Go Back Email Link
+ servings
tuna salad on a focaccia sandwich with lettuce

The Perfect Deli Tuna Salad

Rebecca Eisenberg
The perfect pale pink, creamy-yet-crunchy deli tuna salad comes together in minutes and uses ingredients you already have on hand, but needs to sit at least 12 hours in the fridge overnight to truly shine.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Resting Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 20 mins
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 16 ounces



  • 10-12 ounces canned tuna, drained (two 5 oz cans or one 12 oz can)
  • cup Mayonnaise (can use up to ¼ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons Whole grain mustard
  • 1 Large egg
  • ¼ cup Celery (one stalk, chopped)
  • cup Carrot (chopped)
  • cup Red onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon Paprika
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  • 1 teaspoon Dill (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon Olives (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Capers


  • Bring an inch of water to a rolling boil in a small sauce pan. Gently lower an egg in the water, cover the pot, and adjust the burner to keep that rolling boil going. Cook the egg for 11 minutes. Drain the water and fill the pot with cool tap water. Let the egg sit for 5 minutes, then peel the egg under cool running water.
  • While the egg cooks, open and drain the tuna cans. Place the tuna in a whatever airtight container you plan to store it in (or mix in a bowl if that's easier).
  • Use the egg slicer to slice the egg in two directions — slice it horizontally, then rotate and slice it vertically. Add the chopped egg to the tuna.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the tuna and egg and mix well with a fork, mashing the egg yolk and breaking up the bigger chunks of tuna. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. You may want more mayo or less mayo, more salt and pepper, more crunchy bits, etc. Adjust, adjust, adjust!
  • Cover tightly and let sit in the fridge overnight, ideally 12-18 hours, before serving.


  • Tuna salad will stay good in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Do not leave tuna salad out at room temperature for over 4 hours.
  • If you're sensitive to celery strings, use a peeler to peel the outside of the celery stalk before you slice it.


Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!