Give your tuna salad a makeover with this chopped Mexican tuna salad. It’s made with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, pico de gallo, avocado, and creamy cilantro dressing. So good and so fresh!

Mexican Tuna Salad

There’s no doubt that chopped salads are some of my favorites. I typically go with Chopped Greek Salad of some sort or a variation of this Asian Chopped Salad.

Lately, though, this chopped Mexican-style tuna salad recipe has been my go-to for quick lunches or even easy dinners.  It’s a chopped salad loaded with fresh vegetables, pico de gallo, and creamy cilantro dressing.

The variety of texture, flavors, and plenty of crunch make this salad so delicious and filling too! Not to mention the creamy cilantro dressing, which ties the salad together.

mexican chopped tuna salad

Tuna Salad Ingredients

To make this Mexican chopped tuna salad you will need the following ingredients:

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • English Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Canned Tuna  packed in oil or water
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Black Olives
  • Avocado
  • Pico de Gallo homemade or from the deli
  • Cheesesuch as Monterey, pepper jack, or cheddar (see recipe card for more suggestions)
tuna salad ingredients

In addition to the salad ingredients, you will also need the following ingredients for the creamy cilantro dressing: cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, sour cream, honey, and olive oil.

creamy cilantro dressing ingredients

A quick note about canned tuna: You can use canned tuna packed in water or oil. I personally prefer tuna in oil as I find it more flavorful.  Either way, look for sustainably caught tuna and if buying tuna in oil, always look for olive oil-packed tuna. I love Wild Planet and Genova brands.

How to Make Mexican Tuna Salad

MAKE THE DRESSING:

  • Add the cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, sour cream, and honey to a bowl of a food processor. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper. Pulse until well blended. 
  • Keeping the food processor running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. 
creamy cilantro dressing recipe

Katya’s TIP: The dressing can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

MAKE THE SALAD:

  • Have all of the salad ingredients washed, drained, and chopped.
  • In a  large salad bowl, combine the iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro, and green onions.
chopped iceberg lettuce in a bowl
  • Add the tuna, garbanzo beans, olives, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese. I like to leave these ingredients layered over the iceberg lettuce. I think it makes a pretty presentation. Or you can toss everything to combine.
  • Spoon the creamy cilantro dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
mexican chopped salad in white salad bowl

TO MAKE AHEAD: This salad packs really nicely for the next day or even two! Simply hold off on adding the dressing and the avocado until ready to serve.

tuna salad with cilantro dressing

More Tuna Salad Recipes to Try:

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mexican tuna salad

Mexican Tuna Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Give your tuna salad a makeover with this chopped Mexican tuna salad. It’s made with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, pico de gallo, avocado, and creamy cilantro dressing. So good and so fresh!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

Salad

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced, about 6 cups
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 (5 oz.) cans tuna, packed in water or oil, drained and flaked
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced back olives, drained
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup pico de gallo, homemade or from the deli
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (see note)

Instructions

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

  1. In a bowl of a food processor, combine the cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, sour cream, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pulse until well blended.
  2. While the food processor is running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream.

Salad

  1. Add the iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro, and green onions to a large salad bowl. Toss with a pair of tongs to combine.
  2. Add tuna, garbanzo beans, olives, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese. You can either toss to combine or leave layered.  Spoon some of the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Pico de Gallo: I made a quick version of my homemade pico by simply tossing halved grape tomatoes with red onions, cilantro, and fresh lime juice. You can also pick up pico de gallo from the supermarket deli. Just make sure it’s fresh.
  • Cheese: I’ve made this salad with a variety of different cheeses: Monterey cheese, pepper jack, sharp cheddar, Cotija, and feta. They all taste great. Feel free to add more cheese if you like.
  • Originally published September 2014

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 416
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 586.8 mg
  • Fat: 28.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.9 g
  • Protein: 21.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.2 mg

Keywords: tuna salad, mexican style tuna salad, mayo free tuna salad