Canned Mackerel Salad Recipe

Using a sustainable, omega-3 rich fish such as mackerel, as well as being packed full of summery salad items, Canned Mackerel Salad is perfect served up as lunch on a late summer’s afternoon. 

Canned Mackerel Salad

This summery salad is super easy to make, as is most salads to be honest! The amazing thing about this one is the addition of canned mackerel.

Mackerel is currently a sustainable fish in the UK and is very yummy too. Why not put poor, unsustainable salmon aside for a bit and try tinned mackerel instead? I’m not saying that I’m not going to to ever eat salmon again but I’m definitely going to try and eat more of a variety of fish, mainly the sustainable kind and leave the others as a treat every now and then.

I was lucky to be sent some yummy sustainable tinned fish samples from the online ethical store, Traidcraft. They sent over the Fish4Ever tinned mackerel in spring water which I used for this recipe, and I can totally recommend it (available on the site for only £1.95!)

Traidcraft also sent some tinned sardines. I used this to make my Sardine, Lemon and Chili Linguine. Visit the link for more on how to create delicious recipes from simple, sustainable ingredients.

Half a bowl of mackerel salad

Equipment Needed

  • Small bowl for vinaigrette
  • Fork for mixing
  • Salad bowl
  • Sharp knife for chopping radishes
  • Grater for grating the apple
  • Chopping board

How to Make a Mackerel Salad

How to make a simple Lemon Vinaigrette

This salad is dressed with a zingy lemon vinaigrette and it’s super easy to make. It only requires four ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, wholegrain mustard and extra-virgin olive oil. Oh and a bowl and fork to whisk! Here’s how:

Why should I make this Mackerel Salad?

  • It’s healthy: full of omega-3 oils + Vitamin D.
  • Economical – tinned mackerel is one of the cheapest fish’s you can buy.
  • Tasty and always undervalued!
  • Tinned mackerel is not dry like tuna and it’s filling too.
A little pot of lemon vinaigrette

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dressing sugar-free?

You most certainly can. You could either choose to omit the sugar completely or substitute the regular sugar with a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.

Can I use other types of mustard in this dressing?

This recipe uses wholegrain mustard but you could also use dijon or yellow mustard. The taste won’t be changed drastically, unless you omit the sugar. Taking out the sugar will mean that you will taste the mustard more strongly.

Should I use tinned mackerel in oil, brine or water?

In the times I’ve made this salad, I’ve used both mackerel in spring water and mackerel in oil. Both were equally as nice. It depends if you like an oily mackerel or not. I would avoid tinned fish in brine as this only make the whole taste saltier. Go for what you like.

Can I use other tinned fish for this salad?

This salad would work really well with other tinned fish, such as sardines and tuna. You can definitely swap things around; that’s the joy with salads!

Can I make this salad in advance?

I wouldn’t recommend making this salad in advance. The lettuce leaves will go limp with all the dressing. If you’re taking it to work for lunch, then fine (you’ll be the only one who sees it!) however if it’s for entertaining purposes, make it fresh!

Where should I store salad leftovers?

You’ll need to store the leftover salad in the fridge, in a sealed Tupperware. It will keep for one day.


Here are some suggestions of other ingredients that pair well with mackerel. You could add all of these to your salad!

  • Tomatoes
  • Gooseberries
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons
  • Teriyaki dressing
  • Soy sauce

Cook Times

Prep Time

5 mins



Total time

5 mins


2-3 people

A bowl of mackerel salad with radishes and Lemons in background

Tinned Mackerel Salad with Lemon Vinaigerette

Using a sustainable, omega-3 rich fish such as mackerel, as well as being packed full of summery salad items, Tinned Mackerel Salad is perfect served up as lunch on a late summer's afternoon. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine British
Servings 2 people
Calories 353 kcal


Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil

The Salad

  • 115 g tinned mackerel
  • 3 radishes sliced thinly
  • Handful red lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 apple grated


The Vinaigrette

  • 1. Mix the lemon juice, sugar and mustard together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil and mix until combined.

The Salad

  • Wash the lettuce leaves. Assemble in the bottom of your salad bowl. I kept mine whole.
  • Beak the mackerel into pieces and place in the bowl with the lettuce. Add the sliced radishes and grated apple.
  • Drizzle over the lemon vinaigrette dressing. Serve!


Calories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 14gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 250mgPotassium: 215mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 282IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 152mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Easy, Economical, Healthy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More canned fish recipes –

Sardine, Lemon and Chilli Linguine

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