Do you love tuna salad but are looking for healthier alternatives to mayo? You’re not alone.
This article explores five unique and healthy substitutes for mayonnaise in tuna salads, giving you all the nourishment without the guilt.
So let’s dive in and find out why changing up your tuna salad ingredients is the best decision for your health.
Why Add Mayo to Tuna?
Adding mayonnaise to tuna creates a healthy and delicious meal option perfect for lunch or dinner.
The combination of chunky tuna and creamy mayo changes the texture of tuna and boosts its flavor.
This delightful mix can be served on its own, as a salad, or served in sandwiches with fresh vegetables.
Mayonnaise also adds extra protein to your meal increasing the nutritional value.
When combining the two ingredients it’s important not to go overboard – try mixing one part mayonnaise with two parts tuna to get just the right balance of flavor and texture.
For an even healthier option you can use a non-fat yogurt as well.
So don’t shy away from adding mayonnaise to your tuna – it could transform it into an unexpectedly scrumptious dish.
Tips on Using Mayo for Tuna Salad
When making tuna salad, mayonnaise adds two important elements – moisture and flavor.
Mayo is often used to bind the ingredients together in tuna salad and hold the dish together.
Mayo also adds flavor to tuna salad which make it taste better overall.
The good news: you don’t need to use mayonnaise in your tuna salad if you don’t want to.
Here are some tips on using mayo substitutes for a healthier alternative:
- Greek yogurt makes for a delicious and healthier substitute for mayo in tuna salads. It is full of protein, contains probiotics and has less fat than mayo.
- Hummus is another great alternative that gives your tuna salad an added Mediterranean flair, as well as more vitamins and minerals than mayo. Plus, it’s dairy-free and quite tasty even without the addition of mayo.
- Pureed avocado can substitute for the creamy texture mayonnaise usually provides in tuna salads while adding essential nutrients like healthy fats, vitamin E, fiber, iron and zinc at the same time.
- Olive oil vinaigrette dressing is another great way to replace the addition of mayonnaise since it still bonds all elements of the dish together while adding much less calories than before.
- Cottage cheese or sour cream are two other great alternatives that provide creamy consistency with little added calories or fat compared to traditional sweet sauces or dressings. They also add plenty of calcium, protein and vitamins C & B-12 that help balance out other aspects of our daily diets.
5 Best Mayo Substitutes for Tuna Salad
Mayonnaise is an essential ingredient in most popular tuna salads, as it adds great flavor and texture to the finished product.
However, especially in lieu of food allergies or dietary preferences, mayo can be swapped with any number of tasty alternatives.
Below are five the best recipes for a flavorful tuna salad without the use of mayo.
1 – Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is one of the best substitutes for mayonnaise when making tuna salad, as it not only adds creaminess to the dish but also helps to give it a protein boost.
Greek yogurt is low in fat and calories and its tangy flavor naturally complements the taste of tuna.
To use it in place of mayo, simply stir two parts yogurt into one part tuna.
If you find this mixture too dry, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil to make a creamy, flavorful salad.
For additional zing, mix in a little Dijon mustard or horseradish.
2 – Avocado
Avocado is an excellent way to add creaminess to a tuna salad without using mayonnaise.
The smooth texture and nutty flavor of this fruit make it a perfect choice for a delicious, light dressing.
To use avocado in your tuna salad, mash a ripe avocado in a bowl and then combine with the tuna, other salad ingredients such as celery and onion, and seasonings like pepper and mustard.
To give the salad more of a creamy consistency, you can also add either plain Greek yogurt or crème fraîche (a tangy French cream).
Just remember that any dairy products should be added right before serving your meal to ensure that it stays fresh.
3 – Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a great alternative to mayo that adds a unique texture and flavor to tuna.
It is loaded with calcium and protein, making it a great healthy choice when trying to lighten up your meal.
It may be an acquired taste for some, but it has all the creamy and lush texture of mayonnaise without the added fat or sugar.
When using cottage cheese in lieu of mayonnaise, adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and other spices you add to accommodate for the distinct flavor of cottage cheese.
You’ll find that with some experimentation you can make some delicious alternatives that are healthier and just as tasty as traditional tuna salad recipes.
4 – Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is an ideal substitution for mayonnaise if you’re looking to lighten up your tuna salad recipe.
Not only does it provide a creamy texture and flavour, but this ingredient also adds a good amount of protein with very few calories.
Start by choosing a high-quality, organic silken tofu with no added flavours or preservatives.
You’ll want to process it in your blender or food processor until the consistency of mashed potatoes is achieved.
After adding the tofu to your tuna salad, you can always season it to taste with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice or any other herbs or spices of your choice.
5 – Mustard
Mustard is a delicious and an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in tuna salad; it gives the dish an extra kick of piquant flavor.
It can be used as a standalone spread or mixed with Greek yogurt to form a creamier dressing similar to mayonnaise.
Try mixing spicy brown mustard and regular yellow mustard together for an interesting twist.
You could even add a few dashes of herbs and spices, such as chili powder, to give the salad more flavor.
Mustard has numerous health benefits while adding little fat or calories, so feel free to make it your go-to sauce when preparing tuna salads.
Making tuna salad without mayonnaise is a healthy, one-dish meal you can make without adding much fat or accumulation of calories.
With the help of these healthier alternatives such as Greek yogurt, olive oil, and avocado, you can benefit greatly from its nutritional content and still keep the classic flavors alive.
By selecting the right combination of ingredients to replace mayonnaise in tuna salad, you can make a nutritious and tasty meal that’s great for lunch or dinner.
Whether you’re steering clear of store bought mayo or trying to break away from an unhealthy habit, using these healthier tuna salad recipes as guides can help you stay on track with your nutrition goals.
Try experimenting with different herbs and spices to create your own customized flavor.
Having a variety of recipes at hand gives you more options for creativity in the kitchen and provides a sustainable way to change up the traditional mayo-tuna salad experience.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!