Tuna salad is a classic summer dish that often gets transformed with mayo, giving it a creamy texture and taste.
But what if you’re looking to switch up your tuna salad recipe, or don’t want to use mayonnaise as an ingredient?
What are the best substitutes for mayo in tuna salad?
The best alternatives for mayonnaise in tuna salad include plain low-fat yogurt, avocado, hummus, olive oil, vegan mayonnaise (such as Just Mayo), mashed banana, pureed beans (like chickpeas or white beans), tahini, nut butter (like peanut or almond butter), or nutritional yeast flakes.
These substitutes can give your tuna salad different flavor profiles and textures without having to compromise on the taste.
So if you’re ready to try something new with your classic tuna salad recipe – let’s explore the 10 best substitutes for mayo!
Why Add Mayo to Tuna Salad?
Mayonnaise is often added to tuna for several reasons.
- Firstly, it helps to bind the tuna together with other ingredients like celery, onion, and pickle.
- Secondly, it adds creaminess and flavor to the tuna salad.
- Finally, it helps to keep the bread and tuna moist. However, it’s important to note that mayonnaise contains fats that add hidden calories to the sandwich. Only 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise can add 49 calories and 4.9 grams of fat.
Additionally, the amount of mayo added to tuna salad is a matter of personal preference, and there is no specific ratio that is considered “proper” (source: Quora).
Some experts recommend using high-quality mayonnaise to enhance the flavor of the tuna salad (source: MSN).
While tuna is high in protein, consuming tuna salad with mayonnaise may add unnecessary calories and fat to the dish.
The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Tuna Salad
Mayo is a popular ingredient in tuna salad, providing a thick, creamy texture and subtle flavor. However, it can be high in fat and calories, making it unsuitable for those looking to eat healthily.
Here are ten excellent substitutes that offer the same culinary experience without sacrificing your dietary goals:
1 – Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a popular dairy alternative with a thick, creamy consistency and distinct tangy taste. It’s also packed with protein and probiotics, making it a nutritious substitute for mayo in tuna salad.
To incorporate plain Greek yogurt into your recipes, simply combine it with the other ingredients to achieve a creamy texture.
The only caveat is that you’ll lose some of the rich flavor provided by the traditional mayo-based recipe.
Regardless, this swap helps reduce the number of unhealthy fats on your plate while delivering an enjoyable culinary experience.
2 – Avocado
Avocado’s creamy texture makes it an ideal replacement for mayo in salads like tuna salad. In addition to its tantalizing taste, avocado provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your overall wellness.
This superfood also offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber to help you feel fuller longer.
To use avocado as a stand-in for mayo in tuna salad recipes, mash up one or two avocados before stirring them into your dish until fully incorporated. Avocado brings all of the creaminess of mayo without any of the added fat or calories!
3 – Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has emerged as an increasingly popular food choice over recent years due to its rich flavor profile and nutritional benefits.
Not only does it provide protein-rich fuel for your body but it also offers various vitamins and minerals for maximum nourishment.
As an alternative to traditional mayonnaise-based recipes like tuna salad, cottage cheese works well when mashed up with other ingredients in the dish until completely blended together.
A light yet flavorful variation that won’t derail from your healthy eating habits!
4 – Silken Tofu
Tofu is appreciated worldwide as both a delicious meal option and as an eco-friendly protein alternative to meat products. Its mild taste allows silken tofu to work well as a stand-in for tuna salad’s traditional ingredients like mayonnaise.
All you need to do is puree or blend silken tofu before adding it into the mix along with other ingredients such as celery and onions for maximum flavor impact!
Best of all?
Silken tofu is low in calories and high in essential nutrients like iron and calcium – perfect if you’re looking to spruce up your diet without compromising on taste!
5 – Mustard
Mustard is another viable option if you’re trying to switch out unhealthy mayonnaise-based recipes such as tuna salad with healthier alternatives that don’t skimp on flavor or texture.
This condiment adds a tangy, slightly spicy flavor to your tuna salad, and it’s low in calories and fat. You can use either yellow or dijon mustard, depending on your preference.
Simply mix it in with your tuna, along with other ingredients like chopped celery and onion, and you’re good to go!
Mustard is also versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, so it’s a great option to have on hand in your pantry.
6 – Hummus
Hummus, a savory dip made from cooked chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), and lemon juice, adds creaminess and an earthy flavor to any dish it graces.
It’s also chock full of vitamins A, B6, C, folate and fiber.
To substitute mayo in your favorite tuna salad recipe with hummus, simply mix one part hummus with one part plain Greek yogurt.
The mixture gives the salad a tangy flavor while providing lots of protein and healthy fats.
7 – Sour Cream
Sour cream is another great mayo substitute for tuna salad.
It’s packed with calcium and vitamin D as well as healthy fats which help keep you feeling full.
Plus its slight tanginess complements the taste of fish perfectly.
All you need to do is combine one cup of sour cream with two tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar to create a creamy dressing that won’t overpower your tuna salad.
8 – Cream Cheese
Cream cheese adds richness to your tuna salad without adding too much fat or calories.
Its mild flavor also allows other ingredients such as celery or pickles to stand out more than they would in a mayonnaise-based recipe.
To use cream cheese in place of mayo in your tuna salad recipe, use equal parts cream cheese and plain Greek yogurt mixed together until smooth.
This gives the dish a creamy texture while still allowing other flavors to shine through.
9 – Pesto
Pesto is another delicious alternative to mayonnaise in your favorite tuna recipes.
Its fresh blend of basil and Parmesan creates an irresistible combination that pairs perfectly with fish dishes like tuna salad sandwiches or wraps.
To use pesto instead of mayonnaise in your recipes, just mix three tablespoons of pesto with six tablespoons of Greek yogurt until combined – this will give the dressing a thick but light consistency that won’t overpower other ingredients in the dish.
10 – Olive Oil
Olive oil has been praised for centuries for its health benefits as well as its robust flavor profile – both traits make it perfect for replacing mayonnaise in any type of dish including tuna salad sandwiches or salads!
Use extra-virgin olive oil as it has more antioxidants than regular olive oil plus it has no added sugar or preservatives like some brands of store-bought mayonnaise contain.
Simply whisk together ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice before mixing into your tuna salad recipe; this dressing provides just enough acidity while still allowing all the flavors within the dish come through without being overwhelmed by mayonnaise!
In conclusion, mayo is a popular ingredient in tuna salad, but it can be high in calories and fat.
Fortunately, there are several excellent substitutes that offer the same creamy texture and flavor without sacrificing your dietary goals.
Greek yogurt, avocado, cottage cheese, silken tofu, and mustard are all great options that provide essential nutrients and health benefits while still delivering a delicious culinary experience.
Additionally, these substitutes are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, making them excellent pantry staples.
So, whether you’re trying to eat healthier or simply looking to mix things up in the kitchen, give these mayo substitutes a try and see which one you like best!
More Mayo Alternatives:
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Coleslaw
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Deviled Eggs
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Potato Salad
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Egg Salad
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Chicken Salad
- The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Salad Dressing
- The 5 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Crab Cakes
The 10 Best Substitutes for Mayo in Tuna Salad
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Silken Tofu
- Sour Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Olive Oil
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.