by Olena

Healthy Tuna Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 62 votes

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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.

Other meal prep healthy salads we keep in the fridge on repeat are tuna egg salad, chicken salad and Greek yogurt egg salad.

Healthy tuna salad on a toast garnished with red onion on blue plate with tomatoes and cucumbers.

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

Canned tuna, yogurt, mayo, celery, red onion, pickles, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.

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.

Draining open can of tuna over the sink.

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.

Flaking canned tuna with a fork in a bowl.

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.

Chopped pickles, red onion, celery, flaked tuna, yogurt and mayo in a bowl.

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.

Mixed tuna salad with greek yogurt and mayo in glass bowl.

Stir well with a fork and refrigerate.

Variations of Healthy Tuna Salad

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

Healthy tuna salad served on toast with cucumbers on blue plate with tomatoes.

Serving Recommendations

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.


How long does tuna salad keep?

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.

Can you freeze it?

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.

Can I make this recipe without mayo?

Certainly, you can use all Greek yogurt in place of the mayo.

Can you use different canned fish?

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

And if you love seafood, you have to check out these reader-favorite shrimp tacos and healthy fish tacos!

Healthy tuna salad in glass bowl garnished with ground black pepper and red onion.
Healthy Tuna Salad

Healthy Tuna Salad

This recipe for Healthy Tuna Salad has fewer calories and fat by using Greek yogurt. It is lighter yet super flavorful, creamy and fluffy!
4.96 from 62 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 4 x 6 oz cans 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 optional (I use avocado oil mayo)


  • 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.


      Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 384mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

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      98 comments on “Healthy Tuna Salad

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      1. If you can’t have pickles (nothing cucumber at all), what would you substitute for it? I’ve been looking for a different way to make tuna salad, this sounds delightful but pickles is a no go. Suggestions?

        1. You could try another pickled vegetable (like beets, but color might change salad), or additional celery, chopped radishes or smaller chopped zucchini.

          1. 5 stars
            I made this recipe yesterday for lunch. I was hesitant about using yogurt but it turned out very tasty and I am very pleased with it I will be making it again.

      2. 5 stars
        I always drain and rinse the tuna in a mesh collander, which eliminates some of the salt used in canning and also reduces the “fishy” taste (especially if you make the mistake of buying tuna packed in oil). Been making a similar recipe than yours for tuna salad for years. Adding grated carrots and chopped, seeded cucumbers are great when putting the tuna salad on lettuce for dinner. Thanks for all your great recipes!

      3. 5 stars
        Hi Olena – this tuna salad recipe looks amazing! I’ve made several of your other recipes and they’ve always been incredible. I have a question – my wife isn’t fond of celery, so is there a good substitute you could recommend? Thank you for your wonderful recipes and enthusiastic approach to healthy eating – we are grateful.

      4. 5 stars
        Another amazing recipe!

        I’ve been trying many of your recipes in an effort to provide my father with healthy meals to lose weight. He is a disabled veteran with limited mobility due to joint and vertebral disc degeneration. Losing weight is the last option to help manage his pain without fusing his discs together, something he has refused to do for 25+ years.

        These recipes have been a blessing. We would eat takeout/fast food 4-5 days a week. With these recipes, he has already lost 5lbs in two weeks! The meals are delicious, filling, and neither of us feel that we are compromising flavor for health.

        Thank you so much for providing these recipes and offering all the tips and tricks that you do. As a VERY amateur cook, you have made it easy for me to prepare these meals and adopt a healthier life style for both my father and I. Thanks to you again!

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