Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs: The Perfect Blend of Tradition and Flavor

Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs: The Perfect Blend of Tradition and Flavor

Published on Mar 11, 2024

Tuna salad is a pantry staple that can be whipped up in no time for a satisfying lunch or light dinner. This version elevates the classic with the addition of diced hard-boiled eggs for extra nutrition and creaminess. With minimal ingredients and easy preparation, it's easy to see why Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs has stood the test of time as a reliable and flavorful salad.

  1. The History and Origins of Classic Tuna Salad

While its precise origins are unknown, tuna salad developed popularity in the early 20th century as canned tuna became widely available. Home cooks developed basic recipes mixing tuna, mayonnaise, and seasonings for quick, stick-to-your-ribs meals. The simplicity and convenience of tuna salad cemented its place in recipe boxes nationwide.

  1. Essential Ingredients for a Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs 

Here are the essential ingredients for a classic tuna salad:

  • Canned tuna in water - The main protein backbone. Opt for high-quality light tuna packed in water.
  • Hard-boiled eggs - Chopped hard-boiled eggs add richness, creaminess, and extra protein. At least 2 eggs.
  • Mayonnaise - Just enough mayo to bind everything together without being soggy. Can use regular or light mayo.
  • Dijon mustard - A teaspoon or two adds tanginess and seasoning. Dijon pairs nicely with the eggs.
  • Celery - Finely diced celery contributes to crunch and freshness.
  • Red onion - Finely diced red onion lends mild onion flavor.
  • Fresh lemon juice - A squeeze of lemon juice lifts the flavors.
  • Salt and black pepper - Season generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Optional additions: Fresh herbs like dill, parsley, or chives; Capers for brininess; Garlic powder or minced garlic; Paprika for color

The key ingredients that make a classic tuna salad with eggs creamy and flavorful are the tuna, hard-boiled eggs, mayo, Dijon, celery, and onion - along with a squeeze of lemon and salt/pepper seasoning.

  1. Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

Here is a step-by-step preparation guide for the Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs:


  • 2 (5 oz) cans of solid white tuna in water, drained
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (yellow or Dijon)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika


  • Hard boil the eggs. Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel eggs and dice.
  • Drain the tuna. Open the cans of tuna and drain off the excess liquid by placing the tuna in a mesh strainer or colander in the sink. Let sit for 5 minutes to drain well.
  • Flake the tuna. Transfer the drained tuna to a medium bowl. Use a fork to flake the tuna into smaller pieces within the bowl gently.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Add the diced hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, pickle relish, mustard, black pepper, and paprika to the bowl with the flaked tuna.
  • Mix well. Use a spatula or large spoon to gently combine all the ingredients together until just blended. Be careful not to overmix and break up the tuna too much.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Taste the salad and add more of any seasoning as desired, such as more pepper or paprika.
  • Serve. Scoop the finished tuna salad onto lettuce leaves, bread, and crackers, or enjoy it on its own. Refrigerate any leftovers.
  1. Variations and Creative Twists for Classic Tuna Salad Recipe with Eggs

If you want to switch things up from the usual tuna salad, we also have a few tweaks to create exciting new flavors:

  • Shake things up with spicy Sriracha

Stirring in 1-2 teaspoons of Sriracha sauce adds a subtle smoky-hot edge that livens up regular tuna salad. For an extra dose of heat, dice up a small jalapeño pepper and mix it in too (remove the seeds if you prefer less spice). The spiciness plays nicely off the rich creaminess of the mayonnaise.

  • Embrace Mediterranean vibrancy

How about transporting your tastebuds to the Mediterranean with bold additions like kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes? Dice 1⁄4 cup of each and stir them into the salad after lightly soaking the tomatoes to soften them. Fresh herbs like oregano, basil, or parsley enhance the flavors even more. Swap some of the mayo for olive oil to up the freshness.

  • Opt for a lighter Greek yogurt twist

Wanting a lighter take on the creamy classic? Leave out the mayo and substitute plain Greek yogurt. Full-fat yogurt maintains that rich texture while slashing calories compared to mayonnaise. The tart tang also provides a lovely contrast to the tuna.

  • Pasta power for lunchbox-friendly noodle salad

Toss the tuna salad with cooked pasta like farfalle or penne for a whole new take on tuna noodle salad. The pasta soaks up all the delicious flavors and makes portioning easier for meal prep. Shake things up further by adding diced veggies like cucumber and red pepper.

  • Vegetable-packed salad for sustained energy

Amp up the nutrition by mixing canned chickpeas, diced avocado, or shredded carrot into the salad. Not only does it boost the fiber and protein, but stretching out a can of tuna too. Feel free to experiment with your favorite roasted, sautéed, or raw chopped vegetables to create flavorful layers of texture.

  1. Health Benefits and Nutritional Profile

This classic tuna salad recipe with eggs packs a nutritional one-two punch. Tuna delivers high-quality protein to support muscle growth and repair. Its protein also keeps you feeling full for hours. Canned light tuna is low in saturated fat but high in selenium and vitamins B3, B6, and B12.

Hard-boiled eggs contribute additional muscle-building protein as well as vitamins D and B12. Eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for eye health. Potassium assists with heart function and blood pressure regulation. The mayonnaise provides a modest amount of unsaturated fatty acids which support brain and heart health. It also adds richness without being overly indulgent from a caloric standpoint.

In addition, preparing this salad yourself allows you to control ingredients for optimal nutrition. Canned tuna packed in water has no extra fat, salt, or preservatives. The dressing strikes a balance between taste and health impact.

Eating tuna and eggs together means you get the nutritional perks of each food combined. This salad makes it easy to get high-quality protein, minerals, and vitamins into your diet for increased energy levels and overall wellness.


With the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide, you're ready to embark on a culinary adventure and create a classic tuna salad that will delight your senses. Embrace tradition while adding your own creative flair with variations and personalized touches. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and prepare to savor the timeless flavors of a classic tuna salad recipe with eggs.