This is the best canned tuna salad recipe and everyone needs a good one, because those little cans come in very handy for a meal when you haven’t given it any thought beforehand. This albacore tuna recipe dresses up the standard mayo with jalapeño, hot sauce and tangy, fresh cilantro lime for a spicy tuna salad that makes awesome sandwiches, great tuna melts and can even be tossed with cooked macaroni for a classic, homestyle comfort food. Use the best canned tuna packed in water for this spicy tuna recipe.
You might be wondering why I would bother sharing a recipe for tuna salad. Most people make their tuna according to their own tastes – as it should be. However, if you’re looking for inspiration, this is my favorite spicy tuna recipe and it can easily be customized to your tastes.
Ingredients For Spicy Tuna Recipe
- Canned Albacore Tuna (Packed in Water)
- Green Onions
- Hot Sauce
Use the best canned tuna (packed in water) that you can get. Personally, I’m fond of Kirkland brand.
Cilantro lime dressing starts with mayonnaise and is embellished with lime zest, lime juice, hot sauce (the hotter the better) and fresh chopped cilantro.
How To Make Cilantro Lime Dressing For Spicy Tuna Recipe
- Measure out about 3/4 cup of mayonnaise into a 2-cup glass measure.
- Add the lime zest, lime juice, hot sauce and cilantro.
- Whisk to combine.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust to the way YOU like it.
In this spicy tuna salad, I use a hot sauce that’s made from Caribbean Scotch Bonnet peppers — we’re talking HOT. However, when it’s blended with the other ingredients, that undeniable heat is softened into a pleasant tingle on the tongue. If you’re not into spice, you can skip it. If you have a favorite hot sauce, you can absolutely use it here — but keep in mind that all hot sauces aren’t created equal… that’s why it’s important to taste all along the way, to make sure it’s not too spicy or too mild… Like Goldilocks, you want it JUST RIGHT.
Mix The Fish mixture with the Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
- and pour over the spicy tuna salad.
- Toss the mayonnaise mixture until it’s evenly distributed throughout the albacore tuna recipe… and taste it.
- Not Creamy Enough? Add more mayonnaise
- Want More Spice? Add more hot sauce or jalaepeno or pepper (or all 3).
- Want More Freshness? Add more cilantro.
That’s the beauty of easy tuna recipes; they’re meant to be fiddled with and adjusted to the way YOU like.
How Long Is Tuna Good For?
This Spicy Tuna Salad recipe will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days. (If the mayonnaise and lime juice separate after a few days, just stir it back together until it’s homogenized.)
How To Make A Tuna Melt
A tuna melt is nothing more than a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna inside. Use a sturdy sourdough bread and line each side with cheese (provolone, cheddar, swiss or muenster). Top one slice with a scoop from the spicy tuna recipe and grill on a panini press until the cheese is melted and crusts are golden.
It’s your sandwich, consequently it should also be made according to your tastes, however, I’ve found this combination is ALWAYS a winner.
Making Spicy Tuna Salad Sandwiches
- Split the buns and place a piece of spicy pepper jack cheese on the bottom buns.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet and heat for a few minutes to toast the tops and melt the cheese.
- When the buns are ready, mound a few scoops of spicy tuna salad over the cheese. Add pickled cucumbers and fresh tomato slices.
- Spread mashed avocado liberally over the top bun and assemble the sandwich.
More Garnishes For Albacore Tuna Recipe:
- Quick Pickled Onions
- Boston Bibb Lettuce
- Pickled Jalapeños
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves
More Canned Tuna Recipes:
- Nicoise Farro Salad
- Cheesy Homestyle Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Tuna White Bean Puttanesca
- Tuna Melt Quesadillas
Cilantro Lime Spicy Tuna Salad Sandwich
FOR CILANTRO LIME SPICY TUNA SALAD
- 4 7-ounce cans tuna packed in water well-drained, flaked with a fork (I like Kirkland Brand)
- 2 stalks celery finely diced
- 1 bunch green onions finely diced
- 1 jalapeño stemmed, seeded, minced
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise according to your tastes
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- 1 tablespoon habanero hot sauce (or more or less -- according to your tastes)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cilantro roughly chopped
FOR CILANTRO LIME SPICY TUNA SALAD SANDWICH:
- 8 brioche buns
- 1 ripe tomato sliced crosswise
- 3 ripe haas avocado peeled and mashed with a fork
- 8 slices spicy pepper jack cheese (sandwich slices from the deli)
- 1 recipe Quick Pickled Cucumbers
MAKE THE SPICY TUNA SALAD
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Open the cans of tuna and drain the water from them very well. Transfer the flaked albacore to a medium bowl and break it apart with a fork.
- Add the chopped celery, green onions and jalapeno to the tuna and toss to combine.
- Measure out about 3/4 cup of mayonnaise in a 2 cup glass measure. Add the lime zest, lime juice, hot sauce, black pepper and cilantro. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the tuna salad and toss until well combined. If the tuna is too dry for your tastes, Add more, 1 tablespoon at a time until it's the way you like it. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
MAKE THE SANDWICHES
- Open the brioche buns and place them on a baking sheet. Place a slice of pepper jack cheese on the bottom portion of each bun and transfer to the oven to toast the top bun and melt the cheese. (About 5-8 minutes).
- Remove the buns from the oven and top each slice of melted cheese with a mound of tuna fish, pickled cucumbers and a tomato slice.
- Spread the mashed avocado over the top bun and top the sandwich with the avocado half. Enjoy