Punched-up tuna salad: My favorite tuna salad recipe that's full of delicious, flavorful ingredients.

There are a million tuna salad recipes out there. So why in the world would you need another one?

Because this one is full of flavor and mix-ins. It’s a more interesting, more flavorful tuna salad that I think you’re going to love.

I’m calling this punched-up tuna salad because that’s what it is: It’s a punched-up tuna salad in terms of flavor and texture.

Make good use of your pantry staples and give this tuna salad recipe a try!

How to make the best tuna salad: This one has all the flavorful mix-ins! Click through for recipe.

What You’ll Need To Make This Tuna Salad

  • Canned tuna: The canned tuna section of the grocery store can be overwhelming when there are so many options: Water-packed, oil-packed, yellowfin, albacore, chunk white, etc. Typically, I buy water-packed tuna to avoid extra oil in recipes. Canned yellowfin and albacore tuna are typically more mild than chunk white. Just remember: You really can’t go wrong. There is no one type of tuna that makes the best tuna salad!
  • Mayonnaise: Real mayonnaise is a necessary ingredient in tuna salad. There really is no suitable substitute. If you’re watching your calories or fat, you can substitute Greek yogurt, but this will change the flavor of the final product.
  • Capers: Capers add punchy flavor to this punched-up tuna salad. Capers are salty and olive-y. If you don’t have capers, you can substitute chopped green olives.
  • Celery: Celery adds fresh flavor and a nice crunch to tuna salad.
  • Red onion: Every great tuna salad needs chopped onion. Red onion is my preferred choice, as it’s super fresh, crunchy, and slightly sweet.
  • Lemon: Another ingredient that adds major flavor and freshness to tuna salad.
  • Spices: I use “spices” loosely here. I always add a pinch of sugar to tuna salad (try it!) and at the end I add salt and pepper to taste. I also add a pinch of dried parsley.

Punched-up tuna salad: Tuna salad with lots of flavor and mix-ins!

How To Serve Tuna Salad

There are so many ways to eat tuna salad:

  • On bread or toast
  • On homemade crackers
  • With fresh veggies (like celery sticks, carrots and radishes)
  • Over chilled cooked pasta (add more mayonnaise to make a tuna pasta salad)
  • As a tuna melt (add about 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, spread on bread, and bake at 375F for 15 minutes)

Please note: This recipe can easily be doubled. 

If you’re looking for something unique to make using canned tuna, check out this tuna dip recipe. It’s kind of like eating the best tuna melt, but without the bread. It’s made with ample pimento cheese, adding to its delectableness. 

Like Tuna? Try These Recipes:

Punched-up tuna salad: Tuna salad with lots of flavor and mix-ins!

Punched-Up Tuna Salad

Yield: 4 servings

There are many ways to eat this tuna salad: On bread, on toast, on crackers, on celery sticks or on salad greens. Or mix in about 2/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and make a tuna melt.


  • 2 5-ounce cans of tuna
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon


  1. Open tuna cans and drain. Place fish in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Can be used immediately, but is best served chilled.

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