With so many culinary options to choose from, it can be a challenge deciding what dressing goes with tuna salad.
Depending on the type of dish you are trying to create, the dressing options can drastically change.
To help make this process simpler and easier, let’s explore all the must-know elements.
From pastes and mayonnaise dressings to creamy types and flavorful combinations, it’s important to understand exactly how each element works in unison for an unforgettable dish.
By taking the time to contemplate these various flavor choices and combinations when deciding which dressing pairs best with your tuna recipe, you will be able to create the perfect salty and savory entrée that rivals any five-star dish.
Why Consider Using A Dressing with Tuna Salad?
Tuna salads can be one of the healthiest and most enjoyable meals to prepare.
Not only are tuna salads tasty, but they also provide key vitamins, minerals and protein that are necessary for the body to function well.
However, without dressing, some of the enjoyment is lost which is why dressing up your salad can enhance both taste and texture.
The right dressing can add flavor, texture and balance to any dish.
The advantages of using a dressing on tuna salad are numerous.
First and foremost it adds flavor – usually in a tantalizing way that captures all of the best characteristics of each ingredient in the salad such as sweet, spicy or tangy notes.
Secondly, it adds moisture that helps keep the dish moist while adding creaminess to contrast with crunchy vegetables like onions or celery.
Thirdly, dressings help harmonize a variety of textures from soft (celery) to crunchy (celeriac).
Lastly, dressings also provide contrast in temperature so that with every bite you get something different from cold albacore tuna mixed with warm bacon bits for instance.
In short, adding a flavorful dressing to your tuna salad will not only make it look appetizing but will also bring out the best combination of flavors from each component making this already delicious dish even tastier and more vibrant.
There are many types of dressings you can use for tuna salad; here are just 11:
What Dressing Goes with Tuna Salad? 11 BEST Options
Tuna salad is an excellent way to get your seafood fix.
It’s easy to throw together and can be served on its own or as part of a sandwich or lettuce wrap.
But, it can quickly move from delicious to dull if you don’t dress it up right.
Knowing the right dressings to add to your tuna salad will take it from bland to boom.
When selecting a dressing for tuna salad, pick something that pairs well with seafood flavors while still providing enough moisture and creaminess.
Here are 11 amazing dressings to try with your tuna salad:
1. Caesar Dressing
Caesar dressing is a popular salad dressing typically made with lemon juice, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, anchovies and garlic.
It originated in the United States and Italy and is often used as a salad dressing or condiment.
When used as a condiment it can be served with sandwiches, seafood dishes like tuna salad, or as an ingredient in other sauces and salads.
Caesar dressing gives an earthy tang to tuna salad and a really delicious crunchy flavor.
2. Italian Dressing
Italian dressing is a popular condiment that adds a zesty, savory flavor.
It is often used as a marinade or salad dressing and can add a nice zing to seafood.
As a key component of tuna salad, Italian dressing can provide an extra depth of flavor.
When using Italian dressing in tuna salad, make sure to combine it with plenty of other ingredients so that its taste stands out without overpowering the tuna itself.
Consider adding complimentary items such as black olives, celery, tomatoes or onion.
The result will be a delicious Mediterranean-style tuna salad that is sure to satisfy any appetite.
3. Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue cheese dressing is a creamy condiment with a hint of tanginess that is often used to top salads.
The richness of this dressing pairs perfectly with tuna salad and its zesty flavor adds a unique element that will keep you going back for more.
This classic dressing is composed of blue cheese, buttermilk or sour cream, lemon juice, mayonnaise and seasonings.
You can easily find prepared blue cheese dressings at the grocery store or make it yourself in a matter of minutes using these simple ingredients.
Whether you are tossing your tuna salad with sweet greens or eating it on its own, blue cheese dressing is sure to be an all-time favorite.
4. Ranch Dressing
Ranch dressing is often used as a condiment for tuna salad.
This creamy, herb-based dressing complements the flavors of the fish, but can also be mixed into the salad to create a tasty, tangy combination.
Ranch is made from mayonnaise or a mayonnaise blend, buttermilk and herbs such as parsley and dill.
Lemon juice can also be added for an extra tangy flavor and to enhance the flavor of the tuna.
While it primarily complements fish salads, it can also be used in many other dishes as well such as potato salad or in veggie dip recipes.
5. Honey Mustard Dressing
Honey mustard dressing is a great way to add a sweet and savory flavor to your tuna salad.
This sweet dressing pairs well with the salty flavors of the tuna for an irresistible combo.
You can also add some extra crunchy texture with optional diced apples or celery if desired.
All you need for this classic, creamy dressing is mustard, honey and mayonnaise.
Mix these together with some salt, pepper and white wine vinegar for a flavorful and easy-to-make dressing.
Serve it on top of fresh spring greens or lightly steamed vegetables like asparagus or green beans for the perfect accompaniment to your tuna salad meal.
6. Balsamic Vinaigrette
Balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for a classic tuna salad.
It’s a delicious combination of tangy balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and sugar that subtly complements to the flavors of tuna.
To make balsamic vinaigrette for your tuna salad, mix two parts good-quality balsamic vinegar with one part Dijon mustard, three parts extra-virgin olive oil, one clove minced garlic, some freshly ground black pepper, and one tablespoon of honey or agave.
If desired you can also add some fresh herbs such as thyme and oregano.
Whisk together to combine the ingredients and then toss with the prepared salad before serving.
7. Thousand Island Dressing
Thousand Island dressing is a tangy and creamy condiment.
Made from mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, chives, and other spices like garlic powder and onion powder, Thousand Island dressing is a delicious condiment for a variety of salads.
It can also be used as a dip for fresh vegetables or a sauce for sandwiches.
When pairing tuna salad with Thousand Island dressing, the result is a flavor-packed combination that is sure to be enjoyed.
This organic dressing adds the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess to your tuna salad and makes it an irresistible meal that everyone will enjoy.
8. Creamy Horseradish Dressing
Creamy horseradish dressing is a bold and savory choice for tuna salad.
It also adds a spicy kick that can complement the subtly sweet flavor of the tuna.
This dressing is perfect for those looking for more robust, assertive flavors and fits the bill when you need something heartier than a basic vinaigrette.
It’s easy to whip together and makes a great topping for your salad or sandwich.
To make creamy horseradish dressing, combine 1 cup vegan mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a small bowl.
You can adjust the amount of horseradish depending on how spicy you want it to be.
Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or onion powder (optional).
Whisk until everything is well combined and serve over your tuna salad.
9. Tartar Sauce
Tartar sauce is a condiment typically used as a dip for fried seafood recipes, but it also can be used to give tuna salad an extra boost of flavor.
Tartar sauce is made from mayonnaise, pickles or relish, and other seasonings such as mustard and dill.
The creamy texture of the mayonnaise will provide your tuna salad with a richness without overpowering the flavor of the fish.
Add a spoonful or two to your tuna salad and mix in, to experience the perfect combination of tangy yet light flavors.
Remoulade is a flavorful condiment that is popular in both France and Germany.
It is typically made from mayonnaise, mustard, capers, lemon juice, herbs, anchovies, and chives.
It adds a tart and tangy flavor to tuna salad that can’t be beat.
Try it slathered on crackers or as an accompaniment to sandwiches.
11. Yogurt Dressing
Yogurt dressing is a fantastic option if you’re looking for something a little lighter than traditional salad dressings.
It’s made with plain yogurt, garlic, and fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, and chives.
The result is a creamy dressing with a tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with tuna salad.
Simply whisk together the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
This dressing can also be used on other salads such as potato or chicken salads.
This list of 11 dressings offers something for everyone no matter what their taste preferences.
Creamy dressings like mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, and blue cheese work well with traditional tuna salad recipes while those looking for a healthier option should try olive oil, lemon juice, and low-fat ranch.
For a sweeter taste, you can reach for honey mustard or Thousand Island.
If you like things with some kick to them, try cayenne pepper or sriracha dressing.
Finally, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution Shake ‘n Pour dressings offer convenience and a ton of flavor options too.
No matter what dressing you choose to go with your tuna salad recipe the important thing is that it tastes good to you.
Experiment with different flavors until you find the combination that works best for your taste buds.