by Olena

Canned Salmon Salad

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 20 votes

In just 10 minutes, you can enjoy a healthy, easy, nutrient-dense Canned Salmon Salad that is creamy, crunchy, and packed with flavor. Perfect for a light lunch, dinner, picnic salad, or potlucks!

We love seafood salads around here. Smoked salmon salad, tuna salad or healthy shrimp salad, we love them all!

Canned Salmon Salad

Easy Canned Salmon Recipe

With a combination of tender salmon, crunchy peppers and carrots, soft avocado, tangy capers, and a creamy Greek yogurt and mayo sauce, this 10 minute salmon salad is sure to delight your family. Plus, it’s packed with protein, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and several vitamins and minerals.

Believe it or not, not all canned foods are bad. The canned salmon used for this easy canned salmon salad recipe is delicious, preservative and chemical-free, and saves a ton of time and effort. Anyone struggling with time (so probably all of us!) will surely appreciate it.

In fact, it’s so handy that I find myself buying more on every Costco trip to make dishes like salmon patties or this salad. This salmon salad is also nearly always on rotation in my fridge with this similar (equally delicious) chicken salad and egg salad.

canned salmon, mayo, yogurt, bell pepper, herbs in glass bowl

What Is Canned Salmon?

Canned salmon is pre-cooked and preserved in brine for long-term storage. For most recipes, you drain the salmon and then use it as it – but for this canned salmon salad, even the juices are included – meaning extra flavor, no waste, and less additional salt is needed.

The skin and bones are also both perfectly fine to eat and contain several essential vitamins and nutrients like calcium. Once they’re mashed into this salmon salad, you won’t even notice them!

When buying canned salmon, I have one main requirement; that it’s wild salmon (bonus if they contain no additives, are BPA-free, and tested for mercury!). Luckily, the majority of options available here are wild; either pink or sockeye.

Pink Vs. Sockeye Salmon

Whereas pink salmon has a light, mild flavor and softer texture, sockeye salmon (aka red salmon) is known for being more rich and flavorful with a brighter flesh and firmer “bite”.

However, other than sockeye having a slight protein increase, the two are fairly similar in nutritional value, and you can use either for this canned salmon salad. I often use pink salmon since it’s quite a bit cheaper!

canned wild pink salmon in cans

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Canned Salmon: Use wild pink or sockeye canned salmon. You could also use fresh boiled, grilled, broiled salmon or baked salmon (if you have time) or even omit salmon entirely for canned tuna.
  • Greek Yogurt and Mayo: By reducing the mayo and increasing the yogurt, you’ll have a creamy sauce with less fat and calories! Just make sure to use Greek yogurt with at least 2% fat, for best results. I also use avocado oil mayo, for more healthy fats.
  • Carrot and Bell Peppers: Will add crunch, color, and nutrients. You can experiment with other veggies, too; celery, red onion, olives, scallions, etc. Avoid ingredients like cucumber and tomatoes that will water down the canned salmon salad in the fridge, or add them just before serving.
  • Avocado: Provides healthy fats and extra creaminess.
  • Capers: Adds a unique citrusy, vinegary tang but can be substituted with other pickled vegetables like asparagus, olives, or pickles.
  • Herbs and seasonings: I use a combination of parsley, salt and pepper. You could also experiment with other herbs like dill or cilantro.
ingredients for canned salmon salad

How To Make Canned Salmon Salad

  • Prepare the vegetables: Thinly slice the bell peppers, dice the avocado, and shred the carrots (if you aren’t using a pre-prepared package), then add these, along with the capers, to a large bowl.
  • Prepare the canned salmon by lightly mashing it with a fork inside the can. Then add it to the bowl.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients: First, add the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, parsley, salt & pepper. Toss it gently to combine. Then add the avocado and give it a few more stirs. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
  • (Optional) Refrigerate up to 2 hours if have time: Not only does the salmon salad taste better cold, but it allows the ‘sauce’ to combine and marinate the ingredients.

How To Serve and Store

Storing: Refrigerate any leftover salmon salad in an airtight container for between 2-3 days.

Freezing: I haven’t tried freezing this salmon salad, though I wouldn’t recommend it as it can affect the fresh veggies’ texture. However, let me know in the comments if you give it a try.

Leftovers: There are also several ways to use up the leftover canned salmon salad too:

Top Tips For The Best Canned Salmon Salad

  • Don’t leave out the mayonnaise! I’ve already reduced the amount to just a few tablespoons – but it will elevate the dish and shouldn’t be skipped.
  • (Optional) Allow the canned salmon salad to chill before serving: Allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for just a couple of hours makes a world of difference in marinating the flavors and overall enjoyment of the dish.
  • Top Reader Tip – Combine salmon and tuna: Use one can of salmon and one of tuna for a delicious twist on this canned salmon salad.
  • (Optional) Add-ins: Add a squeeze of lemon juice for additional fresh flavor. For heat, add some chopped chilies or mix in a little hot sauce.

More Favorite Salad Recipes

Looking for even more ideas? Check out my 45 healthy salad recipes or fresh salmon recipes. And have you ever tried salmon soup? It is to die for!

Canned Salmon Salad

Canned Salmon Salad Recipe {10 Minutes}

In just 10 minutes, you can enjoy a healthy, easy, nutrient-dense Canned Salmon Salad that is creamy, crunchy, and packed with flavor. Perfect for a light lunch, dinner, picnic salad, or potlucks!
5 from 20 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz cans wild salmon not drained
  • 10 oz carrot matchsticks or 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 large bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 2 large avocados diced
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 3 oz jar capers drained
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 2%+ fat
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add carrots, bell peppers and capers.
  • Mash salmon a bit with a fork inside the can and add to the salad.
  • Add parsley, salt, pepper, mayo, Greek yogurt and gently toss to coat. Add avocado and give a few more stirs.
  • Refrigerate for up to 2 hours if have time (optional). Not only does the salmon salad taste better cold, but it allows the 'sauce' to combine and marinate the ingredients.
  • Serve cold in a sandwich, in lettuce wraps, with cucumber slices, brown rice or quinoa, boiled potatoes.

Storing: Refrigerate any leftover salmon salad in an airtight container for between 2-3 days.

    Freezing: I haven't tried freezing this salmon salad, though I wouldn't recommend it as it can affect the fresh veggies' texture. However, let me know in the comments if you give it a try.

      Notes

      • Don’t leave out the mayonnaise! I’ve already reduced the amount to just a few tablespoons – but it will elevate the dish and shouldn’t be skipped.
      • Capers: Adds a unique citrusy, vinegary tang but can be substituted with other pickled vegetables like asparagus, olives, or pickles
      • (Optional) Allow the canned salmon salad to chill before serving: Allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for just a couple of hours makes a world of difference in marinating the flavors and overall enjoyment of the dish.
      • Combine salmon and tuna: Use one can of salmon and one of tuna for a delicious twist on this canned salmon salad.
      • (Optional) Add-ins: Add a squeeze of lemon juice for additional fresh flavor. For heat, add some chopped chilies or mix in a little hot sauce.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 19179IU | Vitamin C: 93mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      43 comments on “Canned Salmon Salad

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      1. 5 stars
        Wonderful ! I made this and just didn’t put the mayo because I am trying to avoid eating mayo ! I added celery and didn’t use the carrots ! It turned out SO good ! Thanks for sharing

      2. Hi Oleana,
        After reading the reviews I think I just might have to try this delicious sounding recipe. I have all ingredients except capers & will use your suggestions in notes (pickles). Also, I never knew the difference between “Pink vs Sockeye Salmon” so I appreciate your explaining.
        So far every recipe I’ve tried from your site has been spot on “delicious”… healthy eating!
        I appreciate you! Thanks!

      3. 5 stars
        What do you eat this salmon salad with with a fork with crackers or do you put it over a salad

      4. 5 stars
        I made this recipe during a hot weather spell. It’s a keeper. I love eating it rolled up in romaine lettuce. My husband took some to work to have with crackers

      5. 5 stars
        i did not have any carrots so I added some celery and scallions also grated lemon rind and juice

      6. 5 stars
        Super fresh tasting and healthy. Also very easy, quick, and fun. Added tomatoes and fresh cilantro, and used sour cream in place of yogurt (didn’t have any). Anyways thanks for sharing, will continue to make this and play with variations.

      7. I too live on that island in the Pacific Ocean, Qualicum Beach

        Going to have this tonight. But have no Avocado mayo.
        Joy Dennie

      8. 5 stars
        This was extremely tasty. I had no yogurt and only used mayo. Next time I’ll try it with mayo & yogurt. It’s a keeper. My husband loved it too. Next time I might add some spicy heat to it, just because I love heat.

      9. 5 stars
        I am English but live in Spain,I make lots of salads especially in the summer months, this salmon salad recipe is the best yet , hubby loved it, delicious!

      10. 5 stars
        GREAT recipe!!! I made it a bit more creamy by adding more non-fat greek yogurt. To cut salt, one might make it with fresh, poached salmon. I’ll try that next. THANK YOU for sharing. =)

      11. 5 stars
        This recipe is delicious! I had never had capers before. They made it awesome! (I made it again using pickles and they just weren’t the same). I used half salmon and half tuna for the recipe, which was perfect. Thank you Olena, for this site you’ve put together for us. You have helped me more than you know.

        1. Awesome!!! I help you and you help me too by making my recipes and this dream job a reality! Yes, salmon and capers are a match made in heaven. Try smoked salmon and capers – OMG I died lol.

      12. 5 stars
        We loved this! I think this summer it is going to be really refreshing and helpful in not heating up the kitchen.

      13. 5 stars
        Hi Olena
        I have started to mix canned salmon with canned tuna, and for whatever magical reason – it tastes even better then each individually! Love your recipe, thank you!

        1. Yay, Tracy! You made me think to make a tuna salad with lots of veggies now. Or another canned salmon. So convenient to have in a fridge for a few days on hand.

      14. Be careful about albacore tuna. It contains mercury and you need to limit your tuna to two cans a month. For kids.. I’d be a lot more careful. Mercury, a neurotoxin, is cumulative, your body collects it, and you don’t want that in your body.

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