Classic Tuna Salad (Parve)

Tuna Salad Sandwich
© Miri Rotkovitz
Ratings (24)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
132 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
13g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Giora Shimoni says "my sister-in-law, with her six children and job as a realtor, doesn't have much time to cook. But she is neighborhood-renown for her egg salad and tuna salad. Her fridge is always stocked with these salads, so her kids can easily make themselves sandwiches. Her tuna salad recipe proves, once again, that sometimes simple is best."

Recipe Testing Notes and Tips: 

Shimoni's original recipe called for two (7-ounce) cans of white tuna, but this size can be hard to find -- in the US, tuna is most commonly sold in 5- or 12-ounce cans. In any case, the amount of fish in a can of tuna can vary wildly. Some brands add considerably more water to the can than others, so cans may contain anywhere from about 2-1/2 to almost 5 ounces of tuna. You may want to weigh the contents of your preferred brand (after draining) to determine how much tuna you're actually getting. If the can's contents look skimpy, you'll probably want to dial down the quantities on the other salad ingredients. 

Don't care for pickle relish? Try chopped capers instead.

You can use any type of canned tuna in this recipe, but be aware that chunk light tends to be lower in mercury than albacore or yellowfin. Unfortunately, no tuna species are considered low in mercury, so it's best to limit consumption, no matter which type you choose. 

Make It A Meal:

For a low-key packed lunch or family dinner, serve this tuna salad on bagels or pita bread, or alongside potato bourekas and a romaine lettuce salad with sun-dried tomatoes and pecans. Raid the cookie jar for dessert -- classics like vanilla sugar cookies or these dairy-free chocolate chip cookies are perfect. 


  • 2 (5-ounce) cans water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup mayonnaise (light or regular)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or Dijonaisse 
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 to 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

1. Place the tuna in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise, the mustard, relish, celery and onion. Mix well. Taste and add more mayonnaise if you prefer a creamier salad, and/or lemon juice for a tangier flavor. Season with the pepper, and mix again. 

2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.