11 Mayo Swaps For Your Next Batch Of Tuna Salad

Gotham Bagels has many delicious options, but perhaps one of the most appetizing is the tuna fish salad bagel. Gotham's traditional tuna fish bagel sandwich includes a homemade tuna salad (of course), cream cheese, arugula, tomato, and red onion. According to Gotham, this delicious spread has roots as far back as 1907. It didn't really gain popularity until the 1930s, and by the 1950s, it became a popular lunchtime choice across the world.

Now, tuna may be a popular lunchtime option, but there are plenty of ways to turn this classic sandwich on its head. For a deliciously green twist, tap into the green goddess salad craze for a delicious dressing swap on your classic tuna salad sandwich. Typically, you can enjoy this salad as a pre-made, purchasable dressing or even make it from scratch with Greek yogurt, lemon, capers, herbs, and spices. For something totally different, you can add soy sauce to your tuna salad to get a little extra umami flavor. What makes this option even better is that this is one of the secrets to Jimmy John's delicious tuna salad.

There are plenty of ways to take a basic tuna fish sandwich and upgrade it, but there are also some great ways to change a key ingredient in your tuna fish. Swapping mayo out for an alternative can help create a sandwich that aligns more with your health goals, flavor preferences, and even texture desires. One thing is clear: You can swap out mayo for many tasty alternatives.

Greek yogurt makes for a protein-rich tuna salad

When searching for a quality alternative to mayo, you're going to want something that mimics the flavor, consistency, and even color of the ingredient. Since Greek yogurt can hit all of these categories, it is an excellent swap for mayo in nearly any dish you need, including tuna salad.

Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are similar, but there are some substantial differences. For one, you'll notice a thicker texture and also more protein in Greek yogurt. However, like regular yogurt, you'll find it in a variety of different flavors to suit your needs and tastes. Obviously, when you're using Greek yogurt as a swap for tuna, you'll use plain yogurt rather than something sweet like strawberry or even vanilla.

To swap mayo with greek yogurt in your tuna salad, you'll add some additional ingredients to get that slightly salty flavor. Start with mixing cornstarch with white vinegar to create the base for that tartness. Add in some of your plain Greek yogurt, and then you'll put that on your stove. Heat it up until it all begins to get thicker. After you finish with the stove, put this mixture into your food processor or blender. Add in the rest of your yogurt tub and some other ingredients to help keep that mayo mimic alive. This should include Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt. Then, after it blends to a great consistency, you're ready to use it as a substitute.

Vegan mayo creates an eggless tuna salad

When considering alternatives for mayo, you should consider why you want the change to begin with. Is it for health reasons? Or are you avoiding animal products? Or does the idea of eating eggs make you feel a little sick? If that's the case, but you still enjoy the taste of mayo, consider swapping traditional mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise. There have been many vegan mayos that come out, but perhaps none of them are as tasty as the vegan mayo from Sir Kensington's.

Sir Kensington's classic vegan mayo uses sunflower oil, aquafaba, lemon juice, and other tartening agents to bring this vegan mayo to life. Aquafaba is an excellent substitute for eggs and can even be whipped up to form peaks like eggs can. We love this swap because vegan mayo is plant-based and does not use eggs. If you choose to use or make vegan tuna, with vegan mayo, you can create vegan tuna salad that will fit right into your plant-based diet. Even if you plan on using regular tuna, you're going to find that vegan mayo can taste just as great as regular mayo.

Turn your tuna salad green with avocado

Avocado is the fresh ingredient swap that can take the place of mayo for a flavorful tuna salad. In fact, this is one of our favorite avocado hacks, and it's so good, you'll probably wish you knew it sooner. Like vegan mayo, avocados provide a plant-based alternative. Not to mention, avocados are pretty healthy. BBC explains that avocados have a wealth of vitamin E and folate. In addition, since avocados are such a substantial source of monounsaturated fats, this favorite toast topper can help manage your blood pressure and even lower your cholesterol. You may even find that avocados can help control your appetite.

With all of that in mind, this little swap begins looking more and more beneficial. While it will make your tuna salad a little green, it does provide a fair amount of creaminess to create a texture you're sure to love. Since avocados don't have the same tartness as mayonnaise, you'll want to add salt and a little vinegar or lemon to achieve a similar effect. To increase that creaminess, consider adding a dollop of that Greek yogurt. It'll no doubt add some intrigue to your tuna salad. You can also enjoy avocado as a substitute for mayo by slicing the avocado, placing it on bread, and putting tuna on top.

Go simple with olive oil

While tuna salad is delicious, if you eat it often enough, you can begin getting sick of the same basic recipe. Swaps are a great way to bring new life to your favorite sandwich filling. Another great switch we love to make in our tuna salad is olive oil in place of mayo. Olive oil, all on its own, would be delicious, but olive oil-based dressings will make your tuna salad even better.

A vinaigrette salad dressing, for example, won't get you the creaminess that mayo does, but it'll still pack a ton of flavor. The basics of vinaigrette include oil, an acid of some kind, salt, and then some aromatics. For a really basic option, mix four tablespoons of olive oil, three teaspoons of good red wine vinegar, some shallots, a little Dijon, and then a quarter teaspoon of coarse ground pepper. Fresh will be best here, so kick that pre-ground stuff to the curb. On the other hand, to create a salad dressing that offers something a little creamier, mix up four tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons each of lemon juice, tahini, and delicious fresh dill. Be sure also to include two teaspoons of water and a quarter teaspoon of cumin. You'll find that the nuttiness of the tahini adds something different, and the dill will compliment your tuna salad beautifully. In summary, olive oil is great, but when paired with a few buddies, it's even better.

Switch things up with hummus

You have to be careful when choosing your swaps. After all, only some substitutes will work for some dishes. While hummus isn't always the perfect option, with tuna salad, it's a pretty great substitute for mayonnaise. While there are many variations on the basic hummus recipe, typically, as a base, hummus will be a mash of chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, and a bit of intrigue in the form of lemon juice and garlic.

Hummus is one of those delicious dips you can readily find at any grocery store, but we, personally, think a homemade simple creamy hummus is the way to go, and it couldn't be any simpler. In a food processor, add a can of chickpeas, some liquid from the can, a little tahini, juice from half a lemon, two tablespoons of olive oil, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Get it all mixed and combine it in the food processor for roughly a minute. To use hummus as the substitute for mayo, add it in for an equivalent amount. After you add it to your tuna salad, give your mixture a taste. If it needs more tartness, consider adding more lemon juice and a little salt. Like anything else, you can tweak the hummus recipe to your taste. Plus, with the extras, you can dip fresh veggies or pita chips for a nice side dish.

Aioli is not just flavored mayo

While it may seem like an easy swap because aioli and mayonnaise seem to be virtually the same condiment, these two items are actually quite different. Aioli and mayonnaise are easily confused because they're both creamy and generally white; however, the difference comes in the form of ingredients.

When it comes to learning everything you'll need to know about aioli, it's essential to know that aioli is mostly oil and garlic that have been emulsified. Mayonnaise, on the other hand, comes from eggs with canola oil and other flavorings. Unfortunately, there are plenty of restaurants and taverns that refuse to separate aioli from mayonnaise and often use the term "aioli" across the board. Then, what you end up with on your burger is simply flavored mayonnaise. After all, aioli can take a little time to make. However, with a great aioli, you can add something unique to your tuna salad in place of mayonnaise. We should note here that this substitution isn't a shortcut, but it will add a fun flavor.

Get cheesy with cottage cheese

Tuna salad is already delicious, even without adding anything else to it. And while the old adage may tell you not to fix it if it isn't broken, we think even classics are fun to switch up. In the case of tuna salad, cheeses are an absolutely great add. In the way of a tuna melt, there are plenty of tasty ways to add cheese, but milder cheese will probably be your best bet.

On the other hand, cottage cheese is a great substitution for mayo. Plus, cottage cheese is actually nutrient-rich, with a whopping 28 grams of protein for each cup of cottage cheese. If you're curious, Greek yogurt in the same amount has roughly 13 grams of protein. Plus, with cottage cheese, you can also enjoy a nice boost of vitamin B6 and bone-strengthening calcium. Therefore, when you replace mayo with cottage cheese, you're going to be creating a very robustly protein-hearty substitution. Add in a little lemon juice to help achieve a bit more tartness to your tuna fish; just be sure to taste as you go so as not to over-add.

If you want to go all out with a cheesy sandwich, replace the mayo in your tuna salad with cottage cheese, and then top that dollop of tuna fish with a slice of mild cheddar cheese. Toast the whole thing in a pan, and this is a great way to winterize a classic picnic favorite.

Create a white bean tuna salad

While many swaps aim to mimic the original ingredient, white beans do not directly simulate mayo. Instead, you can replace that creamy ingredient with canned white beans. Healthline reports that white beans are a very healthy item you can easily incorporate into your diet. Not only are they heavy in protein, but they also give you a hefty amount of fiber to help improve the overall health of your digestive health. Between those two feats, white beans may even allow you to maintain a body weight that is healthy for you.

For a different spin on tuna fish salad, gather tuna fish that is packed in olive oil. Then, mix tuna with capers, arugula, and some of that tuna olive oil for a nontraditional tuna fish salad. While hummus is a fabulous swap for mayonnaise, you could also take that premise and apply it to white beans. This way, you would still maintain that creaminess typical of tuna fish salad but with a delicious protein spin.

If white beans and their health benefits are of interest to you, you may be happy to hear that tuna fish is just the beginning. If you're looking to add more white beans to your diet, consider adding them to your pizza.

Make your tuna salad Greek with tzatziki

We love a swap that maintains the same constancy and adds a new flavor. For tzatziki, you hit on both of these cornerstones. This delicious Greek sauce is a creamy sauce of simple ingredients. Like hummus, you can easily find this one already made in the store. In fact, it's normally placed right next to hummus. However, for an extra fresh-tasting flavor, gather simple ingredients and make your own.

To make classic tzatziki sauce, begin by grating cucumber into a nice pile. Take care as you use a box grater to grate at least half a cucumber. Next, you'll wrap that cucumber in a paper towel and wring it to remove the excess liquid, so it doesn't get in your sauce. Then, add Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and salt. Stir everything together in a nice big bowl. We recommend placing that in the fridge to allow flavors to gather together. Then, when it's time to enjoy your tuna fish salad, add that tuna with your fresh sauce. Plus, you'll probably make more than enough to have extra for gyros and other veggies later on.

Freshen up the flavor with pesto

Like tzatziki, pesto introduces a whole new flavor to the tuna fish salad mix. Over at Joe & The Juice, you can get a toasted sandwich featuring tuna, avocado, and pesto. This delicious combination is proof of concept that tuba goes excellent with pesto, and if that's the case, it might as well be a delicious substitution for the classic mayo addition. This popular green sauce is delicious in so many other ways, it might as well find its way into such a delicious sandwich.

To make a great basil pesto, you'll combine garlic, pine nuts, lemon, basil, olive oil, salt, and capers in a blender or food processor and puree for a few minutes until you get a texture of pesto that you are happy with. To use it for making tuna salad, slowly incorporate it into the tuna until you are happy with the salad's texture and taste.

This substitution is not ideal for someone hoping for a swap that will yield a similar flavor to traditional tuna salad. But if you're looking for something a little different, pesto is perfect. With the leftovers that you may have, consider using them as a homemade pizza topping. Or, for a delicious dinner, add it to any type of pasta and top it with Parmesan.

Add some tang with sour cream

For another fantastic mayo swap that is perfect in tuna salad, reach for sour cream. This delicious cream gets its perfect bit of bite from a bacteria that produces lactic acid. Often, sour cream is a fabulous topper for baked potatoes and even as a base for onion dip.

Sour cream is also the perfect substitution for mayo or other mayo-based dishes, like deviled eggs. Since it has a similar texture to mayo, sour cream will create that same consistency you love, and the tang of the sour cream also makes for a great compliment to the tuna. Be sure to use a full-fat sour cream when you make this swap.

If you do not have cream cheese around the house, consider using crème fraîche. In fact, if you're concerned the tanginess of the sour cream may be too much, crème fraîche may very well be the better swap. Like sour cream, it has a rich and smooth texture, and it may in fact make for an even creamier tuna salad.