[Delish Ways to Veg up…] Tuna Salad!

While stuffing my face yesterday I realized something — I have an entire arsenal of recipes that have never been posted.  I guess I figured simple dishes like sandwiches, wraps, salads, and such were boring and didn’t merit their own post.  But what they could use, is a little attention here and there =)  I usually sneak them into my WIAWs but I’ve decided to whip up a few posts on how I take a simple ho-hum dish and amp up the nutrition density.  I gave up counting calories when they started to take over my life a few years ago… so instead I count veggies!

The glory of this is that there is no right and wrong — you can count the volume/amount of veggies added to a dish or count the variety of colorful produce makes it into your meal. Regardless, it’s a positive and healthy way to approach a meal, right?  Win-win!  Every week or so I’ll toss up a [Veg Up!] post and count veggies instead of calories!  Taking your typical diet and vegging it up takes a little practice, but once the habit is formed, your body will thank you in a bazillion different ways!  Shiny hair, strong nails, glowing skin, a happy heart, and even a little sparkle in your eyes or a skip in your step.  So join me, and challenge yourself to add extra veg to your favorite dishes!

Let’s kick things off with the lunch that inspired this post:

Veggie Tuna Salad

Healthy Veggie Tuna Salad

What’s in it?

5oz chunk light tuna canned in water, drained
[Bonus! chunk light tuna is lower in mercury than albacore]

a pinch of garlic powder

a pinch of dried minced onion or onion powder

a dollop of mayo or greek yogurt [start with just a little and only add more if you need it!]

1 tsp [or more!] of your favorite mustard [I heart plain yellow]

S+P to taste

Veggies Added toss in as many veggies as you do tuna — or more!

shredded carrots

shredded radish

finely chopped or shredded celery
finely chopped white or red onion
chopped kosher dill pickles [relish works too!]

Sandwich Time!

To make into a super flavorful sandwich that rivals your local deli, combine all ingredients, spread onto fluffy rye bread with a little mustard, arugula [or crisp romaine!] and dig. in!  Tuna and rye are a match made in heaven so hunt down some whole grain rye instead of the typical white bread.  If you have ’em, onion and tomato are also di-vine piled on top of this sandwich.  Use what you have and, as always, have fun with it!  A colorful lunch is a satisfying lunch =)
Healthy Veggie Tuna Salad

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You may be tempted to whine “But Jennnnnn, adding extra crap to something as simple as a tuna salad sandwich takes so much extra work.  All that chopping and slicing…”

But to that, I have two things to say:
1. Shut your beautiful mouth and 2. I have a solution!

Veg up a week’s worth of eats by prepping raw veggies just once over the weekend. You can do this with a trusty chef’s knife and cutting board or break out your food processor.  The last batch I whipped up in my cheap-o food processor included finely diced/shredded celery, carrots, and radish.  A handful went into a mini-batch of veggie cream cheese and  I simply chopped up 1/4 a giant dill pickle and added it to another handful of shredded veggies for a practically effortless tuna salad.  Now I have just enough leftover to toss on top of a big fat salad.  See?  Ridiculously easy meals for just a few minutes of work!

Get your gluten-free on or simply save calories by piling this veggie filled tuna salad atop a bed of greens.  If you’re feelling feisty or just working with minimal ingredients scoop it up with a chunk of lettuce or even tortilla chips!  You can even go full on mexican with a vegged up Fiesta Tuna Salad w/ avocado.  It’s kind of a big deal around here.  It has many leather-bound books and an apartment that smells of rich mahogany…  It’s the Ron Burgundy of tuna salad spin-offs.

So add some extra OOMPH to your tuna salad with veggies. Don’t rely on gobs of fat for flavor — let the veggies do all the work!

And while you’re at it… try this healthy tuna salad stuffed into cucumber cups!

Veggie Tuna Salad Cucumber Cups

Do you veg up your tuna salad?  If not, you totally will now… right? =)


  1. says

    To be honest, I actually can’t stand tuna – taste or smell. But my husband LOVES tuna. and he NEVER eats enough vegetables. I may just have to try this to get some veggies into HIS diet :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh says

    I seriously never thought about putting radishes in there (just ate tuna lettuce “tacos”) but you can bet I will next week!  YUM!

  3. ccadieux2 says

    Oh wow, just today I wrote on my blog for readers to tell me their fav tuna eats! I have 2 cans in my cupboard and have NEVER tried it before… I am scared… but I am brave!! I have all the ingredients  you used in my kitchen right now. Could it be a sign?! Thanks <3

  4. says

    I don’t really like any fish actually. perhaps that is more the problem. I did however save this page to pinterest so that I can try it out one of these days on my husband. Will probably wait till its warm enough to open a window though so I can try and deal with the tuna smell 😡 lol. 

  5. says

    I used to feel that way until my mom made it fun, then I got ridiculously and hopelessly addicted! But it def is a strong strong smell and flavor — do you like any fish at all? If so I you might like it with fresh [or leftover!] grilled salmon. I’ll dig up the recipe if you do — just let me know! <3 and thanks for the sweet comment even though you’re not a tuna fan! xoxo

  6. Yen Vu says

    I like that…counting veggies instaed of calories.  I love your add-ons to the tuna salad! I feel healthier already =)

  7. Naturallysweetrecipes says

    Oohh! Love the Idea! I usually just do tuna! New views and ideas are coming into my brain this minute and I can’t wait to try them!
    Thanks for new ideas!
    Chelsea @ Naturally Sweet Recipes

  8. Sprint2theTable says

    My mom used to make this EVERY Sunday after church. She added apples to the mix… which sounds weird but we loved it!

    Yay for veggies!!!

  9. Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama says

    My weeks are so much better when I prep all my veggies in advanced. I only do it about 50% of the time though. I love all your add ins to the standard tuna salad!

  10. says

    Your recipe looks tasty, love all the veggies.  If you really want to get creative you can make this totally vegetarian using a combination of sunflower seeds and almonds..  Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. says

    I really have always loved tuna salad.  I’m making this for sure.  I normally don’t put veggies in it.  Actually, I normally mix tuna with salsa and beans (it swear it’s good!)

  12. Lauren says

    Love the concept of counting veggies, I think it’s much more manageable to think of the additive things rather than what needs to be yanked from our diets. Have you tried tunas in a jar? So flavorful. I add red onion, celery, jicama and a little red cabbage to tuna. I also have it over greens. Never enough veg. Don’t think these are boring recipes I think these are the ones we all use time and time again. 

  13. CollegeCulinista says

    This looks amazing! I love tuna salad, but I always feel guilty about the mayo…greek yogurt is a great solution!

  14. Ashley says

    I know this is an old post, but this was AWESOME.  I put my tuna salad into a red bell pepper.  Double awesome.  I love greek yogurt!

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