My Italian Tuna Salad is a great tasting variation on a classic tuna salad. Mayonnaise is swapped for olive oil, fresh lemon juice and a touch of red wine vinegar which help to combine the ingredients together. For crunch and flavor I like to add sun dried tomatoes, olives and red onion. The result is delicious!
Italian Tuna Salad
This Easy Italian Tuna Salad is packed full of flavor so I like to season the salad simply with some Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enough to season the fish, but not overpower the other flavors in the salad.
This is a healthy Italian tuna salad, as there is no mayonnaise added to the tuna. Instead the ingredients are mixed with olive oil; and fresh lemon juice and red wine vinegar for acidity. When it comes to olive oil I do recommend a good quality extra virgin olive oil as it will add a lovely nutty flavor to the salad.
My simple Italian tuna salad recipe can be whipped together in just 5 minutes, perfect for a quick and tasty lunch with a side of crackers like I’ve served here. However if you are looking to lower carbs, pile the salad onto some crunchy lettuce leaves and leave the crackers off the plate.
- TUNA: I used 3 x 5-ounce cans of tuna in water to serve 6.
- RED ONION: adds flavor and crunch to the salad.
- TOMATOES: ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes adds intense tomato flavor to the salad.
- OLIVES: add lots of flavor to the salad, I’ve opted for black pitted Castelvetrano olives.
- OIL: olive oil helps the ingredients to combine adding a little moisture into the tuna salad. Use a good quality EVOO as it will add a nutty flavor.
- LEMON: freshly squeezed lemon juice has the best flavor, although you could use bottled lemon juice in a pinch.
- VINEGAR: red wine vinegar balances out the oily tuna and adds great acidity to the tuna salad.
- SEASONING: there’s so much flavor in this Italian tuna salad that I keep the seasoning simple with some Italian seasoning, sea salt and ground black pepper.
How to make Italian Tuna Salad
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
Stir until well combined.
Serve over crackers, toasted bread, or whole lettuce leaves.
- I prefer to use canned tuna in water, but you can also use tuna in oil. Just ensure you look for tuna with no added salt.
- Swap the red onion for sliced green onions or shallots which also have a milder onion flavor.
- I’ve used black Castelvetrano olives, but you could swap these for green olives.
- If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes you could swap in some cherry tomatoes.
- Add extra crunch and stir through some canned sweetcorn, chopped cooked green beans, sliced radish or diced cucumber.
- Freshly chopped herbs are a great addition, stir through some finely shredded basil or parsley.
- Stir through some shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Add some canned cannellini beans to the mixture.
This love to serve Italian tuna salad as a great tasting appetizer dip with my favorite crackers, some crusty bread or toasted bread. I also like to add a wedge of fresh lemon so diners can squeeze some over for that extra hit of fresh zesty citrus flavor.
However, this easy Italian tuna salad also makes a great sandwich. You can also add extra layers to your sandwich, try layering slices of tomato or cucumber with the tuna.
You can also serve this Italian tuna salad as a salad main. Place on top of a leafy green salad, add some chopped tomatoes and cucumber and serve for a delicious lunch or light dinner. Store the salad in an airtight container and it also makes an easy lunch on the go.
Recipe hints & tips
- Take time to properly drain the canned tuna otherwise the tuna salad will be too wet.
- Look for pitted olives as this will save you time having to do this yourself.
- If the tuna salad has been in the refrigerator for a couple of days I recommend giving the salad a good stir to combine all the ingredients together again before serving.
Yes, tuna is an oily fish, rich in protein, A, B and D vitamins and a great source of iron and omega 3 essential fatty acids. We should all be including more oily fish in our weekly diets.
The combination of avocado with tuna in this salad is a healthy one. Tuna is a very healthy and lean protein, an oily fish that we should all be including in our diets. It is packed full of A and B vitamins, along with iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Also this salad is mixed with heart healthy olive oil, rather than mayonnaise.
Once prepared, place the tuna salad into an airtight container and you can store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Try some of my favorite salad recipes here at When is Dinner
- Mediterranean Tuna Salad
- Classic Tuna Salad
- Egg Salad
- Easy Peasy Pea Salad
- Southwest Spicy Chicken Salad
- Caesar Salad Bacon Cups
- Apple & Pear Salad
- BLT Salad
- 3 x 5 ounce cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, drained and chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Serve over crackers, toasted bread, or whole lettuce leaves.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 24g
Nutritional information is approximate and for guidance only.