Healthy tuna salad is a classic lunchtime recipe, and it takes a mere 10 minutes to make! This version is dressed up with roasted peppers and pepperoncini.
Healthy tuna salad is a long-time favorite of mine. Yep, I was that kid who brought tuna salad sandwiches to school! As much as I love my mum’s version, these days I lighten things up by cutting back on the mayo and pumping up the flavor with other ingredients.
In my low-fat salmon salad sandwich recipe, I used capers to add flavor and seasoning. In this tuna salad, I opted for roasted peppers, pepperoncini and celery. Simple, but so flavorful! And speaking of pepperoncini, don't miss out on my Cauliflower Salad with Pepperoncini.
If you love tuna salad, but want something more substantial to serve for dinner, try my Tuna Pasta Salad. It's fantastic for picnics, too!
What you need for this Healthy Tuna Salad recipe:
These are the main components of this recipe:
- Tuna: Look for canned tuna packed in water, which is available in any grocery store. Drain off and discard the water.
- Mayonnaise: You’ll need just a couple of tablespoons of light mayonnaise.
- Roasted peppers: Either store-bought or homemade roasted peppers will work.
- Pepperoncini: Jars of pepperoncini can be found near the pickles and olives in almost any grocery store.
- Crackers: Wasa crispbreads are a long-time favorite – multigrain, whole grain, rye or light ‘n crisp. I used multigrain, but any of these are fantastic for open-faced lunches.
- Cucumber: Sliced cucumber or tomato are both good options.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
💙What’s to love about this recipe:
▪️Easy: Mix the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, smash it all together with a fork, then pile it on top of crackers, bread or lettuce. It takes 10 minutes or less to make!
▪️Healthy: Tuna is a great source of protein. One serving of this light tuna salad on top of Wasa crackers offers about 17 grams of protein. Plus, this lightened-up recipe has less than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.
▪️Make-ahead: Make a batch on Sunday evening and use it for lunches over the next couple of days. A great meal prep option!
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How to make tuna salad healthy:
- Since it’s the overabundance of mayonnaise that turns tuna salad from healthy to…well, not…the easiest way to lighten up tuna salad is by cutting back on the mayo.
- However, since the mayo adds moisture and helps to bind the tuna together, you need something to fill this role.
- In this case, that’s veggies – plenty of them. Mix the tuna with a couple of tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise, then add diced celery, roasted peppers and pepperoncini. Green onion and fresh parsley are also good additions. I’m not a fan of raw red onions. But if you are, finely dice a tablespoon and mix it in.
- The veggies add moisture, but also add a wonderful layer of flavor and a little zip! Season to taste with kosher salt.
Frequently asked questions:
According to the U.S. government food safety site, tuna salad lasts for 3 to 4 days in a refrigerator set to 40 degrees F or below. I store mine in an airtight container like this one.
Unfortunately, salads with mayonnaise don’t tend to freeze well.
If you prefer to veer away from mayo altogether, use Greek yogurt instead. It has a tangier taste, so you could add a small drizzle of honey to balance out the flavors, if desired.
Alternatively, dress the tuna with a white or red wine vinaigrette.
Serve it as an open-faced sandwich on whole grain crackers, like I did in this recipe, or on whole grain bread. Alternatively, serve it over mixed greens, along with some chopped cucumber and tomatoes, or with some avocado slices. You could also make lettuce wraps with butter lettuce leaves or serve it in endive leaves as tuna boats!
Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe
- 1 (5 oz.) can tuna in water drained
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 1 medium stalk celery diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers
- 3 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 whole grain or multigrain Wasa crakcers or something similar
- 12 slices cucumber
- In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, celery, roasted red peppers, pepperoncini and salt.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the crackers and top each with 3 slices of cucumber. Serve.
This post was first published on January 12, 2021 and updated on December 3, 2021.
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