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Tuna Lentil Salad

June 26, 2023

Canned tuna meets hearty green lentils for a dressed up tuna salad. We encourage you to serve this with crackers and endive for scooping up the perfect bite!

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tuna lentil salad in a bowl made with lentils, tuna, mayo, dijon, lemon zest & juice, spices, fresh herbs, red onion & capers
Photography by Gayle McLeod

An Easy Tuna Lentil Salad To Dress Up Your Lunch Routine

Tuna salad is the tale as old as time–canned tuna, mayo, mustard. When you’ve tired of this old stand-by, we offer a tuna lentil salad to dress up the classic with cooked lentils, fresh lemon, capers, and herbs. Great with crackers or endive for simple dippers, or Sourdough Bread slices and a Simple Green Salad for more of a meal.

tuna lentil salad in a bowl made with lentils, tuna, mayo, dijon, lemon zest & juice, spices, fresh herbs, red onion & capers

French Green Lentils, Our Meilleures Amies

You may have heard these little green buttons called the caviar of lentils. Cooked right, and they are toothsome, earthy, and the perfect way to add heft to a dish like Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils or Lentil Stew with Quinoa and Mushrooms. We love them because they cook like rice, and add a flavor and texture different from the average legume.

lentils, tuna, mayo, dijon, lemon zest & juice, spices, fresh herbs, red onion, capers crackers and endive in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Tuna Lentil Salad

In addition to the staple ingredients for tuna salad (canned tuna, mayo, mustard), you’ll need the following to make tuna lentil salad:

  • French green lentils –The French varietal lentilles du Puy is worth its weight in gold, but any French green lentil will do. In the case of lentilles du Puy, it’s a case of terroir in which this special little lentil is a reflection of where it was grown.

  • Fresh herbs – The amount of fresh herbs in this recipe might feel like a little bit of overkill, but all of the dill, basil, and parsley really make this a salad.

  • Capers – These little briny bites add a nice zingy counterpart to the creaminess of the salad. It’s a trick we use in Shrimp Melt with Capers and Old Bay Seasoning, too.

  • Lemon – A recipe wouldn’t be complete without a touch of acid, and we use fresh lemon juice and zest to perk up this tuna salad recipe.
french green lentils cooked in a pot
dressing in a glass bowl made with mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill

How to Make Tuna Lentil Salad

  • Cook the lentils. The secret is to only cook until tender, 25-30 minutes. You don’t want to overcook lentils because they will turn mushy!

  • Make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill.

  • Toss the salad. Add the dressing to the lentils, tuna, red onion, capers, basil, and parsley.

  • Serve! If using, serve with crackers or endive for scooping.

cooked lentils, tuna, red onion, capers, basil & parsley in a glass bowl to make tuna lentil salad
tuna lentil salad in a bowl made with lentils, tuna, red onion, capers fresh herbs and homemade dressing

How to Store Tuna Lentil Salad + Tips

  • Cooked lentils are great to freeze. We like to cook up a big batch to have on hand for recipes throughout the week, or to store for future use in the freezer.

  • Tuna lentil salad should be stored in the fridge for no longer than 3-4 days. If you have leftovers, try subbing this in your next Tuna Melt or regular old Tuna Salad sandwich.

  • If you’d like to make this tuna-less, leave out the canned tuna! The lentil salad will still be super tasty without the fish.

tuna lentil salad in a bowl served with seeded crackers and belgium endive

You’ll Love These Other Great Recipes From The Modern Proper

Canned Tuna And Lentil Salad, Oh Là Là

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Tuna Lentil Salad

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 303

Ingredients

  • ½ cup French green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 (3-ounce) cans tuna, drained (we like oil-packed)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Belgium endive, for serving (optional)
  • Seeded crackers, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and cook until tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the lentils, tuna, red onion, capers, basil, parsley, and dressing. Toss to coat.

  4. If using, serve with crackers or endive for scooping. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories303
  • Protein26 g
  • Carbohydrates25 g
  • Total Fat11 g
  • Dietary Fiber12 g
  • Cholesterol43 mg
  • sodium731 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Tuna Lentil Salad

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • NiDe

    Can canned chicken or grilled chicken be subbed for canned tuna?

    Sure!

  • Elise

    Just wanted to note how obsessed I am with this recipe!! I'm a personal chef and cook this for my pescatarian clients on REPEAT. I also prep this for myself to have during the week because I love it so much. SO flavorful, clean and meal prep friendly.

    Thanks Elise, we are so happy that you love it!

  • Jenna

    This was seriously so good! Perfect flavor combination! I’ll definitely be making this on repeat.

    Thanks Jenna, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Theresa

    Well hello tuna salad!!
    An amazing new take on the standard..
    The lentils are a very satisfying addition..
    YUM!!

    Thanks Theresa, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Kay

    This was extremely simple and delicious. This is perfect for taking to work throughout the week and will be awesome for on the go meals or to take for a picnic this summer. I will no doubt make this again.

    Thanks Kay! Happy to hear that!