Sicilian tuna salad is a healthy, low carb recipe.  This simple salad has no mayo and is perfect for parties, for lunch, or for a crowd.  Learn how to make this popular summer salad with capers, olives, artichokes, and sun dried tomatoes.

Prep Time: 35 minutes
holding a spoonful of Sicilian tuna salad

Sicilian Tuna Salad

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Looking for a twist on the traditional tuna salad?  Why not try our Sicilian tuna salad?  It’s packed full of wonderful treats like Queen olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, and marinated artichoke hearts, and the best part is there is no mayo!

Is tuna healthy?

Yes, tuna is a healthy choice in moderation.  Here are some health benefits of this delicious fish.

  • High quality protein
  • Almost no fat
  • Contains amino acids
  • Contains heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids

bowl of Sicilian tuna salad with arugula, oil, and red peppers

What kind of canned tuna is the healthiest?

Consider all the options below.  The tuna you need will vary depending upon the recipe you are using, the cost, and the availability.

  • Water packed: lower in calories, more omega 3’s
  • Oil packed: more flavor, packed in soybean oil which is heart healthy
  • White Albacore: firmer texture, lightest flesh, mildest flavor, higher mercury levels
  • Skipjack: strongest flavor, highest fat, light brown in color, lowest mercury levels
  • Yellowfin (Ahi): pale pink, mild flavor, higher in mercury than skipjack.
  • Tongol: less mercury, smallest of the tuna fish, comparable to skipjack.
  • No Salt Canned Tuna: If you can’t find this, rinsing tuna for 3 minutes will remove a lot of the sodium.
  • Are you pregnant?  Choose tuna with the lowest mercury or the Safe Catch tuna brand.

holding a spoonful of Sicilian tuna salad

How can I serve Sicilian tuna salad?

  • Serve on a bed of mixed greens.
  • Scoop out the seeds and flesh from large beef steak tomatoes and stuff with tuna salad.
  • Make lettuce wraps.
  • Slice cucumbers and serve a teaspoon of tuna salad on top.
  • Crackers
  • Pita bread
  • Tortilla wraps
  • In a sandwich with olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, and arugula

Can I freeze Sicilian tuna salad?

Even though this tuna salad doesn’t have mayonnaise in it, it does have celery which doesn’t freeze well.  It’s best to eat up all the tuna salad within 3 to 5 days of making it.

How to Make Sicilian Tuna Salad

Gather all the ingredients.  Drain the tuna, slice the onion, mince the garlic, chop the celery, olives, artichokes, oregano, parsley, and sun dried tomatoes.  Zest the lemon, then juice it.

ingredients for Sicilian tuna salad

To deflame the red onion, pour red wine vinegar over it and let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain.

pouring red wine vinegar over sliced onions

Add the tuna, olives, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, artichokes, celery, garlic, capers, parsley, and lemon zest to a bowl.

tuna salad ingredients in a mixing bowl

Mix together with your hands.

mixing tuna salad ingredients

Pour in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.

pouring lemon juice onto tuna salad

Add the extra virgin olive oil.  (Use a good quality oil from Italy or Greece.)  Sprinkle on the kosher salt and the freshly ground black pepper.  Mix together with your hands to coat each piece with the dressing ingredients.

pouring olive oil onto tuna salad

Add the deflamed red onion and mix it in with your hands.

dumping a bowl of sliced red onions into tuna salad

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

bowl of Sicilian tuna salad

Pro Tips for Sicilian Tuna Salad

  • Use white albacore tuna; it has a firmer texture and the mildest flavor.
  • Use fresh herbs.  Canned tuna tastes best with fresh herbs.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice; it tastes the best.
  • Want other fresh herbs?  Try basil, thyme or dill.
  • What else can I serve this with?  Try sliced boiled egg, baked potato, or quinoa.
  • Want other add ins?  Try avocado, chickpeas, or green onions.

spoons, knife set, bowls, glass storage container

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Sicilian Tuna Salad

Looking for more easy salad recipes?  Check out these great ones.

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The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Sicilian tuna salad would be greatly appreciated.

holding a spoonful of Sicilian tuna salad

Sicilian Tuna Salad

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x


Sicilian tuna salad is a healthy, low carb recipe.  This simple salad has no mayo and is perfect for parties, for lunch, or for a crowd.  Learn how to make this popular summer salad with capers, olives, artichokes, and sun dried tomatoes.



For the Salad

  • 4 cups albacore, oil packed (765g)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (77g)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (60 ml)
  • 20 green queen olives, chopped (121g)
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed (22g)
  • 3/4 cup celery, thinly sliced (95g)
  • 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped (27g)
  • 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (1 1/4 cups, 210g drained)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Drain the tuna and place in a large bowl.
  2. Deflame the onion.  Thinly slice half of a red onion, place the onion rings in a dish, and pour the red wine vinegar on top.  Let it soak for 15 minutes.  This will help take some of the bite out of the raw red onion and will give it a slight vinegar taste.  Once done, drain the onion.
  3. Prep the ingredients.  While the onion is soaking, mince the garlic and chop the olives, celery, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, oregano, parsley.
  4. Make the salad.  Add the garlic, olives, capers, celery, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, lemon zest, and the fresh herbs to the bowl of tuna.  Mix all the ingredients together with your hands.  Pour in the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle on the Kosher salt and black pepper.  Continue mixing with your hands until all the pieces are coated in dressing.  Add the deflamed onion and gently mix it in.
  5. Garnish and serve.  Top with some extra red onion and serve.  Eat immediately or keep covered in the fridge until ready to serve.


The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Sicilian tuna salad recipe would be greatly appreciated.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tuna salad, Italian, olive oil

2 thoughts on “Sicilian Tuna Salad

  1. I have always liked tuna salad, so this looks really yummy. The onions, artichoke hearts, and capers make amazing add-ins!

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