This Mexican tuna salad isn’t the same boring tuna salad your grandma makes! It’s packed full of peppery flavor and zesty punches, that are perfect for a weekend lunch break south of the border.
Table of Contents: Mexican Tuna Salad Recipe
Table of contents
- Mexican Tuna Salad Recipe
- WTF is Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
- WTF is Cilantro Lime Crema
- Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Ingredients
- Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Equipment
- How to Make Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
- Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Leftovers
- Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Variations
- How to Serve With Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
Make sure to keep scrolling past the recipe card for a deep dive into this Mexican tuna salad recipe. We go over all the ingredients and equipment you’ll need, as well as what to do with leftovers, variations, and FAQ’s.
Mexican Tuna Salad Recipe
WTF is Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
When I think about tuna salad I think about mayo drenched canned tuna that you’d see on a salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays. Which, sure has its place, but for the most part is reserved for a speedy excuse for a quick weekday meal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love tuna, canned or not; but I think we can do better than grandma’s tuna salad. Thats what we tried to do with this canned tuna recipe. We wanted to spice up that boring old tuna salad recipe, and we think using the flavors of Mexico is a perfect way to do that.
This tuna salad recipe is a celebration of Mexican flavors and ingredients. We use a cilantro lime crema instead of plain old mayo, and we spice it up with hot peppers, and chili flakes. We toss in red onions and ground cumin to round things out. We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
WTF is Cilantro Lime Crema
Crema is Mexico’s version of sour cream or France’s crème fraîche. It’s traditionally made with buttermilk and heavy cream, lime juice, and a little salt. But we simplify it a bit and use a combination of high quality mayo and sour cream.
The zest of fresh lime juice and the salty finish makes for a super unique and addicting sauce. Add some freshly chopped cilantro and you have a super fun and flavorful sauce that brings a normally boring canned tuna salad to life!
Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Ingredients
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make this Mexican tuna salad recipe. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding everything at your local supermarket. If fresh corn isn’t in season, canned is okay.
- Canned Tuna in Water: Preferably Albacore
- Corn: Kennels from a freshly roasted corn on the cob. Unless it summertime and fresh corn is readily available, you can use canned corn, no judgment.
- Jalapeño: Or whatever spicy pepper you like. Serranos or habanero will give you more of a kick, so be careful. Make sure to deseed your peppers, unless you like it really fiery.
- Onion: Preferably a red onion, but any will do.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro garnished onto of a big scoop of this spicy Mexican tuna salad is the perfect proverbial cherry on top.
- Spices: Make sure to season with sea salt, black pepper, ground cumin, and optionally some red pepper chili flakes for a bit more of a kick.
Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Equipment
Nothing fancy is needed to make this simple canned tuna salad recipe. You probably already have everything you need in your kitchen, and you don’t HAVE to have these items, but they’ll make your life easier.
- Mixing Bowl: Toss all of the Mexican tuna salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl, no need to use a separate bowl for the cilantro lime crema.
- Fork: Use a simple dinner fork to flake up the tuna and mix everything together.
- Citrus Juicer: If you have one great, if not it’s fine, just hand squeeze your limes or buy jarred lime juice. But really, you should invest in a citrus juicer, they maximize the amount of juice you get from each fruit, and you won’t make as much of a mess.
How to Make Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
Follow these step by step instructions to make this Mexican tuna salad recipe. It’s super simple and once your corn is roasted it should only take your 5-10 minutes to complete. Good luck!
Step 1: Cook the Corn
Husk and clean your corn. Toss your corn on the cob into a pot of boiling water for 4-5 minutes, or until it’s bright yellow and tender. Then finish it off on a hot cast iron skillet, turning until all sides have a nice sear on them. *Alternatively you can roast your corn on the grill.
If using canned corn, heat 1/2 Tbsp of butter over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet. Toss in the corn kernels and sauté for 5-7 minutes until they have a nice char on them.
Step 2: Make the Crema
Grab a 1/4 bushel of cilantro, pick the leaves, discard the stems and finely chop the herbs. Squeeze the juice from one lime, and in a large mixing bowl combine juice, mayo, sour cream, salt, and cilantro. Stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
*Optionally, you can pulse all ingredients in a food processor until everything is smooth and combined.
Step 3: Combine Everything
Once the corn has cooled enough to be handled, cut the kernels off the cob and transfer them to the same mixing bowl the crema is in and add the canned tuna, chopped onion, minced jalapeño, and ground cumin. Use a fork to mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve on a bed of lettuce, in a wrap with tomato slices and cheese, or with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Leftovers
This Mexican tuna salad makes great leftovers. It’s also a super simple meal prep for the work week. You can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
However, I don’t recommend freezing this Mexican tuna salad.
Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad Variations
This Mexican tuna Salad can be customized a hundred different ways. We just picked out some of our favorite flavors from Mexico and put them into a canned tuna salad. We love cilantro and spice so this recipe goes heavy on those flavors, but here are a couple different ways you could vary this Mexican tuna salad recipe.
- Greek Yogurt: Use plain greek yogurt instead of mayo or sour cream for a healthier option.
- Veggies: Frankie likes red bell peppers in her Mexican tuna salad, so play with whatever chopped veggies you prefer. Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, or bell peppers are all great additions.
- Avocado: Fold in some chopped avocado for a creamy Mexican tuna salad. In fact, we have a recipe for an Avocado Crema that would be perfect in this tuna salad. Spicy Jalapeño & Avocado Lime Crema
- Black Beans: Toss in some of the musical fruit to really make this spicy canned tuna salad a fiesta.
How to Serve With Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad
My ideal pairing to Mexican tuna salad would be a bag of tortilla chips and a big ass margarita. But not everyone drinks tequila with their lunch, so here are some other ideas of what to pair with spicy Mexican tuna salad.
- Lettuce Wrap: Serve a couple scoops of this spicy canned tuna salad on a bed of romaine or iceberg lettuce. Fold it up and eat it like a taco!
- Chips and Salsa: Dip a chip in some salsa, dip a chip in some tuna salad, dip a chip in salsa and tuna salad, its a party!
- Tortilla Soup: Pair your Mexican tuna salad with a warm cup of tortilla soup.
These are just a few ideas, there’s no wrong answer, so just have fun with it.
Spicy Mexican Tuna Salad FAQ’S
This tuna salad is infused with Mexican flavors such as spicy peppers, cilantro, lime, and cumin.
Yes! This recipe keeps great in the fridge for up to a week.
It is best to consume homemade crema within a week, ensuring that it is stored in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator.
Absolutely, reduce or omit spicy ingredients for a milder version. You can also serve hot sauce on the side for those who prefer extra heat.