Simple Salmon Salad

Lately I have been obsessed with tuna salad and salmon salad. My order at Panera Bread the last few times has been a Greek salad with tuna on top. Seriously, it is so good. I’ve tried the same at Which Wich and it was pretty darn delish too.

For a long time, I was anti-mayo. Somewhere along the way I got grossed out by it. Then I found mayo made with olive oil and decided  to give it a try. Man, it was good! FYI, Panera Bread exclusively uses mayo made with olive oil.

The fat content of mayo is what keeps a lot of people from using it. One tablespoon of regular mayo has 10 g of fat, though most of the fat is unsaturated fat. Yet, we know fats are GOOD for us, especially if the mayo is made with a heart healthy oil.

The thing about mayo, at least in my opinion, is you really don’t need a whole lot of it. The flavor is strong, so a thin spread is typically enough for me. I rarely use more than a teaspoon or so on a sandwich. The same goes for mayo-based salads, like tuna salad or salmon salad. You really don’t need to use a ton of mayo. Some people opt to use Greek yogurt in the place of it, but I find that having some fat in my meals makes them much more satisfying. So instead of switching to yogurt, I balance the mayo with Dijon mustard. More flavor, but still very creamy!

In one of my food science labs last semester when we were studying emulsions, we made mayo with several different types of oil. I thought the corn and safflower oil were the best. Peanut oil was slightly nutty and I think would make a great dip, but it didn’t really taste like mayo. Interestingly, the olive oil version tasted the worst. My professor told me it was likely to due to the low quality of the oil, so if you make it at home, use the good stuff.

Today I am sharing with you a very simple recipe for salmon salad. Most of us don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D in our diet, so including salmon in your diet is a great way to increase your intake of both. However, salmon can be rather expensive. Thus, we eat a lot of canned salmon at our house. I shared a recipe for a pasta that used canned salmon, but this recipe is much more simple and versatile.

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I love to top salads with this salmon salad, but it is also good with some whole grain crackers or on a sandwich. I’ve also stuffed squash with it! I am planning to pack my lunch with this salad a few times a week this upcoming school year to ensure I get the benefits of salmon often!

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Side note– if you are brave enough to eat the bones (just crush them, they are soft), you will get a hefty dose of calcium too!

Simple Salmon Salad

Makes ~6 servings


14.75 oz canned salmon, skinned removed as well as bones (or adequately crushed)
2 tbsp mayo (I used mayo made with olive oil)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp pickle juice
Dash of black pepper and dried dill (to taste)


In a large bowl, use a fork to chop up the salmon.
From this…

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To this-

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Add other ingredients and mix together well.

unnamed (10)Store in the fridge in an air tight container (or else your fridge will stink).
Serve on salads, sandwiches, cracker, or even as the “main” at dinnertime.

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Is simple an understatement here or what?!

Are you yay-mayo or nay-mayo? 

How do you incorporate canned fish (tuna, salmon, and sardines) into your diet (if you do)?

10 thoughts on “Simple Salmon Salad

  1. I LOVE Panera’s Greek salad (or really, just about any place’s Greek salad). For some reason, the gloopiness of mayo has always turned me off to it, but I think I might be able to handle the olive oil kind. I’ve made chicken salad with avocado and Greek yogurt and really enjoyed it!

    1. You should really try it with the tuna salad on top- I can’t rave about it enough. I feel the key to mayo is not using too much- the excess mayo is what makes me feel a little queasy.
      Your chicken salad sounds great- I will have to try to make one myself.

  2. Mhmm I’m with you on tuna and salmon! Though I tend to cycle with my tuna cravings. And I LOVE the mayo made with olive oil! I tried it a few years ago and haven’t gone back!

  3. Mmmm delicious! I love salmon, and have two cans in the fridge that need to be made into this deliciousness. I’d use organic canola mayonnaise and Dijon mustard – and maybe add some chopped scallions instead of pickles for extra flavour. YUM!
    I like salmon salad with crackers or with arugula, or even in a sandwich. Thanks for the recipe! Crazy how it makes 6 servings!

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