Come check out what I’m dubbing my “Real Food Recipe Series”. These are some basic recipe staples that are versatile for any style of cooking. Using real food ingredients and leaving the processed stuff behind, I’m bringing you classic recipes- refined. Dress them up or down, mix in ingredients that you love, and remove what you don’t love!
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Week 1 Real Food Recipe:
Classic Tuna Salad
The first in my Real Food Recipe Series is a quick lunch or weekly meal prep time trusted recipe. Tuna salad has long been a go-to for the home cook. Using canned tuna, boiled eggs, mayo, and whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand you can make a delicious batch of tuna salad in no time.
When I grew up, we knew that every Sunday after church it was tuna salad. My dad would go to work boiling eggs and chopping veggies as soon as we were home. In just the time it took for us to get changed out of our “church clothes,” it was time to eat!
How to Serve Classic Tuna Salad
Serving tuna salad (or any “salad” of this type) is so simple. Everyone can choose how they like it. I usually have a loaf of bread, crackers, and wraps on hand. For myself, I have tuna on top of a simple salad or just scoop it up with crunchy tortilla chips (don’t knock it till you try it!).
Classic tuna salad is also a great make-ahead dish that you can enjoy for lunches all week. Double the recipe below if you’re making a large batch.
Make it Your Own
Simple recipes like this are so fun because you can make it your own. If you love onions, add a bunch! Don’t like celery? Leave it out. Have some bell peppers that need to be used up like me? They’re going into the tuna! You can easily spice this up with red pepper flakes or some chopped jalapenos as well. My husband loves sweet pickle relish and I don’t. It’s easy to make half the batch with relish and some for myself without.
The day that I prepared this batch and photographed it, I had a few veggies left from my garden. A bell pepper and banana pepper were just kind of hanging around the kitchen so into the tuna they went.
As for the tuna, typically I buy solid white albacore tuna rather than the tuna flake. I just prefer the texture of the solid albacore over the others. Also, I get tuna packed in water so that we can avoid those questionable oils in the other varieties. These days you can go as budget friendly or as high end as you like with canned tuna so that’s certainly up to you!
Tips for Classic Tuna Salad
- In my recipe, I use homemade mayonnaise from a Farmhouse on Boone recipe. Find that recipe here. This mayo is super simple and always turns out for me. I think you’ll love it!
- Making homemade mayo is easiest with a stick blender. Do you have one of these? I avoided purchasing one for years and have used it SO much more that I could have thought since I bought it.
- Classic tuna salad should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, bet it won’t last that long though.
- Using a food processor can be handy for chopping veggies really finely. I love this one. It’s small, easy to store, even easier to rinse clean. It holds just 1.5 cups but makes super quick work of things like onion and celery.
You can see where I’m going with this real food recipe though, it’s easy AND customizable. Now, onto the recipe!
Classic Tuna Salad
- Canned White Albacore Tuna (12 ounce)- drained
- 2 Hard boiled Eggs
- 1/4 C Onion, finely chopped
- 1 Small Bell Pepper, finely chopped
- 3/4 C Mayonnaise
- 1 stalk Celery- leafy tops included
- 1/2 t Salt
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 1/4 t Celery Salt
1. Chop onion, celery, bell pepper, and eggs.
2. Drain the tuna well. Add it to a bowl and flake with a fork.
3. Add the veggies, mayo, egg, and seasonings to the bowl along with the tuna. Stir to combine.
* I use a recipe from Farmhouse on Boone for my mayonnaise. It turns out perfect every time. Whenever I take time to make homemade mayo I'll try to make a couple of things with the mayo at that time as well. Homemade mayo keeps for about 5 days in the fridge but I like to use it quickly. For example, I'll make coleslaw and tuna salad to use up the batch at one time.
* My photos here show me using whatever peppers I had from my garden at that time. On this day I had a 1 small bell pepper and 1 big banana pepper. Just use what you have and what you enjoy!
* You could easily swap the tuna here for canned chicken. I don't prefer the texture of canned chicken, but it's a great alternative if you don't care for tuna.
* Serve this on bread, crackers, English muffins, or in a tortilla.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 844mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 20g