I grew up with my mom eating tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad during the summer. I would feel so grown up when she would cut open a tomato just for me and we would eat our summer salad together.  It was her special low cal lunch with a Tab.  It’s what ladies did.  And I thought it was glorious.  

Over the years, though,  a few things have changed.  First, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Tab anywhere.  And secondly, dieting… well, let’s just say it’s lost some of its grown up lady glamorous appeal. But one thing is for sure, tuna salad is still hands down one of my favorite go-tos  for the perfect no-cook lunch or supper.

Now, I don’t know how your mom made tuna, but my mom used a pretty traditional tuna salad recipe fraught with sweet pickles, onions, and boiled eggs.  And I still love that recipe.  But sometimes, I have to shake things up a little.  And that’s when this little number comes in handy.  Chock-full of chopped apples, ribs of celery, and buttery southern pecans, this tuna salad makes an ever so subtle nod to a classic Waldorf.  It’s perfect on a croissant or on a bed of lettuce with some lovely multi-grain or wheat crackers.  Ladies who lunch, anyone?

What You’ll Need For This Tuna Salad:

  • chunk white albacore tuna in water
  • Gala or Honeycrisp apples
  • celery
  • pecans
  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • lemon
  • cracked pepper

Let’s Get Started:

I don’t know about you, but I am crazy about some fruit, especially in the summer.  So the fact that this recipe has apples in it definitely got my attention right away.  And while I have made this the standard Red Delicious variety (and even some Granny Smiths), Honeycrisps and Gala are by far my favorites with just the right amount of sweet crunch to compliment the other flavors in salad.  When I am chopping and dicing for this dish, it’s no wonder that I add more crisp apple than anything else.

Just look at those colors!  You know this is going to be good.  A little mayonnaise, a splash of mustard, the juice of half a lemon, and a hefty sprinkling of cracked pepper, and you’re on the fast track for the perfect summer meal. 

Tip:  Use a fork to mix this salad together.  The tines are perfect for shredding the tuna and evenly mixing the chunks of apples, celery and pecans.

Now this salad is yummy straight from the bowl with your mixing fork.  Somebody has to taste test!  But I find that it makes a great meal when served on buttery croissants or with crackers.  Slice up some extra fruit or whip up a box of macaroni and cheese, and my kids will almost eat the whole bowl by themselves.  And the great thing is this is a quick and easy meal they can make themselves while off at college or on the off chance they find themselves home alone.

But it’s also a perfect girlfriend lunch, awesome at showers and backyard get-togethers, and just right when there’s no time to cook or for those quiet nights at home with The Engineer.

A few fun things you might need to serve this easy meal!

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***Pin this Summer Tuna Salad with Apples, Celery, & Pecans here!***

Tuna Salad with Apples, Celery & Pecans
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 2- 12 oz cans chunk white albacore tuna in water, drained
  2. 1 1/2 Gala or Honeycrisp apples,chopped
  3. 3 stalks celery, diced
  4. 1/2 C halved pecans
  5. 1 2/3 C mayonnaise (liquid measuring cup)
  6. 1 Tbsp mustard
  7. 1/2 lemon juiced
  8. cracked pepper
  1. Mix together using a fork drained tuna, chopped apples, diced celery and halved pecans in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add mayo, mustard, lemon juice and cracked pepper. Mix well, making sure all tuna is shredded.
  3. Serve on croissants or with crackers.
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