Make this Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad for sandwiches, melts or lettuce wraps with zero chopping! It’s quick and tasty, using dill pickle relish and spices for max flavor in no time. Make-ahead for an easy cold lunch meal prep option!
Tuna salad is a classic make-ahead cold lunch. I always ate tuna growing up, so it’s definitely a go-to for me.
And there are tons of ways to make it, like my Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps, a basic but delicious tuna salad that does involve a few more fresh veggies than this one I’m about to introduce to you.
I’ve also got my Tuna Egg Salad, which is SO GOOD, but also involves a few hard boiled eggs and veggies. Not lazy, in my opinion. And sometimes I’m not craving eggs!
Finally, my Tuna Melt Pita Sandwiches. This recipe is another wonderful tuna salad that’s made with only one can of tuna for two servings. Also involves a little chopping.
So here’s how this one is different: NO CHOPPING. You don’t even have to get a knife out!! It was an accident you see, because one day I was making tuna salad and found myself out of pickles. I subbed relish instead, and here we are!
Total Time: 5 minutes
Method: No Heat
Prep: Make-Ahead Friendly
Watch how to make Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad (55 seconds):
What are the ingredients in this Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad?
The ingredients in this tuna salad are incredibly simple. And I’ll say it again – no need to pull out a knife unless you want to cut the sandwich!
Here are the ingredients in the Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad:
- canned tuna fish – For this recipe, you’ll need 2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna fish packed in water. Drain the water off and give it to your cat. Definitely stick with tuna packed in water, wild sustainably caught if you can. You can use pouches instead of cans if you want – you’ll need 8 ounces of drained tuna for the full recipe.
- mayonnaise – Use your favorite mayo for this recipe. I haven’t tested with Greek yogurt – lately I’ve been using avocado oil mayonnaise which I love!
- dill pickle relish – Here’s the special ingredient. One day I was making tuna salad, but had no pickles. Found some dill pickle relish, and tried it out. Surprise, it was great, and actually WAY easier than cutting pickles myself. I would steer clear of sweet pickle relish for this recipe however!
- garlic powder & onion powder – Since we’re skipping the cut veggies, we need some powdered flavor. Dry garlic and onion help a lot!!
- fine sea salt & black pepper – More flavor, don’t skip. I love fresh ground black pepper, so that’s my preference. Both of these help make up for the lack of veggies.
- dijon mustard (optional!) – I tested this tuna salad with and without mustard (by accident), and it’s great both ways. If you’re a mustard lover, definitely add it for that little zingy boost! I forgot to photograph it, oops!
How do you make the Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad?
It’s as simple as adding everything to your bowl and mixing it up! While it’s super easy, I do have a couple tips to make it go a little smoother:
- Use a fork to completely flake up the tuna before adding the rest of the ingredients. It helps with the final texture of the tuna salad. Quick and easy step that makes a difference!
- Use minimum amounts and then add more to taste – first time I made this I dumped on the garlic. This recipe only makes 3 servings so it’s easy to over do it on the spices! Same with mayo. If you need more mayo, add it later so you don’t accidentally add too much.
- Draining the relish – it works well enough to push the spoon against the side of the jar to remove as much liquid as you can. No need to dirty a strainer for the small amount of relish.
Can I use Greek yogurt instead of mayo?
I’ve never tested it for this recipe and I’m just not sure about it because of the lack of veggies.
If you want a Greek yogurt based tuna salad, try my Veggie-Packed Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad. I love Greek yogurt and mayo a lot, so I try to use them at different times and see how they work out!
What kind of tuna do you use?
I prefer to use sustainable wild caught albacore tuna packed in water.
What makes this tuna salad lazy?
I honestly hesitated to call this tuna salad ‘lazy’ because I never want to discredit the work it takes to prepare your own food – it’s not lazy!!
But to really create the comparison in your mind, I had to call it lazy. Every other tuna salad recipe on my site and that I’m aware of involves chopping or cutting up SOMETHING.
This recipe involves zero chopping, and can be thrown together in literally 5 minutes. SO EASY.
Alternative Customization Ideas:
Here are some simple ways you could customize this Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad for your own taste buds!:
- Add the optional dijon mustard. It’s a wonderful addition, not required but yes, recommended.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice (just a little) for some freshness. However, don’t be mad at me if you have to cut it.
- Add some hot sauce – your favorite kind!
- Check your fridge for leftover ingredients you don’t have to chop. Half an avocado? Some cilantro? Some red onion? Whatever you like!
How do you meal prep this recipe?
There are two main ways to meal prep this recipe:
- Complete prep & store: Make the entire recipe ahead and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Eat a serving right now if you want!
- Complete prep & store in portions: Make the entire recipe, but portion into separate containers. You can store it with the rest of the meal as well if you’d like (lettuce wraps, for example).
Is this recipe-freezer friendly?
No, I don’t think this recipe is freezer-friendly. I honestly haven’t tried it though, but it seems like the texture would be a little odd after thawing. Let me know if you’ve ever tried this!
How to store prepared tuna salad:
Store prepared tuna salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How to freeze prepared tuna salad:
I would not recommend freezing this recipe.
How to reheat prepared tuna salad:
This recipe can be served cold on a sandwich or lettuce wrap. If you want it hot, my best recommendation is to make a tuna melt! This can be made on the stovetop or in the air fryer. Check out my Air Fryer Tuna Melt recipe.
Make this Lazy No-Chop Tuna Salad without spending any time chopping! It’s quick and tasty, using dill pickle relish and spices for max flavor in a seriously short time. Works great as a make-ahead cold lunch option!
- 2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna fish packed in water, drained
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayo)
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- salt to taste (I like 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt)
- pepper to taste (I like 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper)
- (optional) 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Flake tuna: In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the drained tuna. Use a fork to flake the tuna into smaller pieces so no large chunks remain.
- Add & mix: Add the remaining ingredients, including the mayonnaise, relish, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and optional mustard. Stir until everything is well mixed together in a semi-thick tuna salad.
- Serve & store: Serve immediately on bread, in lettuce wraps, or make into a tuna melt! About 1/2 cup of tuna salad fits comfortably on a sandwich like the one pictured. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Relish: You can find small jars of dill pickle relish in the pickle & condiment aisle of the grocery store. I used Vlasic brand! Tuna: I prefer to use sustainably caught albacore tuna packed in water. Pouches will also work. Two (5 ounce) cans of tuna equals about 8 ounces of drained tuna. Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 252
- Sugar: 0g
- Fat: 19g
- Carbohydrates: 1g
- Protein: 19g