If your ideal tuna salad calls for mashing the fish with enough mayonnaise to taste like tuna but spread like mayo, then skip this recipe. But if you are a tuna-lover and are seeking a salad with spring flair, one that includes crunch, color and a flavorful surprise, then this recipe is for you.

To welcome spring, I mix albacore tuna with green pepper for crunch, dill and green onions because they taste and look like spring, and chopped apple. The surprise is how apple plus lemon juice make this salad moist and how the flavor of the apple complements that of the tuna.

I use water-packed albacore tuna for three reasons. First, albacore contains the most omega-3s of any canned tuna: a four-ounce portion provides a useful 1 gram. Second, oil and water do not mix and omega-3 fatty acids are oily. So they mostly stay in the fish when it is water-packed.

In oil-packed tuna, omega-3 fatty acids blend more easily into the oil that you drain away. Third, water-packed tuna is lower in calories, which allows you to use a touch of oil when tossing the salad.

Finally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised, in their recommendations to limit exposure to mercury in fish, that young women and children can include up to 6 ounces of albacore tuna weekly.

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Spring Tuna Salad

Yield: Makes 2 servings


  • 1 (6 oz.) can water-packed albacore tuna
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Honeycrisp, Gala or Fuji apple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, green and white parts
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 4 butter or Boston lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices European cucumber
  • 2 lightly packed cups watercress sprigs


  1. In mixing bowl, finely flake tuna with fork. Mix in apple, green pepper and scallions. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and toss to combine. Mix in canola oil. The salad may be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, mix in the dill and lemon zest. Line 2 salad plates each with 2 lettuce leaves and add 2 cucumber slices. Mound one-half of the tuna salad on each plate. Surround with the watercress sprigs, and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
220 Calories
10g Total Fat (1g Saturated Fat)
12g Carbohydrate
22g Protein
3g Dietary Fiber
55mg Sodium