Here’s the very best tuna salad sandwich you’ll have! This classic recipe is creamy, zingy, and full of flavor. (Plus, a few variations to mix it up.)
One taste of this tuna salad sandwich, and it will become your go-to. Yes, tuna salad is something you can wing with the ingredients you have on hand. BUT! If you’re looking for the best tuna salad sandwich on the internet, you’ve come to the right place. It’s perfectly creamy, bright and tangy, with just the right crunch from the vegetables. Make your sandwich dreams come true with this recipe! We can’t stop making it. (Truth.)
Ingredients for the best tuna salad sandwich
You’ll only need a few veggies on hand to make a tuna salad sandwich: the rest are pantry ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canned tuna: Use either water-packed or oil packed: we prefer water packed here since you’re mixing it with lots of flavorings.
- Greek yogurt + mayo combination: The key to the creamiest, best tuna salad! It tastes savory and creamy, but using some Greek yogurt helps to keep it less calorie-laden and rich. It’s just perfect. Or swap these out for avocado (see below).
- Celery, red onion & dill pickles: A good tuna salad must have pickles! After extensive testing, we found it was the key to bringing in a tangy and lightly sweet element.
- Lemon juice & Dijon mustard: Both are essential to making this taste like deli-style tuna salad.
4 variations: tuna salad sandwich recipes!
Once you’ve mastered the classic, there are a few variations to keep variety in your tuna salad sandwich! Here are the three sandwich recipes to try:
Another variation on tuna salad? Pasta salad! Try this Classic Tuna Pasta Salad, a creamy pasta salad perfect for a quick dinner or easy lunch.
Step it up with a sprinkle of Parmesan
If you really want to step up your tuna salad: add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese! It really makes for the best savory flavor. Alex and I did a taste test of before and after, and you really can tell the difference! Of course if you’re making up this tuna salad sandwich as a quick pantry dinner and don’t have Parmesan on hand, it’s still incredible without it.
A vegan variation: chickpea salad!
Want to make a vegan tuna salad sandwich? Use chickpeas! While it doesn’t quite have the flavor of tuna, this Chickpea Salad Sandwich is full of incredible flavor using chickpeas instead of tuna. It’s got most of the same players, and you’ll mash the chickpeas until they integrate into the texture. It’s a tasty plant-based version of this standard, and has become a fan-favorite!
Use best-quality bread or homemade
The final key to a great tuna salad sandwich: the bread! Try to find the best bread you can: most grocery stores have options for artisan-style bread loaves vs the standard sandwich loaf. To up the ante you can lightly toast the bread, which adds a nice crunchy contrast to the salad.
Or if you have the time, try homemade bread! Here are a few of our best bread recipes to try:
- Easy Homemade Bread or Easy Whole Wheat Bread The perfect homemade sandwich bread! You don’t need any special equipment at all. Just a loaf pan!
- Easy No Knead Bread Best artisan bread for beginners! This one results in a crispy crust and perfectly chewy interior.
- Artisan Bread A seriously tasty bread with a developed flavor. Medium level difficulty.
- Best Sourdough Bread If you’re up for the challenge, this really is the best sourdough bread on the internet.
This tuna salad sandwich recipe is…
Pescatarian. For dairy-free, use the Avocado Tuna Salad option.
Here’s the very best tuna salad sandwich you’ll have! This classic recipe is creamy, zingy, and full of flavor. (Plus, 2 variations to mix it up.)
- 1 5-ounce can white meat tuna
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or 1/2 ripe avocado; see Step 3)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 chopped hard boiled egg (optional)
- 4 slices bread, for serving (like artisan, no knead, whole wheat, sandwich, or sourdough)
- Drain the tuna. Place it in a bowl and use a fork to break apart any large clumps.
- Finely chop the celery, red onion, and dill pickles.
- For Classic Tuna Salad, use a fork to mix together the tuna and chopped vegetables with the Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and kosher salt. Add shredded Parmesan if desired (it really steps it up a notch!). For Tuna Salad with Egg, add chopped hard boiled egg. For Avocado Tuna Salad, use 1/2 chopped ripe avocado instead of the Greek yogurt and mayo, and skip the Parmesan.
- Lightly toast the bread, if desired. Spoon the tuna salad onto the bread and serve.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Tuna Salad Sandwich
More great sandwich recipes
Looking for more incredible sandwiches? Here are a few sandwich recipes to try:
- Egg Salad Sandwich Just like tuna salad, but with hard boiled eggs! This one is a deliciously healthy lunch.
- Ultimate Fried Egg Sandwich Fry up an egg (plus smoky mayo) for a 10-minute meal!
- Load up on veggies with a Avocado Club Sandwich
- Classic Shrimp Salad Just like tuna salad…but with shrimp instead! Make it into a sandwich for a tasty lunch.
- Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich A simple way to step up the standard! In just 10 minutes, it makes an easy meal with soup or salad.
- Eggplant Sandwich with Pesto This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant sandwich with basil pesto is a seriously flavorful, healthy vegetarian sandwich that’s easy to make!
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.