June 27, 2022

Canned Salmon Salad

Mix, Eat, Repeat. Grab a can of salmon and let’s make this herby, crunchy briny salmon salad.

Since the arrival of bubs #2 I have eaten this canned salmon salad almost every day. For starters it’s a quick dish that is ready in just a few minutes. Not to mention that it’s relatively healthy and extremely filling. With just a few ingredients and 15 minutes you have a great lunch, afternoon snack, or a light dinner. Enjoy on a piece of crusty sourdough, sandwiched between two pieces of bread, stuffed in lettuce wraps, or if you are like me and are extremely limited on time just eat it straight off the fork.


Not only does it take less than 10 minutes to make this quick and easy canned salmon salad, but it’s also absolutely delicious, low in fat, and can be a low-carb snack or lunch option. Canned salmon is also a great source of protein, which is something everyone is aiming to increase these days, and rightfully so. Additionally, this recipe is fairly inexpensive and is a great option for meal prepping the night before.

So if you have been looking for lunch inspiration that is healthy, delicious, and versatile, look no further because this canned salmon salad checks all the boxes.


  • Salmon – This recipe was designed for convenience and flavor, and canned salmon fits both of those criteria. Can this be made with leftover fresh salmon? Sure, the photos were actually taken with leftover fresh salmon, but truth be told, it actually tastes better with canned. Fresh salmon has a fatty flavor that canned just doesn’t have, which allows the other ingredients to shine more

    In terms of which canned salmon you should buy, that’s up to you. You can opt for bone-in and just mash it all together (you won’t notice) or go boneless. I actually love using Trader Joe’s smoked canned salmon for this recipe
  • Celery
  • Red Onion
  • Capers – This recipe calls for non-pareil capers, which simply means small capers. These are the most common capers you will find at the supermarket and have the best texture and flavor compared to the larger variety.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro adds fantastic flavor and brightness to the dish. If you are one of the unfortunate ones who tastes soap instead of the bright flavor of this leafy herb, see the variations section below. However, I do recommend trying it with cilantro first.
  • Mayo
  • Bread, Toast, Lettuce Wraps or just a Fork – Player’s choice here: I love this salad on a crusty piece of sourdough with sliced tomatoes on top. If you are looking to reduce the carbs altogether, this would be great in some Bibb lettuce cups.
sourdough toast with salmon salad


There are so many ways to mix this up. Below are a few additions and substitutions to consider.

  • Tuna or Mackerel – If you absolutely hate canned salmon, this is an easy swap. Canned tuna or even mackerel are both great substitutions.
  • Jalapeño – If you like things… hot.
  • Parsley – Swap out the cilantro for flat leaf parsley. While you are at it maybe try a little pinch of dill in the mix as well.
  • Greek Yogurt – I used to HATE mayo, so if you HATE mayo or are looking to cut back on the calories then swap it out for Greek yogurt. Not only will you still get the same creaminess, but the greek yogurt will add a little tang to the mix as well.
  • Lemon Juice – A little squeeze of fresh lemon juice can brighten this up even more.
  • Tomato – Either on top of diced and mixed within.


Does this recipe even need detailed instructions? It’s simple: drain the can of salmon and place it in a bowl, mashing it with a fork. Add the celery, onion, cilantro, and capers, then top the salad with mayo. Mix to combine and salt to taste.

Feel free to adjust the ratio of ingredients to your preference. Craving more brininess? Add extra capers. Seeking a crunchier texture? Celery is your ally. The amounts listed in the recipe card are recommended but can be treated as guidelines.

salmon salad on pieces of sourdough


While this salmon salad should be enjoyed immediately, it can be made a few hours and up to 1 day prior and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I do not recommend making it more than 2 days in advance, it looses a bit of its brightness as the onion, celery, and cilantro age in the fridge.

Interested in other quick and healthy recipes? Check out the below!

Crunchy Parmesan Kale Salad
Pickled Red Cabbage Salad

    June 27, 2022

    Salmon Salad

    Print Recipe Pin Recipe
    A quick, bright, and fresh salmon salad
    Course Lunch, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Keyword 20 Minute Meal, Salmon, Single Serving
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Servings 1 people


    • 1 can canned salmon or 5-6 oz fresh
    • 1 stalk celery diced
    • 1/4 red onion minced
    • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped finely
    • 2 tbsp capers
    • 1 tbsp mayo
    • salt + pepper


    • Drain the can of salmon and place it in a bowl, mashing it with a fork.
    • Combine the rest of the ingredients including the mayo and mix to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper.
    • Enjoy on a sandwich, crusty toast, in a lettuce wrap, or as is.

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