by Olena

Healthy Tuna Salad

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

Healthy Tuna Salad with less mayo that actually tastes good. It is creamy, fluffy and flavorful. Meal prep, refrigerate for up to 5 days and use for school and work lunches, cold dinner or easy weekend meal.

Other meal prep packed healthy salads we keep in the fridge on repeat are healthy chicken salad and healthy egg salad. Helps a lot with eating healthy. Enjoy!

healthy tuna salad sandwich on a plate with veggies

How to Make Tuna Salad

It took me a few years to come up with healthy tuna salad recipe I like. My kids love tuna salad, so I kept trying.

To be honest, I tried all healthy versions of tuna salad – with avocado and yogurt instead of mayo. Not the same.

I already struggle with the whole concept of “tasty tuna salad”, so it took a few tries. I am finally happy to share the best healthy tuna salad I can eat too haha. There just has to be a touch of mayo. The end.

This tuna salad is creamy, flavorful and is so convenient for a week of healthy lunches. Or during hot summer days.  healthy tuna salad in a bowl

Is Tuna Salad Healthy?

What is wrong with traditional tuna salad?

Probably 1 cup of mayo that adds over 1600 calories and 24 grams of fat. I’m not here to tell you mayo is bad. Quality mayo like avocado oil one or organic in moderation is fine.

Also there is mercury in tuna. Yes, there is. Especially in albacore tuna – 3 times more than other varieties. But good news is that albacore tuna is more expensive, so I don’t buy it. And other good news is that we don’t eat tuna salad even every week, so moderation is in check. Tuna is high in healthy Omega 3s and protein.

IMHO, healthy lifestyle is all about balance.

3 cans of tuna

Types of Canned Tuna

Canned tuna divides into 2 main categories – packed in oil and packed in water.

I buy canned tuna packed in water. I do not see a need for extra oil as we drain it anyways.

Albacore tuna has less “fishy” taste and white “meaty” texture. 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.

How to Drain and Flake Canned Tuna

Draining and flaking canned tuna properly is “a life skill”. You do not want watery or not fluffy tuna salad.

Here is how I open, drain and flake tuna salad:

  1. Work with 1 can at a time.
  2. Get large bowl ready. I like glass one with a plastic lid.
  3. Open can of tuna completely.
  4. Holding onto lid, flip the can and drain into the sink while pressing hard on the lid.
  5. Using a fork, remove tuna from a can into a bowl and flake.

You can also add all 4 cans into a bowl and flake with a hand mixer.

healthy tuna salad ingredients


Cold healthy tuna salad over a sourdough rye bread toast has grown on me a lot. Here are a few variations I also tried:

  • Add desired amount of fresh curry powder for curried tuna salad.
  • Mix with cooked whole wheat macaroni pasta for healthy tuna pasta salad.
  • Love avocado? Substitute mayo with mashed avocado.
  • Add a few chopped hard boiled eggs – my fave too!
  • Make a lettuce wrap.
  • Make a sandwich with a few slices of cucumber – so good!

healthy tuna salad in a bowl

How Long Can You Refrigerate Tuna Salad?

Tuna salad tastes best cold. After making one, let your healthy tuna salad sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and you will see what I mean.

Here is the best part – tuna salad can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. It is perfect for meal prep – school and work lunches, cold summer dinner, weekend easy lunch. I like to make tuna salad in a large Pyrex glass bowl,  then just pop a lid on and refrigerate.

Tuna salad has really grown on me. It is not something I ate growing up in Ukraine.

More Healthy Protein Packed Salads


Healthy Tuna Salad

5 from 1 reviews

Healthy Tuna Salad with less mayo that actually tastes good. It is creamy, fluffy and flavorful. Meal prep, refrigerate for up to 5 days and use for school and work lunches, cold dinner or easy weekend meal.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 4 cans (6 oz each) tuna packed in water
  • 2 small dill pickles, diced
  • 1 large celery rib, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup plain (Greek) yogurt, 2%+ fat
  • 1/4 cup mayo (I use avocado oil one)


  1. Drain cans with tuna well. I usually press onto the lid while pressing it.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and separate into flakes with a fork.
  3. Add pickles, celery, red onion, garli, lemon juice, salt, pepper, yogurt and mayo.
  4. Stir well with a fork and refrigerate.
  5. Serve cold in a sandwich or over lettuce leaves.

Store: Refrigerate tightly covered for up to 5 days.


You can add curry powder to taste. Also feel free to mix in some cooked pasta for tuna pasta salad.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

6 comments on “Healthy Tuna Salad

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  1. It is lovely recipe, I have tried few times. I stopped using mayonnaise because of the high fat content and substitute with hummus now. I also load it with many fresh veggies 😊 win-win.

  2. Your tuna salad sounds good. I like to use tuna packed in olive oil, it’s expensive, but worth it. I put a jar of it in the refrigerator along with a can of cannalini beans. I combine them with some good olives parsley, and whatever else strikes my fancy. I drain and rinsed the beans. I always drizzle a little more olive oil on it too. It is healthy and has lots of protein. It also keeps very well.

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