Calorie Savers: Tuna (and Egg and Chicken) Salad Makeovers!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Quick, easy and delicious ways to save calories (and sometimes money)!
Add fiber, cut the fat and stretch the portions of tuna, chicken or egg salad!

Tuna salad: 205 calories; 10.6 g fat (serving is half a can of tuna)
Chicken salad: 239 calories; 11.4 g fat (serving is half a chicken breast)
Egg salad: 124 calories; 9.9 g fat (serving is 2 eggs)

  • Mix in 1 cup of your favorite crunchy vegetables: celery, carrots, cucumber, onion, peppers, fennel, zucchini, etc. (Or try thawing frozen chopped broccoli or cauliflower.) You'll stretch another portion with each cup of vegetables you add.
    Tuna salad: save 85 calories and 5 g fat, and add 1.5 g fiber!
    Chicken salad: Save 110 calories and 5 grams of fat!
  • Add 1 cup white kidney beans (cannellini) beans, chickpeas or black-eyed peas. (Boost fiber while cutting fat!)
  • Swap half the low-fat mayo for low-fat plain yogurt. Save 80 calories, 9.5 grams of fat!
  • Use all the whites and half the yolks. (I got this tip from an episode of Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger.)You don't want to ditch the yolks completely. That's where most of the vitamins and minerals are contained. Unfortunately, that's also where the fat is stored. Eggs are a great source of choline, which your body uses to break down fat for energy. Also, eggs provide lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help prevent keep your eyes healthy! Save 25 calories and more than 2 grams of fat!
  • Use mashed tofu instead of half the eggs. (Use 1 oz. tofu for each egg.)

    When you're not the one cooking, try these tips:
  • Eat an open faced-sandwich. Save 60-150 calories by only using one slice of bread or half a bagel. (If you're eating a wrap, open it up and don't eat the parts that aren't touching the tuna salad. (Flour tortillas are pretty bland on their own!).
  • Make it a real chicken salad. Get your favorite salad on a bed of greens (get dark, leafy ones if you can) to cut out all those bread calories!

    How do you slim down your favorite deli salads? Have a recipe to share?

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    I don't eat tuna anymore, but I used to like tuna salad made with low fat Caesar salad dressing instead of the mayo; gave it a little bit of a different taste while cutting calories and fat :) Report
    I just tried a new salad sandwich today. It was chunks of turkey breast, red grapes, sliced almonds, celery, poppy seeds, and mayo. It was delicious! Report
    Thank you for all the suggestions! Variety keeps us on track! :-) Report
    I think the egg suggestions refer to egg salad, not tuna or chicken salad with egg in it.

    CVDANAHER, I make tuna loaf topped with a white sauce with peas in it. A really good alternative to the traditional white sauce (butter, flour, milk) for that particular recipe is Campbell's Healthy Request condensed cream of mushroom soup. Mix in a little water, add salt to taste (it's usually pretty low in sodium), add peas, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a few sprinkles of powdered mustard, and it makes a good lower-fat alternative.

    Instead of traditional mayo, I use a combination of olive oil, powdered mustard, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, pepper, maybe a little salt, and some yellow or dijon mustard, depending on how spicy I like it. I also leave some of the water in the tuna, rather than draining it all, to keep that moist texture.

    I like to mix in diced pickle, celery, green pepper, colored bell peppers, cucumber, tomato... basically any veggies except carrots (just not that fond of carrots), whatever's on hand.

    My favorite thing to do with tuna salad (I don't eat much of chicken or egg salad) in the wintertime is to warm it up in the microwave, then make an open-faced tuna melt in the toaster oven with about 1/2 oz of shredded super-sharp cheddar. Doesn't take much if the cheese is good! Report
    I have also had Chicken Salad with a combination of raisins, craisins, walnuts, apples, or grapes. Report
    Sounds good I can't wait to try some of the ideas, Thanks Report
    I don't care that much for canned tuna so I add all sorts of things (but never eggs; I don't add additional protein to something already good there) to keep from having to add too much mayo. I got a great, line caught, Pacific, no added salt, packed in own juices instead of water or oil Tuna a week ago and it tastes more like tuna steak but I added only 1 tablespoon mayo and then a tablespoon of my favorite salad dressing and lots of seasoning pepper and some curry powder, my favorite spice. It turned out really good! My husband suggested I make tuna and peas in white sauce over toast, a childhood dinner his mother use to make (he doesn't care for fish at all but at least that would be "familiar" to him). I'm looking up recipes and thinking how I would make it. Report
    I use all of those tricks except adding beans. I use only one hard boiled egg (whole) in the tuna salad because I like more tuna than egg, and because of the cholesterol. I don't make egg salad that often but use half and half tofu/egg when I do; it's delicious. Also chopped up Granny Smith apple, or frozen peas if you don't care for the sweetness, is great flavor and fiber and color contrast in tuna salad, if you've never tried it trust me just try it one time. You don't even have to cook the peas, and they can thaw while they are being mixed up in the salad (of course let them thaw fully in the salad before serving). Now that buttery croissant up there in the delicious-looking picture doesn't look low cal or whole grain at all to me (smile) but the tips are excellent. I love Ellie Krieger, too, her tabouli and teriyaki tenderloin (with homemade teriyaki sauce) are simple and five star taste and you can watch her make them online. I was going to look up what a Monte Cristo is but thanks for the recipe, now I don't have to. Also I made a grilled cheese sandwiches on garlic toast for guests and they were shocked to learn later it was fat free cheese (because it tasted so good, tasted normal, melted normal, etc), so I can recommend Borden brand fat free. Alot of things that used to be gross when they first came out, like fat free cheese, mayo, and whole wheat pasta, are now 100X improved and very good; you should try them again now. Of course real cheese is even better, but more cals. A classic combo to try in chicken salad is chicken, mushrooms, and grapes; even people who don't like mushrooms like it, and the mushrooms really reduce the cals per serving. And walnut chicken raisin curry for the omegas. Another stunning presentation that reduces cals and increases fiber, for all 3 salads, is to wedge-cut a medium to large beefsteak tomato, but don't cut through the skin at the bottom, so that the tomato opens in wedges at the top but is still held together at the bottom. Then put a scoop of your salad in the middle (instead of using bread or pita). Nestled amongst a bright plate of salad greens, it is so aesthetically pleasing and arresting eye candy it makes it taste even better. Makes you look good, too, makes you look like a gourmet chef. Report
    Making the sandwich into an open-faced sandwich or a salad sounds so yummy! I don't know why I don't think of things like that! Report
    OOOO this sounds Delicious. I cannot wait to try it!! Thanks so much. Chicken, Tuna and Eggs.......some of my faves!! The Yogurt idea is great...some garlic and onion powder or small dices of onion... Report
    Ooh, good tips. And that low-fat Monte Cristo sounds fabulous! Report
    a low fat monte cristo isn't that tough to pull off..

    Whole wheat bread.
    Low fat ham
    Turkey breast
    The alpine lace swiss cheese (the fat free stuff just melts like plastic)
    Mustard or make a low fat russian dressing)

    For the french toast style dipping - egg beaters, a little bit of sugar, and cinnamon - and dip the bread and then toss it on a skillet that's been sprayed...

    my 'go to" chicken salad recipe is chunks of chicken, a chopped up apple or pear, some celery as well, some low fat plain yogurt and a generous sprinkling of curry- mixed together - served in lettuce cups... Tons of flavor and very satisfying. Report
    very good article, eggs, tuna & chicken are all low in calories and good sources of protein, salad vegetables count towards your 5 a day, dress your salad with lemon juice and you don,t add calories, vinegar is good with tuna Report
    I like the yogurt and beans ideas! I will have to try these. I have always used mustard and lots of veggies in my tuna salad. Thanks. Good blog. Report
    I am going home and making tuna trying yogurt. Sounds delicious Report
    I add lightly steamed cut up baby carrots to my tuna salad, and a little mayo. I have it on one slice of whole wheat bread, sometimes with one slice of light cheese. It's one of my favorite lunches. Report
    Eggs are one of the least expensive sources of protein. Report
    I have used the yogurt, mustard, veggies trick for a few years now. The salad tastes better as well as going further. These are the kinds of tricks I like to see posted. Report
    AQUAJEW, while you're at it, will you invent the low-cal, low-fat Frisco Melt from Steak n' Shake?? :) Report
    I use the one egg and one egg white when I make an omelete too. I love Ellie Krieger. Report
    One of these days I will invent the low-fat, low-calorie Monte Cristo. Report
    I had a big chicken salad for breakfast ( I live in Florida where it is hot most days ), so I eat lots of salads. I often mix fruit with veggies in salads, today was a nectarine, tomato, red sweet pepper, cilantro, a small red potato, avocado, chicken , balsalmic vinegar, pickle relish, and spicy mayo ( just a 1/2 tbsp ) enough to give that mouth feel with the vinegar to thin it out the salad is delicious!
    My salad was huge, I wake up famished and my meals decrease in size and calories as the day goes foreward.
    In my chicken salad, I usually use light miracle whip instead of mayo - a great way to cut fat and calories - plus it's sweet. I also add celery, red peppers, and garlic along with chopped grapes. YUMMY. Report
    I also use mustard to help cut down fat and calories. I use 1/2 light mayo and 1/2 mustard. Report
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