Beth’s Best Tuna Salad

I think I might have been at least 18 years old before I realized that you could add more to canned tuna than just mayonnaise… and when I did, a whole new world opened up in front of me! So, this recipe goes out to all of you who have never wandered outside of the tuna box.

There are many directions that you can take tuna salad and I like just about every one of them, but I always come back to this basic recipe. I love the addition of lemon juice because it provides just a little bit of tang to cut through the creamy mayo. The celery and walnuts add a variety of texture in every bite and the green onions make everything savory without the harsh bite of yellow onion.

What is your favorite way to prepare tuna salad? I’m always up for trying something new!

p.s. Always check (or calculate) the price per ounce on items like tuna. I noticed that the larger cans were actually more expensive per ounce than buying multiple smaller cans! This is probably due to a supply vs. demand.

Beth’s Best Tuna Salad

tuna salad

Focaccia Sandwich
5 from 4 votes

Beth's Best Tuna Salad

There are many variations on Tuna Salad, but this one is my favorite with celery and walnuts for crunch and a little lemon juice to make it bright and tangy!

Total Cost $4.12 recipe / $1.03 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 3 5 oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $2.16
  • 3 stalks celery $0.46
  • 3 whole green onions $0.15
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.42
  • 1 med lemon $0.32
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise $0.56
  • to taste salt and pepper $0.05


  1. Wash the celery and green onions. Cut the celery into very small pieces by slicing each stalk into 4-5 thin strips lengthwise and then cutting across (see photos). Slice the green onions thinly. I like to use both the green and white ends for this recipe.
  2. Combine the celery, green onions, chopped walnuts, juice from half of the lemon and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Drain the tuna well and add to the bowl.
  3. Add mayonnaise until you have your desired consistency. I used approximately 1/3 cup. Stir until everything is combined. Give the mixture a taste and adjust the salt, pepper and lemon juice to your liking. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.


tuna salad
Eat tuna salad on a bed of baby spinach or in a sandwich made with fresh no-knead focaccia!

Step By Step Photos

chop celery
Cut the celery into very small pieces. To do this easily, cut each stalk into manageable segments about 5-6 inches long. Cut each segment lengthwise into 4-5 thin strips. Then, cut the strips across and you’ll have nice tiny pieces.

save celery
Don’t let the rest of the celery in the bunch get rubbery and go bad in the bottom of your fridge… Take five minutes to clean it off, slice it and throw it into freezer bags. The next time you make a soup or stew, you’ll have celery ready to go.

tuna add-ins
Combine the celery, green onions, chopped walnuts, juice from half a lemon and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.

drained tuna
Drain the tuna well and add it to the bowl.

add mayonnaise
Add mayonnaise until you have the texture that you want. I used about 1/3 of a cup. And as far as light mayo goes, I’ll only use Hellmann’s, all other brands taste nasty and I’d rather use regular.

tuna salad sandwich
Tuna on herb foccacia = BEST SANDWICH EVER.

Post your favorite tuna salad add-ins in the comments below!