Tuna Salad (With two secret ingredients)

2 Feb

As a sandwich filler or a salad topper, tuna is a star. Open the can, drain, and mix with a couple of staple condiments and you are good to go.

So, this is not a rocket-science post. But the way I make tuna salad is better than average. There are two reasons. One is a tip I learned in high school from one of my longtime besties — who is now Leandro’s godmother– and one is a secret of my own.

The first is ketchup, which cuts some of the fishiness with a bit of sweetness and zing. I got that one some after-school afternoon in the early days of MTV, when Marianne’s family had cable (an “A-ha” moment, for those of you who remember. Or it ” Buggles”  the mind to think about?) so we’d dash home to snack and watch the same three videos in endless loop…

The second secret is replacing half the mayo with nonfat plain yogurt which lightens it up and gives it a nice tang (I also do this with potato salad).

These days sustainabilty and food safety are big issues, so I don’t eat as much tuna as I used to (the sustainable kinds being comparatively expensive). But I’ll stray from cheap on this one and let you know I buy Wild Planet which is troll- and pole- fished and got a passing grade from Greenpeace rankings in Canada (I couldn’t find U.S. rankings). Wild Planet says it has more Omega-3s and less mercury that other brands; I choose to believe it, because that is the most convenient thing to do.

UK readers can visit MongaBay.com for ratings of tinned tuna.

Additionally, for American readers, the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Pocket Guide is a printable wallet-guide to good seafood choices that I find invaluable.

Tuna Salad (two servings)

5 oz. can tuna packed in water, drained

½  medium onion (white onion is very nice here), chopped fine

1 celery stalk, minced

1 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs nonfat (or lowfat) plain yogurt

1 tsp prepared mustard

½ tsp ketchup (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

(Additional optional ingredient suggestions – ½ tsp minced sundried tomatoes in oil, 1 small carrot, minced, hard-boiled egg chopped; ½  tsp tiny capers; 1 tsp minced olives; ½ tsp minced pickles)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on salad or in sandwiches.


12 Responses to “Tuna Salad (With two secret ingredients)”

  1. Kacey April 21, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    I totally agree with the ketchup. I made tuna salad with 1000 Island dressing instead of mayo out of necessity a while back (because we had no mayonnaise) and I’ve been making it that way ever since. Today I added a packet of ketchup to make it extra tomatoey. My other special ingredient is Sriracha sauce because it’s delicious is just about everything.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 21, 2014 at 5:19 am #

      Now that’s an interesting idea! 1000 Island Dressing! Iagree with you on the sriracha…one of my favorite flavor pick=ups! Thanks for the visit!

  2. John B. Mayfield October 23, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    pelagic29 personally I like the fishy taste

  3. sweetopiagirl March 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  4. Karen February 3, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I would never think to put ketchup in tuna salad but when you think about it cocktail sauce for seafood is ketchup based. I’ll give it a try.

  5. Bluejellybeans February 3, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    ¡Muy rica!

    Me parece fenomenal lo que dices sobre marcas que respetan la seguridad de otras especies al pescar. ¿has visto el documental The cove?

  6. cookiemomma February 2, 2012 at 9:06 pm #


  7. ceciliag February 2, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Sometimes you just have to decide to go with the information..greenpeace is pretty hard core.. if they gave it the thumbs up you should be OK! .. great recipe! c

  8. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy February 2, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Oh dear, irreconcilable differences….

  9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide February 2, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    This is so great. We can’t eat the same tuna in my house. Katherine hates mayo and she says I fancy my tuna up too much.


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    […] the spreads were tuna salad and egg salad (click to get those recipes from earlier posts), and the following two easy cream […]

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