Kalyn's Kitchen

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds is a favorite salad that I’d happily eat for lunch most any time of year. 

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds found on KalynsKitchen.com

Since everyone is on a diet in January, it seemed like a good time for me to update this favorite lunch salad of mine, which was lounging around in the recipe archives without a single photo. I’ve made it plenty of times through the years, even improving on the original recipe a bit, and finally got around to snapping a few pictures!

As I made this I thought about the name of the salad, realizing that when it comes out of a can I used to call it “tuna fish” but now I call it “canned tuna.”  For this salad I use my favorite tuna packed in olive oil, Cherubs salad tomatoes from Costco, and dry-roasted sunflower seeds, and it’s something I’d happily eat for lunch most any day.

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. No matter what kind of tuna you use, make sure it’s well drained before you mix it with the other ingredients.
  2. I prefer Romaine lettuce for this, torn apart and washed in a salad spinner (affiliate link).
  3. I just cut the tomatoes in half, but you can cut them smaller if you prefer.
  4. Through the years I’ve decided that some chopped capers and thinly sliced green onions are a great addition to the tuna mixture.
  5. Mix together Ranch Dressing and your favorite vinaigrette to make the dressing.
  6. After the tuna has drained, mix it with 3 T of the dressing, chopped capers, and sliced green onion.
  7. Toss the lettuce with enough dressing to moisten it, then toss with the tuna mixture.
  8. Put the salad in a serving bowl and top with tomatoes and sunflower seeds.
  9. Serve with more sunflower seeds to add at the table if you’re a big sunflower seed fan like me!

More Tasty Recipes with Tuna:

My Favorite Low-Carb Recipes with Tuna 
Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps 
Garden Cucumber Salad with Tuna and Sweet Basil 
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley 
Spicy Tuna and Avocado Ceviche from The Perfect Pantry
Herbed Tuna Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts from Pinch My Salt
Italian Marrow Beans with Tuna Salad from The Kitchn

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds found on KalynsKitchen.com

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds is a favorite salad that I've been making for years and years!



  • one 5 oz. can tuna, drained very well (see notes)
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomato halves
  • 1 T capers, chopped
  • 2 T thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup your favorite Ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup your favorite Vinaigrette dressing


  1. Put the tuna in a small strainer and let it drain well while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Tear lettuce, wash well in salad spinner and spin until dry (or dry with paper towels if you don’t have a salad spinner).
  3. Cut the tomatoes, chop capers, and thinly slice green onions.
  4. Mix ranch and vinaigrette dressing.
  5. Put the drained tuna into a small bowl, and mix about 3 tablespoons of the dressing into the tuna, then mix in capers and green onions.
  6. Put the washed and dried lettuce into a large salad bowl and toss with enough dressing to moisten the lettuce.  (You may not need all the dressing.)
  7. Add tuna mixture and toss with the lettuce.
  8. Add tomatoes and sunflower seeds to the top of the salad and serve.


I would greatly prefer Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil (affiliate link) for this salad. You'll need 1-2 heads of Romaine lettuce.

If you’re making this to take for lunches, mix the tuna, dressing, capers, and green onions and keep the mixture in the fridge.  Don’t toss the rest of the salad together until right before you eat it. The tuna mixture will stay good in the fridge for close to a week.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 1435mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a good side dish for any low-glycemic or low-carb diet, including any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more low-carb salad ideas like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds found on KalynsKitchen.com

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    17 Comments on “Tuna and Tomato Salad with Sunflower Seeds”

  1. Made this beautiful salad for lunch today…and will be making it for lunch other days too! I subbed chopped green olives for the capers and pepitas for the sunflower seeds. Delicious, healthy, and my tummy's happy.

  2. Thanks Carrie!

  3. Good morning! I have featured this recipe on my blog today for my weekly seafood round-up and have linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share! Here is the link: http://carriesexperimentalkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/09/seafood-frenzy-friday-week-36.html

  4. I made this tonight simply because I wanted something fast. I was feeling like a no effort night and this came very close with just a little prep. I added a can of chickpeas. I really loved this!!!! Will definitely make again. Even discovered that my 3-year-old likes chickpeas! 🙂 Mommy score!

  5. Katrina, capers and sunflower seeds make the salad, in my opinion!

    Barb, lucky you to have a source for real Italian tuna! I've only had it a few times but it is so good.

  6. This looks so good….love the idea of combining the 2 dressings. I have a friend who visits from Italy several times a year, and keeps me well stocked with their canned tuna which is packed in EVOO. I'll be trying this this weekend.
    Thanks Kalyn!

  7. Oh, this looks great! And canned tuna in oil is something I usually forget to buy, along with the tuna in water. Capers are so good with tuna, and I'm delighted you included them. And the sunflower seeds are inspired – can't wait to make this! Many thanks,

  8. Thanks Deborah. I love this for lunch!

  9. I never know what to do with canned tuna, but this sounds perfect!!

  10. So happy that people are seeing the appeal of this simple salad. I could eat it over and over and not get tired of it.

  11. This look delicious Kalyn! We are tuna lovers in my household so I'm sure this will be a big hit!

  12. We have a ton of tuna fish from stocking up for hurricane Irene…I think I have enough to make this beautiful salad at least once a week for the next year!

  13. Okay, I'll admit here that I don't really like canned tuna but my baby boy – who comes back home on Sunday – LOVES it and he'd love this salad. I love the addition of sunflower seeds.

  14. What a wonderful idea for lunch. I'm a huge tuna fan and often opt for tuna and white beans, but this a perfect change of pace.

    Thanks so much!

  15. I would never think to use sunflower seeds in a salad like this — what a great idea! And I love that tuna from Costco, too. So flavorful.

  16. I thought this recipe with the tomatoes was the perfect opportunity to rub it in that I’m already harvesting tomatoes from my garden. We may have traffic in LA, but we also have tomatoes very early. 🙂