And while plain tuna salad with a bit of mayo and some salt and pepper is delicious, it can get a little bit same-old, same-old. Luckily it couldn’t be simpler to add interest to that little can of fish, and the options for changing it up are pretty endless.
Each of the add-in ideas below is meant for one can of tuna, but you can double or triple the recipes. These add-ins also work with white or light tuna, and tuna that was either packed in oil or water—your choice. Make sure to drain the tuna very well before adding the extra ingredients.
Instead of the usual mayo-based tuna salad, try a vinaigrette base instead. Stir the drained tuna together with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil (skip if the tuna was packed in oil), 1 teaspoon rinsed and drained capers, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
If you want to make this into an even more protein packed meal, you could stir in 1/4 cup drained and rinsed canned white beans. This tuna salad version also makes a delicious classic antipasto offering or crostini topping.
CRUNCHY TUNA SALAD
For crisp texture and flavor, combine the tuna with 1 tablespoon mayo, and then add 1 tablespoon each of minced fennel, onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The fennel adds a bracing anise taste, the carrot and celery a fresh-from-the-garden crunch, and the onion a bit of sharp bite.
GREEK TUNA SALAD
This tuna salad would be proud to sit on the menu of the best Greek diner. Simply stir in 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 tablespoon minced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon minced shallots, 1 tablespoon finely crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon minced black olives, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Although this would be a delicious combination of flavors in any kind of sandwich, it tastes best scooped into pita bread.
MEXICAN TUNA SALAD
Combine the tuna with 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño peppers, 1 teaspoon minced cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lime juice, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
This version is a total treat when scooped up onto sturdy tortilla chips (use unsalted, or make sure to go lightly on the salt if this is the way you want to eat this tuna salad). If you make it into a sandwich, you could also add some sliced avocado.