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Venia's tuna salad recipe

Venia's tuna salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Seafood salad
  • Tuna salad

This is a great salad, especially for the summer.

35 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 225g (8 oz) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce - rinsed, dried and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tin tuna, drained and flaked

MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and salt. Stir in the lettuce, onion, tomato and tuna until all ingredients are coated. Enjoy!

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(31)

Reviews in English (32)


Used different ingredients.This is my favourite tuna recipe from here. I don't eat onions, so I left those out, and used light mayo, but other than that, this recipe is perfect. Quick, easy, simple and tastes great. Spoon some into a hollowed out tomato and it's a perfect meal for dieters and those who just like a good tuna salad. I gave it 5 stars in all categories.-15 Sep 2008


Used different ingredients.Great tuna salad. I also added some eggs and used low fat soured cream instead of mayo. Very easy to make. Thank you.-15 Sep 2008

by Flannery

This is a salad that you want to serve right away so lettuce doesn't get soggy. It is very delicious. Will make again.-15 Sep 2008

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced pickle
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained and loosely chopped
  • Healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced
  1. Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving only a few beans whole.
  2. Add tahini, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, celery, pickle, capers, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds (if using) to mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Toast bread if desired, and prepare any other desired sandwich toppings (such as lettuce, tomato, and onion).
  4. Scoop a healthy amount of the chickpea mixture (about ½ cup) onto one slice of bread, add desired toppings and top with second slice of bread. Repeat for additional sandwiches.

Recipe Veggie Tuna Salad

  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Total Fat: 5 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 4.5 g
    • Natural Sugar: 2 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g

    Looking for a quick and easy lunch in a crunch? I give classic tuna salad a colorful (and healthful) spin by tossing in some fresh, crispy veggies. Then, I do a quick mix and stir with the light mayo and lemon juice for added pizzazz and to create a super satisfying mid-day meal. I like to serve it on a bed of fresh spinach leaves (oh hello, nature’s multivitamin!), but you can also opt for a toasted English muffin or whole grain roll. Total lunch love.

    • • 1 can light tuna (packed in water), drained
    • • ½ carrot, peeled and finely diced
    • • ½ stalk celery, finely diced
    • • ¼ red bell pepper, finely diced
    • • ¼ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
    • • ½ scallion (green onion), minced
    • • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
    • • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
    • • 2 to 3 cups spinach leaves
    • • Tomato slices

    In a medium bowl, flake the tuna into small pieces with fork. Add the carrot, celery, red and yellow pepper, scallion, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, and mix well with a fork.

    Line a plate with the spinach and tomato slices and place the tuna mixture on top.


    1. Leftover pasta salad lasts covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It does not freeze well.

    2. This recipe can easily be halved, doubled or tripled -- just divide or multiply all the ingredients by the desired amount and follow the directions as listed.

    3. White wine vinegar also works in place of the distilled white vinegar.

    4. If you don't like cucumber seeds, just de-seed the cucumbers before dicing. Slice the cucumber down the center length-wise and then scrape the seeds out with a spoon.

    5. To make this salad gluten-free, just use a gluten-free pasta!

    6. If using a premade dressing for this recipe, use 1 heaping cup.

    7. If using fresh thyme or basil in place of dry, use 4 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil and 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme.

    Nutrition Information


    Serving Size

    This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.

    This post was originally published March 20, 2020. It was updated with new photos, a revised recipe, and a recipe video on February 28, 2021.

    One of my favorite comfort foods since I was a little girl, my Mom's Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe is easy-to-make, made with easy-to-find vegetables and pantry staples, and is ready in under 30 minutes.

    This tuna pasta salad also has twice as much tuna as typical recipes, bringing about 22 grams of protein to each pasta salad serving! Whether you make this for lunch or bring it to a potluck, this tuna pasta salad is sure to satisfy --- inside, and out.

    I've been going more for comfort food and pantry recipes lately. Not only do I not want to make a grocery trip if I can avoid it, but I want to feel like I'm eating well while I stay at home.

    So, the other day when I scanned the pantry before lunch, I realized I had all the essentials on hand for my Mom's Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe. I had pasta, tuna, mayonnaise, dried dill, and mustard in the cabinet and some hearty veggies in the fridge.

    And, in my world, tuna macaroni salad qualifies as the ultimate comfort food. Whether we ate the salad in the car on road trips or whipped it up together for Saturday lunch, growing up it was always a dish that meant safety, comfort, and Mom's love.

    I asked mom how she got into making the easy pasta salad recipe, and she said that her mom made it for them during the summers growing up. Often made with defrosted green peas and served with some toast, it was a dish her mom cared for her family with, too.

    And so I started to think about the traditions of care and food that are passed down through generations how we're shaped to like similar foods because of similar experiences and how we show others we care based on how we've been showed we're cared for.

    Hopefully, my family knows how much I care by making this for them and hopefully, your family will know that about you, too. From my family to yours',

    Here at Mae's Menu, we have a variety of readers: those who are more experienced in the kitchen and want to zip straight through to the recipe and those who want to learn more about the dish, potential substitutions, and more.

    To skip straight to the recipe, just click "Jump to Recipe" at the top left of this post. To browse the post quickly, just click the headings in the table of contents below.

    Table of contents

    This Macaroni Salad with Tuna Is.

    • Creamy
    • Hearty
    • Crunchy
    • Filling
    • Ready in under 30 minutes
    • Made with easy-to-find ingredients
    • Rich in protein
    • Delicious for leftovers
    • Great for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks!

    Add a new favorite pasta salad to your family's menu with this tuna pasta salad recipe!

    What ingredients are in this tuna macaroni salad?

    • Pasta -- macaroni, rotini, shells, or any small pasta are great in this salad.
    • Canned Tuna -- two 7 oz. cans of solid white albacore tuna make this salad chock-full of protein.
    • Mayonnaise -- olive oil or avocado mayonnaise work perfectly fine in this recipe, too!
    • Distilled white vinegar -- adds a little kick and flavor to the pasta salad
    • Sweet pickle relish
    • Dried dill weed
    • Dijon mustard
    • Onion -- sweet yellow, white, or red onion are best for this salad.
    • Celery
    • Sweet pepper-- green or red pepper are delicious in this salad.
    • Peas -- we'll defrost frozen green peas for this salad. Super easy and adds a few extra veggies!

    What recipe substitutions can you make for this recipe?

    Pasta -- any small shaped pasta can work in this recipe

    Canned tuna -- canned chicken or even canned salmon can work in place of the canned tuna

    Mustard -- if you don't have dijon mustard, you can substitute classic yellow mustard. It will add a bit more zip to the recipe, but the overall flavor profile will still be similar

    How do you make tuna macaroni salad from scratch?

    1. Cook your pasta according to the package's directions, in heavily salted water.
    2. While the pasta cooks, whip up your salad dressing -- whisking together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, vinegar, and seasonings and stir in the veggies.
    3. Flake the tuna and fold it into the dressing.
    4. Drain the pasta -- placing the frozen peas in a colander and pouring the hot pasta water over them to drain.
    5. If you will be serving the salad immediately, cool the pasta by rinsing the pasta with cool water in the colander.
    6. Gently fold the pasta into the dressing until coated. If the pasta is still warm, cover and let it cool in the refrigerator until serving. If the pasta is cool, serve!

    Pro-tips to make this recipe perfect every time!

    1. Cook the pasta in heavily salted water - this makes all the difference in the flavor of your pasta!
    2. Finely mince the onions - this helps the onions add dimension to the dressing without adding an intense bite
    3. Use good quality tuna - solid white albacore tuna packed in water is my top pick. It's meaty and hearty but has a pure and non-fishy flavor. If you can't find albacore, I recommend chunk light tuna packed in water as a back-up.
    4. Make the pasta ahead of time - for the best flavor, make the pasta salad ahead of time with warm pasta (i.e. don't rinse the pasta with cool water before folding it into the dressing). When the pasta is warm, it best absorbs all the flavors of the salad dressing, making this dish super tasty.

    A note on the pasta temperature:

    If you are going to serve this pasta salad immediately after making it, chill the pasta before adding it into the salad. If you are making the pasta salad ahead of time, add it in warm, as the extra heat of the pasta will help it absorb the dressing flavors better.

    To chill your pasta, simply run cool water over it in the colander until the pasta is cool to the touch.

    How do you easily thaw peas for tuna pasta salad?

    Here's a super quick pea thawing trick my mom taught me: place the peas in the colander. Then, drain the hot pasta water and pasta over the peas. The heat from the pasta water will cool the peas just enough for this salad.

    Can you make this recipe gluten-free?

    Yes, this salad is very simple to make gluten-free. Just use gluten-free pasta (rice or chickpea are both delicious) in place of the traditional wheat pasta and this recipe will be good to go!

    Can you use olive oil, avocado oil, or another reduced-fat mayonnaise for this recipe?

    Yes, you definitely can use a reduced-fat mayonnaise for this recipe. In fact, I make this recipe most with olive oil mayonnaise.

    The recipe calories are calculated using an olive oil mayonnaise, so if you use a full-fat mayonnaise, the fat and calorie count may be higher than estimated (and please see my nutrition facts disclaimer, since the calorie count is only an estimate).

    Do you serve tuna pasta salad warm or cold?

    Usually, this salad is served cold. I occasionally like to serve it warm, however, on cooler days or when I'm just craving a warm meal.

    Can you make this macaroni salad with tuna ahead of time?

    Yes, you can make this tuna macaroni salad ahead of time. Ideally, I like to make it a few hours ahead of time, to give the salad time to marinate in and absorb the flavors of the dressing.

    Storage directions:

    Refrigerate the leftover salad in a covered container for up to 3-4 days. If the pasta has absorbed the dressing, you may need to stir in some milk (see notes below) to remoisten it.

    This recipe does not freeze well.

    How do you keep this pasta salad moist?

    The first way to keep our tuna pasta salad moist is to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Your pasta may still absorb a lot of the dressing, however.

    To remoisten the salad, just mix in a teaspoon or two of milk to the pasta salad until the dressing gets creamy again.

    What can you add to this tuna macaroni salad?

    There are so many delicious add-ins you can mix into this salad. Here are a few of my favorites:

    • Chopped hard-boiled eggs
    • Seeded and diced tomatoes
    • Seeded and diced cucumbers
    • Cubed sharp cheddar cheese
    • Sliced blacked olives
    • Bacon bits

    Tools needed to make this easy tuna mac salad:

    What type of tuna is best for tuna pasta salad?

    Canned tuna is the best for tuna pasta salad. In particular, I like flaked albacore tuna for this salad, as it has a richer and cleaner flavor than flaked light tuna.

    What can you serve with this tuna macaroni salad?

    This tuna macaroni salad is hearty enough to serve on its own, but you can also serve it with the following dishes or drinks:

    • Fruit salad
    • Crusty white bread
    • A leafy green salad with carrots, tomatoes, croutons, and cucumbers
    • Vegetable crudite with hummus
    • White wine -- sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc, or pinot grigio are delicious with this salad!

    Check out these other delicious tuna recipes:

    If you're looking for another comforting way to serve tuna using pantry staples, this Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole from my friend Norine is just perfect! Throws me back to childhood every time!

    For more healthy salads and barbecue side dishes:

    To watch the Google web stories for this recipe, click here or view the web story below:

    If you make and like this recipe, please review and rate it 5-stars at the top of the recipe card. This helps other people to find the recipes and helps this reader-supported publication, too!

    Thank you so much for your feedback and support of Mae's Menu!

    Tuna . what to buy . and why

    • Now, not only is it delicious, but tuna is so healthy. Canned tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids. It's also recommended that one should eat two meals a week of a variety of fish and/or shellfish that's low in mercury - including tuna.
    • When you're buying canned tuna for salad, use the chunk or flaky kind. It creates a smoother textured salad. (If you were going to use it to add to pasta or dinners, then buy the solid kind.)
    • Water-packed tuna has fewer calories and is milder tasting than the oil-packed kind. However, it you want really good flavored tuna, then choose tuna that's packed in olive oil.


    Step 1

    Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook chickpeas, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt and let cool.

    Step 2

    Whisk shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar in a large bowl season dressing with salt and pepper. Mix in tuna, breaking up with a fork. Add chickpeas, endive, parsley, and pickled chiles. Finely grate zest from lemon over, then squeeze in juice. Pour in remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

    How would you rate Tuna Salad With Crispy Chickpeas?

    This was a surprisingly awesome taste combination. My husband practically licked out the bowl. The only change I made was to put in a medium-sized shallot that I sautéed first because neither of us can handle raw onions. Terrific.

    So good! I make this like weekly.

    This is the best tuna salad I have ever had. It is so easy to make and a great change from the usual boring tuna salad.

    This was excellent! Used a variety of farmer market greens—butter head lettuce, green endive, and microgreens. Great, simple dinner.

    Excellent — after some manipulation on my part. Great building blocks. Added sliced olives which were great as well as celery. Played quite a bit wth the dressing as it seemed a bit plain. Key was to also leave the tuna in biggish chunks.

    I'm a massive fan of premium canned tuna just about every* way you can think of - classic tuna salad, stirred into hot pasta with olives and capers, Nicoise salad, the BA green goddess version - so I was excited to try this recipe. It's superb! I had green endive so that's what I used, but that was better for me anyway as I often find red endive too bitter. I left out the pickled chiles because I didn't have them. My only recommendation is to wait till the very end to stir in your tuna if you want it to stay in bigger chunks. I put it in halfway through as the recipe indicated and mine came out looking more like classic tuna salad heaped on greens with chickpeas. But I didn't mind at all from a taste/texture perspective, it was still fabulous. I'll absolutely make this again! *Not tuna casserole.

    Ok, I’m impressed. I’m normally not a tuna girl, but this is so fresh, bright, savory, crunchy. it’s amazing. Just do yourself a favor and try it. I added avocado cause I had some leftover and it fit right in.

    I didn't like endives before trying this, now I'm obsessed. I added some cumin to the chickpeas, complete game changer, this is definitely becoming a weekly lunch

    What a great and simple recipe that lends itself to alterations. Just whipped this up on a whim during my lunch hour and made a few substitutions based on what I had. Subbed red onion for shallot, romaine leaves for endive, and dried oregano for parsley. Turned out so delicious and satiating. I really wish I had fresh herbs on hand (parsley, cilantro, etc.) and will definitely be making this again soon once I make a trip to the grocery.

    So easy, flavorful, and delicious. It is versatile to add your own spin on it too. Love it, Andy.

    Made this for a "ladies who lunch" birthday celebration, complete with champagne and it was a total hit! Easy enough for every day, but elevated for any special occasion as well.

    I can't believe how good this is for something so simple. I'm saving this one, definitely going to be a regular eat.

    Incredibly simple to make and incredibly flavorful. Truly one of the best renditions of tuna I've ever had. No question this will be added into the lunch mix.

    I omitted the tuna and used homemade vegan mayo as I made this for a lunch with a vegan friend. It was SO DAMN GOOD! This will be made at least once a week from now on!

    Sounds delicious. Can you give more info on pickled chilis? what brand?type of chili? thanks!

    • 8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 1 cup Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
    • 1 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    • 1 (6 oz.) can tuna, drained and flaked
    • 1/3 cup chopped celery
    • 1/3 cup chopped or shredded carrot
    • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

    Step 1

    Cook macaroni according to package directions drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool.

    In large bowl, combine Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayo, relish, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni, tuna, celery, carrot and onion. Chill, if desired.

    How to Make Tuna Salad

    To make this tuna salad recipe you will need just a few ingredients:

    Tuna: Canned tuna is something that I always keep in my pantry. One 5 ounce can of tuna will serve two people. Below I’ll give you tips on which kind of tuna is the best for tuna salad.

    Plain Greek Yogurt or Mayonnaise: You can use either plain yogurt or mayo in your tuna salad. Greek yogurt is thick and full of protein and makes a healthy tuna salad. If you’re new to using Greek yogurt, I promise it won’t make your tuna taste like yogurt. The yogurt or mayo helps to bind the tuna together. You can use more or less depending on how creamy you like your tuna salad.

    Relish: I recommend reading the ingredient labels and choosing a relish with a list of ingredients that you recognize. Some relishes are made with some interesting, not so good for you ingredients! When I tested this tuna sandwich recipe, I tried and tried to make it work without relish because I wanted a tuna salad made with real food ingredients. I found that tuna salad just isn’t the same without relish, so I compromised and bought the healthiest relish I could find. I prefer sweet pickle relish over dill relish in this tuna recipe.

    Red Onion: I love the pop of flavor that red onion brings to tuna salad. The key is to chop the onion finely and to not use too much – a little onion goes a long way.

    Celery: I like to make tuna salad with celery because the celery adds a nice crunch. I usually won’t buy a whole stalk of celery just for tuna salad, though. If you don’t have celery in your fridge, chopped cucumber, carrot or bell pepper are great crunchy substitutes.

    Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are important for flavor. Add the salt and pepper to your tuna salad last and adjust the amount to taste.

    To make this tuna salad, start by opening your cans of tuna and draining off the liquid. The easiest way to do this is to use a can opener to cut the lid almost all the way open. Leave the lid attached to the tuna can just a little bit, hold the can of tuna over your sink, turn it upside down, and press down on the lid to squeeze out the liquid. Then use a fork to carefully pull the lid open and scoop the tuna from the can into a bowl.

    Add the remaining ingredients to your bowl and use a fork to mix everything together. Add more Greek yogurt or mayo, as needed, if you want your tuna creamier. Taste the tuna salad and add extra salt and pepper as desired.

    Serve your tuna salad right away or keep it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    What Kind of Tuna to use in Tuna Salad

    The best kind of tuna for tuna salad is tuna packed in water, not oil. You don’t want extra oil in your tuna salad.

    Look for cans of wild tuna that are labeled, “pole and line caught” to be sure that other species weren’t harmed when the tuna was caught. My favorite tuna is Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand Skipjack Wild Tuna in water, which is labeled as “pole and line caught one at a time.” Not only is this tuna responsibly caught, the tuna tastes like it’s higher quality and it seems like you get more tuna per 5 ounce can than other brands. I also love that the only ingredients are skipjack tuna and water. (This post is not sponsored, I’m sharing because I just really love this tuna.)

    How to Make a Tuna Melt

    Another classic tuna recipe is the tuna melt. When a regular tuna fish sandwich isn’t enough, make a tuna melt! If you know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, you can make a tuna melt.

    To make a tuna melt, get two slices of bread and spread butter on one side of each slice. Put some tuna salad and sliced cheese in between the bread slices to make a sandwich, butter side out. Cook your tuna melt in a skillet over medium heat until the bread is toasted on both sides and the cheese melts.

    You can also make open faced tuna melts by piling tuna and slices of cheese on top of English muffin halves and popping them in your oven to melt the cheese. Try adding tomato or avocado slices to your tuna melt.

    Neil Perry's tuna salad sandwich

    Neil Perry's ultimate tuna sandwich. Photo: William Meppem Difficulty Easy Dietary Kid-friendly

    This is a perfect light and tasty sandwich. Pair quality bread and butter with this ready-in-a-jiffy salad and add lettuce for crunch. Use a crispy baguette or soft roll if you prefer or, if you're not a bread-eater, wash some iceberg lettuce, fashion the leaves into "cups" and fill with your mixture. Chopped cooked king prawns and shredded roast chicken are great stand-ins for the tuna, while other fabulous optional extras include roast tomato and diced cooked potato. Enjoy!

    Watch the video: Google My Business Stories: Claudios Seafoods (January 2022).