Skip to Content

Mexican Tuna Salad

Mexican tuna salad is quick, easy and packed with flavor. This healthy Mexican tuna salad recipe only takes 5 minutes and is fresh, bright, and made with no mayo! This no cook lunch uses pantry ingredients and is a delicious twist on traditional Mexican tuna salad.

Hand dipping a chip into Mexican tuna salad in a white bowl.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy – all you have to do is chop the veggies and combine everything in a large bowl. Eat with crackers, sliced veggies or in a sandwich or wrap. This healthy Mexican tuna salad recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner and can easily be doubled or tripled.
  • Simple ingredients – this Mexican tuna salad is made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or fridge. Because this recipe is made with canned tuna, it is pretty budget friendly as well.
  • Great make ahead meal – you can make this healthy Mexican tuna salad can be made in advance and served up to 1-2 days later. Great for meal prep or making the night before.
  • No mayo tuna salad recipe! Unlike most Mexican tuna salad recipes, this healthy tuna salad is made without mayo and instead uses olive oil and lime juice as a dressing and has avocado for healthy fats. That makes this healthy tuna salad with no mayo great for most diets! It’s paleo, Whole30, low carb and keto friendly.
This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my policy and more about affiliate links.

Ingredients

  • Lime juice – lime juice brightens up the flavor of the tuna and gives this Mexican tuna salad a tangy bite.
  • Olive oil – olive oil helps to create the dressing for the salad. If you are trying to reduce calories, you can omit the olive oil if needed but it does add some richness to the dish.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, red pepper flakes – these spices help to elevate the flavors of the Mexican tuna salad and give it a smoky, spicy flavor.
  • Avocado – the avocado provides some creaminess and healthy fats to the salad. If you are making this salad more than 1 day in advance, wait to cut the avocado until right before serving.
  • Canned tuna – use your favorite type of canned tuna – in water or in olive oil. Drain the tuna before adding it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. I love Skipjack tuna in olive oil.
  • Red onion – red onion provides a bite and also some crunch to the Mexican tuna salad recipe. If you don’t love red onion, you can use green onion in place of the red onion or simply omitting it.

How to make Mexican tuna salad

Start by chopping the red onion, cilantro and cutting the avocado into small chunks.

Chopped red onion and cilantro on a wood cutting board.

Drain the tuna and add it to a medium sized bowl.

Add the chopped red onion, cilantro, cubed avocado, spices, olive oil and lime juice to the bowl. Stir well

Before and after stirring Mexican tuna salad.

Serve immediately or refrigerate before serving.

Top tips

  • You can use tuna in water or tuna in olive oil. I prefer to use tuna packed in olive oil. In my recipe testing, I have discovered that tuna packed in olive oil tends to have a richer, deeper flavor and is so much more flavorful and moister than tuna packed in water, even when drained. Personally, I don’t add the oil from the can, but don’t go out of my way to drain it off either.  
  • If you are prepping this more than 1 day in advance, wait to add the avocado until you are serving it to avoid it getting brown on the outside.
  • If you are using tuna that is unsalted, be sure to add a pinch more salt to the recipe to bring the flavors
White bowl filled with Mexican tuna salad with chips around the bowl.

Other additions

This Mexican tuna salad recipe is so flavorful and perfect for a quick, easy healthy lunch. Here are some other additions that you could make depending on what you have on hand and what you are craving.

  • Veggies: Chopped tomatoes, red bell peppers, roasted red peppers, shredded red cabbage, charred corn, romaine lettuce
  • Spice: Add pickled or fresh jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, cayenne pepper or more crushed red pepper flakes
  • Creaminess: Add canned white beans or black beans (drained and rinsed of packing liquid)

How to serve Mexican tuna salad recipe

  • Crackers
  • Tortilla chips
  • Slices of cucumber or bell peppers
  • In a wrap or on bread
  • In a tortilla
  • On a crispy tostada shell
  • On sweet potato toast
  • In lettuce cups or in a collard green wrap

What to serve alongside tuna Mexican salad

Fries: Sweet Potato Fries, Rutabaga Fries, Carrot Fries, Parsnip Fries, Butternut Squash Fries

Potatoes: Air Fryer Sweet Potato Cubes, Air Fryer Potato Cubes, Vegan Roasted Potatoes

Veggies: Air Fryer Roasted Zucchini, Air Fryer Tomatoes, Air Fryer Frozen Cauliflower, Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Soup: Mexican Cauliflower White Bean Soup, Spicy White Bean Stew, Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup, Spicy Sweet Potato Soup, Black Bean Soup

Mexican tuna salad on a tortilla chip.

Common questions

Can you make this with something other than tuna

Yes! You can also use canned salmon or canned chicken. You could make this vegan by using canned chickpeas in place of the tuna.

What is the best tuna to use?

Skipjack tuna is typically the least expensive and easy to find. You can buy tuna in water or tuna in olive oil. Skipjack also has 3-4 times less mercury than albacore tuna, so if you eat tuna often, skipjack is a great option. It’s important to note that skipjack tuna does have a much stronger fishy taste than albacore or yellowfin tuna.

When I am buying tuna, I always look for line caught, pole caught, or troll caught as these are more sustainable fishing option.

Some of the brands of tuna I love are Mind Fish Co, SafeCatchWild PlanetThrive Market and Trader Joe’s (which is the most budget friendly).  You can find Safe Catch and Wild Planet in most grocery stores, Whole Foods, Amazon and Thrive Market. If you are interested in checking out Thrive Market, you can get 25% off your first order!

What if you don’t like cilantro?

If you don’t like cilantro, you can simply omit it or you can replace it with flat leaf parsley. The flavor will change slightly but adding fresh herbs helps keep the recipe bright and fresh tasting.

Can you make this for meal prep?

Yes, you can make Mexican tuna salad for meal prep. The recipe keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge. For the best color and texture, wait to add the avocado to the salad until right before serving.

It’s easy to double or triple this recipe in a large bowl to serve during the week. This is also a great no cooking required dinner.

Blue bowl filled with Mexican tuna salad, avocado in the background.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover tuna Mexican salad in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this tuna salad in advance. However, you can blend together the cilantro, lime juice and olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays. Defrost on the counter before using.

Substitutions

Lime juice – you can replace the lime juice with lemon juice, red wine vinegar (about 1 tablespoon) or apple cider vinegar. Each of these substitutions will change the flavor slightly but all will work well.

Olive oil – you can use avocado oil in place of the olive oil. You can also omit the oil if needed.

Spices – the spices help to increase the flavor in this tuna salad recipe. If you don’t have ground cumin, you can replace it with smoked paprika for a similar smoky flavor. If you don’t have garlic powder, you can use onion powder or 1 tablespoon of dried chives. If you don’t have red pepper flakes, you can use cayenne pepper.

Tuna – you can use whatever canned tuna you have on hand for this recipe. You could also use canned salmon, canned chicken or chickpeas or white beans in place of the tuna.

Cilantro – cilantro gives the dish a really fresh, bright flavor. If you don’ have cilantro you can use flat leaf parsley.

Avocado – avocado provides creaminess and healthy fats to the dish. If you don’t have avocado, simply leave it out.

Red onion – red onion provides some crunch and helps give the Mexican tuna salad slight pungent flavor that offsets the brightness from the lime and fresh herbs perfectly. You can also use green onion or white onion if needed or simply omit the red onion from the recipe. You could use red bell pepper for the same kind of crunch.

Lime juice being squeezed over the Mexican tuna salad ingredients in a blue bowl.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Low FODMAP Tuna Salad

Pesto Tuna Pasta

Whole30 Mexican Tuna Stuffed Peppers

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!
Chip being dipped in Mexican tuna salad.

Mexican Tuna Salad

Mexican tuna salad is quick, easy and packed with flavor. This bright, fresh Mexican tuna salad recipe is made without mayo and is ready in just 5 minutes. This healthy tuna salad recipe is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, paleo, Whole30 and low carb.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Mexican tuna salad, Mexican tuna salad recipe
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Chop the cilantro, red onion and cube the avocado.
  • Drain the tuna from the can and place it in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  • Serve with crackers, chips, raw veggies or on bread or tortillas..

Notes

Top tips
  • You can use tuna in water or tuna in olive oil. I prefer to use tuna packed in olive oil. In my recipe testing, I have discovered that tuna packed in olive oil tends to have a richer, deeper flavor and is so much more flavorful and moister than tuna packed in water, even when drained. Personally, I don’t add the oil from the can, but don’t go out of my way to drain it off either.  
  • If you are prepping this more than 1 day in advance, wait to add the avocado until you are serving it to avoid it getting brown on the outside.
  • If you are using tuna that is unsalted, be sure to add a pinch more salt to the recipe to bring the flavors.
Other additions
Veggies: Chopped tomatoes, red bell peppers, roasted red peppers, shredded red cabbage, charred corn, romaine lettuce
Spice: Add pickled or fresh jalapeno, chipotle in adobo, cayenne pepper or more crushed red pepper flakes
Creaminess: Add canned white beans or black beans (drained and rinsed of packing liquid)
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover tuna Mexican salad in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this tuna salad in advance. However, you can blend together the cilantro, lime juice and olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays. Defrost on the counter before using.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
324
Fat
 
29
g
Carbohydrates
 
20
g
Fiber
 
9
g
Sugar
 
3
g
Protein
 
3
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!

Recipe Rating