Tea Room Tuna Salad Recipe - Delishably - Food and Drink
Updated date:

Tea Room Tuna Salad Recipe

Susan enjoys sharing her "optional" recipes because you can tweak them in many delicious ways to match your taste. Enjoy!

tea-room-tuna-salad

Growing up, tuna fish sandwiches were a summertime lunch staple. It was pretty plain, too. Usually, it involved a can of tuna, some Miracle Whip, mustard, sweet relish, and two slices of white bread. That's it.

As I have grown older and tasted many different tuna salads, though, I have found a new favorite.

We have a wonderful tea room in town that serves some of the most scrumptious sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, and desserts. It's called Spring Creek Tea Room, and it has been an inspiration to many who live in the area. The lady who owns the place is up at 2:00 a.m. fixing and baking recipes, so everything is fresh.

Each day brings a different selection. Her tuna salad is there every day, though. You can order it as a sandwich, wrap, or salad—and it is delicious.

I will not be the first one to try to copy this lady’s recipes.

I have, of course, turned it into my own recipe because I like to add and mix in optional ingredients.

tea-room-tuna-salad

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

45 min

2 hours

2 hours 45 min

6-8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) can tuna in water, drained
  • 6-7 boiled eggs, thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow sweet onion, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 20-30 seedless red grapes, quartered
  • 1 cup hamburger dill pickles, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup English walnuts, chopped
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
  • Pickle juice, to taste and texture

Rate Tea Room Tuna Salad

tea-room-tuna-salad
The water is boiling over the tops of the eggs that were left uncovered.

The water is boiling over the tops of the eggs that were left uncovered.

How to Boil an Egg

For this recipe, I boiled seven eggs—but it's the same technique, whether it's seven eggs or just one.

  1. Use a medium-sized pot (smaller pot for fewer eggs).
  2. Place eggs in pot.
  3. Pour water over eggs so only about a quarter size is left uncovered.
  4. Boil on medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Run cold water over the hot eggs.
  6. Crack the large end.
  7. Peeling is easier while the egg is still hot.
tea-room-tuna-salad

Instructions

  1. Put eggs on to boil. Please refer to the blue side capsule for a description on how to boil eggs.
  2. Gather all other ingredients.
  3. Open the tuna and press the lid down and drain the tuna water into the sink with the hot water running (you don’t want grease build up). After dumping the tuna into the bowl, take a fork and separate the chunks. This will help make a creamier spread or dip.
  4. Taking a peeled onion, use a paring knife and cut in “tick-tack-toe” fashion down through approximately half the onion. Take the knife and thinly slice from the side to create small pieces of onion. Then, mix the onion with the tuna.
  5. Wash and core the apple. You can do this by using an apple core utensil or by simply quartering the apple with a knife and slicing the core out. When using the quartered method, slice the quarters into quarters. Thinly chop the apple into the mixture and stir thoroughly.
  6. Wash the grapes then quarter them into the mixture. Stir them in thoroughly.
  7. Taking 7 or 8 pickle slice, chop them up into the mixture and stir thoroughly. Repeat to taste.
  8. Wash and remove leaves from the celery stalk. Thinly chop the stalk into the mixture and stir thoroughly.
  9. Peel and thinly slice boiled eggs. Chop with fork as you stir thoroughly.
  10. Pour the English Walnuts into a nut chopper. Press and chop to desired size. If you do not have a nut chopper, use a knife to chop the nuts. Mix and stir thoroughly.
  11. Now that all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout, add mayonnaise and fold into the mixture until all ingredients are coated. You may want to do this a tablespoon at a time until it is the right creamy consistency.
  12. Add pickle juice to taste and for texture. It will make it creamier.
  13. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serving Ideas

This recipe is large enough to be served as a main dish. You could put it on bread or toast, or you could serve it with a variety of crackers. I prefer Wheat Thins and Triscuits because they are strong crackers that will not break if you are using the tuna salad as a dip.

You could also serve it on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes on the side. I would not recommend adding the tomatoes to the tuna salad because they will become mushy with a twangy taste.

Optional Ingredients

  • You can substitute olive oil mayonnaise with regular mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.
  • If you do not like a tart Granny Smith apple, you could use a Red or Yellow Delicious apple, which has a sweeter flavor.
  • Rather than a sweet onion, you may want a stouter red onion, which would add more color.
  • I like the red seedless grapes for the color, but the white seedless grapes are just as good.
  • You may prefer pecans or black walnuts to English walnuts.
  • Some do not like dill pickles and would rather have sweet pickles or sweet relish.

The choices are many. Make it to your tastes and enjoy.

© 2012 Susan Holland

Comments

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 10, 2014:

Thank you, everyone! I hope you get a chance to make the tuna salad with your own twists.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Ryem from Maryland on November 09, 2014:

I have never been to a tea room. I'll have to see if I can find one close by. This tuna salad looks really good, I use similar ingredients in my own.

Elena from London, UK on November 08, 2014:

Healthy Recipe. Thanks.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on November 08, 2014:

Oh, I will try this tuna salad for lunch next week! It sounds so delicious and I love tuna. Great to have a new recipe to alter my usual tuna salad.

Audrey Howitt from California on November 08, 2014:

So yummy! Tuna is a favorite of mine!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 04, 2013:

Thanks, Barbara! This is one of our favorite summer meals! Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

Barbara Badder from USA on August 04, 2013:

Now this tuna salad sounds yummy. My daughter always adds grapes and nuts and it does add a nice extra. I'll have to try yours. I think I'll share it on Facebook.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on December 03, 2012:

Hi SG! What you could do is make his old fashion batch, split it in half and add all the goodies to yours. My husband used to want it plain (mustard and relish or mayo and relish), but once I made it the tea room way, he has become addicted. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and the vote! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on December 03, 2012:

Denise, those pickles do get tedious. LOL My daughter and I love them, though - the more the better. I guess I could just put in a whole jar of dill relish. :-)

No tea room where you are?? WHAT? I'm sooo sorry! You let me know if you come through SW MO, and I will take you to the BEST!!

Thanks for dropping by and the votes! :-)

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 03, 2012:

OMGosh! This looks so good! I love tuna salad with grapes and nuts. Hubby likes his the old fashion way, so that is what I make. I may have to make 2 batches, and have some of this to eat ALL BY MYSELF! Voting up and useful! :)

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on December 03, 2012:

Susan-this sounds like a great recipe, although I would switch out chopping the pickles and just add relish instead. I had to smile at all of your optional ingredients-I do the same thing. I love tea rooms...we have nothing like that here and wish we did. :) Great hub-Up/U/A

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 22, 2012:

Thank you, Carol! :-)

carol stanley from Arizona on August 22, 2012:

I was tempted to read this hub by the title. I love tuna and always looking for something different to do with it. I love all the ingredients you incorporated in the salad. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 14, 2012:

Teaches, I'm with you, but I love the sweet with the tart of the pickles most. The pecans or English Walnuts add such a great flavor.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Dianna Mendez on August 14, 2012:

I love tuna salad with grapes and walnuts. There is just something about the sweet with the bitter that makes the difference for me. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 12, 2012:

Patsy, I've never heard of chervil, but I am willing to try. The more dill, the better, in my opinion. Thanks for coming back and sharing! :-)

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on August 12, 2012:

dill and chervil.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 12, 2012:

Oh Patsy, fresh herbs would really make the tuna salad even more delicious. Let me know what you add. It is the perfect garden party food.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, SEMO on August 11, 2012:

I love tuna salad. It just needs to be eatin on the patio or garden. As ab herb gardener, I would always have to a a few fresh herbs.

Perfect garden party food. Great recipe. Voted up and useful.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 11, 2012:

RT, I was thinking the same thing. My family loves it, and it is great for summer time. I love the Olive Oil Mayo, too. It is so tasty!

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 11, 2012:

Oh, me too, Tammy! Did you see Just-Ask-Susan's chicken salad recipe I linked above? It is delicious, too!!

You love the apples, too! I also love the lots of dill pickle in mine. The more the better! :-)

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 11, 2012:

Hi GL! I grew up on tuna, too. It was as I described in my intro, pretty plain. I hope you like the recipe and that you have fun applying your own personalized touches.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

RTalloni on August 11, 2012:

This is just what I need to make this afternoon! Thanks for posting your recipe--love that olive oil mayo.

Tammy from North Carolina on August 11, 2012:

I LOVE tuna and chicken salad prepared this way but I can't find it here in the south. I am so glad you published this. This is the perfect lunch and the more apple the better! Great recipe!

Ray Williams from Little Rock, Arkansas on August 11, 2012:

I'm gonna have to try this. I love tuna. Grew up on it basically. Never put things like that before in my tuna. Definitely gonna try it. Great hub.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 09, 2012:

Hi ALocsin! Oh, it's different from any tuna salad I had ever had before I tried the tea room tuna salad. Mine is tailored to me, though. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on August 09, 2012:

I'm not sure how this would be different from a non-tea-room salad, but it looks delish. Voting this Up and Useful.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 09, 2012:

YAY! My job is done here. LOL

Thanks for dropping by, BreakfastPop!

breakfastpop on August 09, 2012:

Now I'm craving tuna!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 08, 2012:

Wow! what an idea... thanks

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

RC, I am so glad you liked it. I love doing my own thing. I am not very good with recipes because I usually don't measure and do things to taste. I like options too. I like to present the recipes I do know I can put measurements in that can be switched up if a someone doesn't like an ingredient.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 08, 2012:

I love unique tuna salad variations! Thanks for the great recipe.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Josh,

My job is done here. (Swooping my cape and striding away! - lol) Have a great snack and day!

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Hi Frank, quality takes time. LOL Seriously, it could take less time if you have someone helping you chop or a mini-food processor. Definitely want it to chill for at least an hour, though, so all the flavor can blend.

Thanks for the 5 stars! I appreciate you dropping by! :-)

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on August 08, 2012:

Sue,

This looks so delicious! I love tuna sandwiches and salad! And now you have made me hungry, so I am off to eat a snack! :)

Great recipe Sue, have an awesome day!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on August 08, 2012:

2 hours plus.hmm but it's worth it gave you five stars!!!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Kelley, I hope you like it! It is so good on a summer day or to take as an appetizer to a get-together throughout the year.

Thanks for dropping by, voting and sharing! :-)

kelleyward on August 08, 2012:

This looks really good. I need a change of pace. I'll try this soon. Thanks for sharing. I love tearooms! Shared and voted up! Kelley

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Oh Kevin, I love the tart Granny Smith apple. It really makes it. I prefer the grapes to be a little tart but sometimes when they are really ripe, they are sweet. It's all good though with the blending of all the different flavors.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Kelly, my kids love it. They fight if they think one gets more than the other. Then I have to pull D outta the bowl. It really is a family favorite. LOL Sounds like we are pigs at a trough. LOL Oh, and as you know, my kids are adults now - they still behave this way, as does their father. I always worry if I am going to get bitten if I try to get some from the bowl. LOL

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, Susan! I think it is close to your wonderful chicken salad, just with tuna.

Thanks for dropping by, the votes, shares, and pinning!! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Maria,

Tea rooms seem to be popping up in my area. Spring Creek was the first, and it has no rivals. Nobody does it better than this lady. She has it combined with a classy antique store with consignment booths.

Thanks for dropping by, the votes and shares!

KevinMillican from Stilwell, OK on August 08, 2012:

This sounds very delicious. I have never thought about adding apples and grapes to tuna.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on August 08, 2012:

Hey this looks awesome! I love tuna Salad and I've never had it with apples. I will have to try this - bet the kids will love it too:)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 08, 2012:

You know I like trying all kinds of new recipes and yours looks delicious. I must try this soon as I am dying to see what grapes and tuna together taste like.

Up, sharing and pinning.

Thanks for the links :)

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 08, 2012:

Oh a tea room is a beautiful find, getting to be a lost art!

Thank you ever so much for sharing this lady's passion with us. I also love tuna salad and this is yummy sounding... A must try!

Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

The porch light will be on. :-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 08, 2012:

Susan, if we are ever out that way you can count on a visit....and I don't forget the people who supported me early on. :)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on August 08, 2012:

Bill, I LOVE how you are always my first comment on most hubs. Truly, that means a lot to me. I am glad you like tuna recipes.

You and Bev need to come to the Ozarks, and we will go to the Spring Creek Tea Room. It is a local treasure.

Thanks so much for commenting!! :-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 08, 2012:

I love all recipes with tuna included, so of course I will try this one. Great recipe and I would love to visit that tea room; it sounds like a local treasure.