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Make this Southern-Style Tuna Salad for a light dinner or side dish to pair with a meal. It’s a classic recipe that only requires a few basic ingredients. Creamy, flavorful, and delicious!
For a meatless version be sure to try making a batch of Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad. If you’re craving more salad recipes, try making some Warm Macaroni Salad or Lemon Pasta Salad.
There’s nothing like classic tuna salad.
It really is the best and can be served in so many different ways. It can be piled on top of your favorite bread to make a good tuna sandwich, especially with a couple of slices of tomato and some lettuce leaves. Or serves on top of a bed of greens and enjoyed as a salad. Growing up my mom would always pair it with some saltine crackers. And of course, her version always included eggs.
It’s an easy recipe to make using just a few ingredients. This recipe is great to make in advance and add to the weekly lunch rotation.
Let’s get started!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Tuna - Any variety or brand that you prefer will work, including light tuna. I usually go with wild white tuna that’s canned in water.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs - Adds more bulk and protein to the tuna salad. Boil four eggs until hard and use a box grater to grate them into smaller pieces.
- Mayonnaise - This will bind the tuna salad together. Use any that you prefer and can find at your local grocery store.
- Sweet Pickle Relish - Provides a tart and sweet flavor that is a classic touch to any southern-style tuna recipe. May use dill relish or sweet salad cubes instead.
- Fresh Parsley - Chop some fresh parsley to add a bit of freshness to the salad.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper - Seasons the tuna salad, if you prefer to use more or less, then feel free to adjust the measurements to your desired taste.
See the recipe card below for exact ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Step By Step Instructions
Begin the full recipe by hard boiling the eggs and using a box grater to grate each egg into a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
Open the can of tuna and drain off the water. Add to the bowl with the grated eggs.
Add the mayonnaise, sweet relish, fresh parsley, salt, and ground black pepper.
Stir all of the ingredients together until combined. Use it to make a sandwich or serve it on a bed of lettuce and enjoy it with your favorite crackers. Enjoy!
Store the tuna salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Do not leave it at room temperature or out on the countertop for any length of time to prevent spoilage.
This particular recipe is meant to be enjoyed shortly after it is made and should not be frozen or stored in the freezer for later.
Southern-Style Tuna Salad
- 9 ounces tuna, drained
- 4 large eggs, hard boiled and grated
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Begin the full recipe by hard boiling the 4 large eggs and using a box grater to grate each egg into a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Open a 9 ounce can of tuna and drain off the water. Add to the bowl with the grated eggs. Add the 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, ¼ cup sweet relish, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Stir all of the ingredients together until combined. Use it to make a sandwich or serve it on a bed of lettuce and enjoy it with your favorite crackers. Enjoy!
*All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
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Have any comments, questions, or other delicious ideas and ways to enjoy this Classic Southern Tuna Salad Recipe? Please share them in the comments below!
This tuna salad made such a delicious lunch and I love the tuna and hard boiled eggs combo, so easy to whip up too! Thank you so much!
Thank you Kathryn, yes it's so so easy to whip up!
Who would have thought combining two classics could be this delicious? I've never had eggs in tuna salad (except for nicoise) and it really works! I'm so happy to have found a new quick lunch salad to add to the rotation.
Thank you Bernice! It really is a great pairing, hope you enjoy it!
I loved the mix of eggs and tuna! I love that I can make a batch of it on weekend to eat for lunch during the week. So convenient!
Thank you Sandhya! It is a great lunch option!!
Lauren Michael Harris
This is how my grandmother always used to make tuna salad. I hadn't had it in so long - this was so good and definitely brought back happy memories!
Thank you Lauren, happy to hear you enjoyed the tuna recipe 🙂
I once had tuna salad at a restaurant that was so good and I've been looking to find something similar ever since and this is it! The hard boiled eggs and the relish really make it extra special!
Thank you Pam! The eggs and relish do really make a difference 🙂
I am a big fan of tuna salad and make all kinds, but this one is good. It's quick, easy, and has a lovely Southern flair.
Thank you Helene! Happy to hear you enjoyed it 🙂
By far the best tuna salad recipe! So happy I found it!! I normally don’t make tuna sandwiches often, but I’ve made this four times in one month. It really is delish!! Thank you so much.
Thank you so much Natalia!! So glad to hear that you're enjoying the tuna salad recipe 🙂
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
Oh what a lovely twist on a classic! I swear I would have starved throughout college if it weren't for tuna fish and eggs! This sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it this week!
Thank you Lori, same with me and college but also add in some of cup of noodles too 😉
This tuna salad was perfect! I loved the hard-boiled egg addition, and the parsley addd such a nice fresh flavor.
Thank you Amanda! I agree, both add some nice flavor!
My new favorite tuna recipe! Loved the flavor of this tuna, made an amazing sandwich!
Thank you so much Tristin, glad you enjoyed it!
I have mixed tuna and hard boiled eggs for years. It is a great combination. It was served that way when I went to college. I was hooked. I have never served it with just crackers. Great idea. I also serve on lettuce, or ciabatta, or similar bread. Now, I am going to make for lunch tomorrow!
Thank you Paula! It's been my favorite way to have tuna for years as well and on ciabatta sounds delicious!