This recipe for Healthy Tuna Salad has fewer calories and fat by using Greek yogurt. It is lighter yet super flavorful, creamy and fluffy! Serve it sandwich style or over a bed of fresh greens for a light meal.
It took me a few years to come up with healthy tuna salad I like. I am more of a salmon salad girl but my kids love tuna, so I kept trying.
My passion for healthy salad recipes runs deep. But to be honest, I tried all healthy versions of tuna salad – with avocado, and with yogurt instead of mayo. Not the same although I do quite love avocado egg salad. Just not with tuna.
I already struggle with the whole concept of “tasty tuna salad”, so it took a few tries to come up with what I consider a tuna salad that is healthy yet tastes great. I am finally happy to share the best tuna salad recipe I can eat too!
There just has to be a touch of mayo for me, personally, just like with healthy macaroni salad. You can omit it though, it is a very small amount!
Ingredients for Tuna Salad Recipe
Healthy tuna salad takes only 15 minutes of prep. Simply mix the ingredients, then place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Canned tuna: Canned tuna divides into 2 main categories: packed in oil or water. Then pick from based on your budget: Albacore tuna has less “fishy” taste and white “meaty” texture or yellowfin/skipjack/light tuna is tan to pink in color and has more strong fish taste. Lastly, the texture: chunky or whole.
I always buy canned light tuna packed in water as I do not see a need for extra oil as we drain it anyways. Also chunky one vs. whole because it’s cheaper.
- Mayo + plain Greek yogurt: The best combination to get that ‘traditional’ tuna salad taste but with less calories. Use mayo made with avocado oil and Greek yogurt with at least 2% fat for the tastiest Greek yogurt tuna salad results. You can omit mayonnaise though.
- Dill pickles: Add a briny taste with sweet and sour notes that really make this tuna recipe outstanding.
- Celery and red onion: Add crunch with bold earthy and sweet taste.
- Fresh garlic: Because garlic is always a must in any dish, hands down.
- Lemon juice: Adds tang and brightness.
How to Make Healthy Tuna Salad
This healthy tuna recipe turns out delicious every time. It is a satisfying, light and flavorful healthy lunch idea you can easily whip up with simple pantry and fridge ingredients.
Drain and flake canned tuna: Holding onto the lid of open can, flip the can and drain into the sink while pressing hard on the lid.
Using a fork, remove tuna from a can into a bowl and flake with a fork.
You can also add all 4 cans into a bowl and flake with a hand mixer.
Combine all ingredients: Now it’s time to put your healthy tuna salad together!
Add to your bowl with tuna the pickles, celery, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, yogurt and mayo.
Stir well with a fork and refrigerate.
Variations of Healthy Tuna Salad
- Curried salad: Add desired amount of fresh curry powder. I used the same yellow curry powder I make yellow chicken curry with and salad turns out so flavorful!
- Pasta salad: Mix with cooked whole wheat macaroni for healthy tuna pasta salad.
- Avocado: Love avocado? Substitute mayo with mashed avocado.
- Egg: Add a few chopped Instant Pot hard boiled eggs or leftover healthy deviled eggs (extra creamy!).
Tuna salad may have salad in its name, but it can be enjoyed in so many more ways.
- Low carb meal: Swap out the chicken for tuna and make a lettuce wrap or over a bed of fresh greens.
- Tuna sandwich: Make a sandwich with a few slices of cucumber, so good! Or go diner style and grill with a slice of cheese for a tuna melt.
- Breakfast or lunch toast: Top your whole grain bread with it for a healthy meal of fiber, fat and protein! Or make tuna avocado toast by smashing an avocado on toast and topping it with a scoop of healthy tuna salad.
- In an avocado: Scoop out the avocado seed and fill the empty space with tuna salad! A restaurant quality healthy lunch.
- With crackers or pita chips: Choose some healthier prepackaged snack crackers such as organic Triscuits or sweet potato crackers.
Salad can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. It is perfect for meal prep. I like to make salad in a large Pyrex glass bowl, then just pop a lid on and refrigerate.
Yes, you can. However, once thawed Greek yogurt might release extra moisture. Drain it and give salad a good stir. You can liven it up with fresh herbs like dill or parsley, if you wish.
Certainly, you can use all Greek yogurt in place of the mayo.
Yes, you can use canned salmon instead of canned tuna.
Healthy tuna salad has really grown on me! It is not something I ate growing up in Ukraine but tastes evolve!
More Easy Healthy Salad Recipes
- Healthy shrimp salad
- Chickpea salad with avocado
- Healthy pasta salad
- Cauliflower potato salad
- Avocado corn salad
- Healthy coleslaw
Healthy Tuna Salad
- Drain cans with tuna well. I usually press hard onto the lid while draining the can completely.
- Transfer to a large bowl and separate into flakes with a fork.
- Add pickles, celery, red onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, yogurt and mayo.
- Stir well with a fork and refrigerate.
- Serve cold in a sandwich or over lettuce leaves.
- Make ahead: Tuna salad tastes best cold. For best results, refrigerate 30 minutes before eating.
- Store: Refrigerate tightly covered for up to 5 days.
- What canned tuna to buy? I buy canned light tuna packed in water. Albacore tuna has less "fishy" taste and white "meaty" texture or yellowfin/skipjack/light tuna is tan to pink in colour and has more strong fish taste. I always buy chunky one vs. whole because it's cheaper.
- Mayo + plain Greek yogurt: I used mayo made with avocado oil and Greek yogurt with at least 2% fat for the tastiest results. You can omit mayonnaise though.