How to Fix Watery Tuna Salad (5 Different Ways to Fix It)

A can of tuna saves you in your busy afternoon. Chop-chop some onions, chives and boil an egg or two with it. Voila! You have your tuna salad. But you probably wouldn’t like it if it turns watery, right?  

How to fix watery tuna salad?

Watery Tuna Salad might be a daily occurrence. But using mayonnaise, adding eggs or pasta can help absorb the moisture in tuna salad. You might also want to try out pouched tuna instead of canned tuna. Mixing salt in the end can save your salad from getting soggy too fast.

The information given here may not be entirely clear to you. We have a detailed approach on this matter available here. So keep reading!

Rescue Mission: Watery Tuna Salad 

You have a party going on. But right before plating your delicious tuna salad, you see it all mushy. No one likes a mushy salad on their plates. 

Tuna salad is bound to get watery if you keep it out for a long time. 

I have jotted down a few excellent methods to save your Tuna salad from getting watery. So if your tuna salad is too much watery, try these methods below.

Method 1: Use Mayonnaise as an Alternative

A small amount of mayonnaise in substitute with salad dressing will help your salad thicken.

Mayo consists of egg yolk and oil. Know how to make homemade mayo. Both the ingredients bind really well. 

It will help your salad to not get runny. Rather a creamy texture is what you will achieve in your salad. 

Without mayo or salad dressing, tuna salad is not complete. Mayonnaise is a preferable alternative to a salad if you experience a soggy tuna salad.

Besides thickening the tuna salad it gives the salad a tangy taste.

Whereas salad dressing’s properties tend to break into water particles. This makes it more prone to get watery.  

Don’t mix up between these two items. Salad dressing will have its own taste as it has other herbs too. But mayonnaise will just give a saucy texture to your salad. 

Method 2: Mix Eggs and Potatoes To Absorb the Moisture

Tuna salad requires only a few major elements: canned tuna, mayonnaise, celery, red onion, basil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

But if your tuna salad keeps getting runny then try adjusting a few ingredients. 

Boiled eggs and potatoes have the potential to absorb moisture. You don’t need to use only one species of fish. 

Adding extra boiled eggs, potatoes, and celery can thicken your tuna soup into a true tuna salad. It’s quite similar to the process of thickening a puree. 

Hard-boiled eggs can help absorb moisture off tuna salad. Depending on how much tuna salad you’re preparing, 3-5 or more eggs should thicken it up.

How can you mix eggs and potatoes to salad: 

  1. First boil the egg or roast the potatoes. 
  2. Make sure that the potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Otherwise, you don’t want to bite on half-cooked egg or potatoes in your salad. 
  3. Make sure to cut both eggs and potatoes into bite sizes. Or into the size of other vegetables. 
  4. After mixing all the ingredients you may need to add extra dressings and herbs. 

Protip: Hard boil the eggs. Otherwise, the runny yolk can make your salad be soggier than before. 

Method 3: Try Adding Pasta or Croutons

Just like the previous method. If you want to add stuff to your salad to level up the wetness. You can add cooked pasta and even fried croutons to your salad. 

Pasta can be a great source of carbs for your salad. Adding pasta to salads is very common. Pasta will help soak up the moisture. Make it even for balancing out the salad water. 

First, you have to boil the pasta. See the pasta’s packet for instructions on how to boil the pasta. Leftover pasta will also do the same. 

Here’s a tip. Try to use cold pasta instead of hot boiled ones. As tuna salad is made at normal temperature. 

Salads sometimes are refrigerated. So adding cold pasta will help your Tuna salad not get ruined further. 

As for the croutons. They are fried bread cut into small bite sizes. They are really easy to make. Just like pasta, it’s great for absorbing extra water from your salad.  

Method 4: Use Pouched Tunas Instead of Canned

Tunas in the pouched package are more firm. It has almost no water substance in it for its preservation.  

Pouched tuna is more expensive than canned tuna but it’s of greater quality and taste. They are not preserved like canned tunas. So you have to use it as soon as possible.

Using pouched tuna can ensure your tuna salad to not get soggy at all. There are many kinds of pouched tuna packets in the market. Some of the best kinds are

These are the best-pouched tunas you will get in the market. Sure it’s best to eat top-notch products. 

Method 5: Keep Salt for the Last

Tuna salad will taste bland without any vegetables and salt. But one of the common mistakes that you can make is mixing the salad beforehand. 

Think of it as a rule to make any salad that is, never mix beforehand with salt in it. 

Once you cut all the ingredients, keep them separately in bowls. Also, make sure to not  add salt to it right away. 

Salt tends to drain water from vegetables. Which ultimately results in a watery salad. 

Mixing and adding salt to your tuna salad can drain water from your meat and vegetables. As this procedure takes time, you may notice fluid in the salad after a while. 

It is best to mix salad right before serving. Then you can have your tuna salad just the way you like it. 

Tips for Avoiding Watery Tuna Salad

Precautions are better than fixes. Now as you know the methods for fixing watery tuna salad. Know how to avoid it at first. 

To attain a smooth texture, you need to ensure the following. 

Drain the Tuna

Your tuna salad might have water because you failed to strain the tuna correctly. 

Especially frozen canned tuna has more water particles. So, freezing the tuna can make your salad more watery unless stored the right way. 

 It must be well dried to produce a uniform consistency. 

First, Set a sieve on the sink. Pour a whole can in it

Then, keep squeezing any excess water out of the meat by scooping and pushing it.

Repeat the instructions till your tuna mince is completely dry.

Draining the tuna is a necessary step because canned tunas are preserved in water. The water gets absorbed into the flesh. It leaves water as soon as salt gets incorporated. 

Avoid Putting Salad in Fridge

Putting tuna salad will add moisture. As a result, it will get runny and lose its creaminess. Just like pudding gets watery runny if kept in the freezer for a long time. 

Right Tools for Making Tuna Salad

There are separate tools for mixing salads. Wooden hand mixers are best to be used to mix any salad. 

People tend to use their steel spoons. Steel spoons sometimes crush your salad more. This results in a watery salad. Tuna salads need to get handled gently. 

So to keep the crunchiness of your tuna salad you have to use the right tools for mixing. 

You may also want to use wooden bowls for serving tuna salad. This will add up to get the perfect textured tuna salad.  

This is how you save your salad!

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if I put extra salt in my Tuna Salad?

You can try adding vegetables, salad dressing. Adding anything sweet can also help to balance out extra salt in your salad. 

How long can tuna salad last in the cooler?

Refrigerate tuna salad in sealed containers to extend its shelf life.  Tuna salad can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 

Is it okay to consume canned tuna uncooked?

Yes. As it is under a process when it is canned. You can eat tuna right from the can. 

Final Words

So that’s all from our end. I hope we were able to get your answer about how to fix watery tuna salad. 

Now that you know how to fix tuna salad try one of these methods. And see which one you like the best. 

Best of Luck to you!