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Tuna Salad Sandwiches


So this maybe somewhat of a simple task for most of the registered members on this site, but I am curious to hear feedback regarding this classic. I would love to know if anyone has a receipe for tuna salad sandwiches that they would like to share. Albacore, ahi, yellowfin...what unique variations are out there in the land of epicurians? All input is welcomed and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Many Thanks,


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  1. ok..I'll take a crack at it. I love this for sandwiches...tuna packed in oil...lemon juice, minced white onion, minced capers, and enough mayo to combine. Toasted sourdough is my favorite delivery system for this tuna salad. Don't forget the salt and pepper before you make the sandwich.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

      LA Buckeye Fan's idea looks pretty good. I would take his ingredients and add a bit of fresh, and lightly crisped chopped bacon bits (not the bottled or packaged stuff) to the mix.
      Just be careful not to get too many competing flavors going or you might find you've lost the tuna flavor altogether.

      1. re: todao

        I would change the white onion to finely chopped red onion and add chopped fresh parsley to same...oh, and some finely chopped celery...oh, and please make sure that the pepper is freshly ground. That is all.

      2. re: LA Buckeye Fan

        My favorite is tuna packed in water, drained. Mashed with a fork, add chopped celery, a bit of mayonaise and dijon mustard. Mix well, and add cracked black pepper. Put tuna mixture on one side of dark rye bread, and two slices of fresh tomato, and two slices of swiss cheese and second piece of dark rye. Put a pat of butter in a skillet, heat and add sandwich. Brown on both sides. YUM, tuna melt!

      3. Albacore tuna packed in water, well drained. Mayo, celery, onion to taste. Squeeze of lemon juice, tsp. sweet pickle relish. Salt and pepper. Chill. Serve on toasted white bread with tomato soup on the side or open faced topped with american cheese and run under the broiler (tuna melt)

        1. One of my favorite sandwiches, with a glass of (skim) milk! I have never used fresh tuna, but good quality canned, solid or chunk only, not the dreaded flaked! Packed in oil, vegetable broth, or water...your choice. I start with "lots" (at least a cup, total, per can of tuna) of finely diced fresh crunchy stuff, celery, onion, apple, cucumber, radish, carrot, whatever I have on hand. Toss with salt and pepper, moisten with 1/2 mayonnaise and 1/2 plain yogurt, then fold in the tuna, gently breaking it up. Do not mush it up, do not mash it... Keep it chunky and crunchy. Don't let it sit around either or the fruit / veggies juice out and it gets watery. Spoon into fresh whole wheat pita pockets, or onto crusty bread...MMMM! A meal in a sandwich (and when my girls were still at home, one of their favorites. Only now do they realize how nutritious it is!)

          1. Solid white tuna packed in water, mayo, diced celery, diced onion, s&p and if I feel like it, also add chopped hardboiled egg and diced sweet pickles.

            This is really good on King's Hawaiian bread.

            1. Tuna in olive oil (drained) 1 Tbsp mayo, 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 hard cooked egg, pickle relish, finely chopped celery and red onion, squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO. You can add more mayo to your taste, also some kosher salt and cracked pepper. Adam

              1. Similar to some of the early suggestions, but more of a tuna sandwich than a tuna *salad* sandwich...I start by cutting very very thin slices of red onion which I "de-flame" by soaking in a bit of lemon juice. I then make a simple tapenade of mixed brine-cured olives, capers, anchovies, a little lemon juice and olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and a bit of finely minced (or grated) lemon zest.

                I lightly toast some sturdy bread that will stand up to all the oil and lemon juice (ciabatta rolls from one of our local bakers are my fave) and then schmear both halves of the split roll with the tapenade and pile on the onions and oil-packed tuna. I love the fancy Italian and Spanish tunas, but usually I settle for something less expensive, which I will mix with mayo if it's too crumbly and dry.

                1. Slightly off topic: Star-Kist (sorry Charlie...) makes a really decent tuna packed in EVOO (yes, I hate the term, buts easier than typing extra v......etc.) as part of their "gourmet" line; retails for $1.69 in the biggedy Oaktown. Funny thing-label just sez "in oil" but if you read the ingreds. it sez EVOO. Not as good as spanish tuna in a jar, but also not 8 bucks. Please buy some so they don't discontinue it!! Adam

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: adamshoe

                    Damn that Rachel Ray. Now people feel they can't use EVOO anymore without feeling cheesy :))

                  2. Really basic - tuna (water or oil), mayo, chopped celery (I like a lot), salt & cracked pepper (I like a lot). Buttered soft bread. Sometimes a slice of tomato. Most often though I top with lots of potato chips !

                    1. I make it two ways. Sometimes I make it like 'bagel shop' tuna- in a mini food processor with shredded carrots, drop of mayo, a little mustard, a few pickle chips, and some pickle juice, with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder.

                      But if I'm just making it for myself, I put in chopped peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and a little mayo to hold it together. The vinegar turns it brownish though, so if I usually only make it for myself this way.

                      1. Albacore tuna in water, dijon mustard, s&p, diced shallots, chopped green onions (ie. scallions), lime juice, and sweet relish.

                        1. White canned tuna has more mercury than light, and is not recommended for frequent consumption, so my compromise is to use one can of each. Preferably in oil, well drained and mashed, adding mayo, celery, onion, sweet pepper relish, and Old Bay seasoning.

                          1. A big can of water packed tuna, about 1/4 cup mayo, I large dill pickle finely chopped, 2-3 green onions chopped, a spoon of sweet pickle relish, and 3-4 drops of Tabasco. I like the tuna still in chunks, not so combined that it's a spread. Serve it on toast with lettuce and tomato. YUM!

                            1. Tuna Fish salad was the first thing I learned to make as a child, I've added to and taken away over the years, so this receipe is popular with my family. I usually use 4 cans of tuna, two w/oil and two in water well drained! I find that oil adds better flavor, so I combine the two. Then I add chopped white onion and celery, and I sometimes roughly chop sweet pickle relish, some varieties have tough pieces in them. I also use chopped bread and butter pickles occasionally, I season with S&P, a dash or two of Tabasco, a little Worchestershire, dill, lemon juice and Hellman's mayo. Bread of choice, I also make tuna melts on Bay's English Muffins with a slice of American cheese put under broiler til bubbly serve with Tomato Soup.

                                1. Solid albacore packed in oil plus minced onion, diced celery, a dash of garlic powder, chopped hard-boiled egg, and pickle relish all bound with Miracle Whip. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Generously mound on toasted whole grain bread with iceburg lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and sliced American cheese. Top with crumbled salt and vinegar potato chips. Devour. One of my favorite snacks as a kid. Probably why I was also so fat.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Jung, Who makes the solid albacore packed in oil? I've been looking and looking. I agree with a previous poster, the oil tastes so much better and the albacore is not as dry. Doesn't really add a lot of extra fat

                                    1. re: janetms383

                                      All the major supermarket brands do. I've seen oil-packed Bumblebee, Chicken of the Sea and Progresso all on the shelves.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        The solid white, not the chuck light? Maybe I need to look closer. I'm missing it and I really don't like the stuff pack in water. It taste dry to me

                                  2. mmm...tuna salad sandwich.....this is the way my momma Izzy always made them...large can starkist (she always used oil-packed, I prefer water), 1 hard-boiled egg chopped, 1/4 cup chopped celery, a splash of vinegar, a 1/2 tsp. sugar, large spoonful of mayo, S & P, toss, place in fridge until good and cold, serve on wheat bread or sesame bun with crunchy lettuce. So simple..so good.

                                    1. Tuna in oil, some lemon juice, chopped celery, pickle relish, chopped hard boild egg and(dont flame me) Kraft Miracle Whip, yes I know Best Foods/Hellmans is best for everything else but this makes it more tangy/lemony, I only use it for tuna or salmon salad sandwiches. Serve on lightly toasted sourdough bread.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: malibumike

                                        I'm with you there. Tuna salad and macaroni salad are the only times I ever use Miracle Whip.

                                        1. re: JungMann

                                          it has zip 'cause miracle whip has mustard as an ingredient.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            Gotta voice my dissent to the Miracle Whip users out there. I'll never understand why sugar would make tuna fish more tasty, but that's just me. MIracle whip is basically 2/3 mayo, and 1/3 sugar, or thereabouts. They replace the fat with sugar, and then say that it's got "Less Fat." I could go on and on about how gross I think it is, but yes, I know everyone can find something that they like and others don't. I'm sure there are things I like that plenty of ppl abhor. I just really think MW is vile. Prolly should have kep my mouth shut (as usual.) -

                                            1. re: gordeaux

                                              I'm sure you're right that Miracle Whip has somewhat more sugar, they both list sugar, but MW has only 20 calories per tablespoon whereas Best Foods/Hellmans has four and one half times as much calories (90).

                                              1. re: malibumike

                                                Not sure what kind of Miracle Whip you're using, but Kraft's website says there are 35 calories per tbsp:


                                                To reduce the calories in my tuna salad, I use a "light" mayonnaise "style" dressing, which has 45 calories per tbsp, a little more fat than Miracle Whip, and a little less carbohydrate. However, I find it a lot more tolerable than MW, which, to me, is gloopy and overly sweet.

                                                For some history on the development of Miracle Whip:



                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                  Oh sorry Full tummy I should have been clearer, its MW light.

                                                  1. re: malibumike

                                                    either way, Miracle Whip is evil... LOL
                                                    Just kidding.
                                                    To each his own...just don't put it in my food!

                                        2. Can of water packed solid white albacore drained

                                          Flake tuna with fork until in small pieces.

                                          tsp dried onion flakes (for crunch)
                                          2 Tbsp chopped pickles or sweet pickle relish
                                          Generous amount of dill weed (to taste)
                                          Tbsp sugar
                                          Hellmann's mayonnaise

                                          You can use as little or as much mayonnaise as you like. If you need to get four or five sandwiches from one can, mayonnaise is your extender!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            Trader Joe's tinned tuna in olive oil, drained
                                            2 celery stalks, diced
                                            Trader Joe's mayo to bind
                                            White bread

                                            Edit: Meant to post under the OP..... the board gremlins are acting up today.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Very similar to mine, but I use Pastene imported Italian tuna in oil, and Spectrum canola mayo.

                                              It doesn't surprise me that the water-packed tuna eaters add so many flavorings, water-packed tuna is such cardboard you need to do something to add some zing to it!

                                              1. re: BobB

                                                Right.... pure is the best.... no need to add anything to a good tasting tuna. Although I must say I have, every now and then, used a freshly grilled tuna steak, rested for a few minutes then flaked and mixed with a scallion or two and some good mayo to great advantage.....

                                          2. Try the new Trader Joe's yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil. Very flavorful. It won a taste test at my local TJs.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Discerning1

                                              Is this a reincarnation of the TJ's brand yellowfin tuna that was discontinued 5 or more years back? It was in a round can that had a marine-blue label with a yellow tuna. I was peeved when they stopped carrying it.

                                            2. Albacore in olive oil, smoked albacore, mayo, minced yellow or red onion, chopped cornichons, and sourdough bread. If it's going to be tuna melt, leave open face and top with a slice of Reggiano cheese.

                                              1. Tuna packed in oil, mayo, a few dashes of edit: rice wine vinegar, chopped: celery, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, a bit of apple, and dried cranberries. Sounds like a lot, but the sweet, savory, and tart on some nicely toasted seedy wheat bread is just delicious. A couple of slices of tomato makes it even better.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: adrienne156

                                                  this sounds wonderful! thanks for sharing.

                                                  1. re: rudmansjmu

                                                    You're welcome! I try to do a fine dice and get all the stuff relatively uniform in size. :o)

                                                2. It's funny, I just had the worst craving for a tuna sandwich last night and made an impromptu tuna salad that I loved. I have a few variations:

                                                  1. From last night. One can of olive oil packed tuna (I used Cento), drained. A teaspoon of mayo (mixed with some of my favorite Mexican hot sauce, just a few drips). Two chopped scallions. A teaspoon and a half of fancy tiny capers in sherry vinegar. Juice of half a lemon. Some chopped jalapeno. Fresh ground black pepper. I toasted two slices of my favorite nutty multigrain bread (the toasting is key for me) and used about half of the salad for one sandwich. It was really good.

                                                  2. Sort of a tuna "mousse"... 2 cans of olive oil packed tuna (preferably Italian) into the food processor. Add a package of cream cheese and a little whipping cream to loosen the mixture. Add the juice of a whole lemon, a handful of freshparsley and lots of fresh black pepper. Process it all into a paste in the food processor. I made this as a spread for tea sandwiches at a party, and it was so easy and delicious I make it all the time just for me.

                                                  3. I never got the recipe, but there is an AMAZING cajun tuna salad sandwich available at an upscale little grocery store called Gentiles on Madison Ave (and 79th St) in NYC. Honestly, I have never gotten close to reproducing anything like it in my own kitchen, but if you find yourself in the area drop in for one. I believe that they use grilled tuna steaks.

                                                  1. Two that I like a lot:
                                                    1) albacore packed in spring water, drained and mashed into medium pieces. Hellmann's mayo, a little fresh dill, salt and pepper, red onion slivers, siced celery and a thin leaf of soft lettuce (Boston). Piled on UNtoasted and really fresh buttered rye with caraway seeds, the best "new" deli pickle I can find on the side. Ruffles potato chips.
                                                    2) More albacore in water, drained and mashed medium. More Hellmann's. diced scallion, including some green parts, diced cucumber or radish, salt and pepper and a good pinch of curry powder. Piled into whole wheat pita halves with frisee for its herbal bite. Served with several cornichons on the side. Ruffles, naturally.
                                                    I love the greygarious suggestion of Old Bay seasoning. Will try that next time on #1.
                                                    A Sam Adams is a great accompaniment to both of these sandwiches.

                                                    1. My all time favorite tuna sandwich. Chunk white Albacore tuna packed in water, well drained. Finely diced celery and onion, good quality mayonnaise, fresh ground black pepper, and a touch of Mrs. Dash seasoning. Combine all ingredients to make salad. Spread tuna salad on toasted wheat bread and top with thick cut bacon, Swiss cheese, green leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes and some avacodo slices. Enjoy!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: jpc8015

                                                        This sounds fabulous. Will do after Thanksgiving when we're sick to death of turkey.

                                                      2. I have two faves. I tried oil packed tuna again after reading all the posts about it, but it was way too strong for my taste, so I am back to water packed, solid white tuna.
                                                        1. Mix with softened cream cheese and Best foods mayonnaise; add chopped ripe olives, chopped sliced water chestnuts; grated carrot; and worchestershire sauce.
                                                        2. Mix with softened cream cheese; Best Foods mayonnaise; worchestershire sauce and frozen petite peas. I had this for lunch today.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                          I love peas in tuna salad! Not enough restaurants/delis do it that way.

                                                          1. re: fallingup

                                                            My tuna salad is pretty basic: water packed solid white, a spoonful of good premium olive oil, fresh ground pepper, some onion, a dash of ground celery seed, and Hellman's/Best Foods mayo (I've tasted lots of different mayos...none come even close to beating this old standby).
                                                            Once in a while though, I will add some roughly mashed garbanzo beans to the mix or barring that, throw some garbanzos onto the sandwich. Love this stuff on toasted Russian seeded rye, with some arugula. I used to love it on a good Kaiser Roll, but with so many of the old Eastern European bakeries around here (Central NJ) closed, good Kaiser rolls apparently don't exist anymore.

                                                        2. My friend Pamela's version--it is terrific. Water-packed white tuna mixed with a little mayo (Hellman's, I think), diced pear, and a handful of raisins. Serve with lettuce on best quality oatmeal bread. Sorry not to have measurements--we just play it by ear. . .

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. I try to avoid canned tuna, so I always grill extra ahi or yellowfin for tuna salad, cooking it a little longer than the tuna I serve for dinner. After sitting in the fridge overnight, the tuna is easy to flake and I mix it with greek yogurt, a little mayo, diced capers, red onion, celery and green olives, and serve it with cornichons on the side.

                                                            1. Start with your favorite canned tuna,drained well,etc. Add, to your taste,chopped celery,sweet relish,Duke's mayo(the BEST),Colman's authentic English mustard (it's spicy!),crushed pepper,mix. Top with shredded cheddar,lettuce,tomatoe. Serve on a good old store bought hamburger bun. Some folks add some onion. Kick back with a cool glass of iced tea. Tuna nirvana!