Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad

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This Cabbage Tuna Salad comes together in just a few minutes with common ingredients. Perfect for a quick lunch, light dinner, or even an appetizer at your next dinner party.

138 CAL 7g CARBS 3g FAT 21g PROTEIN 1

Today I am sharing a way to add some volume and crunch to any healthy tuna salad recipe. The addition of crispy cabbage and green onions to make this Cabbage Tuna Salad is just too good not to share. All that combined with a lightened-up yogurt dressing makes for a light and tasty salad you can eat on your favorite sliced bread, on top of some greens, or in a wrap.

The secret to this tuna salad is using a combination of nonfat yogurt and light sour cream instead of mayonnaise. It's creamy, tangy, and the perfect balance of flavor. Then the cabbage is brilliant for adding volume and crunch. If you love bigger portions and tons of crunch in your tuna, this recipe is for you. 

This tuna salad with cabbage is also versatile with any of your favorite tuna salad additions. A favorite option is thinly sliced jalapenos and green apples. Sweet, spicy, and so good!

If you like this cabbage tuna salad I’m pretty sure you’ll love these other salad recipes like this Healthy Chicken Salad, this Chopped Greek Chickpea Salad, or this Cranberry Tuna Salad.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are a few reasons why we think you’ll love this tuna salad with cabbage.

  • Basic ingredients: Other than the cabbage you most likely have all the ingredients on hand.
  • Double the volume: By adding cabbage to the tuna you can eat a huge serving without adding tons of extra calories.
  • Super crunchy: No boring, soggy tuna salad here, the cabbage adds loads of crunch.
  • Travels well: Go ahead and pack this to take to work or send it to school, the cabbage helps reduce the risk of the bread getting mushy.

Looking for more tuna salad recipes? Don't miss this curried tuna salad, tuna egg salad, and spicy tuna salad.

Ingredients for cabbage tuna salad including canned tuna, shredded green cabbage, Greek yogurt, mustard, green onions, and toasted bread.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

Here are the ingredients you need to make this cabbage tuna salad.

  • Tuna: We used white tuna packed in water but any kind of tuna will work including chunk light, line-caught, or tuna packed in oil. Canned salmon or canned chicken is a good substitute.
  • Green cabbage: We used shredded green cabbage but you can also use purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, or a combination. For faster prep, use bagged coleslaw mix, the carrots are delicious in this recipe.
  • Green Onions: Green onions add texture and a mild onion flavor. Chives or red onions would work in place of green onions.
  • Greek yogurt: We used nonfat Greek yogurt but any kind of yogurt will work.
  • Sour cream: Adding light sour cream makes the dressing super creamy and adds a delicious tang. Use full-fat sour cream or plant-based sour cream. Or swap in mayonnaise for a more traditional taste.
  • Mustard: The easiest way to add flavor to tuna salad is to add mustard to the dressing. Dijon or whole grain mustard adds the most flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Tuna packed in water can be bland, so don't be afraid to season it well. Some people also like to add celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, or fresh herbs to their tuna.

How To Make This Cabbage Tuna Salad

Just a few steps to make this easy salad.

1. Combine the tuna and veggies

Drain the tuna and remove as much of the water as possible. If you are using oil-packed tuna, drain the oil to your personal preferences. 

Use a fork to mix the tuna, cabbage, and green onion in a bowl. If you are using additional vegetables, stir them in here as well. Try to make sure everything is well distributed.

2. Add the dressing

Mix in the yogurt, sour cream, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to mix until well combined. Since this tuna salad has a lot of veggies, it may take some extra mixing. The cabbage will soften slightly as it's mixed.

Make sure to taste the tuna salad at this point and season as needed. If you added a lot of extra vegetables or other mix-ins, you may need to add some extra yogurt or sour cream. Or if you simply like a creamier tuna salad.

In my opinion, this tuna salad tastes even better after an hour in the fridge. If you have time, refrigerate it for an hour before serving.

Tuna and cabbage salad in a glass bowl wiht green onions, spinach, and whole grain bread on the side.

Ways To Serve Tuna Salad

Here are a few ways you can serve this cabbage tuna salad.

  • As an appetizer or dip: Place the tuna-cabbage mixture in a bowl and serve with carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, crackers, pita, sliced baguette, or baked wonton chips. This option is great for a party or family get-together.
  • As a meal: Make a sandwich and pair it with some Tomato Basil Soup or this Italian Vegetable and Bean Soup for a hearty meal.
  • As a sandwich: Spread the tuna and cabbage mixture between two slices of bread, roll it in a tortilla or wrap, serve it with lettuce leaves, or stuff it into a pita.
  • In a salad: Serve the tuna salad on top of your favorite mixed greens or over this spring mix salad.
  • Stuffed in veggies: Hollow out a cucumber, tomato, avocado, or red pepper and stuff it with this tuna salad. It's a great low-carb way to enjoy this crunchy tuna salad.

Variations and Recipe Ideas

Here are a few ways to change up this cabbage tuna salad.

  • Add more crunch with diced celery, carrots, or pickles.
  • Spice it up by adding some sriracha, fresh jalapenos, or hot sauce.
  • Add sweetness by adding a touch of honey or using honey mustard. Or add some fresh apples, grapes, dried cranberries, or raisins.
  • Instead of canned tuna, use canned salmon or chicken.
  • Add fresh herbs like chopped fresh dill, cilantro, or parsley.
  • Add nuts or seeds like almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or poppy seeds for a new texture.

How To Store This Cabbage Tuna Salad

Here’s what to do with your leftover cabbage tuna salad.

  • Fridge: Leftover cabbage tuna salad will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making this tuna salad with cabbage.

Whether you buy water-packed or oil-packed tuna this excess moisture can sometimes make the tuna taste bland. Make sure to drain the tuna well. Then always make sure to season it with salt and pepper. Not using enough salt is the number one cause of bland food.

If you want to enhance the flavor of your tuna add spices, seasonings, crunchy vegetables, pickles, mustard, fresh herbs, or squeeze some lemon juice into it.

Cabbage and canned tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread.
The Recipe
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Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad

138 CAL 7g CARBS 3g FAT 21g PROTEIN 1
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  • 5 oz. can white tuna, packed in water
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. light sour cream
  • 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper

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Use a fork to mix the tuna, cabbage, and green onion. Add the jalapeno and apple here as well if using or any other add-ins you like.


Add the yogurt, sour cream, and mustard. Mix well until fully combined. Season well with salt and pepper. If you prefer a creamier tuna salad, add a couple extra dollops of sour cream or yogurt.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 29
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 33mg
Sodium 333mg
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 4g
Protein 21g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Optional but recommended: 1 thinly sliced jalapeno and/or 1/2 thinly sliced apple
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad
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Linda Macias
June 12, 2022 - 15:20
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I made this sale and it’s delicious and easy to prepare for work
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February 15, 2022 - 20:51
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OMG this tuna salad was Amazing! I didn't have sour cream so I used a tablespoon of avocado mayo with the Greek yogurt. The diced apple in this made it so delicious. I didn't have a jalapeno but next time I will put one in. I used dried green chili powder instead and seasoned it with Maldon's flaked sea salt and pepper. I ate the entire thing, LOL!
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Jill Doying
January 27, 2016 - 13:30
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The directions for the Crunchy Cabbage Tuna Salad say to add the Jalapeno and apple but those ingredients aren't listed. How much of each do you add? Do you drain the water from the tuna first? I choose the middle ground and drained half the water. I also ended up using a whole small apple chopped and about 2 Tbsp chopped Mild Jalapeño. I loved it! Served it on a Bubba's Skinny Bagel.
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