as did my mom and grandmother. (Tastes good and stretches a small can of tuna a bit further) My daughter gets upset if I don’t add sweet pickle or sweet relish. My 36 year old daughter!💖

  • Klausihnenfeld says:

    I like to add minced hard boiled eggs

  • Shirley says:

    In trying to reduce recipe for one person, I realized what might happen if you don’t READ the recipe!! It is a beautiful sandwich! ‘Can’t wait to make it!

  • Kisha says:

    I use hummus instead of mayo and diced green apples shredded carrots and little bit of dried cranberries.

  • Lois Egenes says:

    Wonderful. I used fresh caught albacore tuna, canned by my friend, Kai Huddy. Delicious in your salad recipe.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Amanda says:

      Sounds wonderful Lois! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Georgia Fender says:

    Tuna packed in oil is so much more flavorful! There is no such fear as “watery”salad.The spices marry & live harmoniously

  • Sandra Kritch says:

    Which tuna brand and type do you use to make it come out so white and fresh looking? Haven’t found one yet!

  • Sandy Murphy says:

    Sounds yummy I use 1 can of tuna and miracle whip and pickle relish and black olives

  • Eileen Miller says:

    I’m not a fan of onion in tuna salad or chicken salad for that matter. I’d use green onion tops or chives and not too much of either. I wouldn’t use garlic either. To cut down on salt, you can buy celery powder. Also, celery itself has salt as does the tuna and mayo. I’ve never had it with dill pickle or lemon juice – wouldn’t that make it soggy? Long story short, only three ingredients for me – tuna, celery, mayo. Good bread, lettuce and tomato. Not very adventurous, but good!

  • Marcella fox says:

    I prefer miracle whip for tuna.

  • Amy says:

    Love this good olé fashioned sandwich recipe. It was absolutely fantastic too .

  • Barbara says:

    I love your recipe for tuna salad, but I also add chopped egg and sliced black olives. My mother made it this way except we use Italian tuna in a glass jar, lots of flavor. And no salt but sometimes a very mustard, any kind

  • Donna says:

    Decrease the mayo. Too wet plus too much salt . Also I dont use dill pickle usually green onion or shallot. I like finally chopped up celery. . Why lemon juice.

  • Regina says:

    I have never used celery but I will next time I make it, but I do chop in an hard boiled egg .Thank you

  • Carly says:

    Great recipe, family enjoyed it in a hot day for a cool dinner. Would not change a thing😊

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Nancy says:

    I put horseradish in my tuna salad!! But no sweet pickles…..onion, and a lot of celery!

    The horseradish disappears the next day….

  • Deryl N Davis says:

    I use thousand islands dressing and tuna plus lettuce and tomato.
    Great flaver.

  • Kathy says:

    Why celery salt instead of celery? I want that crunch.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can certainly add celery.

  • Veronica says:

    I was taught to drain the tuna, then add the lemon juice to the tuna to add freshness. Just toss , then add celery, onion etc…

  • Shang says:

    Hello Amanda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your delicious and healthy recipes..
    May God bless you always! 🙂 💗 💗 💗
    I will try this to my store… 🙂