Mixing canned tuna with mayonnaise to make a salad for sandwiches, or for stuffing tomatoes or lettuce cups, is a common and easy preparation method. To give the salad a different taste or reduce the fat and calories mayo adds to the recipe, use other ingredients to bind the salad.
Plain yogurt has the creaminess of mayonnaise with much less fat, fewer calories, more nutrients and extra tanginess. Any plain, unflavored yogurt works fine. If the texture is too thin, use Greek yogurt, which is considerably thicker. Fluff the yogurt with a fork before mixing it with the tuna to give it an airy lightness that's closer to the texture of mayonnaise.
Cottage cheese, either regular, low-fat or non-fat, can be transformed to mayonnaise consistency in less than a minute in a blender, or whipped into creaminess with an electric hand mixer. To ensure that it's the right consistency to replace mayonnaise, drain the cottage cheese through cheesecloth in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. Discard the liquid and process or beat the curds until smooth and creamy. Use the binder sparingly with the tuna, as it is saltier than mayonnaise, so you will probably need less to achieve a desirable flavor.
Ricotta cheese is similar to cottage cheese in taste. Its texture is finer and grainier, and it should be drained like cottage cheese before whipping it into a mayonnaise replacement. Ricotta is typically less salty than cottage cheese, so taste it and adjust the tuna salad seasonings as necessary.
Avocados are one of the creamiest vegetables, and they're full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients. Choose ones that are soft but not mushy to the touch for maximum flavor and optimum texture. Blend them until silky smooth in a processor or blender, or with an electric mixer, and mix with drained canned tuna. The salad will have a new flavor level, and the bright green color can add visual appeal to your sandwich or vegetable stuffing.
Oil and Vinegar
Instead of masking the taste of tuna with creamy ingredients, mix it with a little olive oil and vinegar, and season it with salt and pepper. Line the sandwich interior with large lettuce leaves for crunchy texture. Add a slice of fresh tomato, a few sweet or dill pickle chips, and some chopped hard-cooked egg, and you have a tuna salad sandwich that lets the flavor of the tuna shine through.