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12 Dressings that Go Well with Tuna Salad

If you’re like me, the thought of a tuna salad without dressing is just… weird.

what salad dressing goes with tuna

Like, why would you ruin such an amazing thing by not adding a delicious sauce?

But it’s not always easy to find a dressing that goes well with tuna salad.

A lot of them are too sweet, or they have so much mayo in them that they overpower the taste of your tuna.

But don’t worry!

I’ve got your back.

So, what dressing goes with tuna salad?

The most common dressing for tuna salad is mayonnaise. The creamy, tangy taste of mayo makes it a great pairing with the fishy taste of tuna. You can also use a light vinaigrette or even just olive oil and vinegar.

In this blog post, I’ll share 12 different dressings that go great with tuna salad—and make sure you get one of them next time you’re making yourself some delicious lunch!

12 Dressings that Go Well with Tuna Salad

tuna salad

I’ve tried all kinds of dressings—the traditional mayo-based ones, the more modern oil-based ones, and even some fancy dressings made with sun-dried tomatoes and other exotic ingredients.

But after trying these 11 dressings with my tuna salad, I was really surprised at how much better they made it!

1. Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise is one of the most common dressings used in tuna salad.

It can be used either plain or flavored with various herbs and spices, like garlic, basil, dill, or paprika.

This is a great dressing to use if you’re looking for something that’s going to add some texture, but not overpower the other flavors in your salad. It’s also very easy to make at home!

To make your own mayonnaise:

  1. Combine 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar with an electric whisk until thickened.
  2. While continuing to whisk, slowly drizzle in 1 cup olive oil until fully incorporated and thickened again.
  3. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

2. Ranch Dressing

Ranch Dressing

I like to use ranch dressing because it’s super easy to make, and the flavor of ranch dressing goes well with ingredients that are often found in this kind of salad.

  1. All you need to do is mix 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/2 cup of sour cream together in a bowl.
  2. Then add 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, one teaspoon of dried chives, one teaspoon of dried dill weed, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Mix everything together until it’s smooth and creamy.

Then you can use this dressing as a dip for your tuna salad or use it as a spread on your bread before adding your tuna salad.

3. Basil Pesto Dressing

Pesto Dressing

If you’re looking for something a little more unique than traditional mayonnaise or ranch dressing, try basil pesto!

It has a bright green color that looks beautiful on top of your meal and tastes amazing with both fresh vegetables and fruit as well as fish or chicken breast meat (which is perfect for people who don’t eat red meat).

4. Sesame Ginger Dressing

Sesame Ginger Dressing

This dressing is perfect for a tuna salad that has a bit of crunch, like the one I sometimes make with matchstick carrots, red onion, and crispy lettuce.

The dressing goes perfectly with the crunchy veggies, and it adds a ton of flavor to the tuna.

The ginger gives it an extra kick without being too spicy, so it’s perfect for those who don’t love super spicy foods.

5. Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette

My go-to dressing for any sort of salad that has greens in it—and especially if you want to add some fruit or veggies (like tomatoes).

The balsamic vinegar gives this dressing some sweetness while also adding acidity to balance out any bitterness from your greens.

This is also great on salads with berries or apples—or even some nuts!

Just mix up your favorite recipe and pour over your favorite greens!

You’ll instantly be transported to a garden oasis!

6. Blue Cheese Dressing

Blue Cheese Dressing

I can also recommend using blue cheese dressing because blue cheese is so rich and flavorful that it really adds an extra kick to your tuna salad!

  1. All you have to do is mix 2 tablespoons of buttermilk (or whole milk) with 2 tablespoons full-fat Greek yogurt until they’re combined well enough that there aren’t any lumps left behind anymore (this will probably require mixing them together by hand).
  2. Then add 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese into this mixture until it’s evenly distributed throughout all parts of the mixture instead of just being concentrated in one corner.
  3. Once you’ve done this, pour the mixture into a separate bowl and add some salt and pepper to taste before whisking it really well until all lumps are gone from both the milk/yogurt mixture as well as the salt/pepper mixture!
  4. Finally, drizzle this over your favorite tuna salad recipe!

7. Caesar Salad Dressing

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

This is also one of my favorite dressings.

Just mix a bit of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl until they are well combined.

Then add plenty of fresh cracked pepper and a bit of Worcestershire sauce—you can also add some cayenne pepper if you want it spicier.

For this recipe, I would recommend using Hellman’s or Best Foods brands of mayonnaise and sour cream, as they have the best consistency for this type of dressing.

8. Honey Mustard Dressing

Honey Mustard Dressing

This one is super easy to make: just mix about 1/4 cup of honey with about 1/2 cup each of olive oil and whole grain mustard (Dijon mustard works well too).

You can also add some garlic powder if you want it to taste more like traditional honey mustard dressing—and if you want it spicier, consider adding some cayenne pepper or paprika into the mix as well!

9. Thousand Island

Thousand Island dressing

This dressing is great for tuna salad because it has a sweet-tart flavor and is made with mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish.

It’s also got paprika and other spices that give it a nice bite.

If you’re going for a more traditional take on tuna salad, this dressing will be a great addition.

10. French Dressing

French Dressing

French dressing is another great way to dress up your fishy meal.

The classic French dressing is made with oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, sugar and paprika (plus other ingredients depending on where you’re from!).

You can find these ingredients at any grocery store or supermarket, so they’re easy to get hold of if you don’t already have them on hand at home.

11. Catalina

Catalina Dressing

Catalina is a sweet and tangy dressing, but it’s not too overpowering—it has just enough sugar and vinegar to give it a little kick without being too overwhelming.

Plus, it has a nice color that really pops against the tuna!

To make it into a tuna salad, I just pour the Catalina dressing over the tuna and add some chopped celery, onion, and green pepper.

Then I let everything sit overnight in the fridge before serving it cold.

The result is a light and refreshing dish that’s perfect for summertime!

12. Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

This dressing is so fresh and light, it’s the perfect complement to this kind of meal.

I like to mix it together with a little bit of mayonnaise, then drizzle it over my tuna salad on top of some lettuce or cabbage.

It’s especially delicious if you have some cherry tomatoes that you can cut up and add or if you have celery in your fridge—I love adding those for a little crunch!

tuna salad

12 Dressings that Go Well with Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is a great go-to lunch. It's healthy, filling, and easy to make. But it can be a little bland if you don't add something to give it some flavor (and a lot of people don't like mayo).
That's why I think it's a good idea to put a dressing in your tuna salad. You can do this by mixing up some mustard and vinegar with the tuna before you mix it with the mayo. If you want more tanginess, add lemon juice or even pickle relish.
This makes your tuna salad much more flavorful without adding too much calories or fat.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 280 kcal


  • Mayonnaise
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Basil Pesto Dressing
  • Sesame Ginger Dressing
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Caesar Salad Dressing
  • Honey Mustard Dressing
  • Thousand Island
  • French Dressing
  • Catalina
  • Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing


  • Pick your favorite dressing from this list to use with your dish.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Be ready to munch in no time!
Keyword what salad dressing goes with tuna
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.