fish on a diet
January 13, 2009 10:58 PM   Subscribe

best mayonnaise substitute in tuna salads?

need recommendations. trying to cut the fat down. what substitute have you tried that tasted decent for tuna salad? thanks.
posted by jak68 to Food & Drink (38 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
plain yogurt or balsamic vinaigrette.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 11:01 PM on January 13, 2009

Try this: still use mayonnaise (but only just enough to stick the tuna together) and then add *finely chopped* green apple (almost as much apple as tuna).
Per sandwich, it's lower in fat, higher in fiber, and actually more delicious than your standard tuna routine.
posted by moxiedoll at 11:19 PM on January 13, 2009 [8 favorites]

dijon mustard and/or olive oil.
posted by gnutron at 11:33 PM on January 13, 2009

With other spices, you will not be able to tell the difference between yogurt and mayo, try it. I was flabbergasted.
posted by Vaike at 11:40 PM on January 13, 2009

Low fat creme faiche - way fewer calories than mayo but still creamy and rich.
posted by schmoo at 11:50 PM on January 13, 2009

Salsa. Really tasty.
posted by sageleaf at 11:51 PM on January 13, 2009

Try Greek yogurt (it's very creamy, and low in fat). If you like, you can also add a dollop of light mayonnaise, so you still get the mayonnaise taste.
posted by teamparka at 11:58 PM on January 13, 2009

(Additional note: if you're looking to cut calories, you would obviously stick with the low-fat or non-fat varieties of the Greek yogurt. It will still be creamier than your usual yogurt, because its whey has been strained out.)
posted by teamparka at 12:04 AM on January 14, 2009

I like dijon mustard and chili garlic sauce.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:23 AM on January 14, 2009

Lemon juice, capers, dijon mustard and finely sliced red onion - yummy!
posted by shewhoeats at 1:51 AM on January 14, 2009

My go-to mayo-free mix is mustard (usually brown), lemon juice, dill, chervil, and a tiny bit of olive oil and usually some kind of crunchy/tangy bit (sweet onion, celery, diced cucumber, one crushed olive or a couple of crushed capers...that sort of thing). Tarragon and parsley are good additions, too. And don't forget the dash of sea-salt and coarse ground black pepper!
posted by batmonkey at 1:58 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've heard avocado works well, but God, that has to look just awful.

If you go that route, consider adding some chopped red pepper so it doesn't look like such a train wreck of a food.

Also, lite mayonnaise is a really non-sucky product. I realize this is hard to believe because it sounds like a violation of all that is good, but it's not bad at all.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:32 AM on January 14, 2009

Instead of lite mayo, try (don't hit me) lite Miracle Whip. It's actually pretty tasty, and does give it an extra kick. Toss in liberal amounts of oregano, grated carrots, diced celery, chopped cucumbers and red pepper with lots of black pepper. Mmm. Tasty.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:48 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I occasionally use a small to medium amount of hot sauce.
posted by inigo2 at 3:44 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nayonaise. I don't know about you, but I still want my tuna sandwich to taste like a tuna sandwich, and with this it does. I actually prefer it to mayonnaise now.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:10 AM on January 14, 2009

posted by mollweide at 4:14 AM on January 14, 2009

Low cal Ranch dressing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:39 AM on January 14, 2009

Plain yogurt + vinegar. Almost impossible to tell.
posted by rokusan at 5:15 AM on January 14, 2009

It really depends what you plan to eat with this tuna salad. If you plan to slather it on a piece of bread or a cracker, I would keep the mayo. If you plan to eat it as is, in small manageable servings over the course of a day and then will exercise that evening, I would keep the mayo. If you plan on making a pound of tuna salad and eating it in one go, I would use Nayonaise.
posted by parmanparman at 5:47 AM on January 14, 2009

Avocado, mentioned above, is pretty oily itself, although it's a pretty healthy oil which makes it a good butter substitute.
posted by beagle at 6:01 AM on January 14, 2009

Soft tofu.
posted by stavrogin at 6:23 AM on January 14, 2009

Vegenaise is a good substitute. It's not low in fat (9 grams per tablespoon serving) but only 0.5 grams of that is saturated which is the one you really need to be looking out for. You also need to be looking at the calorie content as well as fat. A lot of "low fat" versions of things have a higher sugar content which in turn gives it a higher calorie content. And if you don't use those extra calories, it gets turned into fat.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:23 AM on January 14, 2009

Another vote for Nayonaise.
posted by agentwills at 6:37 AM on January 14, 2009

I make something quite like shewhoeats -- sort of a nicoise tuna salad. Olive oil, lemon juice, capers, and finely diced red onion. Yummy.

My dad votes Nayonaise as well.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:46 AM on January 14, 2009

Lemonaise Light.
posted by *s at 7:03 AM on January 14, 2009

Have you tried Italian tuna salad? It's basically tuna, lemon, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives- there's a ton of recipes out there, but the tuna/lemon/olive oil triumvirate is the core.

Also, how much mayo do you use? You'd be surprised how little you can get away with using and still have a really satisfying sandwich.
posted by mkultra at 7:13 AM on January 14, 2009

There is no good substitute. However, many people make tuna salad with huge amounts of mayo. For an average sandwich you can get by with just a teaspoon or two.
posted by caddis at 7:17 AM on January 14, 2009

Hellman's light mayo and lowfat "mayo dressing" are each about half the calories and fat of the real stuff, and it tastes the same to me in tuna salad as the regular stuff.

I really like sprinkling in a bit of powder from a packet of ranch dressing mix, too. You can roll the top over and throw a paper-clip on to keep the rest for future sandwiches. This is even better if you chop up a bunch of crunchy veggies to add to the mix (carrots, celery, bell peppers, a smidge of onion, etc.)
posted by vytae at 7:37 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I do this, I use a little light mayo, olive oil and kick it up with extra mustard. Then, if I really need the taste of real Hellmans (known as Best Foods west of the Rockies!), I smear a little of it on the bread. The result might not be any different calorie-wise, but you are getting better fats.
posted by gjc at 7:45 AM on January 14, 2009

Low fat Miracle Whip.
posted by Kololo at 7:58 AM on January 14, 2009

Seconding Italian-style tuna salad. What with all the protein and healthy eating threads lately, I've mentioned it like three or four times in the last few days - can you tell I love Italian tuna salad? Add roasted or fresh red peppers instead of sun-dried tomato if you want a change; add cannellini beans if you want to eat it as a salad, to give it some heft and additional protein.

I like regular tuna salad, too, but this is my go-to way to make it - it's light and fresh and clean-tasting, not heavy.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:45 AM on January 14, 2009

Miso Mayo tastes great but I can't vouch for it being lighter than regular mayo.
posted by chairface at 12:15 PM on January 14, 2009

Ricotta cheese, olive oil, cream cheese, cottage cheese...anything wet that you have on hand works. If you don't do the dairy thing I think olive oil and a little mustard and pepper is pretty darn good, but then I'm a huge fan of all things mustard. Just experiment! If you like it by itself, its deliciousness will amplify when adding canned tuna and other accoutrements.
posted by nonmerci at 12:18 PM on January 14, 2009

Oh, and I should add that any of those in a low-fat option would work really well, especially the cheesy stuff. Additionally, a little bit of olive oil goes a long way, and its chock full of good stuff for you and healthy fat your body needs to function. Dieting =/= no-fat.
posted by nonmerci at 12:18 PM on January 14, 2009

I usually use low-fat cream cheese, softened in the microwave. Add some curry powder and chopped apple and you've got yourself a sandwich.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:02 PM on January 14, 2009

Tzatziki. I use it in place of mayonnaise and sour cream quite frequently. Delicious!
posted by nathaole at 4:48 PM on January 14, 2009

Response by poster: Great list! Thanks for the tips everyone.
posted by jak68 at 7:05 PM on January 14, 2009

Wow, we tried the tuna/granny smith apple mix and were blown away. Fabulous. I can't wait to try it with a little curry powder mixed in.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:03 PM on February 3, 2009

« Older Napalm is right out.   |   how to route 2 wans with the same subnet Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.