Tuna & Bean Salad in Pita Pockets

May/June 1996, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook (2004)

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Dressing tuna salad with lemon and olive oil lends a bright, fresh note that's a great alternative to mayo. Beans add appealing texture and fabulous nutrition.

" I used a whole wheat tortilla to wrap it instead of pita bread, and I substituted garbanzo beans for the white beans, as I prefer the flavor. It was a delicious light lunch, and I'll definitely make it again--the ingredients are...
Tuna & Bean Salad in Pita Pockets

Makes: 2 sandwiches

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  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed
  • 1 3-ounce can tuna packed in water, drained and flaked (see Note)
  • 1 cup arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads
  • 2-4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. With a chef’s knife, mash garlic and salt into a paste. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, oil and crushed red pepper. Add beans, tuna and arugula; toss to mix. Season with pepper.
  2. Cut a quarter off each pita to open the pocket. (Save the trimmings to make pita crisps.) Line the centers with lettuce. Fill with tuna/bean salad and red onion slices

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week; up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.


Per serving: 454 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 13 mg cholesterol; 66 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 15 g fiber; 782 mg sodium; 842 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Fiber (59% dv), Folate (48% dv), Potassium (42% dv), Magnesium (33% dv), Iron (30% dv), Calcium (15% dv), Vitamin C (15% dv), Vitamin A. (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat

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