If you’re looking for a fresh take on a traditional tuna salad recipe, you’ve found the right place. This tuna salad recipe is Mediterranean style, with wonderful flavors from citrus, cucumber, Kalamata olives, capers, feta and more. Take a look at how to make this no-mayo, Mediterranean tuna salad in this blog post!
This tuna salad recipe is gluten free, low carb and without mayo!
The best tuna salad recipe you never had.
I know a lot of people who simply have a love-hate relationship with mayonnaise. Some love it. Some hate it. There is never a middle ground. I’m on the love-it side of the field, particularly if it is homemade. One of my favorite lunch recipes to make is my Low Carb Tuna Salad which is chock full of mayonnaise, shallots and other delicious ingredients. But, there’s a huge contingency of people out there who are looking for a “tuna salad without mayo” recipe too.
We worked on this recipe for a couple weeks at my catering company. It was always just missing something that we couldn’t put our finger on. Then one afternoon my Director of Catering, Michele, added in some feta cheese and the whole thing just came together. Incredible how just one ingredient can change a dish. We made a bunch of wraps and sent them to some of our loyal customers for feedback. The orders started rolling in the next day. This is one delicious tuna salad recipe that I have been dying to share with you. So, here it is.
Tuna Salad Without Mayo
The idea for a tuna salad recipe without mayo came to us from a good friend who is in the definite “I hate MAYO!” camp. She came to our kitchen almost daily and would always ask if we were working on a no mayo tuna salad. We discussed it at the kitchen and decided that we would give it a shot. The idea from the beginning was to use Mediterranean flavors with olive oil, capers and Kalamata olives. The rest of the recipe we would play with and see what happened.
It took about 15 batches before we came up with this final recipe. The thing about mayo is simply that the creaminess balances out the intense tuna flavor and acts as a binder to hold everything together. We knew that we needed to add in really bright, bold flavors to make this tuna salad recipe pop. Although it has a lot of ingredients, I think that you will love the brightness and how well balanced the tuna salad is when everything comes together. You’ll never miss the mayo!
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
There are a lot of Mediterranean flavors to choose from. They include some of the following: anchovies, balsamic vinegar, basil, capers, garlic, olive oil, oregano, parsley, peppers, rosemary, cucumbers, feta cheese, lemon, ginger, onions, thyme and more. If you notice from this small list, everything here has a very distinctive flavor…and I love just about every one of them. So here’s the scoop when looking at this list and then checking out the tuna salad recipe: if you see something you don’t like in the recipe, split a little bit off and try one of the flavors you do like from the list provided above. You might be really surprised at how it enhances the flavors. Experimentation is one of my favorite aspects of cooking.
At my cooking school, I had quite a few students say that they weren’t adventurous or didn’t know how to experiment with food. My response was always simple. I would say “You are adventurous, curious and experimental. You’re at a cooking class doing things you have never done before. You’re tasting new foods, trying new methods of cooking and really going outside your comfort zone. And the best part? You’re having a great time doing it.” The same applies to this and every recipe on my site. Give it a shot. If you love it, great. If not, swap something out or add in another ingredient that you think will really enhance the flavor. With Mediterranean cooking, it’s pretty easy because they all love to be with one another!
QUICK COOKING TIP: I love a good, cold tuna salad. The quick cooking tip for this post truly is quick: put the cans of tuna fish in the fridge the night before you plan on whipping up this or any other tuna salad recipe. It’ll be cold and ready to eat right away.
Let’s get to mixin’ up this yummy tuna salad.
No Mayo Tuna Salad Recipe
Let's Make a Tuna Salad Recipe
- 2 Cans Tuna in Water drained, 12oz each
- ¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 TBSP Lemon Zest
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Kalamata Olives chopped
- ¾ Cup Celery diced (about 2-3 stalks)
- ½ Cup Shallot minced
- ¼ Cup Scallion sliced thin
- 2 TBSP Flat Leaf Parsley minced
- 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
- 1 TSP Celery Seed
- 1 TBSP Capers rinsed
- 1 Cup Feta Crumbles
- ¾ Cup Seedless Cucumber diced
- ½ TSP Balsamic Vinegar
- ½ TSP Kosher Salt
- Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Take out a large bowl. Add in the tuna and roughly break apart.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Serve in a lettuce wrap, over a salad, on some cucumbers or in a delicious wrap with some fresh pea sprouts.
- Enjoy cold and happy eating.
Final thoughts on the Tuna Salad Recipe:
I love to eat this piled high on cucumber slices or tossed into a fresh Boston bibb lettuce wrap. If I can find them, fresh pea shoots taste absolutely incredible with this tuna salad. No pea shoots? Give some broccoli sprouts a try. If you’re not gluten intolerant or paleo, add this tuna salad to a wrap. Just be sure to have some napkins around because it does tend to have some juice run out the bottom a bit.
Thinking that you’re hungry, but not in the mood for tuna fish? Try my Best Egg Salad Recipe for a delicious egg salad with a twist. Or, if you’re not adverse to tuna with mayo, take a look over at my Low Carb Tuna Salad recipe that also has a lot of tips about canned tuna fish too!
Hopefully, you’ll take a minute to whip up a batch of this Mediterranean-style tuna salad! Happy eating.