The Tuna Salad Lunch Box

$7.68 recipe / $1.92 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
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Here’s another no-cook cold lunch idea for you! Tuna salad is a classic cold lunch item, but you can’t prep a few days worth of sandwiches ahead and expect them to hold up and not turn into a soggy mess. Unlike piling tuna salad onto a sandwich or onto a bed of greens, this Tuna Salad Lunch Box holds up for days in the refrigerator, so you can pack your lunch for the week all in one go. 

These no-cook lunch ideas are convenient for the hot summer months, work places that don’t have a microwave for reheating, picnics, and road trips! Scroll down for a list with more of my no-cook lunch boxes just below the recipe!

Three divided glass meal prep containers with tuna salad, crackers, and vegetables

What Kind of Tuna Salad Should You Use?

You can use your favorite tuna salad recipe in your tuna salad lunch box. I used my Classic Tuna Salad, but this would also work well with my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad, Sesame Tuna Salad, or even my White Bean and Tuna Salad.

How to Keep the Crackers Crunchy

Tuna salad does have a lot of moisture in it, so if you put your crackers in the same box without any protection they will slowly absorb that moisture and soften. To avoid this you can either wrap the crackers in a fold top sandwich baggie, or just pack them separately.

Other Tuna Salad Lunch Box Ingredient Options

If you don’t like the items I packed in my tuna salad lunch box, there are more options! You can pack sliced cucumber, carrot sticks, pretzels, or even butter lettuce leaves (to use as a sort of wrap). 

If you want to make your lunch more filling, consider adding an apple, orange, or a cup of yogurt on the side.

What Are Those Containers??

I got these divided glass meal prep containers on Amazon. You can find a link to them in the bottom of the recipe card below.

A tuna salad lunch box with tuna in a pepper and a cracker tipping into the salad

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The Tuna Salad Lunch Box

This Tuna Salad Lunch Box is an easy make-ahead lunch idea with plenty of vegetables and protein to keep you full.
A tuna salad lunch box with tuna in a pepper and a cracker tipping into the salad
Servings 4
Prep 20 mins
Cook 0 mins
Total 20 mins

Ingredients

Classic Tuna Salad

  • 2 12oz. cans chunk light tuna in water ($3.98)
  • 1 cup diced celery ($0.35)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts ($0.30)
  • 2 green onions, sliced ($0.12)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise ($0.40)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.04)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)

Other Box Ingredients

  • 4 ribs celery ($0.52)
  • 12 mini sweet peppers ($1.22)
  • 20 crackers ($0.74)

Instructions 

  • Drain the tuna well. Finely dice the celery and slice the green onion. Combine the tuna, celery, green onion, walnuts, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Slice the remaining celery into sticks. Cut each mini sweet pepper in half and scoop out the seeds.
  • Divide the tuna salad between four containers (about 1 cup each). Add celery sticks, mini sweet peppers, and crackers to each box with the tuna salad. For extra protection, either wrap the crackers in a sandwich baggie or pack them separately. Refrigerate the lunch boxes up to four days.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.



Nutrition

Serving: 1boxCalories: 573.98kcalCarbohydrates: 18.93gProtein: 44.1gFat: 34.8gSodium: 1409.73mgFiber: 8.03g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Check Out These Other No-Cook Lunch Ideas:

Three glass containers of the tuna salad lunch box scattered

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  1. I’m not a big tuna fan. Could i use salmon or canned chicken? Or something else you might recommend?

  2. A real favorite with my husband and I. Ironically we both hated tuna growing up, but now look forward to it. I always bring a van with me to make sure I have good food wherever I go!

  3. Thanks for the recipe!

    Your tuna salad is my FAVORITE! It’s not gloppy and mayo-heavy like other tuna salads.

    The meal prep worked great for my work lunches this week. Crackers stayed crispy and it’s a filling lunch!
    I bought the containers a while back and they are AWESOME.

  4. Hi! This recipe says 2 12oz cans of Tuna, but i’ve never seen a can bigger than 5oz. Am I supposed to use 4-5 regular cans of tuna? That seems excessive.

    1. Tuna salad is pretty flexible, so you can go with whatever amount you feel is good for four servings, but yes, 4-5 5oz. cans would be the equivalent to the two 12oz. cans that I used. Most major brands offer both 5 oz. and 12 oz. size. Once drained, it’s only 3 oz. of tuna.

  5. I believe you meant to type ” 2 ” cans of tuna on the Classic Tuna Salad recipe for the Lunch Box (not 1).

  6. This really looks delicious. Can you explain the nutritional information. It says a serving is 1 box. What would that mean? And how many servings are in the recipe? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Jerrie! If you look at the recipe, it says it will yield 4 servings, which means it will create 4 – one box/containers of the tuna, veggies, and crackers. Hope that helps to clarify!