tuna salad without mayo in a serving bowl with two forks

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Why I love healthy tuna salad recipe

Just before Marc and I went to Thailand, we took the train to Almaty. It was a long ride. We needed food, but I wanted to be careful not to bring anything that would spoil.

This no mayo tuna salad was the perfect option – protein to keep us full and an oil-based dressing to bring the flavor. Plus, it stayed pretty cold in a our makeshift cooler (i.e. a tote bag with frozen water bottles in it). We’re so classy when we take the train.

There really isn’t much else to say about this. It’s just healthy tuna salad without mayo, which is very similar to my chicken salad without mayo, and it’s just as delicious.

More tuna recipes: tuna cakes

closeup of no mayo tuna salad

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

How to make tuna salad without mayo

Prep the ingredients. Slice your celery, chop your onion and peppers. Grate your carrots. Open and drain your cans of tuna. Place them all in one big mixing bowl.

Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, herbs and salt in a small bowl or mason jar.

Mix the salad. Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl and mix with a fork until the salad is combined. Adjust the seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper.

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    healthy tuna salad in a serving bowl over a striped napkin

    FAQs and tips for making the best tuna salad

    Can you eat canned tuna raw?

    You can definitely eat canned tuna without heating it. Tuna is cooked before it’s canned so it really isn’t possibly to eat raw canned tuna.

    Is canned tuna healthy?

    Absolutely! Everything is healthy in moderation, but tuna is a lean protein and works in many different recipes, so it’s a great choice for a healthy meal. Since it’s a large fish, it tends to be high in mercury, so you should be cautious not to eat too much, too often.

    What can I mix with tuna instead of mayo?

    Instead of using mayonnaise in your tuna salad, you can use a simple olive oil based dressing like this one that uses lemon juice and Dijon mustard.

    What can you eat tuna with besides bread?

    You can serve this tuna salad recipe on a bed of lettuce, in a tortilla wrap, on your favorite bun, or even in a lettuce wrap.

    tuna salad sandwich on whole wheat bread on a plate with a fork and parsley garnish

    What goes with healthy tuna salad?

    More easy lunch recipes


    No Mayo Tuna Salad

    This healthy tuna salad recipe is made with no mayo, but it’s still full of flavor. It’s dairy free, paleo friendly and super easy to make. Serve it as a sandwich or in a lettuce wrap for a great heart healthy lunch.

    • Author: Melissa Belanger
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Total Time: 10 minutes
    • Yield: 6 1x
    • Category: Salad
    • Method: Mixing
    • Cuisine: American


    • 4 5-ounce cans tuna, drained
    • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    • 1 carrot, shredded
    • 1/4 cup sliced green onion (or chopped onion)
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Juice of 1 lemon (23 tablespoons)
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • Black pepper, to taste


    1. In a large bowl, flake the tuna with a fork.
    2. Add celery, carrot, onion and bell pepper.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard and parsley. Pour dressing into salad and stir to combine.
    4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

    Keywords: dairy free, gluten free, paleo, whole 30, healthy, easy, lunch, sandwich

    Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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    Recipe rating


    1. I am totally going to try this and I can’t wait!! I need to spice up my packed lunches a little bit and this seems like the perfectly, easy way to do that!

    2. Made this tonight as a part of a light no-cook supper for our first 80+ degree day. Delicious salad. Even the wife (who won’t touch salad of any kind) raved about it.

    3. Thanks for the no mayo recipe, simple which is what I need as a useless cook, and the mayo is bad for the cholesterol so I’m glad it’s no there! Delicious ^_^

    4. I made this last night and it was a huge hit. I’m a beginner cook and this was so easy to make! I didn’t add the lemon but it was still great.

    5. I made this last night for my lunch today. I’m on day 25 of my first Whole30, and I just did not have it in me to make homemade mayonnaise last night. I also did not feel like cooking. This recipe was pretty easy to follow. I used rainbow carrots instead of the veggies you suggested, but everything else was the same. It was pretty great. 🙂

    6. The pictures look delicious, but the recipe is ‘broken’ – the ingredients list looks like the instructions for another recipe? Would love to have the ingredients, please! 🙂

        1. Too many ingredients that I don’t have. I guess I’m stuck with Mayo. Only (one) ingredient besides the tuna.

    7. I’ll be honest and say that I was a little skeptical of a no-mayo tuna salad, but I’m really trying to eat healthy, so I thought I’d give it a try. Wow! It is delicious! My husband and I agree this will be our new go-to tuna salad recipe! Thank you for an easy, healthy meal!

    8. Perfectly met my goal of no mayo for a reception where the finger food would be on a table. I didn’t have to worry about how long the food was left out! Gobbled up. I rolled up the tuna salad in tortilla shells and cut them into 1 1/2 inch wide roll-ups, secured them with a toothpick, and placed them in standard cupcake papers. Very festive and easy to handle.

      1. That’s genius! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome tip! I love it, and I’m glad you liked the recipe.

    9. I made this this morning for my husband’s lunch, he hasn’t tried it yet but I loved it! I may tweak it in the future, it tasted heavy on the soy a bit. I might also try a bit of lemongrass, we grow it and I love using our garden in the kitchen. It is definitely going on our repeat list.

    10. I added some finely chopped zucchini, used 1 can tuna, 2 green onions instead of regular onion and 1 soup spoon of rinsed capers – this was a perfect lunch served over some shredded power greens – seriously restaurant, spa quality!

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    12. Made this for hubby’s & my lunch today… At first he said he “wasn’t sure about how he felt toward it”—he likes things to just be a certain way, n he’s never eaten no-mayo tuna salad….
      After a few cautious bites, he went back for seconds! He even said it would be good with a bit of ginger—hadn’t thought of that, but think I’ll try next time.
      Definitely making this again!

    13. My absolute favorite tuna salad recipe I’ve ever had. SO fresh and delicious! A++++ Thank you!!

    14. I think the calorie count is off, or the amount of servings. The entire recipe is probably not more the 700 calories, so this looks like the servings should be closer to 3, not 6.

    15. Thinking about making this tuna spread to fill a half slice of provolone cheese, rolled into a cornucopia, as an appetizer for an outdoor party.

    16. I enjoyed the recipe but the nutrition panel does not define a “serving” in terms of mass or volume (grams, ounces, or cups, tablespoons, etc.).

    17. Kind of a funny move. This recipe removes the Mayo, but then adds back 4 of Mayo’s 5 ingredients: Oil, Mustard, Lemon Juice, and Salt. So really the only thing removed was the most nutritious part of the mayo? All the fat, leave out the protein?