Lightened-Up Tuna Salad

I have very specific memories of tuna salad from my childhood.

I hated it.


We had a lot of silly and fun family traditions when I was growing up and one of them was our Sunday tradition.

We would wake up and have donuts (which I didn’t love as a kid. I know, I was insane). Then we would pile into the car and go to church and Sunday school. After church my Mom would buy the newspaper at the tiny grocery store in town and we would head home for a delicious homemade brunch.

We would then impatiently wait for our cousins to pull into my Grandma’s driveway across the street. My brother and I were blessed to grow up with our Grandma and Grandpa across the street from us for a few years. It was the best. Every Sunday my Grandparents would have everyone over for football, food and fun. We spent the summers down on the water and the winters in the basement playing dress up (the boys played Atari and traded basketball cards).

My cousin Brook and I would always cry when it was time to go home because we knew that meant homework/winding down to go back to school on Monday. We called them the Sunday night blues. I still get them after a super fun weekend comes to an end! I had a super bad case of the Sunday/Monday/entire week blues a couple weeks ago after an amazing weekend in California at Coachella. Those blues were entirely too hard to shake, but I think I’ve recovered…

So anyway, back to the Sunday tradition….We would then head back across the street, meltdowns subsided (or not) and my Mom would do snack-dinners. We would have popcorn, or nachos, cheese and sausage with crackers…and sometimes my Mom would make tuna. It was usually just for her, no one else really ate it in the family, but I remember I always wanted to like it.

It looked so good smushed between two pieces of toast and she would always offer it to me…but no matter how hard I tried, I always hated it. I wanted it to be chicken.  Tuna was just a bit too fishy for me.

I’ve grown up a bit now and my taste buds are officially mature! I am proud to say I will eat just about anything (aside from certain body parts that should remain on an animals body and not in my stomach). So all that to say…Mikey and I will have tuna salad from time to time, but I never like to make it with mayo. I just have a hard time smothering healthy food in a blanket of fat. Even if it is delicious fat. So I made up this recipe and used some ingredients I had on hand to make a little homemade and lightened up sauce. It turned out great!


This recipe is similar to my Basil Parmesan Chicken Salad, which is one of the most popular recipes to date on my blog! It’s delicious and super easy for lunches, especially with the warm weather that ( has to be, please!!?!) is on its way.


Also great in a wrap with lots of hot giardiniera!





DSC_0198 DSC_0199 DSC_0201 DSC_0204 DSC_0205 DSC_0207 DSC_0208 DSC_0210 Norman is a big fan of tuna.

He likes to sit and watch and wait for me to either give him the can to lick or drop pieces for him to devour.

He is normally a giant ball of fur but we got him a lion cut so he would be cool this summer…if only it would warm up here! Poor Norm is freezing!

DSC_0213 DSC_0216 DSC_0225 DSC_0229 DSC_0230 DSC_0232 DSC_0236 DSC_0237 DSC_0240

We love spicy food in our family so Mikey and I add Siracha and giardiniera to most of the food we eat. We used this in wraps with some spinach.




Recipe: Lightened-Up Tuna Salad

Serves 2-4


1 Large Can Tuna in Water (Or tuna in oil. I used a large can, could use any size)

3 Celery Stalks, Diced

2 Garlic Cloves, Diced

1 Small Bunch Basil, Chopped (about 6 leaves, more or less to taste)

1/2 Avocado

1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt

1/2 Teaspoon Salt (more to taste)

1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese


Drain tuna and place into a medium sized bowl.

Chop celery, garlic and basil and add to tuna.

Add oil, yogurt, avocado, salt and pepper and stir well until tuna is evenly coated with avocado and yogurt. Add more olive oil and yogurt or avocado to taste or until you reach a desired texture. Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese and mix until incorporated.

Serve with crackers, chips or in a wrap, sandwich or on toast!

You could add many other ingredients to your tuna salad as well! Things like: Red pepper, onions, green onion, carrots, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, craisins, raisins, nuts…the list is never ending!




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