Tuna salad is a lunchtime staple, but always chowing down on sandwiches made with the standard mix of albacore and mayo can get a bit dull. Fortunately, it’s easy to fight the tuna salad blahs while still enjoying a meal made with this protein, which is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We’ve rounded up some tuna salad recipes you may not have tried yet, some made with canned tuna and others with fresh fish. All are equally delicious.
1. Avocado Tuna Salad
Lighten up a fatty tuna salad when you swap the traditional mayo for mashed avocado in this recipe from Happy Healthy Mama. Carrots and celery add some much-needed crunch, while lemon and dill impart a fresh flavor. Serve this salad on a bed of lettuce or a slice of whole-grain toast for a simple yet filling lunch.
- 1 (5-ounce) can wild albacore tuna
- 1 small/medium avocado
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
Directions: Drain the tuna and add it to a small bowl. Peel the avocado and add it to the bowl with the tuna, then mash to combine. Add the carrot, celery, lemon juice, dried dill, and smoked paprika. Mix to combine. Serve.
2. Seared Tuna Salad With Asian Vinaigrette
Tuna salad for dinner? It doesn’t have to be an act of desperation. This salad consists of seared sesame-crusted ahi tuna on a bed of arugula and red and green leaf lettuce accompanied by crispy rice noodles, almonds, and orange. It’s all dressed with a homemade Asian vinaigrette for the perfect light dinner. Recipe from the Food Network.
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon Chinese mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1½ pounds ahi tuna loin, cut in 4 strips
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 1⁄3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 bunch mizuna greens
- 1 bunch arugula greens
- 3 cups torn red leaf lettuce
- 3 cups torn green leaf lettuce
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup fried rice noodles
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 navel orange, peeled and sectioned
Directions: Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, lime, ginger, mustard, and cilantro in a small bowl. Pour in the oil and continue to whisk until emulsified.
Season the tuna fillets with salt and pepper; lightly coat with oil. Put sesame seeds on a plate and coat top and bottom of each fillet with seeds. Heat a large, dry skillet over high heat. Add fillets; cook about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes for rare. Slice the tuna into 1-inch-thick strips.
Mix the greens together and spread out on a platter. Add the green onions, rice noodles almonds, and orange segments. Lay the tuna strips on top then drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
3. Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
Tuna and white bean salad is an Italian staple. The protein-packed meal is served on a bed of fresh mixed greens and doesn’t feature any gloopy mayo. This version from Bev Cooks also features kalamata olives, tomatoes, and red onion.
- 1 can albacore tuna
- 1 (14½-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 to 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- ¼ red onion, finely sliced
- ½ cup dehydrated tomatoes
- ¼ cup (or more) kalamata olives, halved
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon (2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon zest)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: Drain the tuna. Combine the tuna, cannellini beans, onions, celery, tomatoes, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the tuna and bean mixture, then toss to combine.
Serve tuna and bean salad on a bed of fresh mixed greens with lemon wedges on the side.
4. Curried Tuna Salad
Adding apricots and currants gives this simple tuna salad some sweetness, while mild curry powder adds some spice. Try serving this simple salad on naan bread or pita. Recipe from Saveur; makes one sandwich.
- 1 (4-ounce) can tuna, drained
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped apricots
- 1½ teaspoons mild curry powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Naan or pita bread, for serving
Directions: Mix tuna, mayonnaise, currants, apricots, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stuff into naan or pita bread. Serve.
5. Hawaiian Ahi Poke Salad
By now, you’ve probably spotted poke salad on the menu at one of your favorite lunch spots. This Hawaiian specialty, which consists of raw tuna tossed with ingredients like Maui onions, sesame seeds, seaweed, and soy sauce, is having a bit of a moment. It’s also surprisingly simple to make at home. The key to good poke is using fresh sushi-grade tuna. Maui onions (if you can find them) are ideal, but you can also substitute shallots. This recipe is from A Spicy Perspective.
- 2 large sashimi-grade ahi tuna steaks (about 1½ pounds)
- 1 Maui onion or shallot, sliced
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Directions: Pat the tuna steaks dry. Cut into ½-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. Add the shallots, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and sesame seeds to the bowl with the tuna. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
6. Mexican Chopped Tuna Salad
Tuna provides a low-fat source of protein in this Mexican-influenced tuna salad, which also features black beans, cilantro, avocado, red pepper, and sweet corn. The Greek yogurt-mayo dressing is a lighter alternative to a one with just mayo. Once prepared, you can enjoy the salad on its own, in a wrap, or with tortilla chips. Recipe from Kim’s Cravings.
For the salad
- 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can sliced black olives, drained
- 1 can sweet yellow corn, drained (or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 heart of romaine lettuce, chopped well
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 ripe avocados or 1 large Haas avocado, diced
For the dressing
- ⅔ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup mayo (or use additional Greek yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
Directions: Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Mix the Greek yogurt, mayo, and seasonings in a small bowl to make the dressing.
Pour some of the dressing over the salad, then toss to combine. Pour on the rest of the dressing until the salad is fully coated. Add salt to taste, then serve.
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