Best-Ever Tuna Salad

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

Folks, we can honestly say, lunch never tasted so good!

Our Best-Ever Chicken Salad is our most popular recipe on the blog, and when you try it, we think you’ll understand why. We have worked on this tuna recipe for many iterations, and we’re certain it rivals our chicken salad. We think you’ll agree. Even picky eaters love it! And it is so easy to prepare!

A straight-on view of a white circular platter filled with dinner rolls that have been cut in half and filled tuna salad on a layer of green leaf lettuce.

How To Make Tuna Salad

There’s a lot to love about this dish. It’s easy, it is scrumptious, but you can also easily adapt it your own tastes!

There’s really very little prep work, too!


NOTE: If you liked this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Remember to click the little ‘bell’ icon so you’ll never miss a new video. Thank you!

The Ingredients You Will Need

As mentioned, we’ve tweaked this recipe over and over until we found what we think is the perfect combination of flavors. But, you can add or subtract any ingredients to fit your tastes and likes!

Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand

Tuna – Canned tuna is perfectly fine. Go with quality, though. We love skipjack tuna. It’s deeply flavorful, loaded with nutrients, and low in mercury.
Red onion – Chopped.
Apple cider vinegar – For briefly pickling the onion. Not 100% necessary, but it mellows the onion nicely.
Dried fruit – We highly recommend dried cranberries. So good!
Celery – Finely diced.
Capers – Drained. They are salty and briny and match wonderfully against the slightly sweet cranberries.
Dill – Fresh. This herb is key to this salad. We recommend using fresh dill, but dried can be used in a pinch. Just go with a teaspoon.
Parsley – Fresh is best.
MayonnaiseHomemade is wonderful, but good quality store-bought is just fine.
Dijon mustard – Another key ingredient for this salad.
Lemon juice – From the juice of 1 lemon. Brightens the salad wonderfully.
Seasonings – Kosher salt and pepper is all you need.

An overhead view of a bowl filled with small piles of chopped tuna, celery, dried cranberries, chopped onion, capers, and fresh herbs.

Tips for Making the Best-Ever Tuna Salad

Use Quality Canned Tuna – We like going with top-notch tuna that is packed in water, rather than oil. Our favorite brand is Wild Planet.

Go with Fresh Herbs – We can’t stress this enough. The fresh dill and parsley are what set this tuna salad apart from other recipes.

Let the Flavors Meld – Once you’ve mixed the salad together, you can serve it immediately, but, we find that if you allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, the flavors meld together. It’s amazing served the next day!

EXPERT TIP: The dressing can be made up to several days in advance. Once you’ve prepped all of the dry ingredients, simply pour in the dressing and mix to coat.

A person pouring a mayonnaise and Dijon mustard dressing from a glass bowl into a ceramic bowl filled with chopped tuna, vegetables, and dried cranberries.

How To Serve

This tuna salad is ideal for serving at a special occasion, such as a bridal or baby shower, potluck at the church, or just a lovely brunch with dear friends.

We often will double (or triple) the recipe and place it in a nice serving bowl. Be sure to have slider buns or dinner rolls so folks can build a sandwich.

Or, for a beautiful presentation, make the sandwiches before guests arrive and place on a large platter or cutting board. We add a layer of green leaf lettuce on the bottom of each sandwich.

You can also serve this wrapped in leaves of lettuce. Carb free, beautiful, and so delicious!

An overhead view of a ceramic bowl filled with homemade tuna salad with a wooden inserted in the side of the salad.

Other Classic Mayo-Based Salads to Try

We love this tuna salad so much, but these other salads are really wonderful, too. Give them a try! We’re pretty sure you’ll be happy that you did!

Best-Ever Chicken Salad
Curry Chicken Salad
Grilled Chicken Salad
Best-Ever Egg Salad
Fresh Lobster Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad with Mandarin
Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

These are all classic in their own right, but, in the meantime, isn’t this calling your name?

A close up view of a roll that has been split in half and stuffed with homemade tuna salad.

This has become one of our most popular recipes on the blog.

And can we tell you, this salad makes an amazing Tuna Melt that is one for the record books.

We have family members who do not like any kind of seafood at all, but always go back for seconds for this dish. It’s really that delicious!

Every single bite is a true taste sensation.

A close-up view of a dinner roll filled with tuna salad that has a bite taken out of it.

Ready to make the best tuna sandwich this side of the Atlantic Ocean? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A straight-on view of a white circular platter filled with dinner rolls that have been cut in half and filled tuna salad on a layer of green leaf lettuce.

Best-Ever Tuna Salad

This is one of the most popular recipes on the blog. It's easy, beautiful, and the flavors work perfectly together. The slight sweetness of the cranberries matched against the salty, briny capers is perfect! We highly recommend using fresh dill. It really makes a big difference. You can easily double (or triple) the recipe if feeding a group.
5 from 32 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch / Dinner, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make tuna salad, Lunch, Tuna
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 405kcal


  • ½ cup red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 5 oz. can albacore tuna in water we love Wild Planet, drained
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • ¼ cup capers drained
  • 2 tbsp dill fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large lemon the juice from
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Place the red onions in a small bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar. Set aside for 15 minutes, and then drain.
    ½ cup red onion, ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • In a large bowl, add the drained tuna, pickled onions, cranberries, celery, capers, dill and parsley.
    2 5 oz. can albacore tuna in water, ½ cup dried cranberries, 2 celery ribs, ¼ cup capers, 2 tbsp dill, 1 tbsp parsley
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper (add the salt in 1/2 teaspoon increments, to taste).
    ¾ cup mayonnaise, 1 large lemon, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp Kosher salt, Freshly ground black pepper
  • Add the mayo mixture to the tuna mixture, and using a large wooden spoon, stir the salad to fully incorporate all ingredients.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hours before serving. (Can be prepared 24 hours in advance of serving).
  • Serve on a bed of greens or as sandwiches.


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
The dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance. You can assemble the salad up to 24 hours in advance. Give the salad a good stirring before serving. 
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 to 7 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. 


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 905mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in April 2018, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in August 2023!


  • 5 stars
    Wow, that is some next level tuna salad! I love that it’s not too heavy on the mayo and is instead packed full of flavor from all the other ingredients. You wouldn’t think that cranberries AND capers would work, but they do. And I’ll definitely give Wild Planet tuna a thumbs up. That’s the only one I buy these days.

    • Thanks, Annemarie!! It’s so good! All the flavors really compliment each other beautifully! Wild Plant all the way!! Let us know when you make this and what you think!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    We’ve been making tuna salad for years and we thought we had it down pat. Now, we had jalapenos to it but I really like your addition of cranberries to it. Gives it that little sweetness. Hmmmm! May just take your recipe and give it a try — we do like our spice so I may sneak in some jalapenos.

    • Everything about what you just said sound fantastic!! We LOVE a little heat, and add it whenever possible. Please let us know when you make this, and how you tweaked, and what you think!! Love it!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Tuna salad is our favorite lunch time go-to but I could easily eat this for dinner. Love all of the flavors in this, so robust with the red onion, capers and mustard with the slightly sweet contrast of raisins. I’m going to surprise my hubby with this, he loves tuna salad and this trumps anything I have made before, thanks for sharing this!

  • 5 stars
    I must admit I was a little hesitant to have both cranberries and capers in my beloved tuna salad. BUT>… holy wow, Im a convert now. The perfect combo of salty, sweet with the tuna! You have a convert here!!

  • 5 stars
    Oh you guys are so funny, it was a pleasure watching your video and this tuna salad is really the best ever! I love capers and I also think that the addition of cranberries is a great idea! Like Wesley I can make my own sandwich but if you want to make me one Kris, I’ll be happiest!

    • Hi Patty! Thank you SO MUCH! The capers and cranberry combo in this salad (along with the dill and fresh lemon) is what really makes it sing! I’ll make you a sandwich anytime, Patty! Thanks again, xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    There are people who don’t like capers?! Well more for me then, I love them. My grandma cans her own tuna and I guarantee you when I get some from her, I’ll be coming over here to try this. Because I love everything in this salad!

    • Wow! I want some of your grandma’s home-canned tuna! And right? How could you not like capers? They are soooo good in this tuna salad. Thanks again, Meg! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Dill is a must with any fish for me! I cannot imagine eating fish without it. And I love the idea of capers in this salad. But cranberries? Oh my, it’s such an amazing twist on a classic. A little salty and briny from the capers, a little sweet from the cranberries. This salad has everything!

  • 5 stars
    I looooove tuna salad with capers! I’m a die-hard capers fan, and I always reach for capers instead of relish when I make tuna salad. Or you know, when I want a snack. (I’ve been known to eat them with a spoon.) And the cranberries must give this a nice sweet and tart surprise- this sounds so good!

    • Hi Sarah! Aren’t capers just the best? And we really do think the cranberries, along with the dill, dijon, mayo and lemon balance this salad out very nicely. Thanks so much!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This does look like the BEST Ever Tuna Salad. I love all the ingredients you have in here. especially that it is not heavy on the mayo, the sweet cranberries, and the tart capers. It looks super balanced. I can’t wait to try it.
    I love that you put it in the lettuce cup. That would make a perfect summer lunch!

  • 5 stars
    Well you can never go wrong with a great tuna recipe. This looks fantastic. Love all the additions and flavours happening here. Perfect for lunch or dinner.

  • 5 stars
    Another FANTASTIC recipe! Made this last night and this is truly next level gourmet. I will never go back to traditional. Thank you for sharing! <> from Texas

  • 5 stars
    Knowing firsthand how epically amazing your chicken salad is, I’m going to have to whip up a batch of this tuna salad ASAP! I absolutely LOVE capers and the balance of the sweet and salty with the cranberries must pair so well with the tuna. We’ll definitely be making this for lunch later this week!

  • 5 stars
    I never really think about tuna salad much which is crazy considering how much I love chicken salad and other people’s tuna salad. I love the flavor profile here and it makes me want to have tuna salad all the time now!

  • 5 stars
    I LOVE a good tuna salad! I almost always have a can of tuna at home in my pantry for a last minute tuna salad or just as is. I’ve never added apple cider vinegar to mine though so I’ll have to give it a try next time and see how I like it! I’ll have to add dill too! Great ideas here!

  • 5 stars
    Tuna salad has always been one of my favorite homey lunches. My grandfather had a way of preparing it that was both flavorful and spicy, but this one sounds even better with dill and cranberries. I’ve never tried Wild Planet tuna before — usually get the Costco brand, but I’ll be on the look out for it!

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks so much! We’ve used Costco, too, and it’s tasty. Actually, we find with the flavor profile of this salad, you can’t go wrong, as long as it’s a decent brand. Thanks so much and we are big fans of Garlic & Zest! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    That looks absolutely delicious! Made me realized I really don’t make Tuna Salad often enough (ahum… or ever) but it is definitely a recipe I will be trying soon. I am not the biggest fan of capers, but I am sure that the cranberries and dill bring an amazing flavor and texture! And red onions and dijon mustard are always a great addition to any dish!

    • Thank you! We’re pretty sure you’ll like this if you give it a go! And sure! Leave the capers out! This recipe is very adaptable! Hope you like it a lot! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Thanks, Sylvie!! Really appreciate it. We often go with chicken salad, or egg salad, but everytime I make this tuna salad, we remember why we love it so very much. And as part of a tuna melt, amazing! Thanks again. xoxo Kris & Wesley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating