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THE Best Tuna Salad Ever


Okay everyone, so I’ve been making this Tuna fish salad for a few years now, and it never gets old! If you’re not a fan of Tuna fish salad, you will be after you try this recipe. Even my picky kids request it if I go too long without making it for lunch.

A good Tuna fish salad starts with good Tuna. I use nothing but solid white Albacore tuna packed in water. The solid Tuna can be drained and dried of canning liquids so you can marinate it with your own flavors. Plus it has less of a ‘Tuna’ smell as the chunk Tuna. I enjoy eating Tuna fish salad.The intense smell left over in my kitchen- not so much.


Didn’t I mention a few posts back how I love capers? They are a surprise addition to my Tuna fish salad that add a fantastic element of flavor. I also add roasted red pepper for another great flavor boost and a pop of color. Different dimensions of flavor are key to making this recipe so good.

Of course I also add in time honored mayonnaise and some celery for crunch and color too. But not until the Tuna has marinated a bit in the great flavors mentioned above. If you combine all ingredients at once, the fish is coated in a layer of mayo and it wouldn’t be able to marinate properly.

If you’re wondering where to find jarred roasted red pepper (which is completely mild by the way, no heat) and jarred capers, I find them in the specialty foods isle or sometimes by the canned olives or pickles at my local grocery store. They are common items that can be found in most all grocery stores and are usually packaged by Italian manufacturers.

A few tips for making this recipe: Make sure you have plenty of paper towels or napkins handy for all the ‘drying’ you need to do for the Tuna and the roasted peppers. I just get a big wad and blot the moisture off. You’ll also want to have a good sharp chef’s knife for mincing several of the ingredients. To “mince” is to cut into very small pieces, as small as you can. This is a great recipe to practice your knife skills :0) I hope you find this recipe as delightful as I do. Enjoy!

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THE Best Tuna Salad Ever

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


So good you’ll have to double check that it’s really tuna salad! Liven up that boring ol’ tuna salad with some gourmet ingredients!


  • 3 (5 ounce) cans solid white albacore tuna packed in water
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jarred roasted red peppers (patted dry)
  • 2 tablespoons drained and minced capers
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine


  1. Microwave the onion and oil in a small container for about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Drain tuna in a fine mesh strainer and blot dry with paper towels. Combine the tuna in a mixing bowl with the onion olive oil mixture, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, sugar, red pepper and capers. Mix with a fork until well incorporated and tuna is finely flaked. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in mayonnaise and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salad, Seafood
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. I am definitely going to have to try this one. I am so curious about all those fine flavors. It sounds yummy.

  2. I love the variety of things you can add to a salad. I especially love avocado so I know this will be a great salad!
    this salad looks refreshing! I love butter lettuce and these flavors sound bright and fresh. Thanks a lot for sharing such a fantastic recipe.

  3. I’ve been making this salad, minus the red peppers and capers, since it was published in Cook’s Illustrated in 2010. The best!

    1. Hi Jackie! It is the best! I can’t eat it the plain old way anymore. Marinating tuna in great flavors is the key to a great tuna salad!

  4. I’m a homemaker always looking for a spin on traditional classics , this tuna recipe was ” Awesome” did toast my bread & my husband & myself love us some pepperjack haverty cheese , this is certainly a got to keep ( keeper) thank you so much Goldilocks for posting this delicious recipe! Please follow the entire recipe! You will not be disappointed!!!!!

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