Recipe: Healthy Tuna Salad

Lunch Recipes, Quick + Easy Meal Recipes, Sandwiches and Wraps Recipes, Seafood Recipes

By: Deborah Murphy, MS, RD, LDN


Photo Credit: Get Healthy U

When you need to get something healthy but filling on the table quickly for lunch, there’s nothing better than tuna salad sandwiches! This healthy tuna salad recipe made with yellowfin tuna can be mixed up in 5 minutes or less and layered between your favorite bread or rolled up into lettuce wraps. 

We’re always looking for healthy, flavorful and easy lunch recipes to bring to work or make at home with the kiddos. So, naturally this yellowfin tuna salad sandwich fits the bill. Made with simple ingredients and pantry staples like high quality tuna, dijon mustard, a bit of spice all between slices of whole grain bread makes this one of the most delicious tuna sandwiches we’ve ever had. 

In case you need any more healthy lunch ideas, we have you covered! Here are some of our favorite healthy lunch ideas for weight loss and our healthy salad recipes.

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    Table of contents

    What is Yellowfin Tuna?

    Yellowfin tuna is one of the three most common varieties of tuna sold commercially: albacore, skipjack and yellowfin. The flesh of yellowfin tuna is slightly pink and tan and it has a softer texture but more intense flavor than albacore tuna. All varieties of tuna are high in protein and a good source of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. 

    Why You’ll Love this Recipe

    • Ready in 5 Minutes: mix up this healthy tuna in just one bowl in less than 5 minutes with just a handful of fresh ingredients and a couple cans of tuna. 
    • High in Protein: homemade tuna salad is a great way to add protein to a meal and it is also a good source of heart healthy fats. 
    • Customizable: you can easily add or subtract ingredients to make this recipe your own!

    Ingredients You’ll Need

    yellowfin tuna salad ingredients in small bowls on a white background.
    • Yellowfin Tuna: this is our favorite type of tuna since it has a richer flavor than albacore tuna so we like to use it in our tuna salads but any variety will work in this recipe. Since you are adding a fat (mayonnaise) to this tuna salad, we prefer the water packed canned tuna. Don’t like tuna? You could easily make a canned salmon salad instead. 
    • Red Onion: we like the pop of color and flavor of fresh red onion in this salad, but you can substitute with ½ teaspoon of onion powder. 
    • Mayonnaise: add creaminess to your tuna salad with a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise. Choose a mayo made with heart healthy oil like avocado oil or olive oil which are both rich in monounsaturated fats. If you want to make a tuna salad without mayo, we like to use plain Greek yogurt instead. (It tastes just as good!)
    • Dill Relish & Dijon Mustard: both of these ingredients add some tangy flavor and acidity to balance out the mayonnaise and add flavor. If you don’t have dill relish, you can finely chop some dill pickles instead. You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you want a little more bright flavor. 
    • Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper: season this delicious tuna salad with some garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

    Variations

    • Herbs: feel free to add some fresh herbs to this creamy tuna salad. Here are some of our favorites: fresh dill, fresh parsley, and fresh chives or green onions. 
    • Add egg: make a tuna egg salad by adding 1-2 chopped hard boiled eggs to this easy tuna salad recipe. 
    • Add more veggies: feel free to add more veggies for color and flavor! Some of our favorites include: finely chopped celery and bell pepper, or finely shredded carrots.
    • Add apple: this may sound a bit strange, but apple can be a tasty addition to a traditional tuna salad!

    How to Make Healthy Tuna Salad

    healthy tuna salad mixed together in a bowl with a spoon.
    • Finely chop the red onion (if using): the only ingredient you’ll need to chop for this healthy tuna salad recipe is the red onion. Chop as finely as possible. I recommend using a vegetable chopping tool to make things easier!
    • Combine salad in a large bowl: add all the tuna salad ingredients to a bowl and use a spoon to stir to combine.
    • Assemble sandwich: divide tuna salad between two sandwiches, top with lettuce and sliced tomato. You can also serve this tuna salad as a wrap or with crackers for a healthy snack on the go. If you are limiting carbs, you can serve this tuna salad over mixed salad greens, in a single large lettuce leaf or in lettuce cups.

    How Many Calories are in Tuna Salad?

    Tuna is a high protein, lower calorie food; 3 oz of yellowfin tuna has just 110 calories but 25 grams of protein. This healthier tuna salad has just 260 calories per serving and a whopping 33 grams of protein.

    Storage

    • Fridge: prepared tuna fish salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. 
    • Freezer: this tuna salad can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
    healthy tuna salad in a bento box with crackers, grapes, veggies, and trail mix.

    How Do You Serve Yellowfin Tuna Salad?

    Scoop some of this tuna salad onto a slice of your favorite bread and top with lettuce and sliced tomato for a healthy lunch option. You could also add a slice of cheddar cheese and toast it for a tuna melt.

    If you are trying to limit your carbs, you can serve this tuna salad over some mixed greens in a salad or roll it up into a lettuce cup or lettuce wrap. We also enjoy packing this tuna salad recipe in a bento box with our favorite crackers, fruit, and cut up veggies. 

    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Yield: 2 serving(s)

    Ingredients

    • For the Tuna Salad
    • 2 (5 oz) cans yellowfin tuna, packed in water
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
    • 1 tablespoon dill relish
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    • Sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
    • For the Sandwiches
    • 4 slices whole grain bread
    • Lettuce, tomato

    Directions

    1. Mix everything together in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Serve in sandwiches, salads, or wraps.

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 260

    Protein: 33 gram(s)

    Fat: 12 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 3 gram(s)

    Nutrition information is an estimate for the tuna salad only; not the entire sandwich.

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