Ditch the mayonnaise and try this Mediterranean tuna salad. This no mayo tuna salad is packed with delicious ingredients like artichokes and herbs.
One of the best things about Mediterranean cuisine is the diversity of salads. You can grab a few vegetables, start chopping, and it won't be long before you have a tasty salad. Choices range from light salads such as fattoush salad or tabouli salad to complete meals such as Mediterranean couscous salad or our favorite Greek salmon salad. With a few herbs, some olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, you can have a delicious Mediterranean salad on the table in no time. This Mediterranean tuna salad is one of our absolute favorites that I usually make on Sundays to enjoy as a light lunch during the week.
Mayo free tuna salad
When it comes to tuna, I prefer having it light and easy, which means I try to avoid mayonnaise in my tuna salad as much as I can. The exception would be an Ahi tuna salad, which goes well with a little bit of homemade mayonnaise. As for homemade tuna salad, this Mediterranean version is our go-to because it's simple, packed with veggies and, most importantly, has no mayonnaise.
Every bite of this Mediterranean tuna salad is full of flavor thanks to the artichokes, capers and olives. It's the perfect salad for gatherings and you can serve it at your parties, knowing that it will wow the guests. This herb packed tuna salad makes the perfect lunch or quick dinner that's ready in just a few minutes.
What goes into a healthy tuna salad?
The ingredients used in this Mediterranean style tuna salad are:
- Canned tuna
- Marinated artichokes
- Kalamata olives
- Red onion
- Roasted red pepper
- Green onions
This homemade tuna salad is perfect for summer especially if you're growing your own herbs. Dill and mint give perfect freshness and earthiness to this salad, making it a delicious option for a quick lunch or a light dinner.
Roasted peppers are optional in this recipe. I have made this Mediterranean salad with and without them and both work well. Adding roasted red peppers is a matter of choice and you can use store-bought roasted red peppers or make them at home. Here is a recipe for homemade roasted red peppers by Daring Gourmet.
Water-packed or olive oil-packed tuna?
This is a matter of personal preference. I think olive oil-packed tuna has more flavor and is moister therefore that's what I use most of the time. You can use water-packed tuna for this recipe as well.
How to make Mediterranean tuna salad with no mayo
Start by chopping the artichoke hearts if they're too big. Slice the Kalamata olives and red onion. Chop the herbs roughly, they don't need to be perfect. Drain the canned tuna and place them in a large bowl.
Using two forks, break the tuna chunks into very small pieces. Add in artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, red onion, roasted red pepper, capers, chopped dill, mint and scallions. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, mix and refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to one hour before serving.
Lemon garlic vinaigrette
This delicious vinaigrette is made with lemon juice, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl or a jar and drizzle it over the prepared Mediterranean tuna salad.
How to serve tuna salad
- Make it into a Mediterranean tuna salad sandwich using a crusty bread like ciabatta. Add some heirloom tomatoes and lettuce for a complete sandwich.
- You can also make tuna salad wrap using my homemade pita bread recipe. It makes the perfect quick lunch.
- Going low carb? Try tuna salad lettuce wrap. Use butter lettuce to make these as butter lettuce is easier to wrap.
- If you have never tried tuna salad stuffed avocados, now is the time. Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Take a bit of the avocado out to make room for the tuna salad. Fill the avocados with no mayo tuna salad and serve immediately.
- Serve this mayo free tuna salad as an appetizer with homemade pita chips or crackers.
How long does tuna salad last
Mediterranean tuna salad is best served the same day when it's fresh. However, if you have leftovers, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Because this is a no mayo tuna salad, it's easy to take it to outdoor parties and gatherings in summer because it can stay fresh for a few hours.
Other additions to this salad
- You can make Mediterranean tuna salad with chickpeas if you would like to add more protein to this salad. For this recipe, one can of cooked chickpeas would be enough.
- Looking for a creamier tuna salad? Try making Mediterranean tuna salad with avocados. Chop one avocado into small cubes and add it to the salad at the very end.
- I love adding nuts to my salad so for this healthy tuna salad I suggest adding toasted pine nuts or almond slices. The crunch would make the tuna salad even more delicious.
Looking for more Mediterranean salad recipes?
- Mediterranean potato salad
- Turkish white bean salad
- Greek chickpea salad
- Turkish tomato salad (Gavurdagi)
- Traditional Greek salad
- The best Mediterranean salad
- Mediterranean style tortellini pasta salad
Notes and tips to make Mediterranean tuna salad
- To make this easy tuna salad I used Kalamata olives but you can use any kind of olives you prefer. Make sure they're pitted so you won't encounter any unpleasant surprises eating the salad.
- Red onions give a nice kick to the salads and they're one of my favorite additions to any salad. However, if the flavor is too strong for you, soak them in cold water for 30 minutes, pat dry them and then use them in salad. Soaking them would make them sweeter.
- Can I add tomatoes to my tuna salad? I don't advise using tomatoes in tuna salad because they release their juice very fast and that will affect the flavor of the salad.
- Make sure the cans of tuna are not damaged. If they are damaged, do not consume them.
- Some state that you should boil canned tuna for 20 minutes before opening it. I usually do this but it's an optional step. If boiling canned tuna, wait for it to cool completely before adding it to the salad.
Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad Recipe
- 2 cans tuna drained
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- ½ cup Kalamata olives halved
- ½ red onion chopped
- ⅓ cup roasted red pepper chopped
- 2 tbsp capers
- ⅓ cup fresh dill chopped
- ⅓ cup mint chopped
- ⅓ cup green onions chopped
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp Aleppo pepper
- Place the tuna in a large bowl and using a fork, break the chunks into small pieces.
- Add artichokes, Kalamata olives, red onion, roasted red pepper, capers, dill, mint and green onions to the tuna.
- Mix all the ingredients well using a large spoon. Drizzle the lemon garlic vinaigrette over the tuna salad and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Lemon garlic vinaigrette
- Mix lemon juice, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar or a bowl the drizzle it over the tuna salad.
- You can serve this Mediterranean tuna salad as a dip with pita chips, as a wrap with pita bread or lavash bread. If you're going low carb, you can make tuna salad lettuce wraps using butter lettuce.
- Olive oil-packed tuna carries more flavor therefore it works well in this salad. You can also use water-packed tuna.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.