The Old-World Secret That Will Change The Way You Think About Tuna Salad

For people looking for a quick and filling lunch, a classic tuna salad recipe is always a good choice. Whether you enjoy it on its own or you serve it sandwiched between two slices of rye bread, tuna salad is a remarkably easy meal to prepare, requiring only a few basic ingredients to make and relatively little time. But, like all good meals, there are plenty of things that can be done to give your tuna salad plenty of extra flavor.

Simply Recipes, for example, suggests adding certain vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, and fennel to give the tuna both a garden-fresh flavor and some extra crunch. A recipe from Martha Stewart calls for a chopped McIntosh or Gala apple for a light and sweet flavor. These are all fine additions to any tuna salad, make no mistake. A tuna salad is very versatile and can adapt to any sort of palette, be it salty, sweet, or even spicy. However, there's one ingredient that, while common, you may not have expected to add to your tuna salad before. While it might be unexpected to some, it may have unexpected benefits according to those who try it.

Add peanut butter to your tuna salad

Peanut butter? In tuna salad? Admittedly this may sound like a joke, but perhaps you shouldn't be too hasty to write it off just yet. According to Ancestors in Aprons, the use of peanut butter in tuna salad is actually a key component in preparing a dish called "Kaser Tuna Salad." The recipe's author, Vera Marie Badertscher, explains that this is an old family recipe prepared by her mother when she was very young. Some of the commentators on the recipe were, understandably, a bit confused about putting peanut butter in tuna salads. 

"I don't usually put in enough peanut butter that it really changes the texture," Badertscher explains. "It just adds a nice, light, nutty taste, maybe a slight hint of sweetness, that in my opinion offsets what is sometimes a too-fishy, oily taste of canned tuna."

Although Badertscher has fond memories of a peanut butter tuna salad, how would it taste to someone who has never tried it before? Lu Ann Cahn of NBC Philadelphia taste-tested a peanut butter-and-tuna sandwich in 2010 and didn't dislike the taste, and even considered adding some crushed potato chips. In the end, Cahn wasn't appalled by the sandwich but didn't seem too eager to try it again. While you may be on the fence about adding peanut butter, there's one secret ingredient that will change your tuna salad forever.