This healthy tuna salad is made with low-fat yogurt and no mayo. Dijon mustard and lemon juice add bright flavor while crisp radishes (or celery), capers, and red onions add zest and crunch. You can whip this salad up in minutes for a healthy lunch or a super satisfying afternoon snack. It's so creamy and delicious, I promise you won't miss the mayo!
If you love creamy tuna salad but you're reluctant to add loads of mayo, I'm with you. Most tuna salad recipes suggest 2-4 tablespoons of mayo per serving. That's between 180 and 360 calories of fat per serving, just from the mayo alone. Delicious for sure, but not the healthiest and also not necessary, because plain low-fat yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise.
Low-fat plain yogurt has the creamy consistency and tangy flavors that blend so deliciously with briny tuna. And the healthiness of yogurt is an added bonus. It's naturally high in calcium and has gut-friendly probiotics, in addition to being low in fat. See below for a nutritional comparison between mayo and yogurt.
When I studied Nutrition at Leiths Culinary School in London, one of my assignments for the semester was to develop ten healthy snack recipes, each between 100-200 calories per serving. The snacks had to contain protein because protein helps curb the appetite and keeps you feeling satisfied for long stretches of time between meals. One of my favorite snack recipes that came out of this assignment is this healthy tuna salad served on endive spears.
If you're making this tuna salad for lunch, it's delicious on a bed of greens with oil and vinegar or on this healthy green salad or serve it with crackers or in a sandwich.
LOW FAT YOGURT VS MAYONNAISE
I love mayonnaise and I don't consider it unhealthy but I do use it in moderation, recognizing that it's basically pure fat. For a dish that requires a lot of mayo, it's great to have a lighter, healthier alternative. Here's the nutritional comparison of Mayonnaise vs Yogurt, using my favorite brands: Hellman's mayonnaise vs Stonyfield Farm Organic Lowfat Plain Yogurt
1 TABLESPOON OF MAYO
- 90 calories
- 100% of the calories are from fat
- 90mg sodium
- 0 calcium
1 TABLESPOON OF LOW-FAT YOGURT
- 8 calories
- 2% of the calories are from fat
- 9mg sodium
- 21 mg calcium
- 6 different live active gut-healthy cultures
You can see from the numbers that mayo is more than ten times higher in fat and calories than plain yogurt. Adding loads of mayo to tuna salad can quickly add up to a daunting amount of fat, salt and calories whereas you can add as much yogurt as you want - make your tuna salad as creamy as you want - without worrying about maxing out on your RDA of fat or sodium.
How to make Healthy Tuna Salad with No Mayo
One 5-ounce can of tuna mixed with yogurt and chopped veggies serves two people as a snack with endives or crackers, or for a lunch when served in a sandwich or with a salad.
- Drain a 5-ounce can of water-packed tuna and mash it in a mixing bowl.
- Add half a cup of plain low-fat yogurt (or as much as you like), 3 tablespoons of chopped radishes (or celery), 3 tablespoons of chopped red onions, 2 tablespoons of capers, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt, to taste.
- Mix thoroughly, and adjust the flavors by adding more yogurt, lemon juice or salt, if needed.
Other Favorite healthy snack recipes developed for Leiths
Here's the Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe. If you try this recipe, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Healthy Tuna Salad (No Mayo)
A full-of-flavor, low-calorie, lower-fat version of classic tuna salad, made with yogurt instead of mayo. Perfect for lunch. Also makes a healthy satisfying afternoon snack.
- Prep Time: 15
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: salad, snack, lunch
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Mediterranean diet
- 1 5-ounce can of water-packed tuna, drained
- ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt, not Greek (I recommend Stonyfield Farm Organic)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped radishes (or celery)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (½ a small red onion)
- 2 tablespoons non-pareil (small) capers divided: 1 tablespoon chopped, one tablespoon left whole
- 2 teaspoons prepared dijon mustard such as Grey Poupon
- 1 lemon, halved. Once half juiced. The other half sliced into wedges.
- Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- 1 head of endive or chicory, separated into individual leaves
- Mash the tuna in a bowl. Add yogurt, radishes, onion, chopped and whole capers, mustard, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and salt, to taste. Mix thoroughly. Adjust flavor with more lemon juice and salt, if needed. Add additional yogurt for a creamier texture.
- For a healthy snack, scoop a heaping tablespoon of tuna salad onto each endive leaf. Serve with lemon wedges.
MAKE IT EXTRA CREAMY: Feel free to add as much yogurt as you need to achieve your desired level of creaminess. Plain low fat yogurt is so delicious when mixed with tuna!
ADD-INS AND SUBSTITUTIONS: I've chosen radishes, red onions and capers for flavor and crunch but this tuna salad lends itself to many variations. Here are some of my other favorite mix-ins: chopped scallions, chopped chives, slivered basil, celery, pickles and olives.
SWAP LEMON JUICE FOR VINEGAR: The lemon juice adds acid to the mix which balances out the flavors in this salad but vinegar will do the same so feel free to give it a try. I like red wine vinegar best for tuna salad.
Keywords: no mayo tuna salad recipe, low calorie tuna salad recipe