A Quick & Easy Cranberry Tuna Salad

I find it amusing that the discussion of healthy lunch recipes pops up in every office or school function we attend lately. It’s as if every adult I know completely stops thinking about healthy lunches when school is on a break and suddenly realizes they have to start all over again. In reality, I’m sure we all still monitor our kids’ food choices over the summer and winter breaks and didn’t opt for daily take-out pizza at work either. However, when school is in session, we have to actually plan portions, figure out what can pack easily in a lunch box, make sure the pantry and fridge are stocked for a week of meals – and, of course, keep in mind the basic logistics of providing nourishing meals our kids will actually eat. While we’re at it, we might as well plan our own lunches and streamline things with quick and healthy meals like this cranberry tuna salad!

Cranberry Tuna Salad Ingredients

There are four people living in my house, which means there are four different versions of tuna salad preferred in my house. The problem is that no two people can agree on how much mayo should be used, whether celery is allowed, and why on earth there’s a hardboiled egg in it to begin with. In our attempt to create one version of tuna salad we can all agree on, and thereby make a nice large bowl to share, we ditched any version of the “traditional” tuna we usually eat for this cranberry tuna salad.

Cranberry Tuna Salad on a Bun

Since we wanted to keep our lunches focused on high-protein, low-carb recipes that easily pack and transport for school or office, we got rid of the mayo completely and forbade celery (only because it’s my personal preference, and I wouldn’t budge). We all tossed in ideas about flavors we generally enjoy with tuna and versions we’ve had at restaurants or delis, then started mixing in ingredients as we went along. The end result is a very simple yet tasty tuna salad with cranberries, dill, and green onions, which has quickly become our go-to healthy lunch recipe.

How to Make Cranberry Tuna Salad

Cranberry Tuna Salad and Sandwich

By Marie Powell

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Not using mayo in this cranberry tuna salad eliminates a lot of empty fat calories and makes it less messy and better suited to lunch box containers. Replacing it with olive oil maintains a nice texture with heart-healthy fats and omegas. This cranberry tuna salad is ideal for portioning on top of tossed salad for a low-carb lunch that packs in extra veggies! This recipe makes four servings, but you can easily double it for a larger crowd or to have leftovers for the rest of the week.


  • 12-oz. chunk light tuna, drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss.
  2. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
  3. This cranberry tuna salad tastes best when allowed to sit several hours or overnight so the cranberries soften and the spices blend.
Marie Powell
Marie Powell

Marie Powell grew up eating pecans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade meals in rural southern Georgia. Thanks to her family's tradition of military service and the generosity and diversity of her friends, her culinary influences also come from Taiwan, Greece, and the Middle East. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she learned about food prep, storage, and presentation during her time as UGA's catering manager. Marie now lives in Phoenix with her daughter, Sophie, who has inspired her to learn more about adapting recipes for food allergies and intolerances, and their tortoise, Elizabeth, whose favorite food is dandelion greens.