Yes, You Can Make a Healthy and Tasty Tuna Salad!

You don't need full-fat dressing to make a great tuna fish sandwich. Our healthy tuna salad recipe cuts down on calories and fat, but keeps the classic flavor (and crunch!).

Tuna fish is the perfect pantry staple. It’s affordable, versatile and easy to prepare. Plus, tuna is a yummy addition to a balanced lifestyle. We’ll show you how to make a healthy tuna salad recipe that the whole family will enjoy.

Is Tuna Salad Healthy?

It certainly can be! On its own, tuna is a very healthy protein, containing B-6, B12, vitamin A, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. When buying canned tuna, choose the fish packed in water instead of oil to avoid extra fat and calories.

Like any protein, the nutritional value is determined by how you prepare it. Tuna preparation can vary greatly. You can make it the star of a simple meal, such as tuna wraps, or a contributor in heavier dishes like tuna noodle casserole.

Psst! Find our favorite healthy tuna recipes here.


How Do You Make Healthy Tuna Salad?

The key to making a healthy tuna salad recipe is finding fresh ingredients that build the flavor and texture of the fish without adding unhealthy fat or excess calories.

For example, I grew up with celery and red delicious apples in my tuna salad. As a kid, I loved the crunch and sweetness these ingredients added to my sandwich. As I have expanded my palate, I now lean towards a white bean tuna salad served on greens or a fresh tuna salad nicoise with lots of lemon.

However, my all-time favorite way to enjoy tuna is in a crunchy salad. This version from Michigan reader Diane Selich is easy, and a great way to make the most of tomato season. Here’s how to make it:


  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley or 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (12 ounces) albacore white tuna in water, drained and flaked
  • 4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges


Now, get excited (and don’t blink) because this prep is super easy and quick.

Combine mayonnaise, onion, celery, parsley, and pepper in a bowl. Once combined, stir in the tuna. Dish it up onto four plates and serve with tomato wedges for a light lunch. You can also serve it as an appetizer while you finish prepping the dinner entree.

What Can I Use in Place of Mayonnaise in Tuna Salad?

While mayonnaise is almost always linked with tuna salad, it has no special powers that make it the only option for tuna salad magic. Mayonnaise is used to smooth out the tuna salad and bind the ingredients together, but these alternatives work just as well:

As you can see, the options are almost endless.

So whether you try our recipe above or develop an original dish that incorporates your favorite crunch, seasonings and dressing, rest assured that a delicious (and healthy!) tuna salad recipe is only a few minutes away.

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Jennifer Schwarzkopf
Half Chilean, half Irish descent and all joie de vivre, I'm a food writer/photographer who loves to share stories about different cultures and the magic that is sharing a meal together. When not doing that, you'll find me working on my culinary degree, hanging with family & friends, and just trying to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Salud!