Why You Should Add Spice To Your Tuna Salad

What comes to mind when you think of tuna salad? For many of us, it's the depressing tuna salad of our youth which was quite likely shreds of the canned fish swimming in way too much mayonnaise, and not much else. There's nothing wrong with adding some mayo to this dish, but the real mistake people make with tuna salad is stopping there. It can be so much better than the soupy, bland tuna salad found in soggy cafeteria sandwiches. All you need are a few spices and herbs that you probably already have in your pantry.

Let's start with the most basic of seasonings that are sure to be hanging out in your kitchen somewhere: salt and pepper. According to Tablespoon, just adding a few dashes of plain old salt and pepper will really enhance the flavor of your tuna salad. But that's only the beginning: There are many spices and herbs, fresh and dried that work beautifully with the flavor of tuna, making a boring tuna salad something extraordinary. There are so many options that it's worth experimenting to find out which spice and tuna combination really speaks to you.  

There are a number of seasonings that pair well with tuna

Starting off with a few shakes of salt and pepper is great, but Tablespoon says you can go even further with your tuna salad by looking to the spices of your favorite cuisines. For example, evoke the flavors of the warm region of Tuscany, Italy in your salad by adding herbs like thyme and basil along with sliced olives and a dash of lemon juice. The warming spices of Indian cuisine are also delicious when blended into tuna salad. Possible upgrades include adding a bit of spicy curry powder, earthy cumin, or citrusy coriander. 

Premixed blends are an easy way to add flavor to this salad, and are especially convenient if you have a limited number of spices in your kitchen. Look for Cajun or Creole seasonings that have a spicy kick from cayenne pepper along with onion and garlic. Old Bay is another seasoning that tastes delicious with your tuna salad. According to All Recipes, the Old Bay blend contains celery seed, pepper, dry mustard, and paprika, and improves the flavor of all kinds of dishes, especially fish and seafood.

"The Flavor Bible" by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg lists even more dried and fresh herbs to try with your tuna salad, showing just how versatile this fish really is. Some of the herbs they suggest include fresh chives, dill, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, and chervil. With any of these herbs, maybe it will finally be the best tuna salad ever!