tuna salad on a rice cracker sprinkled with chipped spinach

This tuna salad recipe is packed with sweet, crisp apples, shredded carrots and a touch of thyme! Drizzled with avocado oil and sprinkled with salt, don’t be surprised when the kids ask for seconds!

So, how do you make tuna salad? Let me show you… 

pin with tuna salad on a plate

I’m not going to lie…I love me a good traditional tuna salad recipe! Especially in a tuna melt..mmmmm. But now that we are eating healthier and the kids can’t eat dairy, we are forced to limit our mayo intake. 

We stopped eating tuna sandwiches for a while until that fateful day when we decided to make a quick trip to Costco. It was sample day and they were giving out tuna salad samples. But instead of mayo, they were using Olive oil (we may or may not have taken more than one sample).

We were so impressed with the taste that we went home and tried making it ourselves, but of course, we had to fancy it up!

Is It Safe To Eat Tuna Every day? 

There are so many health benefits to eating tuna. I always tell the kids that tuna will help their brains grow. And I am not lying! It is packed with Omega 3 oil which is beneficial to brain development. 

It is also great for your heart health! 

However, tuna does contain mercury, which may cause health issues. While you would have to eat a lot of tuna for it to become an issue, I still wouldn’t recommend that you eat it every day. 

What Can I Do With Canned Tuna? 

You can do so much with canned tuna! From tuna salad to Tuna patties, canned tuna is so versatile, and kid friendly! For some reason, the kids love canned tuna patties. The few times I made patties from real tuna, they barely touched them! 

This dairy free tuna salad recipe is a perfect use for canned tuna!

Tuna Salad with Apples

Have you ever tried tuna salad with apples? If you are shaking your head no, you need to try it today! The sweetness of the apples is the perfect way to bring out different flavors of the tuna.

Be sure to add salt to the tuna first and then you will really taste the sweet and salty flavor combination! 

Tasting Your Food As You Cook

One of the top rules in cooking is to taste your food as you cook. Although it isn’t always possible (like when you are baking), you should take advantage of every opportunity you get, to taste the food. 

This recipe will be the perfect opportunity to try it out too! We will be adding several different items to the tuna, such as apples, carrots and salt. After adding each ingredient, taste the tuna and see what you think. 

Does it need more salt? More apples? If you taste as you go, you can adjust it to what you like. 

That’s a chef secret….so don’t let anyone know that I told you! 

Tuna Salad Without Mayo

My kids are reactive to dairy, so while they can technically eat it, it causes their body to weaken and they become more susceptible to colds. Because of that, we have basically eliminated dairy from everyday life (we still eat it on special occasions!). 

That is why we love this dairy free tuna so much!

How to Make Tuna Salad

First, grab a small mixing bowl. We use 2 Costco sized cans of tuna, which are larger than traditional cans. I would suggest 3-4 of the regular sized cans.

Open each can and drain out the liquid into the sink. Use a fork to keep the tuna from falling into the sink. It does not need to be drained completely. You just want to get most of the liquid out.  

There is a bit of chopping in this recipe, so you will have lots of opportunities to practice your knife skills! 

On a large cutting board, dice the apple and celery into finely chopped pieces. If the pieces are too large, it will be difficult to bite in to. 

Using a grater, shred the carrots

Add the Olive Oil,  apples, celery, carrots, thyme and salt and pepper to the tuna and mix well. 

What Do You Eat Tuna Salad With? 

Obviously, you can eat it in a tuna sandwich, but here are a few other ideas to try!:

  • On a toasted English Muffin
  • On a toasted Rice Cracker
  • With Whole Wheat Crackers
  • On Celery sticks
  • On top of a green salad
  • On Cucumber slices
  • In an avocado
  • On Apple Slices
  • Eat it on a sliced tomato 
  • Top it with sliced spinach, avocado or diced tomatoes

Now Go On And Give It a Try! 

I would love to hear how you like this recipe! If you are looking for more kid friendly recipes, here are a few others to get you started!

2 Ingredient Hash Brown Nests

Healthy Strawberry Muffins

Clean Eating Brownies

How to Cut a Watermelon into Triangles

Tuna Salad with no Mayo

Tuna Salad with no Mayo

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

My picky eaters don't like fish but they sure love this dairy free tuna salad recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans Tuna, Wild Caught
  • 1 Apple, small
  • 1 Celery, Stalk
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, dry or fresh
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Open the tuna cans, drain the tuna and put the tuna in a medium bowl
  2. On a large cutting board, dice the apple and celery into finely chopped pieces.
  3. Using a grater, shred the carrots
  4. Add the Olive Oil,  apples, celery, carrots, thyme and salt and pepper to the tuna and mix well.
  5. Serve with toasted english muffins or rice cakes!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Saturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 229mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

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6 comments

Morgan June 17, 2019 - 5:54 pm

5 stars
I love tuna salad! This recipe looks so easy and super tasty! I can’t wait to give it a try!

Reply
NaturalDeets June 17, 2019 - 7:51 pm

I would love to hear what you think!

Reply
Jennifer June 17, 2019 - 6:51 pm

I love all of these wonderful ways to enjoy tuna!

Reply
NaturalDeets June 17, 2019 - 7:51 pm

Tuna is so versatile! I love it!

Reply
Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef June 18, 2019 - 10:37 am

Tuna salad is a great option for lunch, love that you added a variety of ways to serve it! Thanks so much for sharing your tasty options 🙂

Reply
rachel frampton April 18, 2020 - 12:21 am

I have been planning to create my own version of Tuna salad, that’s why I’m currently looking for a canned tuna. I think your suggestion of combing tuna and apple seems like a great idea because I agree with you that the latter’s sweetness will be able to unwrap the various flavors of tuna. I’m glad you shared this; next time I’ll try pairing it with English muffin and rice crackers.

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