The Creamy Ingredient Swap For Tuna Salad Without Mayo

There's nothing quite like the perfect bite of a well-made tuna salad sandwich, with fresh bread giving way to the slightly briny and super creamy salad spread between the slices. However, if you're trying to avoid mayonnaise, replicating that flavor and texture might seem challenging. Yet, you can get close with one simple swap: using plain Greek yogurt instead.

Mayonnaise owes its creaminess to eggs and oil and its subtle tartness to acidic ingredients, which can range from white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to lemon juice. Greek yogurt, meanwhile, is also creamy and thick with a touch of tanginess, making it a solid substitute in a variety of dishes that typically call for mayo, from simple salads like tuna, chicken, or pasta salad to dips or sandwich spreads.

You can easily combine Greek yogurt with the tuna and your other favorite ingredients to make your salad. Alternatively, to make the yogurt mimic mayo more closely, try adding a bit of Dijon mustard, a dash of lemon juice, and a drizzle of neutral oil (like olive oil or avocado oil).

Advantages of using Greek yogurt to make tuna salad

There are plenty of reasons to consider using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a thick and creamy tuna salad. The foremost reason might be to avoid eggs in case of an allergy. Greek yogurt contains only dairy, so if you're on the hunt for an egg-free swap, it's the perfect ingredient to use.

Additionally, Greek yogurt offers several nutritional benefits. First, since yogurt is dairy-based, it's naturally packed with calcium and protein. Furthermore, according to Healthline, the probiotics in unsweetened Greek yogurt can help maintain a healthy digestive system, while the nutrients found in it may contribute to bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis among older adults. So, you'll want to be sure to check the label before you buy — not only will sweetened yogurt add a different flavor to your tuna salad, but the sugar can be detrimental to your gut health. 

Other options for mayo substitutes in tuna salad

If you're not a fan of Greek yogurt or if finding a plain, unsweetened version at your grocery store is challenging, there are other options for crafting a creamy tuna salad without using mayonnaise. First, consider using sour cream for a similar texture and tangy flavor. Alternatively, you could mix the tuna with whipped cottage cheese for a protein-packed salad.

If you're looking for non-dairy options, there are several available. Mashing avocado into the tuna creates a salad full of delicious, unsaturated fats, or you can fold the tuna into some hummus for added plant-based protein. Additionally, you can make your own mayo without eggs. Simply blend tofu with a bit of oil, mustard, and vinegar, or lemon juice until smooth, or use a few chickpeas and aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas) mixed with the other ingredients. Whether you're avoiding eggs or aiming to increase the nutrients in your tuna salad, any of these alternatives can yield creamy results without the need for traditional mayo.