This healthy tuna salad will energise your taste buds and nourish your body! This classic dish is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids and is easy to make. Love a salad that is delicious and a guilt-free choice.
- Why You’ll Love Healthy Tuna Salad
- Is Tuna Salad Healthy?
- What is the Difference Between Solid, Chunk, or Flake Tuna?
- How to Serve Healthy Tuna Salad?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Make This Salad Perfectly [Expert Tips]
- Great Mains for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love Healthy Tuna Salad
There are so many reasons to love this healthy tuna salad!
First and foremost, it is done in 10 minutes and there are no cooking elements. Literally just dump everything into a mixing bowl and you’re done! And no cooking required either!
It is a super convenient salad recipe, especially when prepared in advance. By preparing the ingredients ahead of time, you can have a quick and healthy meal ready to go. It’s suitable for meal prepping, packed lunches, or as a simple dinner option.
This healthy tuna salad is also versatile and highly customisable. You can serve healthy tuna salad on sandwiches, crackers, lettuce wraps, or even eat it on its own. You can also add a ton of different ingredients to really mix it up.
Finally, it is highly portable, making it a convenient option for on-the-go meals or picnics. If you want to add some pasta to this salad, try our healthy tuna pasta salad (no mayo).
Is Tuna Salad Healthy?
Canned tuna salad can be a healthy option depending on how it is prepared and the ingredients used. Tuna itself is a good source of lean protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and brain function.
For this healthy tuna recipe, we have used:
Tuna in water: Choose water-packed tuna instead of oil-packed tuna. Oil-packed tuna has more calories and fat. Also, Public Health Nutrition shows that tuna packed in water has more omega-3 fats than tuna in oil.
No Mayo: Replacing mayonnaise with a healthy Greek yoghurt is a much better alternative. You can even try it with mashed avocado. If you still want to have it with mayonnaise, use a light or low-fat version.
Vegetables: Add fresh vegetables to the tuna salad. We use celery and onion with a touch of fresh parsley.
What is the Difference Between Solid, Chunk, or Flake Tuna?
The terms “solid,” “chunk,” and “flake” are used to describe the texture and consistency of canned tuna. They refer to how the tuna meat is processed and can impact the overall texture and appearance of the tuna. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:
Solid tuna: Solid tuna refers to larger pieces or whole cuts of tuna that are packed together tightly in the can. It generally has a meaty and firm texture, with distinct pieces of tuna visible.
Solid tuna is often preferred for salads or recipes where you want larger, more substantial chunks of tuna such as our salad niçoise (French salad recipe with tuna).
Chunk tuna: Chunk tuna consists of smaller pieces or flakes of tuna that are still substantial but not as large or tightly packed as solid tuna. It has a slightly looser texture and can vary in size.
Chunk tuna is commonly used in sandwiches, casseroles, and pasta dishes, as it provides smaller, more evenly distributed pieces of tuna.
Flake tuna: Flake tuna is the most finely shredded or flaked form of canned tuna. It has a softer and more delicate texture compared to solid or chunk tuna. Flake tuna is often used for spreads, dips, or recipes where a smoother consistency is desired, such as tuna melts or tuna salad sandwiches.
The choice between solid, chunk, or flake tuna often depends on personal preference and the intended use in a recipe. Solid tuna is ideal if you prefer larger, more substantial pieces, while chunk and flaked tuna offer versatility for various dishes and spreads.
How to Serve Healthy Tuna Salad?
There are many ways to serve up this healthy tuna salad. While you can eat it on its own, most will wish to serve it on something to make it more substantial.
We love having it on avocado halves for some good healthy fats. It adds some creaminess as well, making it a bit heartier.
Lettuce cups are a great choice for a lighter option. Baby cos or little gem lettuce leaves make for the perfect vessel to house the healthy tuna salad and give additional freshness and crunch.
Healthy tuna sandwiches are a no brainer. Selecting the type of bread will, of course, make a huge difference in how healthy it is. Whole grain or rye bread are good choices.
Flavour/Texture: Made with low-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, this salad is lower in calories and fat while still being creamy and satisfying. Pickles add a tangy flavour and crunch, while celery and onion provide freshness and crunch.
Ease: This is truly a dump-everything-into-a-large-bowl-and-give-it-a-good-mix type of salad. It doesn’t get easier than that!
Time: Surely nothing beats a 10-minute recipe?
These are the ingredients you need for healthy tuna salad:
Pickles: The pickles make all the difference to this classic tuna salad. It elevates the tuna recipe with crunch, sweetness, and some tang at the same time.
Red onion: A pungent allium is required to boost the overall flavour profile. Don’t need a lot for it to make a difference.
Celery: Love the freshness and crunch that celery provides. Cut into small pieces so it’s mixed in well with the tuna.
Parsley: Fresh herbs play such an important role. Ensure it’s folded through evenly so you get a good dose in every mouthful.
Tuna: Really important to get tuna in water and not oil. No matter how you drain the oil, it will still contain a slightly oily finish. For a fresh approach, tuna in water is your best bet.
As for what type of canned tuna is best, albacore tuna remains a popular choice, and you can always get light canned tuna too.
Greek yoghurt: This is the key that binds it all. Greek yoghurt is the perfect alternative to mayonnaise. It is still creamy, provides a light tang and is not heavy when used to mix all the ingredients harmoniously.
Lemon: The lemon juice will give this healthy tuna salad an injection of citrus and freshness. Lemon and canned tuna go really well together.
Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard has a unique combination of sharpness and acidity. It is slightly pungent and a touch spicy.
Variations and Substitutions
Canned salmon: If you love this recipe but you’re not a fan of tuna, canned salmon is your best bet. Plenty of varieties to select from but we also recommend getting canned salmon in water.
Other add ons: There are so many different types of vegetables or fruit that you can add to a classic tuna salad. You can add bell peppers, fennel, shallots, eggs, olives, tomato, carrot, cilantro or even some crunchy diced apples.
Spicy version: I love anything spicy and the idea of making a spicy version of this healthy tuna salad is so appealing. To ensure this classic tuna salad remains healthy, instead of adding a sauce, chop up some fresh jalapenos or red chillies or sprinkle some dried chilli flakes.
Step by step instructions for how to make healthy tuna salad
Dice the dill pickles, red onion and celery.
Roughly chop the parsley.
Drain the tuna.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly [Expert Tips]
Tuna: Drain the water from the canned tuna as best as you can. This will reduce the sogginess of the salad, which is particularly unpleasant if you plan to make healthy tuna sandwiches.
Full cream yoghurt: To provide this classic tuna salad with the creaminess it deserves, full cream Greek yoghurt is highly recommended. Even at full cream, Greek yoghurt is lovely and light and won’t make the salad heavy and stodgy.
Dill pickles: Dill pickles truly make this salad absolutely delicious. It is sweet yet tangy and just gives the recipe that added boost. If you’re worried about sugars or too much sodium, give them a good wash prior to use or reduce the amount added to the tuna recipe.
Dice finely: The trick to a good healthy tuna salad is finely chopped vegetables. This makes it easier for all the ingredients to be well combined.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with healthy tuna salad? Try these delicious recipes:
For a nice light lunch for dinner try this roasted tomato basil soup. Or if you’re sitting around basking in the sun, nothing would beat this gorgeous spring charcuterie board. The healthy tuna salad would make a welcome addition.
If you’re a bit of a baker, try this sourdough focaccia for an open style sandwich or a a toasted focaccia with the tuna salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canned tuna salad will last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. It is important to refrigerate tuna salad within two hours of preparation. To maximise the shelf life of tuna salad for safety and quality, refrigerate the tuna salad in airtight containers.
It is crucial to check for any signs of spoilage, such as a sour or off smell, unusual texture, or mould growth. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the salad to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
While it’s technically possible to freeze tuna salad, it’s not recommended due to the potential impact on its texture and overall quality. Freezing may cause the ingredients to become watery and separate when thawed, resulting in a less desirable texture.
If, however, you wish to try, it is recommended that you use a freezer safe container or plastic bag to prevent freezer burn. Ensure you’re squeezing out as much air as possible to help prevent too much of the tuna salad from expanding and becoming mushy.
Yes, you can definitely make a healthy tuna salad in advance. Preparing it ahead of time can save you time and make meal planning more convenient.
The best result would be to ensure you use the freshest ingredients, add the Greek yoghurt closer to the time you’re serving the healthy tuna salad and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
A simple, easy, classic tuna salad recipe that is fresh, affordable, and simple to put together. No cooking is required. It’s easy to put together, and love that it’s made with pantry staples. No wonder it’s one of our more popular recipes!
Healthy Tuna Salad [Under 10 Minutes!]
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- Dice the dill pickles, red onion and celery.
- Roughly chop parsley.
- Drain the tuna.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- If you love this recipe but you’re not a fan of tuna, canned salmon is your best bet. Plenty of varieties to select from but we also recommend getting canned salmon in water.
- There are so many different types of vegetables or fruit that you can add to a classic tuna salad. You can add bell peppers, fennel, shallots, eggs, olives, tomato, carrot, cilantro or even some crunchy diced apples.
- I love anything spicy and the idea of making a spicy version of this healthy tuna salad is so appealing. To ensure this classic tuna salad remains healthy, instead of adding a sauce, chop up some fresh jalapenos or red chillies or sprinkle some dried chilli flakes.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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