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.

FAQs

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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

      Video

      Notes

      • 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.

      Nutrition

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

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      98 comments on “Healthy Tuna Salad

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      1. 5 stars
        I found your recipe on Pinterest as I was looking for low carb meals. I‘ve always had it in my head that tuna salad is just tuna and too much mayo… Yuck. I don’t think I’ve had it since childhood. I love your recipe because I love veggies and seasonings, so now I’m thrilled to have a delicious light lunch that’s totally changed my perception of tuna salad! I was out of real garlic cloves so I substituted with garlic powder, and it’s still delicious.

      2. 5 stars
        I tried this (with greek yogurt & mayo instead of just mayo like I usually would), but with pan fried tuna steaks. I also put more spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne, parsley and dill but those are all preferences. I prefer it with the greek yogurt! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

      3. 5 stars
        Hi, your recipes look fantastic. I will be trying one of your quinoa salads tomorrow. Your tuna salad is very similar to my own except I skip the pickle and add chopped walnuts. I think you will like it with the walnuts. I usually eat it on apple slices.

      4. 5 stars
        So good without all the calories and fat of the classic all mayo batch! I had mine as a lettuce wrap and the fam loved sandwiches. I’ll be adding it to the rotation.

      5. 5 stars
        Sounds great! There is so much you can do to make tuna salad healthy! I need to try that avocado mayo – thanks! 🙂

      6. 5 stars
        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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