Turn heads with this unique low FODMAP tuna salad. This low FODMAP tuna salad recipe is mayonnaise free and takes canned tuna to another level with a dill, capers and tahini dressing.
I like this recipe because it’s easy, light, refreshing and really transforms something as cheap as canned tuna into an exciting lunch, snack or even starter. I’ll show you how to make and transform canned tuna with a delicious and different low FODMAP salad dressing for tuna salad.
Here’s a quick overview of everything I’ll go over in this post:
- Low FODMAP Tuna Salad Notes
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Low FODMAP Tuna Salad Substitutes
- How To Make It & 6 Ways To Serve
- FAQ About Tuna Salad & IBS
Let’s knock the FODMAP notes out of the way first.
Low FODMAP Tuna Salad Notes
This low FODMAP tuna recipe highlights canned tuna. You may think the answer is yes when asking, “is canned tuna low FODMAP?” But not all canned tunas are low FODMAP. So, let’s talk about the ingredients quickly.
Is tuna fish low FODMAP? Tuna fish itself is FODMAP free because proteins do not contain any FODMAPs but canned tuna might not be.
Canned tuna comes packed in oil or “broth.” Oil and fats are FODMAP free (yes, even soy oil) so oil-packed tuna is safe. But some water-packed tuna contains broth with sneaky high FODMAP ingredients.
StarKist, Bumblebee (water-packed tuna), and Chicken of the Sea all list vegetable broth as an ingredient in their water-packed tuna.
This vegetable broth may be made with seasonings like garlic, onion and even contain soy. Avoid products with vague listings like, “natural seasoning” or “herbs” unless the exact ingredients are listed clearly.
I recommend choosing canned tuna like the ones below. I’ve translated them because they’re written in Dutch but there’s only 3 ingredients: Tuna, water or oil and salt.
Below are some canned tuna brands in the US that are safe:
*Bumble Bee Tuna packed in water contains “vegetable broth.”
Low FODMAP Mayo-Free Dressing
The star of this low FODMAP tuna salad dressing is not mayonnaise, it’s tahini. Tahini is basically sesame seeds grounded up into a paste. It’s rich, creamy and gives this low FODMAP tuna salad a unique twist.
Tahini has a single low FODMAP serve of 2 tablespoons or 30 grams which is just as much as mayonnaise. So, you can use one or the other for this recipe.
Some other ingredients that go into this dressing are mustard, olive oil and lemon juice. Yellow mustard is low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon or 11 grams. You can use other mustards like dijon but that has a different FODMAP level.
Moving onto the next ingredients in this low FODMAP tuna salad: capers and olives.
Capers & Olives
I used brined green olives and capers. Capers have a single low FODMAP serve of 8 grams or 1 tablespoon. Olives have a larger FODMAP serve of 15 olives which is about half a cup or 60 grams.
Read all about olives in this article, “Are Olives Low FODMAP?”
The next two ingredients make this tuna salad sing and add some freshness to the whole dish. Last but not least: dill and parsley.
Dill, Parsley & Cucumber
Most herbs tend to be low FODMAP. Both dill and parsley have a generous low FODMAP serve of 1 cup or 16 grams. These two herbs really transform the canned tuna and make it sing.
Cucumber adds pops of freshness through the dish and is FODMAP-free. It does have a serving size of 75 grams or ½ cup on the Monash FODMAP app. The serving size recommended here is based on the nutritional guideline.
Dill, parsley, capers, olives and tuna are a match made in heaven. I love this low fat tuna salad without mayo and here are 6 reasons why you will too.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I could go on and on about why this salad is delicious but here are 6 reasons why I think you’ll love this salad:
- Perfect for any occasion: You can make this salad for lunch, take it to a potluck or BBQ, or even transform it into a fancy starter by placing small portions of it on cucumber.
- Easy low FODMAP recipes: There’s nothing easier than chopping everything up and adding it into a bowl to create a great and easy dish.
- Healthy low FODMAP recipes: This low FODMAP tuna salad is relatively low fat and only uses olive oil as a fat. It is mayo-free and has no added salt.
- The perfect meal prep: I like making a big batch of this tuna salad for the week and dress it up in different ways. Serve it in salad cups, add gluten-free pasta, or in a wrap!
- FODMAP-friendly: This version of tuna salad is filled with FODMAP friendly ingredients and will be gentle on your stomach.
- Great for every diet: This recipe is Whole30, paleo, gluten, dairy and egg free.
Low FODMAP Tuna Salad Substitutes
Everyone’s stomach reacts differently to foods on the IBS low FODMAP diet or maybe you don’t have the exact ingredients to make this recipe for tuna salad but this section will cover some ingredient substitutes that may be helpful:
Not a fan of canned tuna? You can use fresh tuna and make an amazing tuna salad! You can also swap out canned tuna for other fish like salmon, shrimp, or crab sticks. Switch up the protein altogether and use shredded chicken instead of fish.
Tahini is the base of this low FODMAP tuna salad. It gives the dish richness but if you can’t tolerate sesame seeds then swap out the tahini with yogurt or mayonnaise.
I use regular mustard but you can substitute this ingredient for whole grain or dijon mustard. You can also choose to leave out this ingredient if you don’t like or have it available.
Lemon juice is important because it lightens up the tuna salad. Especially if you’re using oil-packed tuna. You can substitute lemon juice with vinegar.
Olives & Capers
Olives and capers pair perfectly with tuna but you can use any briney or pickled vegetable in this case. You can also choose to leave these out if you’re not a fan of olives and capers. Use regular dill pickles, sun dried tomatoes or grilled red peppers instead.
Dill & Parsley
I swear by the combination of dill and fish but not everyone likes it. You can use any of your favorite fresh herbs like thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, or cilantro.
I love cucumbers because they’re FODMAP free and very refreshing but you can replace cucumbers with fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots (FODMAP free), celery* or sweetcorn.
*Celery has a red light indicator on the FODMAP app which means it needs to be eaten in moderation. It is low FODMAP at 10 grams or ¼ celery stalk.
Let’s finally learn how to make this easy low FODMAP salad and bonus: I’m going to show you 5 ways you can serve this recipe.
How To Make It & 6 Ways To Serve
Making this recipe is as easy as ABC. Simply drain the tuna, chop up all the ingredients, add them to a bowl and mix.
Voila, you’re done! But how do you transform this already fabulous tuna salad? Serve it with style 6 different ways:
1. Carrot sticks
Turn this salad into a filling lunch and use some carrot sticks to scoop up this delicious low FODMAP tuna salad. The best part? Carrots are FODMAP free.
2. Sandwich or Wrap
Keep it simple and make a classic tuna salad sandwich. Add this low FODMAP tuna salad to a slice of gluten free, sourdough bread or in a wrap. You can use this guide to help you choose low FODMAP certified bread and learn how to make your own at home!
4. Salad cups
Looking for a more exciting way to have salad? Serve this low FODMAP tuna salad in salad cups. You could also just chop up lettuce and toss in the tuna salad for minimal effort but salad cups are always fun.
Take this tuna salad recipe to new heights by serving them up as canapes or hors d’oeuvre which is just a fancy way of saying appetizers. Slice up some cucumber slices and place a teaspoon of tuna salad on each slice. 0 to bougie in seconds.
Another way to make this tuna salad way more filling is by adding it to pasta and making a low FODMAP tuna pasta salad! Use your favorite gluten-free or low FODMAP brand of pasta and you’re done.
I’ve included a short FAQ section below to wrap up this blog post.
FAQ About Tuna Salad & IBS
Have some questions about tuna salad and IBS? You might just find the answer in this section.
Can You Have Canned Tuna On Low FODMAP Diet?
Yes, proteins like meat, fish or poultry do not have any FODMAPs. However, some canned tuna like StarKist, Bumblebee (water-packed tuna), and Chicken of the Sea list vegetable broth as an ingredient.
Vegetable broth can contain onion, garlic, celery and soy. All of which are high FODMAP ingredients. Choose canned tuna with only tuna, water and salt or oil packed tuna to avoid any triggers.
Is Mayonnaise OK On Low FODMAP Diet?
Most tuna salad is made with mayonnaise and that’s completely okay because mayonnaise is low FODMAP at 2 tablespoons or 40 grams.
Just be careful of sneaky FODMAPs and make sure to double check the ingredients for onion, garlic, celery or vague descriptions like ‘natural seasonings’ ‘natural flavors’.
What Brand Of Mayonnaise Is Low FODMAP?
Best Foods Light Mayonnaise is low FODMAP. It has no garlic or onion powder added. But most mayonnaise is low FODMAP because it’s traditionally made with eggs and oil -both of which are FODMAP-free.
Just avoid vegan mayonnaise made from aquafaba (chickpea water) as it’s a high FODMAP ingredient.
What Can I Use Instead Of Mayo In Tuna Sandwich?
You can replace mayo with lactose-free yogurt, Greek yogurt or even tahini.
I hope you like this low FODMAP tuna salad as much as my family does. I think it’s a clever way to make an ingredient like canned tuna last for more than one meal. It’s also incredibly versatile and easy to change up for picky eaters.
What do you think of this healthier version of a tuna salad?
More low FODMAP salad recipes:
Low FODMAP Tuna Salad
This mayonnaise free low FODMAP tuna salad is the rich, creamy, light and refreshing. It's loaded with dill, parsley, capers, olives, cucumbers and is FODMAP-friendly. Bring this low FODMAP tuna salad to your next cookout, BBQ, potluck or lunch! (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Whole30, Paleo)
- 2 cans of tuna in oil or water (160g or 5.6 oz each)
- 1 1/2 tbs capers
- 1 1/2 tbs dill
- 2 tbs parsley
- Juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1 1/2 tbs tahini
- 2 tbs olive oil (extra virgin or garlic infused olive oil)
- 1/2 tbs mustard
- 1/4 cup olives
- 1/4 cup cucumber, cubed
- Pepper to taste
Drain the tuna and remove the liquid or oil.
Chop the dill, parsley, olives and capers into small pieces. Add them to a large bowl.
Cut the cucumber into small squares. Add the cucumber to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
Add the tahini, mustard, lemon juice and olive oil into the bowl.
Mix everything together until combined. Taste it to season. My tuna was salty enough so I didn't add any salt.
Add the tuna to the bowl and mix everything.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.