Farmgirl's Swiss Chard Tuna Salad ♥

Swiss Chard Tuna Salad ♥
graphic button small size size 10 So it's kind of amazing to me that you can add so much Swiss chard, a soft and delicate leafy green, to what's otherwise a pretty traditional tuna salad recipe – and yet it's still completely tuna salad not some weird variation. Low Carb. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly with homemade mayonnaise. graphic button small size size 10

It's hard – for us, anyway and let me not just say "hard" but "really hard" – to eat enough greens. So I'm ever on the look-out for ways to incorporate greens into stuff that we're already eating. This easy tuna salad – it could be your favorite tuna salad recipe, even a tuna salad from the deli – was easily transformed. And I was quite surprised that even with the addition of three large Swiss chard leaves, this was still tuna salad, just a little greener – and very good, definitely worth a try.

graphic button small size size 10 "Excellent savory tuna salad ...what a treat!." ~ belleplaine


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes (Farmgirl recommends letting it sit a bit for flavors to meld)
Makes about 3 cups

About 3 large Swiss chard leaves, to yield about 1 cup chopped & tightly packed leaves
About 1 rib from a Swiss chard leaf, chopped very fine

8 ounces (225g) packaged tuna or 2 five-ounce cans of tuna, drained
1/4 cup (15g) chopped fresh cilantro (Farmgirl uses Italian parsley)
1/2 cup (15g) chopped green onion, both the white & green parts, from about 3 small green onions, chopped very fine
1/4 cup (35g) chopped kalamata olives
Salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Salad greens, lettuce or arugula, say

PREP Wash the chard leaves and cilantro well, shake to dry – or run through a salad spinner or dry on paper towels.

DRESSING I usually mix the Dressing at this point, giving the greens a few minutes to dry. Just whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl.

TUNA SALAD Cut the ribs and "little ribs" (is that what they're called, the ones that extend into the leaves themselves?) from the chard leaves. Chop one rib very small for the Tuna Salad, save the remaining ribs for another purpose or discard. Cut the chard leaves into narrow strips.

Add the tuna to the bowl, without mixing it into the Dressing; use a large fork to break apart the tuna without mashing it to mush. Add the chard, chard stems, green onion, olives, salt and pepper and gently stir the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To serve, arrange salad greens in a bowl, top with Swiss Chard Tuna Salad.

MAKE AHEAD Farmgirl recommends making Swiss Chard Tuna Salad several hours ahead of time, allowing time for the flavors to meld. So far, I've only made it and served it on the spot, it makes such a quick 'n' easy lunch!

I find the chard ribs a little more fibrous than palatable in Tuna Salad, that's why I use just one rib, one's good!
To easily chop the chard leaves, stack them one atop the other, then roll into "cigars" and cut cross-wise.
I make Farmgirl's simple Dressing some times but also often to a homemade dressing that's already on hand, that's usually some variation of Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I think this sounds just wonderful! I completely forgot to plant swiss chard this year! But now that it's turning into fall here I'm thinking about it because I love to add it to soups. I've always like the flavor of raw chard, so I'm sure I'd love this.

  2. That's a good way to sneak them in. Sounds delicious.

  3. How funny. I just sat down to write an article for my kitchen garden blog all about growing Swiss chard from seed, and found this article waiting in my e-mail inbox.

    I love that you added all that extra dijon mustard to your version. It can be such a strong flavor--which I adore--but I'm always hesitant to list as much as I'd really like to use in a recipe.

    So glad you enjoyed it. And I have to say, Alanna, while I sincerely admire your creativity coming up with all those Green Smoothies a few weeks go, I'll take my fruit smoothie plain with a side of Swiss Chard Tuna Salad, please! : )

    Oh, and if you want to add even more greens to your meal (though these won't be hidden), you can skip the bread or crackers and make tuna salad "wraps" with Swiss chard leaves. They make a great low carb lunch.

  4. I've done that with baby spinach and my tuna. I really just don't think about swiss chard and I should. Need more variety I do. Looks really beautiful, a little more green but still tuna.

  5. Excellent savory tuna salad. I had it today. Brilliant idea to use swiss chard in it and with the olives, cilantro, mustard and vinegar...what a treat!

  6. AnonymousJuly 18, 2012

    I always reduce fat by mixing mayo 50-50 with low/no fat yogourt

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna