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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    good read, thank you Report
    Mmmmmm sounds great, I am willing to try anything and these substitutions sound awesome.Thanks for the tips and great article. Report
    I also like the crunch of walnuts in my salads Report
    I add a cup of chopped up Apples, a cup of chopped grapes and walnuts to my chicken salad. Report
    This has inspired me to try blended cottage cheese instead of some of the mayo. Yogurt doesn't taste right to me in salads and isn't thick enough. I will also have to try mashed chick peas and tofu. I love salads because they are quick but have felt a little guilty about always relying on (low fat) mayo.

    Tuna salad is really good w/lots of very finely chopped celery and onion. Tuna melts are also great, but not with warm tuna! Ew! I use a Thomas' whole wheat mini bagel, top each half w/tuna salad, then a slice of tomato, than any kind of cheese, sliced or shredded. Pop in the toaster oven set to broil just until the cheese melts. That way the tuna stays relatively cold. Awesome!

    Anyone tried avocado in their salads? Report
    I like tuna with celery and pepper on toasted whole wheat with lettuce and tomato. Doesn't sound as exciting as some of your suggestions, but it's my favorite. Report
    I cut the calories and fat in my chicken salad by swapping 1/2 of the mayo with spicy mustard and adding some chopped granny smith apples and almonds and some curry powder and cumin. Yummy! Report
    I find I can cut way back on the mayo or Miracle Whip on any sandwich, whether salad or some other sandwich by adding loads of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and any other veggies that come to mind as viable. Report
    I used fat free miracle whip and some seafood cocktail sauce to add some flavour to my tuna salad open faced sandwich at lunch today! Also love to use the seafood cocktail sauce to add flavour to plain low fat cottage cheese, looks nasty but tastes great. Report
    I use low fat salad dressing to make my tuna salad or egg salad. Report
    Thank you for these great suggestions!

    Egg Salad: I have found that coarsely mashed chickpeas are about the same consistency as egg yolks. One half cup (whole peas) is equivalent to 1 lg. egg. I replace 1/4 of the eggs with chickpeas and can't taste the difference. Yogurt isn't as twangy as mayonnaise, but it makes the salad nice and creamy.

    I usually add lots of vegetables in my tuna salad. I want to try the yogurt in that. Report
    Okay, I'm sorry...but the picture with the croissant? LAME! Should have had the picture with it on a piece of wheat bread or on a bed of dark, leafy greens. If you're dieting, you cannot have a croissant! Well, maybe some people can but I cannot. :( Sorry, just venting. I haven't had bread since December and I'm feeling mighty deprived. Report
    Thank you all for all the great ideas... I am hungry now- But I have brought my lunch today- So these ideas will be great for future lunches. Report
    these all sound great!! Report
    I tried this yesterday! Wow... I didn't have any plain yogurt on hand, so I decided to swap a quarter cup or so of non-fat cottage cheese, mixed with 1 Tablespoon of light mayo and a teaspoon of mustard. I mashed it really well, so there weren't obvious curds, and mixed this with the tuna with chopped red onion and a little sweet pickle!!! Made 2 servings, which were huge and very satisfying, which was really nice for a change and on a sandwich with lettuce, cucumber slices and onion slices, it was a very, very satisfying lunch for about 300 calories!

    Thank you! I can have my tuna sandwiches again:) Report
    I use only dijon mustard in my tuna salad no mayo. I'm not a big fan on egg salad or even egg in potato salad. Report
    I love tuna, chicken and eggs ( mostly egg whites ) this site is just wonderful, I'm so glad I joined, keep the info coming, I love it, and it is so inspiriacional. Report
    So many awesome ideas. I love the incredible edible egg!! Report
    Good one I like it. Report
    I love my "egg salad surprise", as my sisters call it. I use one hard boiled egg and add chopped up onion and celery and about 1T light mayo to the chopped (but not smooshed) egg and mix it all together. Then I mix in a bunch of shredded romaine (maybe half egg salad and half romaine) with the rest, and spread on a high-fiber flat bread or two toasted slices of light wheat bread. Yum! :)

    - Josie Report
    thanks Report
    I love the healthy alternative Report
    My tuna salad never is that high in calories. I usually eat 11/4 servings and add about 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayo. It usually comes to about 150 calories,. minus the bread. Report
    I love chicken salad with grapes, pecans and celery.
    I have also done it with almonds, apricots and celery.
    They are both wonderful! Report
    I used to love tuna with shredded lettuce and ff ranch. Now, I like it with coleslaw veggies, slivered almonds, and light mayo. It has an Asian vibe and feels like something I'd get in a restaurant :) Report
    i tend to add onions, carrots, celery, chive, bandania, some pepper sauce and garlic to my tuna salad to stretch it out. but i do add the mayo in small amounts Report
    I also use mustard in my tuna/chicken salad, also fat free mayo, which, is eh, kinda ok, but I add lots of veggies and other flavorings. I like to also use olive oil instead with spices..........
    The ideas that a lot of the other sparkers have are great and I'm going to try lots of them. Great ideas! Report
    All those tips are helpfel. Report
    i love tuna and egg salads can't wait to try it Report
    I sometimes get a bag of broccoli slaw or regular cole slaw and throw it in with my tuna. Veggies and a larger portion. Also, I use minimum mayo.

    This is also good with shrimp salad. Report
    I love tuna and egg salad an have been depriving myself of them all this time for nothing. I can't wait to try these ideas out! Report
    Try both with curry! It's delicious! Report
    I love white balsamic vinegar with salt, pepper and onions on my tuna. If I want a sandwich, I generally use Miracle Whip. Report
    I'm not sure why light mayo gets such a bad wrap. It's high in monounsaturated fats, which are the best for you. I usually make Tuna Mac with whole wheat pasta, light mayo, chopped bell peppers, dill pickle relish, fresh garlic, onion and almonds. Report
    Great - except for using only half of the yolks (nutritional gold). Check to see if the egg whites do not contain lecithin to deal with any fat in the egg. Most medical personnel finally agree that egg yolks do not increase colesterol (except for those who still haven't gotten the word). But these salads sound really good - tasty and healthy. I also like to cut a tomato into wedges with the bottom closed and put a beautiful dip of salad in the center. Report
    I've fallen in love with the new 'Flavored' Tuna's! It makes adding anything to it just seem un-necessary. Report
    My spin is chopping up fresh jalapeno, onion, tomato and instead of any mayo or substitue, I squeez half a limes worth of juice into the mix. Put this in a basil wrap and viola, a southwest wrap!! Report
    Yum! Thank we're going to make the tuna sandwich tonight for dinner. Report
    These sound good! Report
    I just made a yummy tuna melt last night - hubby loved it. I added deli mustard to tuna on a piece of toast, topped it with low fat Colby cheese, a sprinkle of paprika, and toasted it in the oven. One small can of tuna made 4 open faced sandwiches. Report
    Another way to reduce calories & fat while increasing enjoyment: use NO mayo at all & substitute nonfat sour cream! I also like to include dill weed, chopped celery, & lots of mustard. I use a whole egg with a 6.5oz can of tuna, but the fat is still low. Report
    Sometimes I add frozen peas to my egg salad; I just put them in a colander and run hot water over them until they thaw. I add a little lemon juice to my Miracle Whip Light, it adds a nice flavor, plus it thins out the salad dressing some so that you don't need as much.

    I also like grapes, cut into halves, in my chicken salad, especially good in the summer. Report
    I used no-fat mayo and add craisins, onion and celery--it is a really healthy and low fat. Use thin-sliced bread to cut the calories, or, even better, I like to make lettuce wraps, using leaf lettuce. Taking little portions of the tuna or chicken salad and wrapping it in lettuce as you go makes the meal more interesting, and you can stretch out the eating experience, instead of the speedy experience of wolfing down a sandwich. Report
    When I spent time in Italy, I learned to love Italian tuna salad - mix canned tuna with cannelini beans, chopped tomatoes, parsley (though arugula is great), and a little oil and vinegar. Season to taste with garlic and pepper. Could add chopped bell peppers and other vegs. YUMMY!!!!! Report
    I have started leaving the mayo out of tuna salad and substituting 1/2 of a mashed ripe avocado to 1 large can of drained tuna. I also add a lot of chopped onions, green peppers, celery and carraots to the mix, so instead of 2 servings, one can of tuna makes 4 servings and is every bit as tasty and filling. Report
    I sometimes use hummus in tuna salad instead of mayo. Yummy! Report
    Thanks for the tip on using low-fat yogurt in the tuna salad.

    This is all I have been craving the albarcore in water. I even used leftover tilapia and made it as a salad which is very good.

    Great article Report
    Sounds great. I love to eat tuna (packed in water) with fresh onions, jalapenos, (fresh or pickeld) avocado, pepper, lemon juice and cilantro. It's almost like eating guacamole with tuna. Sounds bad but it's really good if you like food with a kick. I also do not always eat it with bread. Sometimes I eat it alone or with a few saltine crackers. Report
    This sounds Yummy! Thank you! Albertamw Report
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