Quick and easy to make for lunch or even a light dinner, this healthy Tuscan salad puts high protein front and center with chunks of albacore tuna and white beans tossed with arugula and more Mediterranean flavors.
It’s not every day that a salad wakes me from a dead sleep. But this morning, this one did. Not because I was hungry—because I wasn’t—but because I sleepily woke to the words, sentences, and phrases for this blog post forming in my head.
Why I didn’t write it all down at that moment instead of rolling over and going back to sleep is a choice I’m regretting now.
But this salad? There’s absolutely nothing to regret about this salad, nothing at all.
How to Make a Healthy, No-Mayo Tuna Salad
This easy, all-in-one-meal, tuna salad is made with simple ingredients and pantry staples to create a lunch that’s totally fresh and filling.
I’ve always been a tuna salad sandwich fan (extra pickles and potato chips please!), but when I’m leaning into my regular work day lunches, salads are most often my thing. And thanks to my well-stocked pantry basics, I always have canned tuna on hand, but don’t need all the mayo to enjoy it.
I use chunk white albacore tuna packed in water that flakes in large chunks rather than skinny bits like you might find in regular old tuna sandwiches. Chunk tuna packed in water is one of my pantry staples, but if you prefer, chunk tuna packed in olive oil is a good option too.
Fresh arugula creates the fresh, leafy base for this salad and provides plenty of nutrients, but you can always choose spinach, kale, or even a red leaf lettuce instead.
Beans are another pantry staple used here with Great Northern white beans, white navy beans or Italian cannellini beans are easily interchangeable here. Or if you prefer, garbanzo beans are protein packed and fit the Mediterranean flavor profile, too.
Canned beans work perfectly fine here, just be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before using. Red onion adds a touch of color and a little heat to this simple salad. I slice it very thinly in rings for a little visual variety.
Sweet cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, briny olives (I used green olives but pitted kalamata or plain old black olives would work equally well) with a drizzle of a bright and fruity olive oil and sprinkling of feta cheese round out the Tuscan flavors.
Another great point about this salad is you can certainly mix and match more Mediterranean or Tuscan ingredients into your salad as well like artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled beans, or capers. That’s the thing about cooking, it’s always there for you to make it your own.
- 4 cups arugula, spinach, or other favorite lettuce
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 5 ounce can white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup sliced olives (green, Kalamata, or your favorite variety)
- Thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons fruity, extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl or two smaller bowls, combine the arugula, white beans, tuna, tomatoes, olives and and red onion. Drizzle with the olive oil and the juice from the lemon. Toss to combine. Top with crumbled feta cheese and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
More Healthy Salads That Make a Lunchtime Meal
- 30 Days of Healthier Salads That Make a Meal
- Strawberry and Avocado with Tuna Salad Recipe
- How to Create the Ultimate Italian Salad Platter
- Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Roasted Beet, Avocado and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Chicken
- Crunchy Green Salad with Dilly Chickpeas and Avocado
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken
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