This Mexican tuna salad recipe is a fun spin on the same old mayo and tuna. With loads of texture and color, it will keep you full for hours.
Canned tuna has come a long way in the last decade. Before, the grocery store only stocked a couple of brands and the quality was closer to cat food than actual fish. Fast forward to today and beautiful, high-quality tuna cans are stocked on the shelves just waiting for you to indulge. Naturally, this canned tuna renaissance has inspired me to use this fast and convenient protein in not only our cozy favorites like tuna melts, but also in new and exciting ways. Enter: this fresh and funky Mexican tuna salad.
What Exactly is a Mexican Tuna Salad?
This Mexican tuna salad takes tuna salad to a whole other level. By adding in black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, and red onion, the texture and flavor are through the roof. The cherry on top? The salad is finished with a dash of taco seasoning and creamy ranch dressing to bring it all together.
Assembling this Simple Mexican Tuna Salad
The first step to assembling this salad is to chop all the veggies into equal-sized pieces.
- Drain the Tuna: Next, pop the tuna can open and use the lid as a barrier to help drain out the excess liquid.
- Toss the Salad: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the taco seasoning and dressing. Serve immediately and enjoy!
3 Tips for the Tastiest Mexican Tuna Salad
A couple of tips will help you extract as much flavor as possible out of this salad.
- Drain and rinse the canned corn and beans. Canned food is preserved in a thick, slimy brine. Make sure to rinse the beans and corn thoroughly to make sure none of this yucky brine makes its way into your salad.
- Make sure the lettuce isn’t wet. One of the most common mistakes in salad making is not ensuring the lettuce is as dry as possible before tossing. Why? Wet lettuce can water down the dressing and make the salad soggy. To prevent this, allow the lettuce to air dry in a single layer on a kitchen towel or use a salad spinner.
- Only toss the dressing before you plan to serve the salad. This rule goes for any and all salads to prevent them from turning soggy.
Different Variations to Play With
This salad is already an adventure for the tastebuds, but here are a couple of more ways to rev it up even more.
- Add some tortilla chips, chili chips, or crushed tostada shells for an extra crunch
- Toss in some shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican cheese
- Finish it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a pop of citrus
- Add in a handful of black olives
- Pack in more fresh veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, and jalapenos work great)
- Swap the tuna for shredded Instant Pot chicken
- Garnish the salad with chopped cilantro
Ideas for Serving a Mexican Tuna Salad
Bring a big batch of Mexican tuna salad to your next potluck or get-together. Just make sure to keep the dressing separate to prevent it from turning soggy. It also makes for a wonderful side dish to your Taco Tuesday spread of carne asada street tacos and cilantro lime rice.
Lettuce Wraps Hack: Instead of serving the tuna salad on chopped lettuce, serve it atop whole lettuce leaves for a low-carb dinner.
Best Practices for Storage
While tuna salad is best eaten immediately, you can store it separately from the dressing for up to a week. Keep the produce and dressing in different airtight containers and you’ll be golden.
Can you swap the canned tuna out for a different canned fish?
Canned salmon will work just as well and add a subtle sweetness.
What lettuce works best for this salad?
Crunchy romaine or butter leaf lettuce works best. That said, you can use any lettuce you like best. If you want the extra fiber, use massaged kale.
Should you use canned tuna in water or oil?
It’s up to your preference. Canned tuna with water will be a bit milder in taste, while canned tuna in oil will be a bit more nutty and full-bodied.
Can you use a different type of dressing than ranch?
Caesar dressing will work as well. If you don’t want a creamy dressing, use your favorite vinaigrette.
Other Tasty Salads to Try
- Bayonne Ham and Arugula Salad – Thin-shaved ham and arugula salad
- Homemade Creamy Caesar Salad – Tangy and creamy classic caesar
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers and more tossed in an easy dressing.
- Taco Salad – Ground beef and all the classic taco toppings
- Ultimate Garden Salad Recipe – The perfect side salad
- Tomato Peach Burrata Salad Recipe – Sweet and salty salad with gooey burrata