Swap Mayo With Aioli For An Elevated Tuna Salad Sandwich

A bowl of classic tuna salad gets its creaminess from spoonfuls of mayonnaise mixed with other ingredients like mustard and often sweet pickle relish. The condiment not only makes the tuna salad creamy, it also infuses the easy-to-make dish with tanginess. There are many ways to elevate tuna salad before using it on a sandwich or in a wrap, and one particularly delicious way is by swapping out the mayonnaise and using aioli instead.

Aioli and mayonnaise are not extremely different, so the aioli will still pull together the tuna flakes and other ingredients like celery and onions. If you aren't familiar with aioli, it's actually sometimes confused with mayonnaise, and some recipes even call for mayo to make the dip. That said, an authentic aioli is very much its own thing: traditionally a thick emulsion of just olive oil and garlic. Occasionally, aioli might include lemon juice, herbs like parsley, or anchovy paste for more flavor. This ingredient swap will give your tuna salad a rich flavor boost from the fresh garlic while making it just as creamy.

Roasted garlic and lemon aiolis give tuna salad more flavor

You can easily make aioli from scratch to use in tuna salad, especially if you refer to our original recipe for homemade garlic aioli. You can then boost the flavors of a homemade recipe with a head of roasted garlic, lemon juice, or anchovy paste. To make it easier on yourself, buy a bottle of pre-made aioli at the grocery store. Either way, use about the same amount of aioli as you would mayonnaise to reach your desired creaminess. If you don't have a go-to tuna salad recipe, we have a recipe for spruced up tuna salad that would be perfect for this one-to-one ingredient swap.

Once you have the aioli ready to go, there are other ingredients that will complement the sauce in tuna salad. For more crunch to contrast with the creamy aioli, use chopped celery, red onion, shredded carrots, capers for salty bursts, pitted olives, or red and green bell peppers. To balance the richness of the aioli, use a squirt of fresh lemon juice for additional acidity, Dijon mustard, or your favorite hot sauce for some heat. Going with fresh herbs like dill and parsley or a blend of spices like cayenne pepper, mustard powder, and garlic and onion powders is an easy way to finish this tuna salad. Now, it's time to pile toasted bread with tomato, avocado, leafy greens, sharp cheddar cheese, and spoonfuls of the aioli tuna salad for a flavor-packed sandwich.