You’ll love this Easy Tuna Salad next time you need an appetizer or side dish to bring along to any party or picnic!
Though it may look standard, this tuna salad has a surprise twist. It offers both sweet flavors from the apple and salty and sour flavors from the pickles. Not only is it easy to make, but this tuna salad is an explosion of unique flavors.
Pair it with a delicious Orzo Arugula Salad for a healthy and filling spread at your next happy hour!
Why You’ll Love this Tuna Salad Recipe
If you’re looking for a quick lunch or a flavorful dish to serve alongside cocktails, this easy tuna salad is a must-try. With sweet and crunchy apples contrasted against sour dill pickles, this tuna salad has a unique blend of interesting flavors.
Add salt and pepper to taste and you’ve got a filling but light salad!
You only need 5 ingredients and just a few minutes to put together this dish. Whether you’re making a tuna salad sandwich, looking for a filling for a lettuce wrap, or need to spice up your next tuna melt, this tuna salad with apples and pickles will get the job done.
Easy to tweak and customize, this recipe is perfect when you need something fast but satisfying.
Easy Tuna Salad Ingredients
- Canned Chunk Tuna – you can used either oil packed or water packed tuna; the latter is a bit better for you.
- Yellow Onion – provides some textural contrast and a sharp onion flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients.
- Dill Pickle Spear – adds lots of sour, salty flavor to your tuna salad.
- Gala Apple – for a juxtaposition of sweet with salty and savory. You can also use other kinds of apples, but we like Gala apple for this tuna salad.
- Mayonnaise – ensures that the tuna salad will be nice and creamy.
- Salt and Pepper – to taste.
How to Make Homemade Tuna Salad
- Drain the tuna of the water or oil and add to a bowl.
- Dice the onion and cut the apple and pickle in chunks. Add these to the bowl with the tuna.
- Add the mayonnaise to the bowl and mix all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Serve on bread or with crackers.
How can I turn this into a Tuna Melt?
You can put the tuna salad on a slice of bread of your choice, top with shredded cheese and let broil on low in the oven for 2-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. And you have a tuna melt!
What is the best seasoning for canned tuna?
Tuna has a relatively mild flavor that’s somewhat similar to salmon, though more subtle. This means there are lots of seasonings that fair well as ways to quickly improve the taste of even canned tuna.
Mix it with salt and pepper to salt, then add seasonings like celery salt, Old Bay, smoked paprika, onion powder or garlic powder.
What is the healthiest canned tuna?
A lot of this depends what you’re searching for. When looking at tuna packed in oil, I recommend leaning toward olive oil packed tuna as opposed to soybean oil. Olive oil has more nutrients and is generally better for you than soybean oil.
If you want to avoid the oil altogether, go for tuna packed in water. It may be a bit on the drier side, but there are other ingredients you can add to it to offset any potential dryness.
What can I use in tuna instead of mayo?
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo in this salad. It achieves much of the same effects in terms of texture and consistency, and the flavor is mild enough that it will likely not come through the tuna or pickles.
You can also add additional seasonings to the mix if you find you want to further cover up the taste of Greek yogurt, which is overall healthier than mayo.
Can you add cheese to tuna salad?
Yes, cheese is a great addition to many tuna salad recipes. Something on the subtle side like cheddar, mozzarella, or Gruyere would be delicious. You could also add some cream cheese to make the consistency even creamier.
Tuna Salad Variations and Substitutions
- Feel free to add others ingredients into your salad. Try it with: celery, onion (red onion in addition to the yellow onion will emphasize the flavor), dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped hard boiled eggs.
- For additional flavor and a creamier texture, add ingredients like salad dressing, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, or even some lemon juice for a sharp and acidic burst of flavor.
- While this tuna salad is delicious on its own, it’s also great for sandwiches, wraps, tuna melts, and more!
- Serve with some chips, crackers, veggies, or pieces of bread.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Baked Italian Sausage Baguettes – Make this filling appetizer for the perfect accompaniment to any cocktail hour drinks.
- Pizza Pull Apart Bread – Takes the classic flavors of pizza and transforms them into a comforting and warm dish that’s perfect for sharing!
- Blooming Quesadilla Ring – A fun and exciting way to serve quesadillas, this recipe is highly customizable and great to pair with your favorite dipping sauces.
- Peaches and Cream Cocktail – Using peach flavored Crown Royal and cream soda, you can easily create this sweet and fun cocktail!
- Cuban Mojito – Refreshing and bursting with flavor, this mojito uses Cuban rum and combines it with lime and mint for a fizzy and delicious beverage.
- German Style Potato Salad – To create a full and filling spread of side salads, make this tender and tangy salad from Grumpy’s Honeybunch.
Tuna Salad Recipe with Apples and Pickles
- 1 can of tuna chunks in olive oil
- ¼ yellow onion
- 1 kosher dill pickle spear
- ½ small gala apple
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- Drain the oil from the tuna and add to a bowl.
- Small dice the onion and cut the apple and pickle in chunks. Add these to the bowl with the tuna as well.
- Add the mayonnaise to the bowl and mix all ingredients.
- Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Serve on bread or crackers.
- Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise.
- Mix in additional ingredients like red onion, celery, dried cranberries, Dijon mustard, salad dressing, or sweet pickle relish.
- Tuna packed in oil will be more moist and flavorful, but tuna packed in water is generally better for you. If you do want to use oil-packed tuna, go for olive oil instead of soybean oil.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 801mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g