My Jersey Style Deli Tuna Salad brings me back to my childhood, growing up in a small town in Northern New Jersey. We couldn't walk or drive two blocks without seeing at least one bagel shop – probably flanked by a couple of Italian restaurants. If you're from that area, you feel me here.
Well, funny enough, my Italian father eventually started making bagels at home – which are gluten-filled, so we stopped eating them many years ago, sigh – but I never got over my love of this deli tuna salad. In fact, I loved it so much that I even ordred it in a small to-go tub without the bagel after going gluten-free and paleo.
The mayonnaise used in most deli tuna salad options (and the quality of the tuna fish, for that matter) are certainly not going to be top-notch, so I knew I needed to make this one from scratch, at home. If you're looking to avoid vegetable oils when you dine out, avoid mayonnaise-laden options!
This paleo tuna salad is quick to whip up, and delicious in a lettuce wrap, with sliced veggies like cucumber or carrots, or as part of a paleo-friendly or gluten-free bagel sandwich (as pictured), if that works for you!
Jersey Style Deli Tuna Salad
paleo • grain-free • gluten-free • nut-free • seed-free • dairy-free • nightshade-free • 21dsd friendly
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: n/a
YIELD: About 1 1/2 cups
- 1 small red or yellow onion (approximately 3-3.5 ounces), cut into quarters
- 1 large or 2 small carrots (approximately 4-5 ounces)
- 2 cans wild tuna (I use Vital Choice – use code balancedbites for 15% off your 1st order!)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 4-6 tablespoons homemade or Primal Kitchen mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you'd like it)
- 1 tablespoon tuna juice (optional)
Set up your food processor with the regular blade, and add the onion. Process until finely minced.
Remove the regular blade and attach the shredding disc. Shred the carrot into the processor on top of the onion.
Drain the tuna, reserving the liquid in a small bowl. Add the tuna and spices and pulse a few times. Then add the mayonnaise and pulse until well combined. You can add some the tuna juice if you want a softer mixture without adding additional mayonnaise.
Note: a yellow or white carrot will keep the salad from turning orange. You could also use a stalk of fresh celery shredded in after the carrot and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt instead of the celery salt.