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This salmon salad recipe is quick and healthy: an easy lunch or dinner! Make it with canned salmon or as a way to use leftover salmon.

Salmon Salad
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Here’s a fun way to mix up lunch with a spin on a deli-style favorite: Salmon Salad! It’s a creamy, crunchy mix of tangy flavors: just like Tuna Salad but using canned salmon. Or, use it as a smart way to revitalize leftover salmon! The flavor is savory and satisfying, and this recipe has a healthy spin with less mayo. You can also class it up for a fancy brunch and serve it with fresh herbs on a croissant. It takes just 5 minutes, and works with crackers, in lettuce wraps, in a sandwich, and more. Lunch just got tastier!

Ingredients for salmon salad

The classic tuna salad goes back as far as 1907, and salmon salad is a spinoff on that theme. Using canned salmon makes it work for quick and easy meals. It’s a bit more expensive than canned tuna, but just as convenient and a fun way to mix up the standard tuna. But this recipe also works with cooked salmon: either as a way to use leftover salmon, or classed up as a fun brunch idea! Here’s what you’ll need for this quick recipe:

  • Canned salmon or cooked salmon
  • Celery
  • Red onion
  • Dill pickle
  • Capers
  • Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Looking for a green salad instead? Go to Smoked Salmon Salad and substitute cooked salmon for smoked.

Yogurt and mayo make a creamy sauce

This salmon salad is creamy but not mayo-laden. What’s the secret? Greek yogurt! You can also use plain yogurt here. Yogurt in combination with mayo makes the salmon salad ultra creamy while keeping the calories low. It also makes the flavor fresh instead of heavy! Mayo and Greek yogurt work perfectly together: we also use this trick in our classic Tuna SaladHealthy Ranch Dressing, and more.

Salmon Salad

Using leftover salmon or fresh cooked salmon

At it’s core, this recipe is a quick and easy lunch idea. But it’s also a great way to use up leftover salmon. You can also cook the salmon fresh to make a fancier version of salmon salad (see below). Here are a few things to note:

Variations: a fancier salmon salad

This salmon salad is so versatile: you can make it straight-forward or add a few ingredients to make it more elevated. Serve it on a croissant and it’s now fancy brunch ready! Here’s what we’d do:

  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or basil
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to elevate the flavors
  • Serve on a croissant or crostini for an elegant presentation
Salmon Salad Sandwich

Ways to serve salmon salad

There are so many ways to serve this salmon salad recipe, our heads spin thinking about it! Here are a few ideas from simple lunch to fancy brunch:

  • Over greens: Place it over crunchy greens and it works as a simple lunch or dinner. Add some sliced tomatoes and hard boiled eggs for a heartier meal, or a cooked grain on the side (like rice or quinoa).
  • Sandwich: Make it into a Salmon Salad Sandwich! Use focaccia bread, ciabatta bread or a croissant to mix things up.
  • Lettuce wraps: Wrap it into lettuce leaves as a gluten-free lunch or dinner.
  • Crackers: Serve with cracker or gluten-free nut crackers as an easy lunch
  • Crostini: Spread it baguette slices for an appetizer
  • In an avocado: Throw it into half of an avocado for a healthy dinner idea

More salmon recipes

There are so many ways to serve salmon! Here are some of our favorite salmon recipes, with options for canned salmon and fresh:

This salmon salad recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian. For dairy free, skip the yogurt and use only mayonnaise: see the recipe below.

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Salmon salad

Easy Salmon Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.6 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This salmon salad recipe is quick and healthy: an easy lunch or dinner! Make it with canned salmon or as a way to use leftover salmon.


  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 dill pickle, finely chopped (¼ cup)
  • 1 5-ounce can salmon (2/3 cup cooked flaked salmon)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt or plain yogurt*
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Prep the celery, red onion and dill pickle as noted above.
  2. Drain the salmon and place it in a medium bowl: mash it lightly with a fork. Add the chopped vegetables, capers, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and kosher salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stores up to 3 days refrigerated.


*For dairy free, skip the yogurt and use 3 total tablespoons mayonnaise: add more to taste if desired.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Jan Sheridan says:

    Very good recipe. I had some left over cooked salmon and used it for this recipe. Had no red onion so used regular cooking onion. Served it on toasted (homemade) baguette slices. This could be lunch or dinner OR appetizers. Thank you for the post

  2. Dorothy Greenauer says:

    Excellent!! I Had leftover garlic/herb salmon and used this recipe with a couple of minor modifications due to diet. Replaced dill pickle with fresh dill (1tablespoon), omitted capers completely, and used an avocado mayo. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Ian S says:

    OMG THIS WAS SO GOOD THANK YOU!! put it on some toasted whole wheat bread mmmmmmm

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