Italian Tuna and Beans: A Veggie-Forward Salad

Italian Tuna Salad
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time: 15 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 4 (3/4 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

195 calories
4g fat
25g carbs
15g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (3/4 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 195
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 293mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 15g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 528mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This recipe goes heavy on the fresh plant-based ingredients and uses animal protein from tuna as an accent. Tuna is a low calorie, high protein fish that contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Keep canned tuna in your pantry for a quick lunch or snack at a moment's notice.

Because fish has so many nutritional benefits, it is recommended to consume fatty fish twice a week. Vegetables, however, need to be consumed every day in order to reap their nutritious benefits. This recipe gets a veggie boost with fiber-rich white beans, crunchy celery, and fragrant chopped shallot and fresh parsley. Keeps things fresh with a lemon and olive oil dressing.


  • 1, 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 5-ounce can water-packed chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 medium ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • romaine lettuce, crackers, or toast, for serving


  1. Combine the beans, tuna, celery, shallot, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil in a medium bowl.

  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Serve with large romaine lettuce leaves, crackers, or toast.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Want to make this vegetarian? Just nix the tuna fish. You can mash up the beans with the back of a fork for a more "flaky" texture.

For a few veggie variations, try chopped green or red bell pepper instead of or in addition to the celery, or stir in some finely chopped carrots or radishes. Mix up the herbs and try basil instead of parsley. All of these veggie and herb variations are comparable nutritionally.

Can't knock the creamy tuna salad? Try using plain Greek yogurt, or even a creamy hummus instead of mayonnaise for a fresher flavor.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Get to know your tuna. Albacore tuna has more omega-3 fat per ounce but since it comes from a larger species of tuna, it also has more mercury. Chunk light tuna comes from a smaller species of fish and has less mercury and omega-3 fat. Both water-packed and oil-packed tuna can be part of a healthy diet. Water-packed tuna contains fewer calories and total fat and it may be slightly cheaper than oil-packed tuna.

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