Fresh and light, this is the VERY Best Tuna Salad ever. Simple to make with every day ingredients, this easy tuna salad recipe will be a weekly staple. Great for the lunchbox or picnic basket!

Tuna Salad on a roll with lettuce, tomato on a white plate with Fritos and a bowl of tuna salad in the background.

Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad is a staple in our kitchen. A healthy lunch recipe I know I can get on the table in about 2 minutes flat and always, always have the ingredients readily available at all times. 

Tuna Fish is a great option for the lunchbox to take to school or work AND it doubles as a fantastic post workout snack when stuffed in an avocado half. We also use this very same tuna salad recipe as the start of our crusty Tuna Melt Sandwiches….hello, easiest dinner ever.

This is, by far, my favorite Tuna Salad recipe ever. In my opinion, it’s the best ever. I created this tuna fish salad recipe after falling in love with the Whole Foods deli yellowfin tuna salad. 

Their salad was fresh, light and not heavy on the mayonnaise at all. It was packed with tangy flavor and perfectly seasoned.

My version is even better because it’s made fresh at home and you can adjust the amount of add in ingredients as you want. It’s naturally healthy and loaded with crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery and red onion. My kids just can’t get enough.

Tuna Salad sandwich on a potato roll with lettuce and tomato on a white plate with Fritos on the side.

Ingredients for Tuna Salad

The ingredient list for this Tuna Salad Sandwich recipe is short and simple. 

  • Tuna – The type of tuna you use does matter a little bit. I use an Albacore tuna packed in water and prefer to use it in a can, drained thoroughly. You can use tuna in a pouch, as well, or another preferred type of tuna but be sure it’s packed in water, not oil. Leftover ahi tuna from your sushi dinner can also be cooked and used in your tuna salad.
  • Mayonnaise – Regular mayonnaise is preferred here for because the full fat variety has more flavor and so, you’ll use less of it. Less mayo, healthy tuna salad.
  • Carrots – You’ll want your carrots finely chopped so to make that easier, I buy the matchstick cut or shredded carrots and then chop them up from there.
  • Celery – Be sure your celery is fresh and washed free of grit. Chop finely like you do the carrots.
  • Red Onion – Red onion adds color and a bit of a peppery bite but it’s potent so only add a small amount. AND finely mince!
  • Lemon – Juice and zest of the lemon adds tons of fresh flavor.
  • Parsley – More for color but parsley is also loaded with health benefits.

That’s it, season with salt and pepper…’re ready to go!

Tuna salad in a blue and white bowl on a yellow napkin.

How To Make Tuna Salad

  1. Break the tuna up into fine pieces in a bowl.
  2. Add the veggies, mayonnaise, lemon and seasoning.
  3. Mix together and chill until ready to serve.

Make the best tuna salad sandwich on your favorite bread or just serve it with a spoon.

A tuna melt is on a white plate next to potato chips.

Pro Tips and Variations

To make sure your tuna salad is the BEST ever…..follow these simple tips.

  • Always make sure you flake all the chunks of tuna fish with a fork until it’s a shredded consistency. This will guarantee you won’t end up with a dry tuna salad or big bits of tuna throughout your sandwich.
  • Make it even healthier by swapping out half the mayonnaise and adding greek yogurt to your tuna salad. It also adds extra tanginess that’s light and refreshing.
  • Add cooked macaroni to your salad for a fun twist on the usual picnic staple.
  • Chop up hardboiled eggs and fold them into the salad for added protein.
  • Got apples? They’re a surprisingly tasty addition when shredded or finely chopped then added to your salad.
  • Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill for a burst of flavor like none other. You’ll love it, guaranteed!

How to Serve Tuna Salad

Aside from the classic tuna salad sandwich, we also love to stuff a juicy summer tomato with this simple recipe. Kids also love it in these easy Tuna Tacos!

More Easy Salad Recipes

If you like this tuna salad, you’ll also love this easy Chicken Salad! It’s fresh, it’s light and so, sooo simple to make. 

Or try this savory Ham salad and the BEST EVER Egg Salad.…seriously, it’s award winning!

Egg Salad Sandwich halves stacked on top of each other with a toothpick on top with olives on it


Tuna Salad sandwich on a potato roll with lettuce and tomato on a white plate with Fritos on the side.

Get the Recipe: The Best Tuna Salad Recipe

The BEST EVER Tuna Salad recipe made with fresh veggies and brightened with lemon juice. Light on mayonnaise, this is a healthy lunch option.
5 from 3 votes


  • 2 5- ounce cans yellowfin tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • Place the tuna in a medium bowl and break up with a fork until finely shredded.
  • Add the carrot, celery, onion, lemon zest, juice, parsley and mayonnaise to the tuna. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately or cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


YouTube video


Tuna Salad can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Serving: 0g, Calories: 52kcal, Carbohydrates: 0g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 90mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 0g, Vitamin A: 520IU, Vitamin C: 2.8mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.2mg