Growing up, tuna salad was one of our go-to’s when we needed a quick meal. My mother loved Miracle Whip and my father preferred Hellman’s. This was why she made two different batches. Because I was not into sweet mayo, I shared my father’s batch. Honestly, I think my mother was grateful because she could snack on hers for a few days.
Though tuna salad felt plebeian back then, it came together easily and was packed with protein. And my mother loved tuna melts–but who didn’t in the 70s? A toasted English muffin with tuna salad and melted cheese? Yes, please.
Kicked Up Tuna Salad
Fast forward to 2022 and tuna salad still feels like a humble dish, and it is. But, over the years, I have tweaked the recipe adding a bit of this and a bit of that to make it significantly more respectable and delicious. I love adding lots of celery for plenty of crunch factor. The juice of half a lemon for acid. A squirt of stoneground mustard for depth and parsley for freshness. But David recently made a new discovery that has officially taken this classic staple we all grew up on over the top.
A few weeks ago he came home with an upscale brand of canned albacore tuna, Wild Planet that was a game-changer. Sure, it’s twice the price of regular canned tuna, but it’s at least five times better. The first time we used this sustainably caught, hand-cut and hand-packed albacore tuna in water, we swore this is the only brand we will buy.
Wild Planet for the Win
The flavor is clean and bright and makes the best tuna salad. Seriously, the Wild Planet canned tuna is incredible and worth every penny. Now that we know what the best canned tuna tastes like, we continue to make this simple dish to remind ourselves of what we have been missing all these years. No longer is this a lowly dish, but a contemporary spin on an old favorite.
With these simple modifications, tuna salad can be served as a sandwich, with a lettuce wrap, over mixed greens or with crackers for a light snack. I highly recommend you add a side plate of your favorite raw vegetables–or whatever you have in the fridge, along with pickles and a spicy pickled cherry pepper for some heat.
Considering we have once again fallen in love with tuna salad, I am confident Wild Planet will make you a convert as well.
The Best Tuna Salad
This is not the tuna salad we grew up on. This is something entirely better, using a high-quality tuna and a few key ingredients. The first trick is Wild Planet canned tuna. Adding a dollop of coarse ground mustard also adds depth to the mayo and lemon juice. Once it chills and melds, I think you will agree that this is the best tuna salad you have ever had.
- 2 5 oz. cans of Wild Planet albacore tuna drained thoroughly
- 2/3 cup celery chopped, about 2 ribs plus some leaves
- 1/3 cup red onion diced
- 1/4 cup parsley minced
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper as much as you desire
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon stoneground mustard
- 1/2 lemon juiced
In a small mixing bowl, add the canned tuna and use a fork to break up the big chunks.
Add the celery, red onion and parsley.
Add the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.
Add the lemon juice.
Blend well to combine.
Refrigerate for an hour or more to chill through and allow the flavors to meld.
Serve as a sandwich, over lettuce and a side of raw vegetables, such as carrots, radishes and cucumbers, along with your favorite pickles and a pickled cherry pepper.
If making a sandwich, add lettuce such as butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce or spicy arugula, if desired.