Cooking & Entertaining

Recipe: Savory Tuna Salad

For a change from the regular tuna and mayo routine, try this recipe on for size. Nestled on a bed of baby greens and grape tomatoes, surrounded by cucumber slices and accompanied by half an avocado drenched in lime juice, Savory Tuna Salad looks as good as it tastes. Low in calories and a snap to put together, this salad is perfect for a hearty lunch, a light dinner and anyone following a gluten- and/or dairy-free diet.
Savory Tuna Salad

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 kosher dill pickle, diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 5-oz can of tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed, dried
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 cups bagged lettuce of your choice (one cup chopped, the rest as-is)
  • 15-20 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 medium avocado, cut in half stem-to-stem, stone removed
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop up pickle and red onion, and mix together in large bowl with tuna.
  2. Stir in dried dill weed, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, the chopped lettuce, and half the sliced grape tomatoes. Set aside.
  3. Layer plates with lettuce leaves, keeping an inch at the outside edge free.
  4. Scoop half of the tuna mix (2.5 oz) onto each plate, on top of lettuce.
  5. Arrange cucumber slices concentrically around tuna salad.
  6. Sprinkle top of tuna with remaining sliced grape tomatoes.
  7. Scootch half an avocado onto each plate (in place of a few cucumbers, say)
  8. Season avocado with lime, salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Drizzle salad with balsamic vinegar to taste.
  10. Serve and enjoy!


  • Go organic! It may cost a bit more to use organic ingredients, but they always taste better, and the money you save in preventative health care is immeasurable.
  • Make sure to use dolphin-friendly tuna. If you’re looking to save calories, go with water-packed tuna, but if that’s not as big a concern yellowfin tuna packed in vegetable oil is divine.
  • Get creative with your ingredients, adding green and red peppers, chives and the like.
  • You can substitute fat-free mayo if you like, but there’s a reason real mayonnaise is called “real.” First, it just¬†tastes so much better. But just as important, have you had a look at the (much longer) list of (unpronounceable) ingredients in the light and fat-free versions? A little cholesterol and fat won’t kill us. There. Lecture over.
  • Psst. This dish pairs nicely with a bottle of chilled chardonnay and a catch-up with your bestie.

About the author

Melissa Henderson

With a "See ya, hate to be ya" to the giant parking lot that is Los Angeles, Melissa Henderson sold the car, stuffed her husband into a suitcase and moved back home to Montreal, Canada, where they both now happily roam the streets by foot. She is also Very Busy not working on several unfinished novels.

Trained in journalism and linguistics at UCLA, Melissa has worked as a journalist and editor (news and magazine) since 2001. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Brand X, Up! Magazine, Soundspike and Greater Long Beach, among other publications.