This Healthy Tuna Salad features the distinct flavors of black beans and ranch, and sunflower seeds add a satisfying, nutty crunch. Perfect for tuna salad sandwiches, wraps, or to serve on top of salad. This easy tuna salad will become a lunchtime lifesaver, especially if you're tired of eating the same old lunch every day!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
This tasty and healthy tuna salad is much more exciting than your classic tuna salad recipe. Even though it's only 4 ingredients, there's a variety of textures and flavors that make this easy tuna salad worth making over and over!
Best of all, it's not all the bad for you! Using light ranch dressing instead of mayo cuts a lot of the calories and fat, and the black beans provide some great fiber and will keep you nice and full!
If you have extra black beans, try making this Chickpea and Black Bean Snack Mix! It's light, crunchy, inexpensive, and guilt-free!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
For a complete list of ingredients, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- canned tuna - I used light tuna in water to make this easy tuna salad as healthy as possible.
- black beans - provide another layer of flavor and texture and make this recipe so satisfying.
- sunflower seeds - add some crunch and a subtle, nutty taste.
- ranch dressing - a great substitute for mayo.
Please note: This is an overview of the instructions. You'll find the complete instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Combine the tuna, black beans, sunflower seeds, and ranch dressing in a bowl.
- Mix well and serve with crackers, on a sandwich or a wrap, or as a salad topping.
Light ranch dressing is a great option for a mayo substitute that also provides a great boost of flavor. You could also try hummus, greek yogurt, or mashed avocado to get the same kind of creamy texture.
If you're looking for a healthy option, chunk light tuna tends to be lower in calories and fats than other kinds of tuna on the market. It also tends to have less mercury, but you also miss out on some of the omegas from other kinds of tuna like yellowfin or albacore. Also, look for tuna packed in water, as this foregoes any added salt or calories.
Yes! Tuna is cooked enough before the canning process that it's perfectly safe to enjoy it right out of the can.
Comparing canned tuna and chicken, tuna tends to be lower in fat (and saturated fat in particular) while being high in protein and containing omega-3 fatty acids that can be good for heart health.
The best way to keep your healthy tuna salad fresh and tasting good is to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last up to 5 days.
I don't recommend freezing tuna salad though. When frozen, the ranch dressing can take on a strange consistency once thawed out, so it's best to enjoy this tuna salad a few days after you've made it.
💭 Helpful Tips
- If you're using this recipe to make a tuna salad sandwich, be sure to assemble the sandwich only when you're about to it eat. Bringing it with you to work or school? Pack the tuna and bread separately to prevent sogginess!
- Adjust the amount of ranch dressing to your taste. If your tuna salad isn't holding together well, add a bit more dressing. If it's too thin, try adding some more tuna or black beans.
This easy tuna salad is absolutely perfect for meal prep! Make a big batch during the weekend and store it in the fridge to pull out when it comes time for lunch throughout the week. It's great for a filling tuna salad sandwich or to spoon on top of a salad.
- There are a number of other ingredients that would taste delicious in this healthy tuna salad. Diced celery, red onion, dill pickles, scallions, and parsley would all be perfect additions to this recipe!
- Sprinkle some French-fried onions over top for more flavor and crunch. They're not super healthy, so use them sparingly!
- You can also use dressings aside from ranch. Try this easy tuna salad with dijon mustard and lemon juice, Greek yogurt, or a light mayo.
- Simple salt and pepper make for great seasonings if you need more flavor, but you could also try adding some paprika, mustard powder, garlic salt, or whatever you have on hand!
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
This healthy tuna salad also works great as a dinner when paired with some substantial sides. Try it with these Air Fryer Green Beans or Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts. It would go great beside or on top of this Vegetarian Kale Caesar Salad, and for a tuna salad sandwich with some extra flair, serve it on homemade Slow Cooker Olive Bread!
🍞 More Sandwich Recipes
- Crock Pot Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches - This recipe is perfect for nights when you know you'll be busy; pop it in the slow cooker in the morning and all you have to do in the evening is assemble!
- Chili Cheese Grilled Cheese - A delicious twist on the classic grilled cheese.
- Sausage Mozzarella Sandwich with Chipotle Lime Slaw - These sandwiches are full of unexpected flavor and a great way to break up the monotony of regular weeknight dinners!
- Simple Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches - If you're looking for breakfast (or breakfast for dinner!) look no further than these tasty and simple waffle sandwiches.
Healthy Tuna Salad
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📋 Recipe Card
Black Bean Ranch Tuna Salad
- 10 ounces chunk light tuna in water (2 cans)
- 1/2 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing (I used a light version)
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Serve with crackers or as a sandwich filling.
- Use extra sunflower seeds for some extra crunch.
- French fried onions (like the kind made by French's) sprinkled on top are delicious! (But not healthy, so use sparingly!)
- Be sure to wait to assemble your tuna salad sandwich until right before eating to prevent the bread from getting soggy.
- Adjust the amount of dressing/tuna to achieve your desired consistency.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in January 2016, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in June 2021.
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