Tuna Salad for One

June 16, 2021
Hand holding small glass bowl filled with tuna salad

One of my all-time favorite summer activities is picnicking.  I'm lucky to live in a great place for it—our house is within a few miles of some nice parks along the Mississippi River, and there are several lakes and parks in the Twin Cities with scenic picnicking spots (I love Lake Harriet and Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis and Como Park in St. Paul).

The nice thing about picnicking is that it can be as much of a fuss as you want it to be.  I've assembled charcuterie boards on a picnic blanket, and other times we've eaten Subway sandwiches.  Most of our picnics fall somewhere in the middle, with a mix of pre-made and homemade food.  Lately, Mike is partial to potato salad and Pringles, and my go-to is tuna salad.

Metal bento box with compartments holding miniature bell peppers, crackers, and tuna salad

I've spent the past couple of years perfecting my tuna salad recipe—I'm the sort of cook who measures everything because I like precision.  Since I've never been a fan of creamy, mayo-heavy salads, my tuna salad relies mostly on pickle relish and Dijon mustard.  If you have some crunchy vegetables on hand, it's nice to add some, more for texture than flavor.  A bit of diced onion or  celery is good, and I've used kohlrabi or radish in a pinch.

I usually pair tuna salad with crackers or pita wedges, but this recipe would also make a nice sandwich filling.

Serves one

Top down view of tuna salad ingredients arranged on baking sheet


  • 5-ounce can chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion, celery, or other crunchy vegetable (optional)

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix well with a fork.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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Glass bowl with tuna salad and text reading "Tuna Salad for One"