When I was a kid, I have fond memories of helping my great-aunts make a healthy tuna salad recipe that happened to include relish.
If you’ve never had relish in your tuna salad, you’re missing out. I have no idea why it’s good… but it is. 🙂
And the adult in me took this recipe and added chickpeas and avocado for more fiber (and a healthy dose of fat).
For a long time, I couldn’t have tuna salad due to a severe sensitivity to eggs. But now that companies have started to make some pretty great egg free mayos, this healthy tuna salad recipe makes an appearance every couple of weeks.
It’s easy, fast, makes 2 large servings, and loaded with flavor (and for me, good memories).
Once you’ve made your tuna salad, it is great as part of a sandwich, wrap, or even as part of a salad with greens and veggies.
How To Pick Healthier Canned Tuna
Tuna is a funny fish (and not in the funny ha-ha way). It’s a large fish that is known to be higher in mercury because it’s higher up in the fish food chain. As a result, it’s not advisable to have tuna too often (and to avoid it entirely if you’re pregnant).
Personally, I space out my tuna indulgences by at least two weeks.
And the type of tuna you choose can increase or decrease your exposure. Chunk Light tuna (which does have a stronger flavor) is generally considered to be lower in mercury than Albacore tuna (which is drier and tends to be whiter in color).
Albacore tuna is “almost three times higher” in mercury compared to chunk light tuna which is typically made from smaller skipjack tuna fish, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
For that reason, I do not buy (nor recommend using) albacore tuna.
Also, look for tuna that’s packed in water or olive oil (though I recommend water-packed tuna for this recipe). Other tuna fish is often packed in a broth that has all sorts of additives like soy and gluten.
It’s also ideal to look for tuna marked dolphin-safe and gluten free (though it can be hard to find). Remember, you can’t go by the ingredients list to know that the tuna is gluten free since contamination during production is always possible.
Wild Planet has a great Skipjack Tuna to look for.
Healthy Tuna Salad Recipe Tips
Always rinse your chickpeas well (as you should with all beans) so remove excess particles and water from the can.
If you can eat eggs, use your favorite mayo.
But if you’re like me where eggs are a no-go, consider Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise. (And no, I’m not paid to say this.)
I’ve been using their egg free mayo for about a year. It’s actually made from the water that chickpeas sit in which is more technically called aquafaba.
There’s a lot you can do with aquafaba (read more about that here). It can be used as an egg replacement and even whipped!
As a total aside (and not related to this healthy tuna salad recipe) — you can even make meringue cookies with aquafaba. That’s how versatile this ingredient (yes, bean water) is and why it is possible to make egg free mayo with it.
Want to make your own egg free mayo with aquafaba? Here’s a recipe you can follow.
As for sweet relish, this is a great list of gluten free condiments (and another list here) that you can pick from. Not all condiments are gluten free, so it is important to find which brands will work for you.