Hunting for the perfect keto tuna salad recipe? Our avocado tuna salad is the winner by a long shot. This healthy lunch is loaded with micronutrients and packed with protein to keep you full and satisfied. Meal prep a large batch or scale it down for a quick, no-cook lunch.
Keto Tuna Salad without Mayo
Tuna salad is often naturally keto-friendly given the traditional, low carb ingredients used in many recipes. Mayonnaise, for example, is low in carbs and typically serves as the sauce base in tuna salad. No harm, no foul to tuna salad with mayo.
Is mayo OK on keto?
Mayo is low carb. Also, it can be enjoyed on a keto diet! But it’s not the most nutrient-dense option around. We can do better! With avocado as the creamy sauce base, you swap out empty calories with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
While ketosis relies on carbohydrate restriction alone, a diet that satisfies all of your body’s nutrient requirements can take thoughtful planning and practice. Using avocado as a substitute for mayo in tuna is a step in the right direction.
Is tuna salad keto?
Yes. Tuna is naturally low in carbs. As long as the ingredients mixed with tuna are also relatively low carb, tuna salad can be good for keto.
If you are purchasing pre-made tuna salad from the store, it may have added sugars or ingredients that contribute to a higher carb count. You may be able to check the nutrition label to guide you, but generally, the carbs are low enough to fit within a keto diet.
Use your best judgment! And while you’re at it, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make everything from scratch at home. Allowing yourself flexibility in your diet may help you stick with it in the long run.
Is tuna salad good for losing weight?
While weight loss is primarily driven by a calorie deficit, eating foods high in protein helps with appetite regulation. After all, protein is the most satiating macronutrient--even more so than fiber or fat.
Pair that fully satisfied feeling from a high-protein meal with the appetite suppressing effects of nutritional ketosis and keto tuna salad can certainly support weight loss efforts. It can be much easier to control energy intake and maintain a calorie deficit when you aren’t ravenously hungry.
How to Make Avocado Tuna Salad
To elevate the basic combination, pair tuna and avocado with additional high-flavor, low carb ingredients. Blending basil, garlic, lemon juice, avocado oil, and sea salt with avocado develops a rich, buttery sauce. Celery and red onions add a beautiful pop of color and crunchy texture with every bite.
To combine the ingredients, a food processor is the easiest option. However, manually mashing with a utensil is a tried and true alternative to consider if you don’t have access to the processor. A mortar and pestle
Ripe avocados are best to use for this recipe as they puree and incorporate other ingredients more readily. The avocado will begin to turn brown when left out, but the lemon juice will help prevent this from happening.
Blend ripe avocado, fresh basil, garlic, sea salt, lemon juice, and avocado oil (or olive oil) until a smooth paste is formed. If employing a food processor for the dish, add chopped celery, red onion, and tuna fish. Give it two or three swift pulses to incorporate the ingredients. Or you can fold in your ingredients manually.
Serve seasoned with black pepper, spooned onto a lettuce wrap, as a dip for vegetables, wrapped in a keto tortilla, or enjoy all on its own. You may even consider baking a loaf of gluten-
If you prefer a different flavor profile, consider combining avocado with lime juice, cilantro, and diced tomatoes for guacamole tuna salad. Or perhaps keep it basic with green onion, salt, and pepper. Similarly, try garnishing with chopped nuts or seeds and play around with spices. There are endless combinations to try, make your keto tuna salad however you see fit. Be sure to share your great ideas in the comments section below!
How to Store Keto Tuna Salad
Store leftover or meal prepped tuna salad in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will help the dish remain fresh.
How long does avocado tuna salad last?
Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, keto tuna salad will last up to 5 days. This can make a great weekday lunch to make ahead and pack to work.
As written, the recipe makes 2 servings. The recipe card below allows you to scale up or down as needed on most devices. If you don’t want to store leftovers or make extra servings in advance, use the serving size option in the recipe card to drop it down.
Tools to Make Avocado Tuna Salad
Food Processor - A food processor can make quick meals even faster with just a press of the button. It’s one of the top used tools in the Ketogasm kitchen! The blending the avocado into a paste for the tuna salad only took a couple of seconds during recipe testing.
Glass Storage Containers - Airtight storage containers are imperative if you save leftovers. Storing in glass containers is safest. This is true even when reheating is not involved.
Specialty Ingredients for The Recipe
Sustainable Fish - You can use any canned tuna that fits your budget for the recipe. But it's good to know there are options from brands that aim to set the bar higher. Look for options that use sustainable fishing practices, no unnecessary food additives, and BPA-free packaging.
More Low Carb Salad Recipes
- ¼ cup basil fresh
- 1 avocado ripe
- 1 clove garlic
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 stalk celery medium, chopped
- ⅛ red onion medium, chopped
- 2 cans tuna packed in water, drained
- black pepper ground, to taste
- optional mix-ins or garnishes: chopped pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, diced tomatoes, cilantro, poppy seeds, hemp seeds
- In a food processor, blend basil, avocado, garlic, sea salt, lemon juice, and oil until smooth. Switch processor off once ingredients are well incorporated. Note: If a food processor is unavailable, manually mash and combine ingredients with a fork in a bowl.
- Add chopped celery, red onion, and canned tuna fish to food processor. Pulse minimally, 2 to 3 times, to distribute ingredients. Alternatively, manually mix in celery, onion, and tuna fish until combined.
- Season with ground pepper to taste and garnish as desired.
- Serve in a bowl alone, accompanied with veggies to dip, spread on keto bread, or on lettuce leaves as a low carb wrap.
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.