Tuna salad wrap with fries

Tuna salad is one of those ridiculously delicious dishes that can be prepared in a pinch. And regardless of whether you like yours fully loaded or made with a few simple ingredients, one thing is sure — a watery tuna salad is never welcomed. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help recover a runny salad.

Like most kitchen dilemmas, prevention is key. In the case of tuna salad, that means fully straining and drying canned tuna that’s been packed in water or oil, as these liquids can add excess moisture (via The Cooking Bar) and actually make your salad taste bland. Using a thicker, creamier dressing like mayonnaise rather than salad dressing can also prevent further saturation.

But don’t fret if you have already gone beyond the point of prevention. If your tuna salad recipe is looking watered-down and drab, here are some hacks that can help transform it from soggy to superb!

Adding ingredients to soak up moisture

Tuna Salad Sandwich With Add-ins

The key to fixing a watery tuna salad is to remove unnecessary moisture. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do that is by adding ingredients in an effort to soak up any unpleasant sogginess. While you can add any mix-ins from your fridge or pantry, one thing to remember is that drier ingredients are more effective.

The best add-in by far, according to Julie’s Cafe Bakery, is an additional can of strained tuna: It’ll soak up liquid without changing the flavor or texture of your recipe. Similarly, chunks of cooked potato or diced hard-boiled eggs can also absorb liquid without compromising too much of the dish’s signature flavor.

If neither more tuna, potatoes, nor eggs solves the problem, it’s time to consider mixing in super dry, starchy ingredients. To soak up liquids like a sponge, pantry staples like pasta or even croutons are complete game-changers that will restore a soggy salad.

Managing moisture is all in the details

Toasted Tuna Salad Sandwich on stump

Unfortunately, as tuna salad sits, even the creamiest and thickest of salads risk becoming watered-down. The good news is that how you decide to serve your recipe — especially in sandwich form — can help disguise a tuna salad that’s on the thinner side.

Just like pre-salting any vegetables in your tuna salad can draw out liquid before it has the chance to wreak havoc, the same principle applies to tuna salad sandwich toppings, as explained by Cook’s Illustrated. Patting dry a tomato slice and adding it to your sandwich right before serving ensures that your salad doesn’t get any runnier. You can even add a dry garnish to counteract moisture!

However, a sure-fire way to fix — read: disguise — a drippy tuna salad sandwich lies in bread choice. Choosing a thicker, sturdier bread variety and then toasting it will help prevent it from sopping up excess liquid (via Kitchn). Spread a pat of butter or some olive oil on top of the bread, and that can also create a barrier against any potential sogginess that might occur. With quick fixes available from prepping to serving, you can bid dampness goodbye.