Tuna and Bean Salad


A no-mayo tuna salad

I’m a big fan of tuna salad, but when I want something different and lighter, Tuna and Bean Salad is a great option. This is a modified version of one found on nytimes.com. It uses tuna and white beans to deliver a healthy protein boost. And, the dressing enhances a light lemon flavor without adding tons of calories.

tuna and bean salad

The result is a salad that’s less than 150 calories, for one serving. And that’s perfect for lunch. Especially if eaten with some salad greens.

Feeling hungry? Just have it all! The whole bowl is still under 300 calories and if you are counting calories you know this leaves plenty of room for dessert other side dishes.

Eat your beans for healthy protein

Did you know? According to the book Blue Zones by Dan Buettner, the longest living people on earth share some core habits, one of which is to eat beans every day. Beans are a cheap, easy and healthy source of plant based protein. People in the “blue zones” tend to live much longer, healthier and happier than the rest of us. We should probably all incorporate some of these habits into our lives!

This makes a delicious light salad

tuna and bean salad

I decided to try mine with cucumber and tomato slices which was especially yummy!

It’s a great light lunch on a hot summer day that leaves you satisfied; no reaching for a snack in an hour because you didn’t have enough protein.

I will also share a guilty pleasure: I occasionally use bottled salad dressing – GASP!, it’s true! So, if you have a favorite salad dressing, go ahead and use that on the tuna and bean salad. #nojudging!

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Tuna and Bean Salad

Light and satisfying!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 136kcal
Author: Sula


  • ¼ medium red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tb red wine vinegar
  • 1 can (5-6 oz) water-packed tuna drained
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TB light mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning


  • Place the onion in a bowl and add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Add enough water to just cover the onion. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Dry on paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl combine tuna, beans, onions and parsley.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss dressing with the tuna and beans. Serve with salad greens or cucumber and tomato slices as preferred.


Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

Like more bean based salads? Try Asparagus-Cannellini Bean Salad, Chickpea, Carrot and Arugula Salad or Mediterranean Chopped Salad.

If you love tuna, Try making a Nicoise Salad. And these tuna salad pickle boats are one of my favorite appetizers that make a great quick lunch.


    8 thoughts on “Tuna and Bean Salad

    1. 5 stars
      Love this recipe! My daughter loves tuna too and always trying different ways to serve it up, especially for school lunches. Going to give this a go tomorrow!

    2. Looks great. I am always looking for ways to dress up my salads. Tuna is a go to but I keep forgetting about beans! Have you ever tried this with chicken? How did that work?

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