Mayonnaise is probably one of the most basic ingredients in the kitchen. It is commonly used in burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Aside from that, it is also used in sauces and dips.
I personally love using mayonnaise on tuna salads which makes them tastier. However, the problem comes when one of my family members has an allergy or should I say food intolerance to mayonnaise. Luckily after some in-depth research, I am able to come out with a comprehensive mayo substitute list for tuna salad.
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Silken tofu
- Cashew cream
- Barbecue Sauce
- Almond Butter
Whether you are laying off the mayo due to dietary restrictions or allergies, read on if you are keen to find out in detail what can be used to replace the tasty mayo in your tuna salad.
As tasty as mayonnaise is, it is not exactly the healthiest spread. One tablespoon contains 103 calories and 12 grams. When we use it as a spread, we often smother our bread with two or three spoonfuls.
12 Best Substitutes For Mayo
Plain Greek Yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt has the same tangy taste as mayonnaise. It is also easily seasoned to taste like mayonnaise. What’s a bit different about Greek yogurt is its texture.
Greek Yogurt is a bit runny compared to the smooth and sleek texture of mayonnaise.
If you’re not on a diet, I suggest that you use full-fat Greek yogurt instead of using a fat-free one because the former is creamier, richer, and closer to the texture of mayonnaise than the latter.
Avocado and tuna go well together. Especially to the health-conscious, these two make the perfect meal – avocado is rich in fats while tuna is rich in protein.
To incorporate avocado in your tuna salad, you can scoop it, mash it, or even blend it. You can add yogurt, olive oil, or lemon depending on your preference. You can also spice it up with celery, red onions, or sun-dried tomatoes.
Cottage cheese is also an excellent substitute for mayonnaise in tuna salads. It is rich in fats, protein, calcium, and other minerals. It is very similar to yogurt but the saltiness is more similar to mayonnaise.
However, a lot of people dislike the lumpy texture of cottage cheese. To remedy this and to achieve that smooth texture, use a cheesecloth to drain your cottage cheese and blend it. Another advantage of cottage cheese over mayonnaise is that it does not have any cholesterol.
Next on the best mayo substitute list for tuna salad is mustard. This condiment is very polarizing. Some people love it, while others detest it so much.
However, it is also a good alternative to mayonnaise as it is low in calories and fat. The strong, tangy flavor of mustard will make the taste of tuna salad more distinct.
Silken tofu is more commonly used in Asian cuisine. But it can also be used in desserts, puddings, salad dressings, dips, sauces, and even smoothies.
It has a smoother and silkier appearance and texture than regular tofu. The main difference between regular tofu and silken tofu is the process used to make it. The soy milk is not curdled and pressed before coagulation, giving it a ‘silk’ appearance.
The main concern with tofu is whether it can be eaten raw. And the answer to that is yes. Silken tofu, any type of tofu for that matter, can be eaten raw. Drain the excess liquid before eating it. Also, store the left-overs properly to prevent spoilage.
To use it as a mayo substitute, blend the silken tofu in a blender or food processor. Blend the silken tofu until it has the same consistency as mayonnaise.
Like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, you can also season silken tofu to your liking. Others mix fresh lemon juice or Dijon mustard to give it a tangy taste.
Cashew cream is a known alternative to dairy products. Cashew cream can be made at home. First, soak 1 cup of raw cashews overnight.
If you do not have time, you can soak the raw cashews in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse the raw cashews. Blend it in a blender or food processor until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise. Season to taste. Some jazz the mixture by adding lemon, Dijon mustard, or even garlic powder.
Cashew cream is oil-free and is low on calories. The velvety texture and the richness of the cream are from the natural fat of the cashews. It is also very cheap and easy to make.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip made from chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Hummus is extremely healthy and is often used as a substitute dip for those trying to lose weight.
It is rich in protein, fiber, and other micronutrients. It also has fewer calories than mayonnaise.
It has a nutty flavor that goes well with tuna. You can buy it in stores or make it at home. Soak raw chickpeas overnight and boil them in water for at least two hours.
Make sure that the chickpeas are cooked well. Feel free to overcook the chickpeas as this would make a creamier hummus. Rinse the chickpeas in hot water with baking soda and drain.
Although chickpea skins can be eaten, peel the chickpea skin for creamier hummus. Blend the chickpeas in a blender or food processor until smooth.
For fluffier hummus, you can add ice cubes while blending it. Add the salt, lemon, and tahini slowly while blending. If you find that the consistency is still a bit too thick for your liking, you can add a bit of hot water.
Tahini is one of the ingredients of hummus. But it can also be used as a mayonnaise substitute by itself. Tahini is a Middle Eastern paste made from toasted sesame seeds.
Like hummus, tahini also has a smooth and creamy texture and nutty taste. Tahini can also be bought in stores or made at home.
You only need three ingredients to make tahini – sesame seeds, oil, and salt.
- To make tahini, first, toast the sesame seeds. This will give the tahini a deeper and more flavorful taste.
- Cool the sesame seeds.
- Blend the sesame seeds in a blender or food processor.
- Once the sesame seeds form a crumbly paste, you can add a few teaspoons of oil to make it creamier.
- Blend it until it reaches the consistency you desire. Season to your liking.
Homemade tahini usually lasts for a month when refrigerated.
This might be the most out of the box out of all those listed here in the best mayo substitute list for tuna salad. But barbecue sauce is a great substitute for mayonnaise as well in tuna salad.
The spicy and savory taste of the barbecue sauce makes tuna taste like pulled pork. However, it might not also be the most nutritious.
Another entry in the best mayo substitute list for tuna salad is cheese. Soften and mix cheese wedge in your tuna salad.
This will melt into the tuna and the result will taste similar to tuna melt. Use soft cheese wedges that are easy to mash and melt.
As its name suggests, almond is butter made from almonds. It can be made from raw or roasted almonds. Almond butter almost has the same amount of calories as regular peanut butter and mayonnaise.
But it is healthier as it has more protein, fiber, and other vitamins such as vitamin E and calcium. Almond butter is readily available in stores, but it can also be made at home.
Homemade almond butter tastes better and is cheaper than the store-bought one. Although as earlier mentioned, almond butter can be made from both raw and roasted almonds, almond butter made from roasted almonds tastes better.
- To make homemade almond butter, roast the almonds for at least 10 minutes.
- Cool down the almonds.
- Blend the roasted almonds in a blender or food processor until creamy.
You can also season the almond butter with cinnamon, vanilla extract, maple syrup, or honey.
Pesto is a great mayonnaise substitute in tuna salads. It is an established fact that tuna pairs well with pesto.
Store-bought or homemade pesto both work well in tuna salads.
What Are Other Healthy Substitutes For Mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise is also often used in many salads. It is also used as a dip. As tasty as it is, it is not exactly the healthiest spread. Here are some other healhty substitutes for mayonnaise.
Some people purposefully shy away from mayonnaise to lose weight. If you are not allergic to eggs, use an egg instead of mayonnaise on your sandwiches instead.
This would make perfect sense as mayonnaise is an egg-based spread. Not only would you be able to cut down on calories, but this would also make the sandwich more filling and nutritious.
Olive oil is also one of the top choices to substitute mayonnaise. Although olive oil and mayonnaise roughly have the same number of calories, olive oil is healthier than the latter.
It is composed of 60% oleic acid. It also contains a lot of powerful antioxidants. A lot of studies show that it can fight against certain diseases like type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, inflammation, and heart disease.
Sour Cream is probably tangier and lighter so it’s a perfect substitute for those who prefer their salads and sandwiches with a twist. Sour cream has lesser calories than mayonnaise.
Aside from that, sour cream contains fats, but it does not have cholesterol, unlike mayonnaise. On the other hand, those with dairy allergies cannot consume sour cream as it is a dairy product. It is a cream fermented in the same method as yogurt. Sour Cream has calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and omega 3 fatty acids.
As its name suggests, hung curd is simple curd that was hung. The water of the curd is drained off through a cloth. Hung curd is a great substitute for mayonnaise as it has the same consistency.
It is definitely a healthier choice than mayonnaise. It increases good bacteria in the gut, thereby improving digestion.