Better Tuna Salad

better tuna salad

Tuna salad is such a dirty word in the food world. It’s almost always OK at it’s best, and really sucks at it’s worst. Pasty, mayonnaise-ridden tuna salad slopped around in delis and cafeterias has really done a disservice to the magical ingredient that is canned tuna. I wish there was another word for this recipe, but there isn’t. It’s tuna salad, better.

This is my favorite tuna salad recipe.  It’s important to use oil-packed tuna. Important as in, don’t you dare NOT use oil-packed tuna. It’s sometimes called tonno, and is made by a few different brands. Bumblebee is readily available (in a shimmering golden can, no less) and Genova is another common brand. It’s usually yellowfin tuna, and if you are in doubt just read the ingredient label. It should list olive oil as an ingredient, and not list water. That’s the one you want.

The other important point for this tuna salad recipe is to use fancy olive oil, it really makes a difference. Your 750ml bottle should cost $10-12 or more. It’s worth it for dishes like this. Trust me.

better tuna salad
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
No Cooking
Serves: 2 people


1 5-ounce can oil-packed tuna [120 grams], drained

1/4 medium red onion [45 grams], minced very finely

4 tablespoons great quality olive oil [50 grams]

1 packed tablespoon minced fresh parsley [6 grams]

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice [10 grams] (juice from about 1/2 of a juicy lemon)

1 teaspoon kosher salt


In a small bowl, break up and fluff the tuna with a fork. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.

Serve with crackers or toasted bread.

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