Commercial Tuna Salad Recipe

Tuna fish being weighed on quay-side in Greece – Photo by Tom Oates

No two  commercial tuna salads are prepared by exactly the same formula, but they do not show the wide variety characteristic of herring salad.  The recipe given here is typical.  It is offered, however, only as a guide.  The same recipe with minor variations to suit the taste may be used for salmon salad.

Tuna Salad I


  • 5 lb tuna
  • 2 1/2 PT. finely diced celery
  • 1 pt. finely diced sweet pickle
  • 12 diced hard boiled eggs
  • 1 1/2 pt. myonnaise
  • 1/2 lb. hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pepper
  • 5 lemmons

Flake tuna, dice, celery, pickles, and eggs. Extract juice of lemons. Combine all ingredients except lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle lemon juice over the whole.  Combine shortening with mayonaise, then mix with other ingredients.  In some formulae one pint of dried cucumber is included.  Others use sour instead of sweet pickles.  These variations are entirely a matter of taste.  Package and hold at 40° F until retailed.

Tuna Salad II

This is the only commercial tuna salad recipe for tuna salad that differs widely from the one given above.


  • 5 lb. tuna
  • 5 lb. diced boiled potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups diced dill pickles
  • 7 1/2 cups French dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Flake tuna, mix with other ingredients and season.  Fill the salad into containers and hold at 40° until retailed.

Source: Curing of Fishery Products, Research Report 18, Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior, 1950

On a side note – There is a highly interesting book available on Amazon that delves into the history of tuna salads:  American Tuna: The Rise and Fall of an Improbable Food  By Andrew F. Smith

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