Spicy Tuna Salad

5 from 8 votes
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Put some pep in your step with this spicy jalapeño tuna salad. It’s easy, minimal ingredients and full of heat. Perfect for a high protein sandwich.

Tuna in a clear bowl with jalapeño and bread.
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Why Make This Spicy Tuna Salad

If you love heat (which I clearly do) you will go crazy with this spicy tuna salad. It has a nice bite to it from jalapeño, cayenne and spicy pickle juice. This has moved up to my top salad for sandwiches, I have it on the rotation weekly. Don’t worry, if you are sensitive to spice you can easily customize this to be a mild salad. Tuna is full of protein and it’s one of my favorite spring/summer stuffing for sandwiches.

Another great option is to make this tuna for my Open Faced Tuna Melt. It’s a great way to pack in the protein. For a vegetarian twist, check out my Chickpea Salad Sandwiches.

Ingredients Needed

ingredients in measuring cups.

Canned Tuna. I use two 5 oz cans to make this recipe. I like to use a high quality albacore tuna. It has the freshest, cleanest flavor.

Mayo. I love mayonnaise with tuna. Feel free to use plain greek yogurt or reduced fat mayo if that fits your diet needs best.

Sweet & Spicy Pickles and Juice. You can also use jalapeño. You can find sweet spicy pickles at your local grocery store in the condiment aisle. Anything with habanero or spicy flavors in it will work great.

Seasoning. Cayenne pepper, dried onions, dried garlic (for crunch) salt & pepper.

Fresh Jalapeño. I like to chop up an entire jalapeño for this spicy tuna salad. To make it more mild, discard the seeds and white flesh on the jalapeño.

Fresh Cilantro. This brings everything together with a little chopped fresh cilantro.

Recipe Variations

Tuna. Use canned skip jack, salmon or chicken in place of the tuna.

Jalapeño. If you are sensitive to heat, use green bell pepper and half of a jalapeño instead.

Mayo. Use reduced fat mayo, or plain greek yogurt.

Sweet Spicy Pickles/Juice. Use sweet spicy jalapeño in place of pickles if you want or need.

Cilantro. If you do not like cilantro use parsley instead.

How To Make Spicy Tuna Salad

Clear bowl with ingredients in it before mixing them up.

Step one. Gather ingredients. Finely chop the jalapeño and cilantro. * I like to give my canned tuna a little rinse to get the canned water off, this is totally optional!*

Step Two. Add all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add more mayo if needed, this is up to you and your preference. Garnish with a little extra chopped cilantro and enjoy on toasted bread or on it’s own!

Up close photo of tuna salad in clear bowl.

Recipe FAQ’s

How can I make this healthier?

Make any tuna salad healthier by using plain greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. This adds more protein and bit less fat.

Does tuna have mercury?

Yes, but some brands are mercury free and you can use skip jack tuna instead for a lower mercury level.

Will this recipe work with chicken as well?

Yes! Make this recipe using shredded or canned chicken in place of the tuna if you are pregnant or don’t like tuna.

Other Lunch Recipes To Enjoy

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Tuna in a clear bowl with jalapeño and bread.
5 from 8 votes

Spicy Tuna Salad

Put some pep in your step with this spicy jalapeño tuna salad. It's easy, minimal ingredients and full of heat. Perfect for a high protein sandwich.
Prep: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • mixing bowl

Ingredients 

  • 7-10 oz canned tuna , *see notes
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion
  • 1 Tbsp dried garlic
  • ½-1 tsp Cayenne pepper, *add as you go to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ⅓-½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sweet spicy pickles, chopped , *see notes
  • 3-4 Tbsp sweet spicy pickle juice , or jalapeño juice
  • 2 tsp cilantro, chopped

Instructions 

  • Gather ingredients. Finely chop the jalapeño and cilantro. * I like to give my canned tuna a little rinse to get the canned water off, this is totally optional! Just be sure the water is completely drained.
  • Add all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add more mayo if needed, this is up to you and your preference. Garnish with a little extra chopped cilantro and enjoy on toasted bread or on it's own!

Notes

*canned salmon or chicken will also work. 
*sweet and spicy jalapeño will also work

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 568mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Course: lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 250
Keyword: 10 minute, Lunch, tuna
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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    YUMM this is my favorite tuna salad recipe I’ve ever had. I added extra jalapeño juice and it was so good I ate the whole thing in one sitting.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best tuna salad I’ve ever had! I love putting in a spinach herb tortilla with raw spinach, it’s the perfect lunch!

    1. Hi Tori! What a compliment 🥰 thank you dearly. I’ll be making this for lunch today myself. Happy eating, xoxo-bailey

        1. Hi Linda!
          Yes, garlic and onion powder would work. I use dehydrated garlic and onion but either one is great.

  3. 5 stars
    This is a great lunch to hit my protein goal for the day. I eat straight from the bowl since carbs aren’t in my current meal plan. This is filling and delicious for my lunch pan and keeps my gains coming.

    1. Hi Mary, There are several brands available for these pickles. You can do mango habanero or any combo in the pickle aisle you prefer. Enjoy

  4. Bailey,
    In the first picture of the tuna salad, what is the bread beside the bowl…one of your baking recipes, perhaps. Please let me know. It looks so good! Thanks!
    MaryFoy

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is the best thing to have been invented since sliced bread. So nice for a college student who always doesn’t have the time or money to make crazy meals. I love you for not only this recipe, but all of them!

    1. Thank you so much Mere! This made me smile. Happy eating!