4 Great Add-Ins for Tuna Salad

SandwichQuick and EasyTunaTuna Salad

Tired of the same old run-of-the-mill tuna salad? Gussy up your usual recipe with these four different options. Or get inspired and come up with your own combo!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Those of us who love tuna salad, LOVE tuna salad.

And while plain tuna salad with a bit of mayo and some salt and pepper is delicious, it can get a little bit same-old, same-old. Luckily it couldn’t be simpler to add interest to that little can of fish, and the options for changing it up are pretty endless.

Each of the add-in ideas below is meant for one can of tuna, but you can double or triple the recipes. These add-ins also work with white or light tuna, and tuna that was either packed in oil or water—your choice. Make sure to drain the tuna very well before adding the extra ingredients.

4 Great Add-ins for Tuna Salad

Italian Tuna Salad

Instead of the usual mayo-based tuna salad, try a vinaigrette base instead. Stir the drained tuna together with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil (skip if the tuna was packed in oil), 1 teaspoon rinsed and drained capers, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

If you want to make this into an even more protein packed meal, you could stir in 1/4 cup drained and rinsed canned white beans. This tuna salad version also makes a delicious classic antipasto offering or crostini topping.

Crunchy Tuna Salad

For crisp texture and flavor, combine the tuna with 1 tablespoon mayo, and then add 1 tablespoon each of minced fennel, onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The fennel adds a bracing anise taste, the carrot and celery a fresh-from-the-garden crunch, and the onion a bit of sharp bite.

Greek Tuna Salad

This tuna salad would be proud to sit on the menu of the best Greek diner. Simply stir in 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 tablespoon minced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon minced shallots, 1 tablespoon finely crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon minced black olives, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Although this would be a delicious combination of flavors in any kind of sandwich, it tastes best scooped into pita bread.

Mexican Tuna Salad

Combine the tuna with 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño peppers, 1 teaspoon minced cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

This version is a total treat when scooped up onto sturdy tortilla chips (use unsalted, or make sure to go lightly on the salt if this is the way you want to eat this tuna salad). If you make it into a sandwich, you could also add some sliced avocado.

What are your favorite add-ins for tuna salad?

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Katie Workman

Katie Workman is on a mission to make people feel more comfortable with getting weeknight dinners on the table and entertaining friends. As she developed solutions to making her family meals easier and more universally liked, she created The Mom 100. Her cookbooks are The Mom 100 Cookbook and Dinner Solved.

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No Image4 Great Add-Ins for Tuna Salad

  1. Tiffany

    I love to add chopped up pickled jalapenos, chopped dill pickle sliced and cheddar it’s amazing

  2. QL7

    Don’t laugh. Chopped up cabbage for crunch. “Try it, you’ll like it!’

  3. Carol

    yes, chopped apple and toasted chopped pecans or almonds are also good additions.

  4. Angela Adams

    My favorite tuna salad is two cans of tuna well drained from the water. Dill hamburger chips chopped coarsely. Onion chopped coarsely. And three or four boiled eggs chopped coarsely. About 1/2 cup of miracle whip, maybe a little more, to your liking. Best tuna salad ever. And for people that like apple, you can add a little finely chopped apple to your tuna as well.


    It’s summer here in New England. Try fresh from the shell english peas… be generous!

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4 Great Add-Ins for Tuna Salad