The Best Mayonnaise Ratio To Prevent Dry Tuna Salad

While there are several ingredients one could add to a tuna salad recipe, at its core, it has just two: tuna and mayonnaise (and bread, if you're going to whip up sandwiches with it). The rest is up to your preferences and creativity. However, before you build onto the basic recipe, nailing the ratio of the first two ingredients is crucial to getting a moist and creamy salad, and the best proportion is 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise for every 5-ounce can of (drained, not pressed) tuna fish. 

Each can is good for roughly one sandwich, so if you're preparing several, mix as many as you need into a bowl with a measured dollop of your favorite mayo and season to taste with salt and, if you like, black pepper. While this will ensure a lush result, if you want to go even creamier, just add a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired level. Squeezing a few drops of lemon juice into the mix will add a bright pop and can also serve as extra insurance against a dry salad.

One tablespoon of mayonnaise to one can of tuna ensures a rich tuna salad

The fat in the mayo brings an unctuous texture to the tuna —and whatever else you decide to add — that coats your mouth and prevents a dry-seeming final product. While certain brands of mayonnaise or even homemade mayo might be better suited for your personal flavor preference, any brand should have this effect. However, mayonnaise doesn't have to be the co-star in the dish, but rather a familiar texture. 

If you have an aversion to mayonnaise, consider tossing your tuna in olive oil or tahini, lemon, and salt in roughly the same proportions for a loose dressing that will mimic the savory fattiness of a mayo. After all, these ingredients are only one away from an aioli, which has the same skill for coating and a similar taste to mayonnaise. Other deliciously tangy swaps include Greek yogurt, which in addition to being flavorful, will also prevent a dry tuna salad in a pinch.