This healthy Mexican Tuna Salad recipe replaces mayonnaise with plain yogurt and avocado. With a little bit of heat, and loads of fresh ingredients, you'll love this spin on tuna salad on a corn tortilla tostada style, in a sandwich or wrap, or with tortilla chips for dipping!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About No Mayonnaise Tuna Salad
Not long ago, I did a Mexican chicken salad. While this Mexican tuna recipe is not the same, it is quite similar. Both recipes use my avocado lime crema as a base. The yogurt-avocado combination is a healthier (and more flavorful IMHO) alternative to mayonnaise.
I do not hate mayonnaise. It is actually quite tasty (especially when it's homemade aioli). However, I do believe there are healthier, flavorful ways to bind together the ingredients for a tuna or chicken salad. Mayonnaise has 1440 calories per 1 cup, and 160 grams of fat. If you're okay with that, use mayonnaise. I will always be looking for a way to reduce calories and fat. My avocado crema has 690 for 1 cup, with 16 grams of fat.
While I do occasionally indulge in mayonnaise, it is very infrequently. I feel good about my decision to enjoy this healthy tuna salad recipe.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- tuna - My preference is always water-packed albacore. Water-packed tuna contains less calories and fats than oil-packed. Of course you can use what you prefer. You can also substitute salmon, chicken, flaked white fish, etc.
- avocado and yogurt crema - Avocado lime crema is featured in my Mexican chicken salad as well. The combination of avocado, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and nonfat buttermilk (along with lime juice, cilantro, and shallot) is a healthier and very tasty stand in for a mayonnaise based binder.
- crunchy vegetables - My favorite is jicama, but radishes, bell pepper, grated carrot, and the more traditional celery are all good options. Make it your own!
- onion - I use scallions/green onions. You can use a sweet onion, shallot, or red onion if you have it or prefer it.
- fresh chile pepper - I like Fresno chiles or red jalapeños. You can also use serrano, green jalapeños, or bell pepper if you don't want any heat.
- pickled jalapeño - Traditional tuna salad often calls for pickles and/or pickle juice. The pickled jalapeño provides the pickle flavor with a Mexican twist. Substitute pickle juice and pickles or omit if you prefer.
- more crunch - Toasted pepitas are a quintessential Mexican ingredient. Of course you can substitute pecans, pistachios, etc. if you prefer.
- Make the avocado crema. Combine all crema ingredients, and process until smooth and creamy.
- Add tuna, jicama, scallions, pickled jalapeños, chile peppers, and pepitas to a mixing bowl.
- Thoroughly combine all tuna salad ingredients with the avocado-yogurt crema. Season with salt and pepper, and taste. Adjust as necessary. Garnish with additional toasted pepitas and fresh lime as desired.
Absolutely! Cooked chicken and salmon are great options.
You can safely keep it up to 5 days, but I try to use it within 1-2 days. I find fish and seafood get strong and funky fairly quickly. The lime juice, buttermilk, and yogurt keep the avocado from browning, so it does last well 1-2 days.
Albacore packed in water is a high protein/low fat option. The "solid" albacore is lovely but not necessary as you're going to break it up when you combine all the ingredients.
Two red jalapeños provided just a hint of heat to the tuna salad mixture. Heat is very subjective. If you're uncertain, add a little and taste before adding more.
This tuna salad recipe is a simple and quick way to get a healthy lunch or dinner put together. Set aside your idea of a traditional tuna salad, and I think you'll really enjoy this one!
How to Make Ají Amarillo Paste
- 16 ounces frozen ají amarillo chile peppers OR
- 4 ounces dried ají mirasol chile peppers
- ½ cup water ¾ cup for dried peppers
- Par-boil the peppers (both mirasol and amarillo) for 5-10 minutes until softened. The frozen peppers need a quick rinse in cold water, while the dried peppers need to cool in the hot water to soften.
- Remove stems, seeds, and skins on the frozen. With dried, skip to the next step.
- Purée the peppers until smooth. Add ½ cup to frozen peppers or ¾ cup to the dried peppers.
- The frozen peppers are ready to use. The dried peppers need to be pressed through a sieve. Using a spatula to press through a sieve is helpful.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
☀️ More Great Summertime Recipes
McAllen, Texas is hot almost year 'round, so I'm always looking for interesting and healthy (or healthyish) recipes that require little or no cooking. These are a few of the recipes we enjoy when the temperatures soar!