Make Simple Tuna Salad with Deli Style Flavors

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tuna salad croissant

What’s Up, Hungry People

I’m already sick of holiday leftovers – as much as I love stuffing, I can only eat it for so many days in a row before I start to go crazy! Around this time last year, I made a delicious chicken salad because I was craving pretty much anything besides turkey. This year, I feel about the same – but I opted to make tuna salad for the first time ever instead.

This tuna salad reminded me strongly of the kind that you can pick up in the ‘prepared foods’ section of the deli. It’s packed with capers, red onions, and pickle relish – which when written out in that order sounds like a crazy combination, but trust me.

Any sort of tuna can be used in this salad, but honestly, the canned stuff works the best in my opinion. As long as you drain it well, the tuna will soak up a ton of flavor and be perfectly “clumpy” – which is how I prefer my tuna salad.

When everything is combined, the mayonnaise evenly distributes the variety of tangy flavors and the tuna mellows everything out for a sweet and savory balance. I served mine up on a buttery croissant alongside a dill pickle, à la deli style.

simple tuna salad on a croissant

The salad is held together by some mayonnaise – Duke’s Mayonnaise, to be precise. I decided to try out Duke’s after reading post after post about it in the Northeast Ohio Foodies’ Facebook group (NEO Foodies!) that I belong to. I was so intrigued by their obsession that I literally had to order a jar of it off Amazon (affiliate link). Now, I’m not sure I can go back to ‘regular’ mayo – it’s oily in comparison! Shout out to my NEO Foodies for the delicious recommendation – now if only they would stop talking about gas station hummus!

dukes mayo in tuna salad

Here’s What You Need

  • Tuna: Provides a rich, meaty texture and flavor to the salad.
  • Mayonnaise: Binds all ingredients and adds creamy texture.
  • Red onion: Adds a sharp, slightly sweet flavor and crunch.
  • Sweet pickle relish: Offers a hint of sweetness and tanginess.
  • Capers: Introduce a burst of salty, briny flavor.
  • Whole grain mustard: Contributes a mild heat and depth of flavor.
  • Pepper: Gives a spicy kick that complements the creamy elements.
  • Sea salt: Enhances overall flavor by balancing sweetness and acidity.
  • Croissants: Serve as a buttery, flaky vehicle for the salad.
  • Boston lettuce: Adds freshness and crisp texture when serving.
mixing tuna salad

Let’s Cook

First things first, let’s get that tuna ready. Pop open the can and make sure you drain off all that extra liquid. You want the tuna nice and dry so it’ll absorb all the flavors we’re about to add.

Mixing It Up

Grab a large bowl and toss in the drained tuna. Now, add in your mayonnaise, chopped red onions, sweet pickle relish, capers, and whole grain mustard. Oh, and we can’t forget the pepper and sea salt—these are essential for bringing out all the lovely flavors. Give everything a good stir until it’s all nicely mixed.

mixed tuna salad

Time to Chill or Serve

You’ve got two choices now. If you’re not too hungry yet, you can cover the bowl and pop it in the fridge. Letting it sit for a while really lets the flavors mingle and get to know each other better. But if your stomach is as ready as mine, go ahead and serve it up right away.

Serving Suggestions

This salad sings when it’s scooped onto a buttery, flaky croissant. Add a leaf or two of crisp Boston lettuce to each croissant for that extra crunch. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s got a little bit of that deli-style charm right in your own kitchen.

tuna salad sandwich

Tuna Salad Tips

  • Choosing the Right Mayo: Duke’s Mayonnaise is recommended for its creamy texture and tangy taste that perfectly complements the tuna salad. If Duke’s isn’t available, look for any mayonnaise that is slightly tangier than the regular kinds to get that deli-style flavor.
  • Draining Tuna: Make sure to drain the tuna as thoroughly as possible before mixing with other ingredients. Excess moisture can make the salad too watery, diluting the flavors. Press the tuna against the sides of the strainer with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the liquid.
  • Serving Suggestions: While this salad is delightful on croissants, it can also be served on a bed of mixed greens, in a wrap, or even by itself for a low-carb option. Each serving style offers a unique way to enjoy this versatile salad.
  • Make Ahead: If you’re planning to serve this at a gathering, the tuna salad can be made a day ahead. Keep it refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. The flavors will meld together nicely overnight, making it even more flavorful the next day.
  • Adjusting Flavor: After combining the ingredients, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning as needed. Sometimes a splash of lemon juice or a bit more salt and pepper can brighten the entire dish and bring all the flavors together.
best tuna salad recipe

So there you have it, Hungry People. If you’re looking for a quick, tasty twist to your post-holiday menu, this simple tuna salad might just be what you need. It’s easy, it’s refreshing, and it definitely breaks the monotony of endless turkey and stuffing. Plus, with ingredients like Duke’s Mayonnaise and a sprinkle of capers, you’re adding a bit of deli-style sophistication right at your kitchen table. Whether it’s piled high on a croissant or tucked inside a wrap, this salad is sure to bring a little joy to your meal. So give it a try, see how simple and satisfying it can be, and enjoy the flavors that make every bite just right.

croissant tuna salad

Simple Tuna Salad

The Starving Chef
This classic tuna salad combines mayonnaise, capers, and crisp veggies for a fresh and satisfying sandwich.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Lunch, Sandwiches
Cuisine Sandwich, Seafood
Servings 6


  • 10 oz tuna aka white albacore
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ½ tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 croissants for serving
  • Boston lettuce for serving


  • Open and drain the liquid from the canned tuna.
  • In a large bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, chopped red onion, sweet pickle relish, capers, whole grain mustard, pepper, and sea salt. Mix well to evenly distribute all the ingredients.
  • The salad can be served immediately or refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Serve on croissants with Boston lettuce. Enjoy!
Keyword croissant, mayonnaise, tuna
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