Easy And Healthy Tuna Salad
It took me a few years to come up with healthy tuna salad recipe I like. I am more of a salmon salad girl but my kids love tuna salad, so I kept trying.
My passion for salads 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 healthy tuna salad that is healthy yet tastes great. I am finally happy to share the best healthy tuna salad recipe I can eat too haha. There just has to be a touch of mayo. The end.
#olenafact: A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and can include healthy tuna salad.
Tuna Salad As Healthy Toddler Snack Or Lunch
Serve this tuna salad on crackers or as a sandwich. Add lettuce and tomatoes to the sandwich if your child eats those veggies, or skip the veggies if you have a super picky eater.
My son has always been extremely picky and nervous about trying new foods, and we’ve been working on eating bread with him for months in feeding therapy for picky eating. It took us MONTHS, but I am so excited that he is able to eat basic sandwiches now – even if it’s just tuna salad or just deli turkey. It’s still a step in the right direction!
Looking for other recipes to make with your toddler?
There Are Two More Things That I Always Make Sure Of When We Have This For Dinner:
And that in my mind is the best tuna salad recipe one that you can throw together in 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how fast you grab things out of the fridge and throw them in the bowl.
It really doesnt matter if you dont have one of the ingredients you can see here in the photos. Make your own version and it will still be pretty, healthy and delicious.
This is also a surprisingly filling meal. You only need a little bit of each ingredient to make a gigantic tuna salad!
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Our Favourite Easy Tuna Salad
Posted | Updated Jan 28, 2021 by Helen | |
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You might think you dont need a recipe for a tuna salad, especially an easy tuna salad, but I really wanted to share this one with you. Its healthy, delicious, extremely quick, and looks quite impressive, dont you think?
I know what youre thinking. Who needs a recipe for a tuna fish salad?
Well, I guess youre right you dont. But one of my favourite types of recipes to post are those that hardly need a recipe.
Because if youre like me its sometimes IDEAS you need. What to have for dinner when youve got precisely zero time to shop that day and a maximum half hour to get the meal on the table.
Mr. Scrummy and I have been having this easy tuna salad for dinner regularly for a couple of years now. We started off having it on warm summer evenings, but now its in our regular meal rotation all year round.
And in fact Mr. Scrummy says hed be quite happy to eat this meal every single night!
Im not sure how long it would take for him to get bored of it if he did do that, but it really is VERY GOOD. And trust me, its the simplest thing. As long as you have a can of tuna fish in your pantry, you can make it with salad ingredients that youve probably got in your fridge most of the time.
Great additions, if you happen to have them, would be:
How To Serve This Mediterranean Tuna Salad
When tuna is what’s for dinner, I usually add warm pita pockets and we just turn this tuna salad into loaded pita sandwiches.
But this Mediterranean tuna salad recipe makes a good amount to serve a crowd as a starter as part of a Mezze hour. Just add tomato slices that can act as a carrier, or these crispy homemade pita chips to go along.
Read Also: Soup And Salad Diet For A Week
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:
- Prep: Get large bowl ready. I like glass one with a plastic lid. Work with 1 can at a time. Open can of tuna completely.
- Drain until dry: Holding onto lid, flip the can and drain into the sink while pressing hard on the lid.
- Flake: 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.
Also Check: How Yo Make Tuna Salad
What’s The Best Tuna To Use
Any can or jar of tuna will work in a sandwich. Just make sure you drain the water or oil before mixing with the ingredients for tuna salad.
I prefer using water-packed tuna in tuna salad, because Im already adding mayonnaise to the recipe. I save oil-packed tuna for dishes where the oil matters a bit more, such as in this Salad Nicoise, because oil-packed tuna is richer than water-packed tuna.
That being said, tuna salad is no time to get pickyjust use what you have on hand.
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A Really Good Tuna Salad
A classic and the only tuna salad recipe youll ever need.
Sometimes you just want a really good old-school tuna salad. This is my go-to recipe. I start by draining the tuna really, really well so its not watery this is important! then I add a generous scoop of mayonnaise and lots of seasoning. From there, I stir in a spoonful of pickle relish for tangy sweetness, celery for crunch, and scallions for onion flavor. Finally, I add a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley to brighten it all up.
Questions Or Comments About A Recipe
If you have questions or feedback about a recipe, the best place to say something is on the post. That way everyone can see and benefit from our interactions. I love answering reader questions!
However, I dont have any expertise in specialty diets and Im not a registered dietician. I provide nutrition information within the recipe card, but those are generated by a program and may vary.
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Why I Love This Recipe
You know those recipes that take you back to a simpler time? This classic tuna salad recipe is definitely one of those. As soon as I take a bite, Im immediately transported back to my Moms kitchen table. Its creamy, crunchy, filling, and healthy, so I feel good about feeding it to my kids, too.
This classic tuna salad is also lightening quick to throw together! Its ready in minutes and always handy to have when hunger strikes. This recipe is one where you probably already have everything on hand. Simple ingredients come together to create a delicious meal that is much more than the sum of its parts. The fact that it is something that both kids and adults like just adds to the magic, if you ask me!
Throughout the years my Mom has made her tuna egg salad a bit healthier by swapping in some yogurt for mayonnaise. This recipe still has a *bit* of mayo because who doesnt love that creamy and nostalgic flavor but the tangy yogurt, mustard, and lemon pepper also really shine through. Celery adds crunch, dill pickles add a briny, herby kick and chopped onions give a nice bite.
And if youve never tried adding eggs to your tuna salad, Im here to convince you that its simply the best. Not only do you get an extra hit of protein, but the boiled egg yolks add an extra layer of creamy goodness that is to die for. Seriously folks. Tuna egg salad = the BEST tuna salad in town. Mama knows best.
How Do I Make Classic Tuna Salad Lighter
To make classic tuna salad light swap out the mayonnaise with a ripened avocado. The creamy texture of the avocado is similar to mayonnaise without all the calories.
Another option is to use plain Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise. I prefer avocado, but feel free to use yogurt if you love it.
I hope youll enjoy this tuna recipe as much as I do. If so, comment below!
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What Kind Of Tuna Is Best For Tuna Salad
We used drained Solid White Albacore Tuna in oil for more flavor and it seems to hold its form better, but you can substitute for well-drained tuna in water if you prefer.
Make-Ahead Tip:Once you add salt, the salad should be enjoyed within 3 hours of making, or the cucumbers start to lose their crispness. To prep the salad in advance, combine all of the ingredients except the salt, cover and refrigerate. Season with salt just before serving.
I would pass you a fork if I could so you could experience this amazing tuna salad for yourself. Its worth discovering and this tuna salad recipe is meant to be shared!
The Perfect Tuna Salad
No matter how creative or spontaneous or inventive I aim to be with my weekday lunches, at some point I always end up craving just simple a tuna salad sandwich. Its lunchtime comfort food. Has it been a while since you last had tuna salad? Heres my favorite, most basic recipe. I think its just about perfect.
Theres not much to making tuna salad, really. My husband often just mixes the tuna with mayo and a few cracks of black pepper and calls it good! I like to add some crunch to balance out the cream, and so I mix in some chopped celery and shallots when I make it. A spoonful of pickle relish might not be the way you grew up with it, but try it the sweet-and-sour pickles add just a little something extra to each bite.
I also like water-packed tuna, partly because I think it has a cleaner tuna flavor. But if youre a fan of oil-packed tuna, by all means use that!
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A Healthier Tuna Salad
A lot people who are on a weight loss diet will turn to tuna because of its high level of protein 3 oz of albacore tuna has 20g of protein but only about 100 calories. However, if youre eating tuna as a traditional tuna salad with mayonnaise, you may be consuming unnecessary calories and fat. 1 cup of mayo has more than 1400 calories and 24g of fat.
This healthy tuna salad is full of flavor, light on calories and super easy to whip for lunch any day of the week! Swap the mayo for greek yogurt and dijon mustard and save those calories for a treat later.
Why This Is A Great Recipe To Make With Toddlers
This is a great recipe to cook with toddlers because it doesn’t use any raw ingredients. Your child can stir together all the ingredients, give it a taste, and then enjoy a healthy, protein-rich snack or lunch.
Even if your child does not like tuna, get them involved in helping you make this salad. You never know when they’ll decide to give some foods a try and realize they like them.
For example, my son is very picky about textures and hates most mushy foods. The first time I was able to get him to eat mashed potatoes was when he was helping me make these Mashed Potato Nuggets. He started shoving forkfuls of mashed potato in his mouth just because he was in a relaxed no-pressure environment just playing with the ingredients instead of being asked to eat, like he would be at the high chair.
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How To Make The Best Tuna Salad
When I was little, my two favorite foods were macaroni and cheese and tuna salad and now that Im adult, things havent changed all that much. When it comes to making tuna salad, we do our best to keep things really simple. Let me walk you through how we make it.
Canned tuna: We buy canned albacore tuna thats been caught with hand-operated pole-and-lines. We also prefer the cans with tuna thats been cooked in the can. This tuna tends to be more succulent and retains all of its natural juices and fats. Brands that dont can tuna this way, cook the tuna first and then can it, which means that much of the natural juices and fats get lost. Thats why you will often see tuna canned in water or oil. When the tuna is cooked right in the can, there is no need for the extra water or oil. On that same token, when you buy tuna thats been cooked in the can, there is no need to drain it before making tuna salad.
A note about buying tuna and other seafood: There are lots of options when it comes to canned tuna and to be honest, there are some pretty unfortunate choices available. We try our best to eat as sustainably as possible and find that the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch is helpful in figuring out which species are endangered as well as the best fishing practices to look for when buying seafood.
Only 5 Main Ingredients Go In This Tuna Salad
- Tuna protein source with good amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chickpeas packed with protein and fibre.
- Avocados while adding a good amount of healthy fats, the avocado adds a creaminess to the salad without needing any mayo.
- Tomatoes add a delicious texture to this tuna salad, along with a good source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum and vitamin K.
- Cucumbers a crispy, crunchy veg that helps keep you hydrated while flushing out toxins.
Those ingredients make the bulk of this salad, but then you have a gorgeous lemon garlic dressing adding extra nutrition.
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Is Tuna Salad Healthy
Tuna on its own can be a wonderful healthy protein option. It is also nutrition rich, containing B-6, B12, vitamin A, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Which kind of tuna to choose? There are a couple of kinds out there, white albacore and chunk light. I mostly turn to responsibly caught Albacore, it’s higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
And then there is the choice between tuna packed in either olive oil or water. If you’re concerned about the fat content, your best bet will be tuna packed in water. I’ve used both in the past, but I do prefer to add my own extra virgin olive oil, that way I can use an olive oil I love , and I can also control the amount.
Mercury levels in tuna can be a health concern, which is why my family consumes tuna no more than once every two weeks.
Ingredients For Tuna Salad Recipe
Healthy tuna salad recipe only takes 15 minutes of prep time. Simply mix the tuna salad 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 colour 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 its cheaper.
- Mayo + plain Greek yogurt: The best combination to get that traditional tuna salad taste but with less calories. Use a mayo made with avocado oil and Greek yogurt with at least 2% fat for the tastiest healthy tuna salad results.
- 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.
- Salt and pepper: To season, adjust as needed.
Read Also: New York Times Cobb Salad
Easy Tuna Salad Recipe
This easy tuna salad recipe makes the best tuna sandwiches! This classic tuna salad is the perfect recipe to make ahead for quick lunches.
When youre craving a tuna sandwich, you need a simple tuna salad recipe that will give you a crave-worthy tuna fish sandwich. This easy tuna salad is made with just a handful of ingredients. Its the best tuna salad!
This tuna salad is quick and easy to make, and it keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. You can make it ahead and have a healthy, satisfying lunch ready to go. Use this tuna salad to make a classic tuna salad sandwich, served on a croissant, roll or bread. Its also delicious on crackers! For a low carb meal, serve your tuna salad wrapped in lettuce leaves or on a bed of greens as a salad.
If you like this tuna sandwich recipe, youre going to love my healthy chicken salad recipe and my easy recipe for classic egg salad. These are the three recipes that I rotate between when I make sandwiches for lunch on the weekend. If you asked me to choose a favorite between these three easy sandwich recipes, I couldnt. Theyre all so good!
I use plain Greek yogurt in my tuna salad recipe. You can use mayonnaise instead, if you prefer. I like to make tuna salad without mayo, using Greek yogurt, because it makes a healthy tuna salad. You can also use mashed avocado to make a dairy-free tuna sandwich without mayo!