|Main ingredients||Tuna, mayonnaise|
Tuna salad starts with a blend of two main ingredients: tuna and mayonnaise. The tuna used is usually pre-cooked, canned, and packaged in water or oil. Pickles, celery, relish, and onion are foremost among the ingredients that are often added. When the mixture is placed on bread, it makes a tuna salad sandwich. Tuna salad is also regularly served by itself, or on top of crackers, lettuce, tomato, or avocado. Chopped boiled eggs may be added. Relish adds a piquant flavor yet, unlike commonly added vegetables, requires no chopping. As a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, hummus or mashed avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice can be used in the preparation of tuna salad.
In Belgium, the dish pêches au thon/perziken met tonijn ('peaches with tuna') is made from halved canned or fresh peaches stuffed with tuna salad. It is widespread throughout the country, and, due to its ease of preparation, it is common fare at potlucks.
Tuna salad has been eaten for over 100 years. The first written reference to tuna salad, in America, appeared in 1907, and by 1914 dozens of recipes had been published. Tuna salad, especially with celery, is similar to chicken salad while also being much cheaper, a fact that helped its early rise in popularity.
Due to tuna salad being high in vitamins, it gained the status of a dieter's dish in the 1960s.