Recipe: Tuna Salad

salad2We’re getting into the really hot days now, when any recipe that doesn’t involve switching on the stove, oven, or even toaster, is a recipe to be valued.  And in these post-Christmas weeks, there is a certain urge towards salad, to balance out all the rich foods we have been eating recently…

This recipe is another one of those embarrassingly simple ones, but it’s so very useful I’m putting it here anyway.  There’s a lot to be said for a recipe that requires no measurements, is portable, and gives you a reasonably filling and balanced lunch at the end of it.  Now, if only I had a really good vegetarian version of this… (stay tuned, however – I have plans!)

Your shopping list (serves 2)

1 lebanese cucumber
1 red capsicum
1 green capsicum
350g – 500 g  (1 1/2 – 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes, any kind, or 3 nice tomatoes
1 x 185 g tin of tuna or salmon, in olive oil if possible
2 x 125 g tins four bean mix
black pepper
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Now what will you do with it?

Peel the cucumber and halve it lengthways.  Slice, and put into a bowl or lunchbox.  Chop your capsicums as you like them – I tend to chop them into 1cm slices and then make the slices about an inch long.  Halve your cherry tomatoes if you are feeling enthusiastic, or chop your tomatoes.

Drain your beans and add to the salad.  If your tuna is in oil, drain it only partially, and then crumble the tuna into the salad, letting some of the oil go in, too.  Grind black pepper over the salad and then splash over some red wine vinegar.  Toss and serve.

If you want to pack this for lunch, do everything up until the point where you’ve drained and added the beans.  Divide between two lunchboxes that will give you room to add the tuna and toss it.  Instead of getting a single 180g tin, get two 90g tins, and put one of these in each lunchbox, unopened.  Put the vinegar in a little jar or container with the pepper, and add to the lunchbox.  When you are ready for lunch, open the tin, mix the tuna and oil through the salad, and pour over your vinegar and pepper.  All fresh and yummy.



This is low-GI, dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free, but what it isn’t is vegetarian.  I’m yet to come up with a vegetarian version that I really like, so at this point I’m not making any recommendations (but would love to hear yours – see my next post).

You can basically use any salad veggies or herbs you like.  In winter, if I have a craving for salad, I leave out the tomatoes, which tend to be a bit dodgy at that time of year, and add celery, spring onion or red onion, and parsley instead..  Apple can be nice, too, especially to replace the capsicum.   These ingredients are, of course, perfectly fine in addition to the ones above – they don’t have to replace them!

Also, do add salt, pepper, oil and vinegar to taste – I’m fond of a sharp vinegariness to my salads (the relic of a grandfather who used to make his own red wine… which sometimes led to vinegar, and was used copiously in salads), but I realise that this is not for everyone.  Enjoy!



This time last year…

Recipe: Baked Ricotta
Planning and Pizza




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6 comments for “Recipe: Tuna Salad

  1. Christine
    January 6, 2013 at 5:48 am

    My family loves tuna salad on hot days in the summer. My recipe is pretty simple.

    Tuna, I usually use canned in water
    Chopped bread and butter pickles (ie sweet pickles)
    Chopped celery
    Chopped mushrooms (type varies depending on what is available and what I’m in the mood for)
    Chopped red, orange and yellow peppers (green peppers can be used, but I’m not fond of them so usually don’t)
    Chopped radish (Andrew doesn’t like radishes, so I rarely include them, but I like the addition)
    Tomatoes (variety varies depending on what is available), chopped into small, bite-sized pieces)

    Make sure the tuna is well broken, and then mix with the rest of the ingredients. Quantities vary widely based. I also add other things depending on what catches my fancy at the market/grocery store.

    Serve on lettuce or other leaf greens.

    • Catherine
      January 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Sounds delicious! And interesting, because those sound like the ingredients I’d put in a conventional potato salad (the kind I like, but don’t actually make, because Andrew wouldn’t eat it if I did). I bet little boiled potatoes would round this out nicely…

  2. filkferengi
    January 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Here’s S. J. Tucker’s salad recipe that can’t be beet [only it is ;)]:

  3. Catherine
    January 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    This is both scary and awesome. I’m not 100% sure about the recipe, though – some slightly weird combinations there. I may have to try it…

  4. Christine
    January 7, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I’m not very fond of beets, although my family like them. So if I were making the salad, I’d skip this variation!

    And baby potatoes would be an interesting addition. I should try that.

    As for additions, it really does depend on what looks good at the market or grocery or what I’m in the mood for. The only standards are tuna and mayo! Oh, and just realized I forgot green onions in the list above. I try to always put in the chopped pickles, green onions, celery and various sweet peppers. The rest vary.

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