You can make a deliciously creamy and healthy tuna salad without mayo, using Greek yogurt instead! This Greek yogurt tuna salad is tangy, yet well balanced, with a hint of sweetness from pickle relish. Plus, it's easy to make in only 10 minutes, with 6 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).
Tuna salad is a classic, but if you want to lighten it up a bit without sacrificing flavor and that delicious creamy texture, you have to try my recipe for Greek yogurt tuna salad!
Along with the must-have tuna salad ingredients of freshly chopped red onion, celery, and Dijon mustard, this tuna salad also has a generous dollop of sweet pickle relish. The sweet pickle relish is actually one of the secrets to this delicious salad - it helps balance the tang from the yogurt.
Plus, I have one more secret to making this tuna salad without mayo the best ever - make sure to drain the tuna super-duper well! This way, you aren't watering down the flavors. And, you get a nice firm tuna salad, rather than a watery mess! This is especially important for tuna salad with Greek yogurt, because the yogurt is a little less firm than mayo.
- Greek yogurt: I recommend using full fat or 2% Greek yogurt, rather than fat free. This will better replicate the creamy taste and texture that usually comes from mayo.
- Canned tuna: I used solid white albacore, but you can use any type of canned tuna you prefer. I talk more about picking a type of tuna for tuna salad in the Recipe FAQs section below.
- Relish: I highly recommend using sweet pickle relish, rather than dill relish. In my opinion, that sweetness does so much to help balance the tanginess from the yogurt. But, if you prefer dill relish, go for that!
Step by step photos
1. The first step to making this tuna salad with Greek yogurt is to prepare the vegetables. All you need to do is finely chop the red onion and celery, and set them aside for now.
2. The next step is to make the Greek yogurt dressing for the tuna salad. Add the sweet relish, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and seasonings to a medium bowl. Whisk everything together to combine.
3. Now we will prepare the canned tuna. Here is where the "magic" happens! As I mentioned in the intro, draining the tuna really well is so important to getting a creamy, not watery, tuna salad.
To do this, add the two cans of tuna to a fine mesh strainer, either set over a bowl to catch the juice, or just held over the sink. Squeeze the tuna firmly, and press it down into the mesh of the strainer to remove as much of the liquid as possible. (If you don't have a fine mesh strainer, check out the Tips and tricks section for an alternate idea.)
As you can see from the last picture, the tuna should be very dry when finished with this process.
4. Once you are done draining the tuna thoroughly, add it to the bowl with the Greek yogurt. Also add in the finely chopped onion and celery.
5. Then, just mix everything up together until it's well combined. Give the tuna salad a taste, and add more salt, pepper, and/or cayenne if you like.
Tips and tricks
- This recipe calls for a fine mesh strainer. This is because you can firmly press the tuna down into the strainer to remove as much moisture as possible, without pieces falling through the larger holes of a colander. Draining the tuna very well will give the tuna salad a firmer texture and more flavor.
- If you don't have a fine mesh strainer, line a regular colander with a piece of cheesecloth or, in a pinch, a single sheet of clean paper towel. This will allow you to press the tuna into the colander to help it drain, while keeping the smaller pieces of tuna from falling through the holes.
- This recipe was developed using Diamond Crystal kosher salt. To substitute Morton kosher or regular table salt, start with a little less than the ½ teaspoon salt called for. Then, and add more as needed to taste.
- You can enjoy this Greek yogurt tuna salad right away. But, for even better flavor, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight first.
How long is tuna salad good for?
As long as the yogurt you are using is fresh, Greek yogurt tuna salad will keep well in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. Just store it in an airtight container so it won't dry out or pick up off flavors from the fridge. If the salad dressing has separated a little bit after a stay in the fridge, just give it a quick stir.
Can you freeze tuna salad?
I don't recommend freezing tuna salad, especially tuna salad with yogurt. The yogurt will break down in the freezer, affecting the creamy and smooth texture. Instead, you can enjoy leftovers stored in the fridge, for up to 3 - 4 days.
Additions and substitutions
Here are some ideas on how to mix up this tuna salad with Greek yogurt:
- For extra texture, use chopped sweet pickles instead of relish.
- For a salty, briny flavor, add in a tablespoon or two of chopped capers.
- If you really like tangy flavor, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- Tired of canned tuna? Make this same recipe using canned salmon or chicken.
- For even more protein, add in a chopped hard boiled egg.
- A tablespoon or two of chopped herbs can add a nice freshness and beautiful color; try chopped parsley, dill, or chives.
I recommend using "solid" tuna, rather than "chunk" tuna. Solid tuna comes in larger pieces, which adds more texture to the salad and makes it easier to drain out more of the liquid.
However, this tuna salad recipe will still work with any type of canned tuna. If you want the tuna salad to be lower in calories and fat, choose tuna packed in water rather than tuna packed in oil.
For more in-depth info on canned tuna, check out this article explaining the labeling on various types of canned tuna.
The biggest way to ensure your tuna salad is not watery is to do a very thorough job of draining it before adding it to the other ingredients. Squeeze out as much moisture from the tuna as possible, using your hands to press the tuna against the fine mesh strainer.
In addition, when making tuna salad with yogurt, make sure not to add the watery part of the yogurt to the salad. If the yogurt is separated when you open the container, either pour out the liquid or stir it back into the yogurt before measuring.
Tuna salad is versatile and can be served a number of ways. For a simple lunch, try it on a sandwich or wrap with lettuce and tomato, or scooped onto crackers. It would also taste great stuffed into a tomato or avocado half, or on top of a pile of greens for a simple salad.
To round out the meal, you can serve it with an easy side like air fryer fingerling potatoes or lemon herb roasted asparagus. For an even more filling meal, pair the tuna salad (either in a sandwich or on top of salad greens) with a cup of soup, like lentil potato soup or sweet potato black bean soup.
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This is a healthy and easy tuna salad recipe that uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo! This Greek yogurt tuna salad is tangy yet balanced, with a hint of sweetness from pickle relish.
- two 5 ounce (142 g) cans tuna packed in water (see note 1)
- ½ cup (120 g) plain Greek yogurt (recommended: full fat or 2%)
- ⅓ cup (45 g) finely chopped celery (about 1 medium rib)
- ⅓ cup (45 g) finely chopped red onion (about ¼ medium onion)
- 2 ½ tablespoons (35 g) sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste (see note 2)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- fine mesh strainer (see notes 3 - 4)
- Finely chop the celery and red onion, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the Greek yogurt, sweet pickle relish, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne (if using). Whisk together to evenly combine. Set aside.
- Open the cans of tuna. Place the tuna into the fine mesh strainer, held over a bowl or the sink. Very firmly press the tuna down into the mesh to squeeze out as much of the moisture from the tuna as possible. The tuna should be very dry when finished.
- Add the tuna, plus the finely chopped celery and red onion, to the bowl with the Greek yogurt mixture. Stir with a spoon to incorporate the ingredients well.
- Taste the tuna salad and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Serve immediately, or, for best flavor, chill in the fridge, covered, for several hours or overnight.
Here I used solid white albacore tuna packed in water. Tuna labeled "solid" comes in larger pieces, which I found makes it a little easier to drain more of the liquid away (as opposed to tuna labeled "chunk"). However, this recipe will work with any type of canned tuna you prefer. If you want the tuna salad to be lower in calories and fat, choose tuna packed in water rather than tuna packed in oil.
This recipe was developed using Diamond Crystal kosher salt; to substitute Morton kosher or regular table salt, start with a little less than the ½ teaspoon salt called for in the recipe, and add more as needed to taste.
A fine mesh strainer is useful because you can firmly press the tuna down into the strainer, helping to remove as much moisture from the tuna as possible. This will give the tuna salad a firmer texture and more flavor.
If you don't have a fine mesh strainer, you can get a similar effect by lining a regular colander with a piece of cheesecloth (or even a clean paper towel!). This will allow you to press the tuna into the colander to help it drain, but will keep the smaller pieces of tuna from falling through the holes.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, using 2% Greek yogurt. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brand, type, and exact amounts of ingredients used. This nutrition estimate should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ¼ recipe
- Calories: 130
- Sugar: 4.2 g
- Sodium: 221 mg
- Fat: 1.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 5.8 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Protein: 19.9 g
- Cholesterol: 28 mg
Keywords: Greek yogurt tuna salad, tuna salad without mayo, tuna salad with Greek yogurt