As much as I love rice and beans, I also love a simple salad. In fact, the simpler the salad the likelier I am to love it. I’m not a big fan of mayo, ranch, or bleu cheese dressing and my lactose sensitively is probably the culprit. That’s why I grew up eating this very simple yet delicious Tuna Fish Salad. It’s a dish I had almost every Friday during Lent when my family didn’t eat meat. I can make this salad in my sleep and I never get tired of it.
My Aunt Angela is THE Tuna Fish Salad maker, whether it’s a tuna pasta salad or a regular tuna salad. And like me, she too is lactose intolerant. I have to thank her for creating this amazing salad and passing down her recipe because it’s a salad that I always turn to when I want something flavorful, nutritious, high in protein, low in carbs, and just overall healthy. It’s a salad that’s so healthy that you actually forget you eating something so nutritious. Score!
Unlike, traditional Tuna Fish Salads, this salad doesn’t have any mayonnaise, sour cream, or ranch dressing. Instead, it has fresh ingredients like onions, peppers, olives/capers, and lime juice, which make it super vibrant. At no point when you’re eating this salad do you think, “oh man, I want to drown it in cream.” I have served this salad at so many gatherings both as appetizers and side dishes, and everyone is always amazed. In fact, it’s a salad I usually turn to when I’m kickstarting healthier eating habits. You can eat it with saltine crackers, pita, bread, pasta and so many other things. It’s the perfect pairing to almost everything.
Many of the recipes on my YouTube Channel- Made to Order and here on my site usually remind me of home because that’s where my heart is. I usually cook to remind me of days when my grandmother was around. My sister and I are 14 years apart and my grandmother died when my sister was really young. I feel bad that she wasn’t given the same amount of time with our grandmother that I was. Nonetheless, I feel like it’s my duty to share my grandmother’s legacy with my sister.
Funny enough, this Tuna Fish Salad recipe wasn’t a favorite of my grandmother. My grandmother didn’t care too much for fish, which is why my mom doesn’t eat seafood AT ALL. But half of us in the house (and we were a bunch) actually liked fish. That’s why my Aunt Angela would take charge of our Friday dinners during Lent.
I can close my eyes right at this minute and picture my grandmother and I sitting side-by-side at the breakfast nook while my aunt prepares this dish. My grandmother- with a cigarette in hand- scoffs and takes a long drag before blowing out the smoke and saying, “This isn’t dinner!” I’d chuckle because it’s so unlike my grandmother to be dramatic. And to be honest– rice, beans, and tuna fish was dinner and a favorite dinner to say the least! Nonetheless, she’d look at me from the corner of her eye and I would fix my face. “We’re a team!” I would say to myself and with fake enthusiasm I’d repeat “This isn’t dinner!” I’ve always been a bad liar and my grandmother knew me too well to know that deep down inside I was actually excited to have this salad. That’s when she would take another drag from her cigarette, hand me a fork, and have me taste my aunt’s Tuna salad.
“Here. At the very least it needs to be good.” She’d say.
I would then reach over and take a big ol’ bite and cringe…. My aunt had yet to add the lime. My grandmother and my aunt would laugh. “And that’s what happens when you’re greedy,” my aunt would say. She’d then walk me through her recipe step-by-step and explain that all seafoods are not created equally but they all deserve to be drenched in lime. It’s a lesson I’ll never forget and a memory I’ll always share especially with my sister.
If you’d like to see a step-by-step demo of How to Make The Best Tuna Fish Salad then click here to watch my video. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
- 2 cans of Tuna Fish- Solid White Albacore
- ½ small red onion minced
- 2 tbs mixed bell pepper minced
- 2 tbs chopped olives
- 1 -2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ tsp orégano
- ¼ tsp adobo or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 lime
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Drain tuna and break up into small pieces with a fork. Set bowl aside or in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients
- Mince onions, peppers, cilantro, and olives and then add it to the tuna
- Mix together
- Now add adobo, peppers, orégano, and lime juice
- Mix together again
- Add lime juice, olive oil, and mix
- Taste test and add any extra seasonings or lime you wish
- Cool for 1-2 hours then enjoy with crackers, rice, or pita
I really hope you enjoyed this recipe! Buen Provecho!