Tuna Sardine Salad (keto, Whole30)

Tuna Sardine Salad is a healthy tuna salad recipe with a twist.

Mixing in sardines is a great way to add them to your diet, upgrading your classic creamy tuna salad.

So you get all the great protein, healthy fats and nutritional benefits of both fish in one fast, easy, filling recipe!

Serve it on bread, leafy greens or apple slices and lunch is ready.

Plus it’s Paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly!

Tuna Sardine Salad on a wooden board with lettuce wraps, apple slices and crackers

Why tuna and sardines?

Both canned tuna and canned sardines are great on their own.

If you’re not familiar with sardines, they’re milder than tuna and don’t smell quite as strong.

They smell like what you think clean, fresh fish would smell like.

So by combining them you mellow out tuna’s somewhat pungent flavor while giving sardines a bit of a flavor boost.

If you like sardines, this is another great way to eat them.

If you don’t or you’re not sure, this is a great way hide them because they don’t taste that different from tuna.

They’re also both full of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

And while they’re both full of other nutritional benefits like calcium, vitamin B12 (an essential vitamin – meaning our bodies can’t make it on their own – found mostly in animal foods; read more here), their nutritional profiles do differ a bit.

But for more info, take a look at what these reputable sources have to say:

By mixing both of them together, you get the best of both worlds.

You get your favorite, familiar creamy tuna salad with a low-key twist.

And since it’s low carb, you’ve got yourself a keto tuna salad as well.

If you’re looking for different tuna salad recipes, this is the one to try.

Once you do, you’ll start making it so many times you won’t even need a recipe anymore.

a closeup of sardine salad with tuna on a wooden board with lettuce wraps, apple slices and crackers

What you need for this Tuna Sardine Salad

  • 2 (5 oz.) cans no salt tuna, packed in olive oil
  • 2 (4.4 oz.) cans no salt sardines, packed in olive oil or water
  • 6-8 tablespoons avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard, such as Dijon or grainy
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives or dried chives (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Equipment:

How to make this Tuna Sardine Salad

It’s pretty easy. You just grab a few things from your pantry and fridge and mix them together:

  • First, check to see if your tuna and sardines have salt added. If so, omit the salt in the recipe below. After mixing all the ingredients together, taste and see if you need to add any salt to help the flavors pop.
  • Drain the cans of tuna and sardines. I use this sturdy OXO can opener.
  • Mix them with the mayo, mustard, vinegar and seasonings
  • Dig in!

To keep this Paleo- and Whole30-friendly, I use an avocado oil mayonnaise. This heart-healthy fat is the preferred choice over other mayos made with canola, soybean or safflower oil.

Also, if you’re doing a Whole30, make sure your mustard is compliant.

I’m keeping this recipe really bare bones to keep it fast and simple. If you want to add anything like diced red onion, celery, apples or pickles, those would be great here.

Whole30 tuna salad with sardines on lettuce wraps and apple slices on white plates and in a bowl with crackers

How to serve this low carb tuna salad

If I’m really in a hurry, I just eat it as is with a spoon. But you can also:

  • Serve it on top of or mixed in with leafy greens like spinach, arugula or lettuce. You can use lettuce cups or lettuce wraps to keep it fork-free and portable. This keeps it low carb for keto diets.
  • Serve it as a sandwich on bread or toast
  • Serve it on crackers – these grain-free crackers are my favorite
  • My fave: serve it on sliced apples

Can I make Tuna Sardine Salad ahead of time?

Yep! Keep it stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You’ll have a cold Paleo lunch ready when you are.

Can I freeze it?

I would not recommend freezing it.

2 images of healthy tuna salad with sardines on a wooden board with lettuce, crackers and apples

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Tuna Sushi Bowls (Paleo, Whole30)
  2. Chicken Salad with Blueberries and Pecans (Paleo, Whole30)
  3. Crispy Skin Salmon (Paleo, Whole30)
  4. Spiced Butter Baked Cod with Green Beans (Paleo, Whole30)
  5. Sheet Pan Lemon Salmon with Pesto (Paleo/Whole30 option)
Tuna Sardine Salad on a wooden board with lettuce wraps, apple slices and crackers
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Tuna Sardine Salad

Tuna Sardine Salad is a fast, easy recipe using pantry and fridge ingredients that's tasty and filling. Plus it's low carb, Paleo, keto and Whole30-friendly!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy tuna salad, keto tuna salad, paleo tuna salad, sardines, tuna
Servings: 4 people
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 2 (5 oz.) cans no salt tuna, packed in olive oil or water
  • 2 (4.4 oz.) cans no salt sardines, packed in olive oil or water
  • 6-8 tablespoons avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (Dijon or grainy)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, thinly sliced chives or dried chives (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Drain the tuna and sardines. Add them to a medium bowl and use a fork to break them down into small pieces.
  • Mix the tuna and sardines with the mayonnaise, mustard, red wine vinegar or lemon juice, chives (if using), salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Notes

If you only have tuna or sardines with salt added, omit the salt in the recipe. Once everything is mixed, taste and add more salt if necessary.
If you only have or can only find smoked sardines, those will be fine.
If you want to add anything like diced red onion, diced apples or diced pickles, that would be great here.
If you have any other fresh herbs besides chives, like parsley, basil or tarragon, you can add 2-3 tbsp. of them finely chopped.
This can be made up to 5 days in advance.
I do not recommend freezing this.

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