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Easy Southern Tuna Salad Recipe with Egg

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Wait until you try this super simple-to-make Southern Tuna salad recipe with egg. It combines the perfect blend of flavors and ingredients. A delightful combination of Southern charm and culinary excellence awaits as we guide you through crafting this easy and delicious dish.

This image shows a completed tuna salad sandwich with chips.

What is Southern Tuna Salad?

Southern Tuna Salad is a salad that consists of tuna mixed with mayonnaise. The tuna can be bought fresh and then cooked or you can use a can of tuna, which most people do nowadays.

A variety of other ingredients are often added to this salad such as sweet relish or dill relish, red onion, Yellow or Dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh celery, and hard-boiled eggs. We will cover what we love to add to this simple tuna salad recipe down below. 

Like many dishes that came out of the 19th century, time were hard and people used everything they had to get by. This southern-style tuna salad recipe is no different. Just like egg salad, ham salad, or chicken salad, these dishes were cheap to make, filling, lots of protein, and used up leftover scraps. 


This classic Southern Tuna Salad recipe can be eaten in a variety of ways such as on a bed of lettuce, with crackers, or you can put it between two slices of bread with a side of fries or potato chips. When added to bread, it makes the best-tasting tuna salad sandwiches you have ever eaten!

Another great way to serve this classic recipe is a tuna melt sandwich on sourdough bread. Talk about mouth-watering. 

This Recipe is Inspired by Eating Tuna Sandwiches as a Kid

Fond memories of my childhood involve my mom crafting tuna salad with eggs as a frequent, economical, and speedy meal option. She often paired it with her renowned Southern Egg Salad sandwiches.

Today, I’ve elevated her cherished family recipe by adding a touch of flair with a secret ingredient. There is nothing quite as fond as childhood memories of eating a good tuna sandwich as a kid.  

Why you’ll love this Traditional Tuna Salad Recipe

  • Family-Friendly: Loved by all ages, this Southern-inspired dish is a family-friendly recipe that brings everyone to the table.
  • Easy Preparation: With straightforward steps, this recipe is accessible for all skill levels, making it a hassle-free option for any meal.
  • Versatility: Whether for lunch, dinner, or a delightful snack, this Southern Tuna Salad with Egg is a versatile choice that suits various occasions.
  • Protein-Packed: Packed with protein from tuna and eggs, this dish is a nutritious option that keeps you energized and satisfied.
  • Quick Meal Solution: Perfect for those busy days when you need a quick and delicious meal without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Recipe Highlights 

Tuna salad has a distinct taste characterized by a combination of flavors from its key ingredients. It is savory, creamy, fresh, crunchy, with a mild tang. The specific taste may vary based on individual preferences and variations in the recipe, but tuna salad is generally known for its versatility and ability to be customized to suit different palates.

By incorporating the distinctive tanginess of Dukes Mayo, chopped dill pickles, and the delightful texture of chopped eggs, I’ve infused a true Southern flair into this recipe. It’s this unique combination that led me to affectionately dub it ‘Southern Tuna Salad,’ capturing the essence of both tradition and innovation in every flavorful bite.


To craft this perfect recipe, gather a handful of uncomplicated ingredients and basic kitchen tools. Here’s a quick rundown for your convenience. 


  • Canned Tuna Fish – Albacore tuna or Chuck Light both work great. Get water-packed instead of oil-packed though.  
  • Hard-boiled egg- Similar to potato salad, the addition of chopped eggs imparts a Southern touch to this dish, enhancing both its texture and flavor.
  • Dill pickles or dill pickle relish
  • Mayonnaise- I prefer Dukes but if you do not or can not find it, you can use your preface.
  • Yellow mustard
  • Chopped celery- gives a crunchy texture
  • Black pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning– for extra flavor

See the recipe card at the bottom for the full recipe and quantities.

​Equipment you’ll need  

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Can opener
  • Sharp Knife
  • Mixing spoon or spatula
  • Cutting board

Note: See our Kitchen Essentials Page for products that I recommend buying for the equipment you’ll.

HOW TO MAKE Southern Tuna Salad Recipe with Egg

Step-by-step Instructions 


  • Place the egg in a small stock pot and cover them with water. 
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  • Remove the egg then let cool. Peel and then chop the egg into small pieces.
  • Open and drain the tuna using a strainer or colander. 
  • Chop celery up into small pieces.   
  • Chop pickles up into small pieces

Make Dressing

  • Add mayonnaise, mustard, black pepper, old bay, and dill pickles in a medium or large mixing bowl. 
  • Mix until the seasonings are well combined.


  • Add tuna, chopped eggs, and celery to the bowl and mix until the creamy dressing has coated all the ingredients and everything is well combined.

Make-ahead options  

To save time, boil your eggs ahead of time and refrigerate them until you are ready to make the tuna salad.  


  • Sweet Pickle relish if you prefer sweet over dill. 
  • Red onion, green onions, or sweet onion– personal preference on which one to use. The red adds more bite and color. Green adds color and a mild flavor. The sweet adds a milder flavor and slight sweetness.
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt- Exercise caution with the salt, considering the inherent sodium content in canned tuna, Old Bay seasoning, dill pickles, and yellow mustard.
  • Greek Yogurt-You can substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo. 
  • Lemon Juice

Best Served With

Storage Tips 

This classic tuna salad can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. 


Can you freeze tuna salad?

Yes! Place the tuna salad in a freezer-safe container or a freezer-safe zip-lock bag. It will be good for up to 3 months. Just note that the texture may change. I love these Souper Cubes to freeze dishes such as tuna salad.

What makes a tuna salad “Southern”?

The Southern tuna salad recipe often incorporates regional flavors and ingredients, such as Dukes Mayo, which adds a distinct creaminess. Eggs and pickles are another ingredient that disguises tuna salad. It may also include traditional Southern seasonings, creating a delightful fusion of Southern charm in a classic dish.

Are there alternatives to Duke Mayo in the recipe?

Yes, you can substitute Dukes Mayo with any mayonnaise of your choice. Greek yogurt or sour cream can also be used for a tangy twist.

What sides pair well with Southern Tuna Salad?

Southern Tuna Salad complements a variety of sides, such as crackers, sliced baguettes, or as a filling for sandwiches. It also pairs well with a side salad or fresh vegetable sticks for a complete and satisfying meal.

Can I make this recipe without eggs for a vegetarian option?

Certainly! Simply omit the eggs to create a vegetarian version of the Southern Tuna Salad. You can enhance the texture with additional vegetables or plant-based ingredients.

​Let’s get food junked!

Let me know how this Easy Southern Tuna Salad with Egg turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Yield: 4

Easy Southern Tuna Salad Recipe with Egg

This image is a completed recipe showing southern tuna salad with egg made into a sandwich with chips on the plate.

Explore a delightful fusion of flavors in our Easy Southern Tuna Salad with Egg recipe. A quick and satisfying dish, blending tuna, eggs, and Southern charm for a tasty twist on a classic favorite.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2- (5 ounce) cans or packets of tuna in water. Drained.
  • 1- hard boiled Egg
  • 1/4- cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1- teaspoon of Yellow Mustard
  • 1- stalk of celery chopped fine
  • 1- tablespoon of chopped dill pickle (or dill pickler relish)
  • 1/4- teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4- teaspoon of black pepper



  1. Place the egg in a small stock pot and cover it with water.
  2. Bring water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove the egg, and let cool. Peel and then chop the eggs.
  4. Open and drain the tuna.
  5. Chop Celery stalk up into small pieces.
  6. Chop pickles up into small pieces.

Make Dressing

  1. Add mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, black pepper, and dill pickles in a medium or large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix ingredients until well combined.

Mixing all ingredients

  1. Add tuna, chopped eggs, and celery to the large bowl and mix until the creamy dressing has coated all the ingredients and everything is well combined.


Optional: Salt (I would taste before adding salt as Old Bay has salt, the dill pickles have salt, and the celery does as well)

Did you make this recipe?

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