Classic Tuna Salad Recipe

A classic tuna salad is a simple, stalwart affair: tuna in a creamy mayo-based dressing studded with onion, pickles, and ... raisins?

No, that's no typo! This classic tuna salad recipe with a twist will have you convinced that raisins were always meant to be part of the party from the moment that you take your first bite.

"Golden raisins are so delicious in tuna salad," says recipe developer and registered dietitian Kristen Carli of her version of this classic lunchtime fave. "I love the idea of a bite of sweetness to balance out these flavors."

This salad is the ideal meal prep option for a quick, easy, healthy lunch that's filling thanks to its high protein content. Make a big batch and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, for when you need lunchtime fuel that's as nutritious as it is delicious.

Gather the ingredients for the classic tuna salad

To make this tuna salad recipe, you will, of course, need tuna. Carli prefers chunk light tuna in a pouch, which is more efficient to store and easier to use than canned tuna, as it lies flat and requires no draining.

"I love tuna in a pouch!" says Carli. "I used to carry these in my lunch box for school."

The tuna is combined with diced red onion, diced dill pickles, and golden raisins for sweetness. The salad is then seasoned with a mix of mayo and Dijon mustard for a touch of heat. 

Combine the tuna salad ingredients

Don't blink: Making this classic tuna salad recipe with a twist couldn't be a simpler or quicker feat. In fact, it lands on the table in 8 minutes flat, and with just one bowl to wash afterwards!

First, scoop the tuna from the pouches and place it in a mixing bowl. Next, top it with the raisins, onions, and pickles. You'll want to be careful to chop your onion and pickles into an even dice so that you end up with the perfect texture in every bite.

Season the tuna salad

For the last step, just stir in the mayo and mustard, and this classic tuna salad with a twist is ready to enjoy!

This recipe is just as versatile as the classic that inspired it. Enjoy it on bread or toast as a sandwich, spread it on your favorite crackers, or simply heap it on lettuce for a lunchtime salad. The latter is Carli's favorite way to enjoy it; she notes that it's a frequent flier on her lunchtime table!

Classic tuna salad recipe with a twist
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This classic tuna salad recipe with a twist has a secret ingredient. From your first bite, it'll convince you it was always meant to be part of the party.
Prep Time
Cook Time
classic tuna salad recipe with a twist
Total time: 8 minutes
  • 2 pouches chunk light tuna
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • ¼ cup diced dill pickles
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • bread, crackers, or salad, for serving
  1. Scoop out the tuna from the pouches and place the contents in a medium bowl.
  2. Top the tuna with the raisins, onion, and pickles.
  3. Add the mayo and mustard. Stir to combine. Serve the dish on toast or salad, or with crackers.
Calories per Serving 410
Total Fat 19.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 67.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 23.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 7.8 g
Sodium 929.0 mg
Protein 36.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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