December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Tuna Salad NO Mayo – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Tuna Salad NO Mayo dish starts with olive oil-packed tuna, crisp cucumbers, creamy avocado, and garlicky chives dressed in a grainy mustard vinaigrette. Trust me, you won’t miss the mayo here! This salad is fresh, vibrant, and nutritious.

Overhead image of the tuna salad with no mayo

This Tuna Salad No Mayo Meal is part of our Back-To-School Lifesavers — a series of recipes that are intended to have little (or no) veggie chopping, minimal prep time, around 10 ingredients, or less (not including pantry staples), and use kid-friendly ingredients. Click here to see all the recipes in the series!

Tuna Salad NO Mayo

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of mayo. And truthfully, I adore a good mayo-filled tuna salad (our favorite here). But sometimes, I’m craving something a bit lighter and fresher. That’s where this salad comes in and I can not get enough of it!

It’s got all the perfect textures with a bright and tangy lemon-dijon vinaigrette that ties everything together perfectly. My husband loves this tuna salad in a sandwich with toasted sourdough bread (with mayo -ha!), greens, and tomatoes. My kids like it best with crackers and truthfully I like it straight out of the bowl best!

Serving Suggestions

In true back-to-school lifesaver form, this is a meal that can be made however you like and whatever is easiest. Enjoy it right out of the bowl, added to bread for a sandwich, added to a bed of mixed greens, make it into tuna melts, use it as a filling for lettuce wraps, stuff it in avocados, etc.

Process shots-- images of the avocado and

What Is A Good Substitute For Mayo In Tuna Salad?

A light vinaigrette! This dressing is the perfect complement to the tuna and veggies in this mayo-less tuna salad. It’s bright, citrusy, and tangy. If you love dijon and grainy mustard, you will be obsessed!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the ingredients for this Tuna Salad no mayo needed vinaigrette:

  • Dijon mustard. We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. 
  • Stone-ground mustard. If you aren’t familiar with this type of mustard, it’s made by grinding brown mustard seeds with vinegar and water to become a coarse textured spread. It adds a strong flavor and subtle texture in this salad. Typically you’ll find it right next to Dijon in the grocery store.
  • Lemon juice. This ingredient really makes the flavors pop. Be sure to use fresh lemon, not bottled for the best flavor.
  • Olive oil. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. Better oil = better flavor.
  • Red Wine Vinegar. This vinegar adds even more tang to the salad.
  • Salt & pepper. Every dressing needs salt and pepper, and this vinaigrette is no exception. Add to taste preference, and keep in mind that canned tuna can vary in saltiness.

Process shots-- images of the dressing ingredients being mixed together and then the tuna, cucumbers, and chives being added in

What Can I Mix Canned Tuna With?

Beyond the vinaigrette, we mix canned tuna with avocado, cucumber, jalapeño, and chives

More Details On The Additions To This Tuna Salad No Mayo Dish:

  • Avocado: This tuna salad recipe with no mayo depends on a ripe avocado to add that creaminess that mayo typically adds. To tell if an avocado is ripe, press gently; they should yield slightly (think: touching the tip of your nose). 
  • Chives: The chives add a nice herby element and garlicky flavor. Feel free to leave them out replace them with parsley or basil.
  • Cucumbers: We love and highly recommend English or Persian cucumbers (sometimes labeled as mini cucumbers) which have a wonderful texture and superior flavor.
  • Jalapeños: Totally optional ingredient, but a nice hit of spice. Add more of the jalapeño for a spicier salad; or add slowly if you’re worried about the heat. (Wrinkly jalapeños are going to be spicier than smooth jalapeños.)

QUICK TIP

For this no mayo Tuna Salad, we recommend using a canned tuna packed in olive oil for the best flavor. My personal favorite is Genova’s® albacore tuna. Tuna packed in olive oil is richer and has a fresher flavor.

Process shots of the tuna salad no mayo-- images of the avocado being added and it all being mixed together

STORAGE

Tuna Salad No Mayo: Storage

This salad lasts pretty nicely for about 24 hours (we love making it in the afternoon and enjoying it chilled for dinner). Beyond that, it doesn’t store very well (everything will taste a bit fishy after sitting for an extended period of time. Additionally, the avocados begin to break down and brown.)

Image of a cracker scooping out the tuna salad no mayo

More Tuna Recipes:

Tuna Salad NO Mayo

This Tuna Salad NO Mayo dish starts with olive oil-packed tuna, crisp cucumbers, creamy avocado, and garlicky chives dressed in a grainy mustard vinaigrette. Trust me, you won’t miss the mayo here! This salad is fresh, vibrant, and nutritious.

Tuna Salad NO Mayo

This Tuna Salad NO Mayo dish starts with olive oil-packed tuna, crisp cucumbers, creamy avocado, and garlicky chives dressed in a grainy mustard vinaigrette. Trust me, you won’t miss the mayo here! This salad is fresh, vibrant, and nutritious.

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Use a whisk to briskly whisk until smooth and emulsified.

  • TUNA: Thoroughly drain the tuna and add to the bowl right on top of the vinaigrette.

  • VEGGIES: Finely mince jalapeño (Note 2), dice chives, dice cucumber(s), dice avocado. Add to the dressing bowl. Gently mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/4 up to 1/2 teaspoon of each).

  • SERVE: Chill for 10-15 minutes if time permits otherwise dig in right away — either straight from the bowl, with crackers, in a sandwich/melt, in a lettuce wrap, etc. Always re-stir leftovers.

  • STORAGE: This salad lasts pretty nicely for about 24 hours (we love making it in the afternoon and enjoying it chilled for dinner). Beyond that, it doesn’t store very well (everything will taste a bit fishy after sitting for an extended period of time. Additionally, the avocados begin to break down and brown.)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Stone-ground mustard: Add this ingredient slowly and to taste preference as some brands are more intense than others.
Note 2: Jalapeños: When preparing the jalapeño, you may want to do this with gloves on (or a plastic bag over your fingers) as it can burn your fingers/under fingernails. Wash your hands immediately after preparing/touching. Cut jalapeño in half and remove seeds. Coarsely chop to measure. Add more of the jalapeño for a spicier salad; or add slowly if you’re worried about the heat. Wrinkly jalapeños are going to be spicier than smooth jalapeños.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 22.1g | Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 36.1mg | Sodium: 362.5mg | Fiber: 4.3g | Sugar: 1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.