A simple Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill is a breeze to prepare and wonderful served on a crusty roll for lunch or a light dinner. And when Lent rolls around it’s a staple for Friday lunches.

With a dressing of mayonnaise and fresh lemon juice plus a boost of flavor from fresh, aromatic dill, this is an easy way to shake up your usual Tuna Salad Sandwich Recipe!

Easy Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill on a white plate with cornichons.

Why You Should Make this Tuna Salad Recipe

  • When I get in a lunchtime rut, I often make chicken or tuna salad for sandwiches. My mom’s version was a can of tuna, chopped celery, and mayonnaise. That’s it. And we loved it.
  • As I grew older, I added more ingredients, like in this Tuna with Cranberries and Pecans. But sometimes, less is more, and this simple tuna salad is ready in no time. Add or take out ingredients according to your tastes.
  • Only a few ingredients are needed and lunch is served!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper (To taste. You may not need any additional salt and cans or jars of tuna tend to be salty).
  • Jars of Tuna Fillets in Olive Oil – I find these at Whole Foods or Fresh Market. The quality of the tuna is better, but you can use canned tuna if you’d like.
  • Juice of half a Lemon – Balances the flavors and cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise and oils.
  • Mayonnaise – Hellmann’s or Duke’s brands are preferred.
  • Fresh Dill – Mince the leaves.
  • Red Onion or pickled red onion – See how to pickle below. It helps remove some sharpness. Dice or mince so there are no big pieces.
Easy Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill on a whole wheat bun on a white plate.

Tips for Making Tuna Salad

As anyone who has made tuna salad knows, it’s pretty much a dump-and-mix recipe. But there are a few hints for making it the best it can be!

  • PRO-Tip: Use good quality tuna. I have moved from the canned, water-packed tuna I bought in my 20’s and now look for the jars of tuna fillets in olive oil (affiliate links). Yes, it’s more expensive, but give it a try. The higher grade of this product is worth the occasional splurge.
  • Use fresh dill in this recipe, not dried. The taste is far superior!
  • PRO-Tip: It’s simple to pickle your own onions. The sharpness is minimized, but there’s still some crunch and mild onion flavor. The pickling process entails finely dicing some onions and covering them with your favorite vinegar for only 10 minutes. I used champagne vinegar, but other kinds of vinegar would also work. Avoid a dark balsamic as the purple of the onions gives a needed pop of color to the tuna salad.
  • The salad dressing is just mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice. Make sure you use freshly squeezed lemon juice and quality mayonnaise. I like Hellmann’s organic.
  • I prefer flaking the tuna fillets into pieces versus mixing it into a paste, so the tuna is identifiable in the salad.
  • Canned and jarred tuna is generally on the salty side. I did not add any salt to my recipe, but some freshly ground black pepper would be a nice addition.
  • If you want to add diced celery, pickles or any other favorite tuna salad ingredient, please do!
  • Serve this tuna salad on a bed of leaf lettuce or between two slices of bread or on a bun or roll. Lettuce and/or a slice of tomato would be terrific on your sandwich.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Be Added to Tuna Salad to Make It Taste Better?

Try cutting the mayonnaise with sour cream or yogurt. Add some lemon juice to balance the creamy dressing. Add your favorite ingredients like sweet or dill pickles or relish, minced or chopped celery for crunch, small, cooked pasta, grated or small cubes of cheese, diced hard-boiled eggs, and more!
Also, make your tuna salad, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it chill overnight in the refrigerator to let the flavors develop and meld, enhancing the flavors.

Can I Eat Tuna Salad if I Need to Watch My Sodium Intake?

There is probably low-sodium canned or jarred tuna available. But if it’s hard to find or too costly, you can rinse your tuna in a colander before using it. This technique is known to reduce the sodium amount by up to 80%.

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Easy Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill on a white plate with fresh dill and cornichons
This post was updated with new text and photos in 2018. This is a photo from the 2011 blog post.

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Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill featured image

Tuna Salad with Fresh Dill

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A simple, yet gourmet Tuna Salad recipe with Fresh Dill


  • 2 6.7-ounce jars tuna fillets in olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion or diced pickled red onion*
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Flake tuna into a medium bowl. 
  2. Add lemon juice, mayonnaise to taste, dill and onion; and mix to desired consistency.  Season to taste.
  3. Serve with your favorite rolls, and add lettuce, tomatoes, and/or sprouts.


*To make pickled onions, simply pour white wine or champagne vinegar over diced onions.  Allow them to pickle for at least 10 minutes.  Drain and add to the tuna mixture.

Adapted from Once Upon a Tart.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 13g


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