Canned albacore tuna is tossed with celery, dried cranberries, sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, and simple spices. This meal is quick and easy to make and produces a flavorful, tuna salad.
Fall is the perfect time for a hearty salad. This tuna salad with cranberries is full of flavor and nutrients that will keep you going all season long! If you’re looking for an easy dish to make this fall, look no further than this Fall Tuna Salad recipe. The ingredients are simple, but they come together to make a delicious lunch or dinner that’s simply scrumptious.
What are your favorite things to eat for lunch? If you’re like me, sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking. That’s why I love tuna salad so much – it’s easy, can be healthy, and tasty! There are so many different ways to enjoy the flavors of tuna salad that you’ll never get bored of eating it. Today, I wanted to share my new favorite way to prepare it that removes the fishy taste, and highlights the sweet and savory taste buds.
What is Tuna Salad?
Tuna salad is a beloved sandwich filling that can be made with canned tuna or cooked ground meat, vegetables, and mayonnaise. It is a delicious, easy to make dish that can be served on its own or on top of bread. The ingredients are mixed together in a bowl until the mixture has thickened slightly. Look for tuna packed in water rather than oil to get the most flavor out of your tuna salad recipe!
Cranberry Tuna Salad Ingredients
- Tuna: For this recipe, we used canned chunk style Albacore Tuna in water. You can use tuna in oil if you prefer, but we like the water variety because it is cheaper, healthier, and more adaptable for recipes.
- Dressing: Typically, tuna salad is made with creamy mayonnaise. While this is still the case with this fall tuna salad, we cut the mayo in half by 50% and use sour to add more flavor and less calories. Non-fat Greek yogurt is also a good option for less calories. We also added a little acid to this recipe which was in the form of fresh lemon juice which added nice flavor, and cut the fishy taste from the tuna. If you prefer no mayo, check out this No-Mayo Tuna Salad.
- Spices: Since tuna naturally has a strong fishy taste spices are a must! We added ground black pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning. However, celery salt, onion powder, and garlic powder are also great options.
- Add-ins: For this tuna salad, we added dried cranberries, shallots, and celery. Finely diced onion, and Granny Smith apples would also be lovely for this.
Tuna Salad Variations
Tuna is one of the most versatile pantry proteins in the kitchen, so it’s no surprise that there are many ways to make a tasty tuna. It can be made sweet or savory depending on what you add into the mix-sweetness from honey, tanginess from sour cream, or acidity from lemon juice and vinegar. You can also change up your favorite mayo by adding something unexpected like paprika for color and flavor!
Tuna: You can use pouch-style tuna, canned tuna, chunk light, or albacore in water or oil –pretty much any shelf-stable tuna.
Nuts: I love pecans because they have a delicious flavor that is not bitter, and they would go great in this salad. You can however use cashews, almonds, or walnuts if that is what you have on hand.
Dressing: You can use mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, sour cream, or Non-fat Greek yogurt –mayo even a combo of 2! Some people even use coleslaw or ranch dressing!
Fruits: Raisins (traditional and golden), grapes, dried apricot, cranberry, apples, and mandarin oranges are tasty options.
Flavor: Tuna salad can be made sweet or savory–maybe even both. Apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, or lemon juice can add a flavor balance. Paprika, cumin, oregano, or thyme can add a new depth of flavor.
Cheese: Sometimes I add little cubes of cheddar to my tuna salad which adds yummy texture, and flavor.
Making Tuna Salad Healthier
One of the best ways to make tuna salad healthier is by using less mayonnaise. First off, you can swap out the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt or light sour cream. The result will be a lighter tuna salad that is still just as creamy!
Second, add veggies like celery and carrots for some color and crunchy texture. Fresh fruit like grapes and apples add texture and natural sugars. Lastly, top it off with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro! You’ll still have that classic taste you know and love but it’ll be a lot better for you too :)
Keeping it Fresh
You can store tuna salad in a clean, airtight, deli container for up to 3 days. Up to this point, it will still taste yummy and fresh.
However, I do not recommend storing it for greater than 4 days, or it will begin to get fishy and watery!
Our Other Yummy Tuna Recipes
Tuna Salad with Cranberries
- large mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
- cutting board & knife
- Airtight container
- 12 ounces Solid White Albacore Tuna in water
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 1 small shallot diced
- ½ cup Dried cranberries
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ cup celery chopped
- Drain the tuna fully and add it to a large mixing bowl followed by all the recipe ingredients.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix well until combined.
- Chill for at least one hour and serve with apple slices, salad, or in a sandwich. Enjoy!
EDITH DE CLOET says
You make mention of CELERY on the Heading, but no mention of it in the list of ingredients. What’s with that???
Amy Desrosiers says
Hello, it is half a cup, chopped. :) Thanks for stopping by!
David Kennedy Kennedy says
Wow, excellent recipe and list of tasty substitutions a excellent article. Thank you.
Tarragon is also great with tuna salad, especially with the lemon juice.
Marlyse Moruzzi says
Been making this kind of tuna salad for a very long time! I cut carrot cubes into very smalll pieces, same w/fresh celery, add some dried raisins and/or cranberries, then 🍎apple squares, walnut pieces, fresh snipped parsley, or tarragon,,or Cilantro,, mayonnaise, & fresh squeezed lime juice; sometimes I add fresh fennel bulb, shredded & fresh ground black pepper & coriander seeds. In place of tuna this can be made w/ chicken…..serve on bed of shredded fresh red cabbage! Bon appetit😁
If you put a little olive oil on your dried cranberries they will soften and plump but still add that great cranberry flavor. Could substitute chicken for tuna too, for a change!