This easy tuna lentil salad recipe comes together in minutes and tastes so incredibly yummy! With ingredients like lentils, tuna, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers all tossed in a simple lemon and shallot vinaigrette, it’s a quick and satisfying lunch any day of the week!
Today I’m bringing you this easy, super tasty, tuna lentil salad recipe. Who knew that a recipe using canned lentils and canned tuna could be so freaking tasty?!
This tuna lentil salad came to me one day while trying to rack my brain on what to make for lunch.
It’s sometimes nice to mix things up from the regular lunch routine (not that I don’t enjoy a sandwich or soup too).
I grabbed some pantry staples, then fancied it up a bit with some special ingredients.
There’s all sorts of flavour and texture in this salad. It’s savoury and briny (from ingredients like canned lentils, tuna, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers), all balanced out with pops of freshness (from crunchy bell pepper, parsley, lemon juice and shallot). So good!
Let me tell ya, this tasty tuna lentil salad was devoured just as quickly as it was made. Now it’s on regular rotation in our home!
Why We Love This Tuna Lentil Salad Recipe
- It comes together in minutes.
- Cooking for a crowd? The recipe can be easily doubled.
- Lunch, side to dinner, potluck or backyard BBQ, this lentil salad recipe works wonderfully.
- Of course, it tastes delicious!
- Canned lentils (of course)
- Canned tuna
- Olives (pitted)
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Bell pepper
- Feta cheese
- Chili pepper
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
How To Make It
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
In a mixing bowl, combine the canned lentils, canned tuna, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, parsley, capers and chili pepper. Mix until well combined.
Pour homemade vinaigrette (simply made with shallots, lemon juice and olive oil) over the salad, then stir to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving dish and sprinkle over some lemon zest (optional). Then this super delicious tuna lentil salad is ready to serve and enjoy! Easy, right?
Can I Make Ahead of Time?
Totally! This recipe can be made a day ahead, properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and still taste delicious the next day.
Enjoy within 3 days.
Tips and Variations
- Using canned lentils helps to make this tuna lentil salad recipe come together quickly. Don’t have or don’t want to use canned lentils? You can easily cook up some dried brown lentils, rinse, drain, cool and then proceed with the recipe.
- I used two chili peppers in this recipe, but you can use more or less depending on your love of spice (though, I didn’t find this salad too spicy). Don’t have fresh chili? Try a pinch or two of ground cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
- I do not add any salt to this salad. For me, the briny capers, feta and olives are salty enough. If you want to add some, though, go for it!
- This salad yields enough for 4 hearty side servings. The recipe can easily be doubled for a crowd.
- I used sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. I think they work best in this lentil salad.
- Red bell pepper was used because I love the colour that it adds. Don’t have red bell pepper? Use whatever colour you have on hand. I have also made this recipe with roasted peppers (which is awesome). However, I prefer fresh bell pepper for the crunch it adds to the salad.
More Yummy Lentil Recipes
If you make this easy lentil salad with tuna, be sure to leave a comment below!
This tuna lentil salad recipe was originally published June 18, 2018 but has been updated.
Tuna Lentil Salad Recipe
- 1 (19-ounce) can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 (6-ounce or 170-gram) can solid white (Albacore) tuna in water, drained
- ⅓ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped (about 15 olives)
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), removed from oil and roughly chopped (about 5 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes)
- 1 bell pepper, diced (or chopped roasted red pepper)
- 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 to 2 chili peppers, minced (use Thai chili peppers, pencil chili peppers or your favourite variety)
- 1 tablespoon shallot, peeled and minced (or 2 stalks of chopped green onion)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the lentils, tuna, black olives, sun-dried tomato, bell pepper, feta cheese, parsley, capers and chili peppers.Note: You can break up the canned tuna a bit before adding to the salad. I prefer chunkier pieces, but you can break up a little more if you like.
- In a jar, whisk together the shallot with olive oil and lemon juice until well incorporated. I didn't add any salt or black pepper to the vinaigrette because the salad itself has salty ingredients, but you can add some to taste if you wish.Tip: If using lemon zest (as in Step 4 below), always zest your lemon before juicing (it's easier to get the zest from the lemon that way).
- Pour vinaigrette over bowl of tuna lentil salad. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the salad to a serving dish, then sprinkle over lemon zest (if using). Serve and enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!