Mexican Tuna Salad is a flavor-packed twist on the classic that's set to become your new favorite. Picture this: succulent tuna, sweet corn, black beans, and crisp veggies, all mixed with a zesty mayo, cumin, and lime dressing. It's a fiesta of colors and flavors, a quick and wholesome option perfect for busy day dinners or family lunches. Add fresh cilantro for extra freshness, if you like.
This is a great easy idea for all canned tuna lovers out there, including myself! The Mexican inspired Tuna Salad is fresh, delicious and somewhat unexpected, with notes of classic Mexican flavors, such as lime, cilantro and jalapeño.
Personally, I love tuna so much that I'd perfectly fine eating it "the American way", mixed with copious amounts of mayo, onion and pickles pretty much every day.
But I also love experimenting with healthy canned tuna recipes, such as my Buffalo tuna salad (yes, you can mix tuna with hot sauce!), these low-carb tuna stuffed zucchini boats, simple and elegant Tuna Caesar Salad or the super easy Tuna Pesto Pasta.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Mexican Tuna Salad is an easy and healthy lunch or dinner recipe
- Versatile and customizable - add whatever veggies you want and serve as a dip, in a sandwich or a wrap, or on a bed of lettuce
- High protein and nutritious - filled with lean protein (from tuna and black beans)
- Great for parties and pot lucks
Looking for more high protein lunch recipes? Try these:
- Tuna: choose any canned tuna—albacore, light chunk, yellowfin, or skipjack—they will all work great
- Sweet Corn: you can use canned corn or leftover cooked fresh corn
- Red Bell Peppers: to add some color and sweetness to the salad
- Red Onion: white or sweet onion will also work
- Black Beans: canned beans are quick and easy - make sure to rinse and drain them well
- Mayo: I like Sir Kennsington's avocado mayo
- Jalapeño Pepper: to add some spice to the salad
- Cumin: ground cumin adds an unexpected earthy note to the salad
- Fresh Cilantro and Lime Juice: for the Mexican flavor vibes
How to make Mexican Tuna Salad
Step 1: Place the drained tuna in a medium mixing bowl and use a fork to break up large pieces.
Step 2: Add chopped red pepper, red onion, corn, black beans (rinsed and drained), mayo, cilantro, cumin, jalapeño, and lime juice.
Step 3: Mix the ingredients with a fork until well combined.
Step 4: Serve immediately for an instant flavor party or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Storage, meal prep and freezing tips
- Meal prep: this tuna salad is great for meal prep lunches or dinners. Just divide it into individual glass containers and enjoy throughout the week with tortilla chips or in lettuce cups.
- Refrigerator: store leftover tuna salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
- Freezer: this sald can be frozen in an airight container though it may lose some of its crispness and texture after thawing. If the mayo splits, give it a good stir or add a touch more fresh mayo right before serving to bring back that creamy goodness.
There are so many ways you can enjoy this flavorful Mexican Tuna Salad:
- As a Dip: spoon it into a small bowl, garnish with extra fresh cilantro leaves and serve surrounded by tortilla chips and cut up fresh crunchy vegetables. This is by far my favorite way to serve this salad.
- On a bed of greens: just scoop it on top for a satsifying dinner or lunch salad
- In a wrap: scoop it into a warmed tortilla with some crisp lettice and thinly sliced carrot
- In a sandwich: I like it on multigrain bread with some crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes
- In lettuce wraps: this is a great healthy lunch option, especially with slices of creamy avocado on top. Romaine lettuce leaves work great for this!
- On tostada shells: you'll love the variety of textures
- In avocado halves: for an elegant, Mexican-inspired appetizer
Recipe variations and more expert tips
If you don't like the taste of cilantro, swap it for fresh parsley leaves or sliced scallions, or skip all together.
- Black beans can be swapped for pinto beans or white beans
- For a no mayo version, mix the salad with some full fat Greek yogurt and an extra squeeze of lime juice
- Make sure to drain your tuna well on a sieve before mixing with other ingredients - this prevents the salad from going watery
- For extra creamy salad, increase the amount of mayo to ½ cup or more. You can also stir in some sour cream or Mexican crema.
The traditional Mexican ensalada de atún uses canned tuna mixed with a creamy ingredient, such as mayo, something spicy (spicy peppers), fresh lime juice, crisp lettuce and other veggies.
My recipe does nor use lettuce because I was going for a more versatile salad that can be used in sandwiches or wraps or as a dip but if you miss the crunchiness of lettuce, it's also excellent served on a bed of greens or in lettuce cups.
My favorite tuna for salads is this chunk light tuna from Thrive Market. I also like skipjack tuna from Wild Planet.
Yes! Just drain it on a sieve before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.
Which kind of canned tuna is lowest in mercury?
Mercury is a concern with certain types of tuna. Chunk light tuna and skipjack tuna are generally lower in mercury.
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- 2 7oz cans of tuna in water or oil, drained
- ½ cup corn canned or cooked from fresh or frozen
- ½ cup black beans canned, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup red onion diced small
- ¼ cup red bell pepper diced small
- ¼ cup mayo increase to ⅓ cup if you prefer creamier salad
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ jalapeno pepper diced small, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- ½ lime juiced
- Place drained tuna in a medium mixing bowl and mix with a fork to break up large pieces.
- Add chopped red pepper, red onion, corn and black beans (rinsed and drained), mayo, cilantro, cumin, jalapeno and lime juice.
- Mix with a fork.
- Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.