Ever have tuna salad without mayo? My version involves avocado, lime juice and crunchy, fresh vegetables.
Recipe originally published 4-22-16. Updated 4-1-20.
Upgrade your lunch! This Avocado Lime Tuna Salad uses canned tuna and creamy avocado instead of mayo for a fresh and healthy twist on the classic. Red onion adds some crunch, while lime juice brightens it all up!
- Canned tuna – preferably in oil, but water also works
- Fresh lime
- Red onion
- Cilantro (yes it’s optional – parsley works too)
- Cracked black pepper
This avocado tuna salad is made with canned tuna, crunchy red onion, creamy avocado, fresh lime juice and cilantro. It’s a healthy lunch recipe that happens to be low carb, keto, gluten-free and egg-free.
To make it, simply mash the avocado in a bowl then stir in the other ingredients. I like to add the cilantro at the end for a pop of color.
I grew up eating tuna salad at least once a week. It was chunk light tuna drenched in mayo with a heaping dose of relish and boiled eggs and served on Merita white bread.
That is traditional southern tuna salad. It’s still a great option.
Healthy tuna salad with a twist
For this version, I swapped the mayo for a tangy lime avocado sauce and added some aromatic vegetables for color and crunch.
Because I like the experience of exploration at lunch, I left the boiled egg off to the side and served the tuna with a side of fresh spinach and sweet mango.
Eat it right away
This tuna salad is best eaten as soon as it’s prepared. Though the salad has a lot of lime juice, the avocado will start to turn brown if left without being covered. If you don’t mind the browning, you can plan to eat it within a day – but I wouldn’t go longer.
It’s a great way to use up leftover avocado.
Want a creamier tuna salad?
Add some yogurt. Greek yogurt adds extra creaminess and protein to the recipe. You can add up to ¼ cup of plain Greek yogurt to the recipe. It’s a great way to sneak in some extra nutrition while using up the last of the yogurt to prevent waste.Avocado Lime Tuna Salad Lunch Box
Best canned tuna to buy
This depends on personal preference.
Albacore tuna is very firm and usually comes in big flaky pieces that separate easily. It’s perfect for a hearty tuna salad like this one.
Chunk light tuna has a mild flavor and will have a softer texture. So plan to stir it less.
Skipjack is another popular option. It also has a mild flavor but sports a more reddish color which may not look as nice with the avocado.
Concerned about sodium? You’ll notice that If you are concerned about sodium, look for cans of tuna marked as no salted added or low- or reduced-sodium versions.
Packed in oil or water? Both work. I grew up with tuna packed in water. But I’ve grown to prefer tuna packed in oil. It provides a silkier texture that works well in many recipes – including this one.
Serve this tuna salad just as is, on your favorite toasted bread, or atop salad greens. You can add chopped sweet peppers or celery to the salad too for extra crunch.
If you’ve been limpin’ through lunch, consider it over.
If you like this recipe, you’ll like my Herbed Egg Avocado Salad too!
To add a little more to the table, make a trio of tuna salads with this Tuna Toast Snack Board!
Avocado Lime Tuna Salad
- 1 medium avocado
- juice of ½ fresh lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2- 6 ounce cans albacore tuna drained
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and seed the avocado. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash with the lime juice, and garlic.
- Add the drained, flaked tuna, red onion, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Complete the meal with a little fruit and greens on the side or mixed in. I enjoyed it with mango, spinach and a boiled egg for a protein rich lunch.
Yum! I love riffs on the traditional tuna salad! Thanks Marisa!
Me too, Sara. So many tasty options!
Your Tangy Avocado Lime Dressing sounds delicious! I think we have similar lunching styles-at home, and preferably in sweats or workout gear 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend Marisa!
Thanks, EA! I just had avocado toast with a boiled egg and a Cara Cara for lunch – in my leggings and a tank top 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!
Your use of avocado and Greek yogurt in lieu of mayo is brilliant! That portable lunch box though..<3
Kalee @ The Crowded Table
I’m all about tuna salads, and your variation looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it!
I make my tuna salad with avocado & sauerkraut – such a good kick! I’m looking forward to trying the lime to add the zing.
That sounds like a great idea! I am going to try your way next!
That’s a great salad/sandwich. I prefer the foil pack with extra virgin olive oil tuna. Thanks
So delicious! I’m doing an elimination diet and mayo is one of the things bring cut out of my diet. I love tuna sandwiches though. With this recipe I didn’t even miss the mayo. The rest of the fam liked it too. Thanks so much!
I have made this with jalapeno tuna and pickled onions I make. it’s wonderful.