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6 Easy Tuna Salad Recipes + Picnic Tips and 5 Ways to Jazz Up Your Tuna Sandwich


Updated April 13, 2017
(9 Votes)


6 Easy Tuna Salad Recipes

Tuna salad is perfect for lunch, sandwiches, a light snack, or a picnic. Everyone has a favorite tuna salad recipe, and now with our easy tuna salad recipe collection, you can add some new faves to your list. Most of the recipes below only require a few ingredients and a couple minutes to throw together, so they're the perfect last-minute meal solution. Whether you need an easy deli salad recipe to make for an upcoming potluck, or perhaps a recipe for an impromptu camping trip or day hike, tuna salad is quick, easy, and packed with nutritious protein to keep you going no matter what. You'd be surprised at how many different tuna salad combinations you can concoct, so get ready to explore the ones we've collected for you below.

Plus! Don't miss our tips for picnic food packing safety and 5 ways to "jazz up" that boring tuna sandwich below!


6 Easy Tuna Salad Recipes We Love

  • 5-Ingredient Classic Tuna Macaroni SaladTuna macaroni salad is an American favorite when it comes to side dishes, and this recipe is a classic. Whip up this simple 5-Ingredient Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad next time you need a quick side or lunch meal. All you need are macaroni noodles, boiled eggs, tuna, mayonnaise, and peas.
  • Avocado Tuna Salad SandwichThis quick and easy sandwich recipe is an ideal healthy lunch idea for those looking to add more protein to their diet. With eggs, avocado, light mayo and tuna, this simple sandwich recipe is healthy and delicious. Try it for your next lunch.
  • Dilled Tuna & Egg SandwichesCombing both tuna salad and egg salad, these Dilled Tuna and Egg Sandwiches are absolutely incredible. With sour cream, fresh dill, mustard and green onions, the creamy sandwich is perfect to enjoy for lunch or a lite dinner. Serve on a slice of wheat toast and you'll have yourself a meal that was ready in minutes. Enjoy!
  • Southwest Tuna Salad SandwichIf you're looking for a way to amp up the average tuna salad, why not try a recipe that packs a little punch? This Southwest Tuna Salad Sandwich takes a new approach to a tried and true recipe by adding elements of Southwestern flavor that you won't be able to resist. Made with cilantro, lime juice, jalapenos, and bell peppers, this is one tuna salad recipe that you'll be craving long after it's gone.
  • Greek Tuna SaladTuna salad is great, but what if you don't want the mayo that it is always smothered in? Make this Greek Tuna Salad for your next dinner, and you won't miss that heavy mayonnaise flavor. This recipe swaps mayo for Greek yogurt for a burst of protein, then adds plenty of kalamata olives, cucumbers, and tomatoes for a flavor-packed twist on tuna.
  • Avocado Tuna Salad"It's a quick and easy lunch or snack; this avocado tuna salad is healthy, easy, and absolutely amazing!"

Tips for Packing Food for a Picnic

  • 1. Only bring the amount of food you intend to eat in your cooler to avoid any food sitting out or excessive leftovers. Most picnic food that must be chilled will not keep long once taken out of the cooler and most leftovers (unless properly stored in a cooler after preparation) will not be good once you get back home.
  • 2. The best ways to keep your food cold during travel is with ice or frozen gel packs in a proper cooler. The safest temperature for your cooler to be is 40 degrees F or below. If you are without a cooler, you can still bring the following foods without worry: ​Fruits, vegetables, hard cheese, canned/dried meats or fish, dry cereal, granola, granola bars, crackers, chips, nuts, bread, peanut butter, and hummus, just to name a few!

    Pro Tip: You can also freeze water in water bottles and pack that in your cooler as a means of keeping things cold. The bonus is you can drink the water once it thaws!
  • 3. Store-bought mayonnaise or food made with it is safe if kept cold in a cooler. Don't eat food of any kind that has been left out or that's been sitting in the sun. Temperature is directly correlated to bacteria growth.
  • 4. ​Consider packing tuna salad and any other "wet" toppings or condiments in separate containers from the bread and constructing your sandwich at the last minute once you get where you're going. If you want to make the sandwiches ahead of time, add a layer of dry lettuce as a barrier between the bread and salad on both ends.
  • 5. Don't precook any food beforehand. Cook anything that needs cooking on site when you arrive. Keep food cold until ready to cook.  Use a fresh, clean plate for serving cooked food, and don’t let raw meat juices touch other food or sit on plates you intend to use for serving.
  • 6. Cook meat and poultry thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures. To be sure, you'll need to bring a meat thermometer with you. 

    -  Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time
    -  Ground meats: 160 °F
    -  Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F
  • Resources: 

    1. Food
    2. The Center for Disease 
    3. Food Safety 

5 Ways to Jazz Up Your Tuna Sandwich

The recipes below are ones we found in our research that just seemed way too good to pass up. From spicy tuna salad that doesn't use mayo to avocado and mango that steal the show to Italian and French-inspired tuna salad, the recipes below are not only bursting with flavor but with originality like we've never seen. These aren't the brown bag lunches your mom made (sorry, Mom). These recipes have "hip foodie" written all over them.

  • No-Mayo Spicy Tuna Salad This recipe utilizes your favorite spicy condiment -- Sriracha -- instead of traditional mayonnaise to bring a little kick to your plate in this Asian-forward recipe. All you hot sauce lovers out there, this is the tuna salad of your dreams!
  • Nutty Avocado Tuna Salad Do you hate using mayo when mixing up your tuna salad? If so, this the perfect recipe for you. It's made with Dijon mustard and creamy avocado instead. There's also a secret ingredient in this recipe you may not expect... (hint: it's the juice of a beloved veggie).
  • Tuna Nicoise Sandwich This French-inspired recipe is great for taking on the go! Contrary to what you might think, it's flavor actually improves when made ahead of time. Go figure.
  • Lemon Pepper Tuna Salad With Mango, Cilantro & Lime What a flavor explosion! This recipe is bursting with amazing taste any way you slice it. This is not your mama's tuna salad, but is it A mama's tuna salad -- and an inventive one at that!
  • Tuscan Tuna Sandwich Mixed with capers and sun-dried tomatoes and topped with Mozzarella and whole basil leaves, this recipe will take you all the way to Italy in just one bite. If you're into trying new things and ditching the familiar, this is a great spin on tuna salad that doesn't skimp on flavor! 

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I find the best way to jazz up my tuna salad is with feta cheese and pitted black olives. I also add in some avocado, if it is in season, and a hard boiled egg. Then I make a mixture of ketchup and mayo for the dressing to give it that 1 000 island taste. It's delicious and is a complete meal if you add in all the extras. I find it very filling

I love all of the tips about packing for a picnic! That will definitely come in handy this spring!!

I'm normally wary of tuna salad, but I love avocado, so I'm going to give the Avocado Tuna Salad a try!

Parmesan and capers? Looks like I already have the ingredients to try one of these out!

Anything "southwest" has my vote!

Whenever there's avocado I'm so in! Can't wait to make some of these recipes!

I giggled when I read your comment. I thought all of these sounded tasty except the one with avocado. I know I am a member of a shrinking group, but I most emphatically do not enjoy avocados. But, I console myself with the knowledge that the vast majority folks are finally waking up to the tasty options provided by Brussels sprouts. lol

Tuna's never sounded SO good!

Oh my goodness I want to try all of these!

I love the variety here! Looking forward to trying these out.


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