This tuna Waldorf salad is a healthy spin on the classic Waldorf salad. It makes for a quick and easy lunch that doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture. Sweet red grapes, celery, pepitas and walnuts come together with creamy yogurt and can be served over a bed of greens or with toasted bread.
Tuna used to absolutely horrify me.
I have vivid memories of my dad making tuna melts in the toaster oven as a kid and that horrible stench wafting through the house.
In fact, I was actually averse to all fish until somewhere around 8th or 9th grade when I finally got my act together.
There was this time as a young kid I got myself so worked up over eating shrimp in a stir fry my mom made for dinner that I ended up having an asthma attack over it. We then thought I was allergic to shellfish for the next 8+ years because of it.
Spoiler – I’m not. I just really didn’t want to eat shrimp that night.
Fish still freak me out when I’m swimming among them (on our honeymoon in Tahiti, I screamed so loud through the snorkel when I came across an eel Ulysses heard it from the beach) but I’ll happily eat them when they’re not swimming around, congregating in groups and being all slimy.
They’re one of the few things in life I guess I can say I prefer dead to alive.
So on that note…let’s talk tuna!
It still smells just as nasty as I remember, but there isn’t a time when I don’t keep a few of those super convenient packets on hand for a quick lunch.
It’s protein that doesn’t need defrosting and with just a few add-ins can turn into a pretty decent meal in no time.
Grapes and tuna started sounding real good sometime in the late morning yesterday and eventually, my thought process led to a “healthified” Waldorf salad except with tuna instead of the usual chicken.
Here’s something I’d love to know…why do they make cans of both chicken and tuna but only packets of tuna and not chicken? Someone needs to get on that.
Packets > watery cans.
Instead of the traditional mayonnaise used in a Waldorf salad, I opted for yogurt. You still get all that lovely creamy texture in a more protein packed, lower fat manner. It’s a win/win.
Served over some chopped watercress (or any other baby green), it’s practically the pinnacle of health.
Try these apple cheddar tuna patties for another way to enjoy canned (or packet) tuna.
And if you prefer salmon for your salads, my dijon dill salmon salad is a great option.
This sardine salad recipe is almost identical too if you’re a sardine fan.
What is the Waldorf Salad?
The classic Waldorf salad was originally made with apples, celery, and mayo.
It made its debut in New York City at a children’s charity in the 1800s (at the Waldorf Astoria hotel).
Since then, most people have transformed this traditional salad recipe into their own, which is how I came up with this tuna salad version.
What Makes This Tuna Salad Healthy?
Protein-Packed: The canned tuna adds a ton of protein that’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Choose lower-mercury varieties (such as Albacore or canned light tuna) and look for wild and sustainably caught.
Fruits and Veggies: We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us and this salad is full of them with celery and apples.
Walnuts and Pepitas: Full of healthy fats and known to have disease-fighting properties these ingredients add crunch and the fats needed for satiety.
What To Use Instead of Mayo in Tuna Salad
Greek yogurt is not only another good source of protein in this tuna salad, it’s also a healthier swap for the traditional mayonnaise the Waldorf recipe calls for.
If you’re a die hard mayo fan though, try this homemade gluten free mayo in this recipe or use half mayo, half yogurt.
Ingredients Needed for This Tuna Waldorf Salad Recipe
- grapes – I like using red grapes. The sweetness balances out the other ingredients.
- walnuts – you could easily use pecans or almonds if you choose
- lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- baby greens
How to Make Tuna Salad with Grapes
Add all of the tuna salad ingredients except for the grapes into a large mixing bowl.
Once it’s combined, fold in the grapes and serve over the baby greens or with some toasted bread.
How To Make a Dairy-Free Version of This Waldorf Salad
If you can’t have regular yogurt, simply replace with your favorite plant-based alternative yogurt.
I love using plain unsweetened coconut yogurt (the Culina brand is my favorite) in this recipe as I personally avoid cow’s milk dairy these days.
I find coconut yogurt to be the best replacement for Greek yogurt thanks to its thick texture.
Other Ways to Serve Tuna Salad
- With your favorite cracker
- Open faced with some toasted bread
- Dip with raw veggies
- On a sandwich or wrap
- With a croissant (if you like the decadent approach)
- In a pita pocket
Storing and Making Ahead
This healthy tuna Waldorf salad will keep for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This recipe is also great for meal prep if you want to eat it as a snack, lunch, or light dinner.
Prep the fruits and veggies ahead of time. Just wait until you are ready to actually make it before adding the apples so they don’t turn brown.
MORE GREAT LUNCH RECIPES LIKE THIS:
- 7 ounces canned or packaged tuna, drained
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 large Granny Smith (or other tart apple), finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped red grapes
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt such as coconut yogurt)
- salt and pepper to taste
- baby greens for serving (watercress, arugula, spinach, etc.)
- Combine all ingredients except grapes in a bowl and mash together.
- Gently fold in the grapes.
- Serve atop a bed of baby greens or with toasted bread.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 8gSugar: 32gProtein: 21g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
*This post was originally published April 2012. The recipe, photographs and text have been updated as of April 2022.