Ensalada de Atun (Mexican tuna salad)

Ensalada de atun is a delicious Mexican tuna salad perfect to serve as an appetizer or easy lunch any weekday. It’s extremely easy to make and makes also a nice take-away for road trips and picnics.

Ensalada de atun served on a bowl alongside saltines.

What is ensalada de atun?

Mexican tuna salad (in Spanish: Ensalada de atún) is a simple and delicious salad made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, and vegetables. The Mexican version of tuna salad is something worth trying, the recipe is really quick and easy to throw together.

The recipe varies from family to family, but there’s always an ingredient that’s never missing: Pickled jalapeños. This simple addition brings this salad so much flavor!

Ensalada de atun served on tostada.

How it’s served?

In Mexico, is very common to see this easy salad served in the following ways:

  • On Tostadas. Those crunchy corn tortillas can be find at any Mexican store or also in Amazon, my fav brand are Tostadas Charras and you can even buy the baked version and save some calories.
  • With Crackers. Salty crackers (saltines), also know as galletas saladas; is another option to serve Mexican tuna salad.
  • In a sandwich. My favorite, but you might want to make it and eat it straight away, as the bread can get soggy if you prepare the sandwich ahead.
Mexican tuna salad served on a sandwich and saltines.

Other ways of eating this salad are serving it as a dip alongside totopos (tortilla chips), rice crackers, toasted bread, or for a low-carb option, scooping it up with celery, endive, or other crunchy vegetables.

The ingredients needed

Those below are the ingredients used for this recipe, just remember that you can also customize it with your favorite vegetables or even fruits.

First, you can choose what type of canned tuna to add. I will always go with packed tuna in olive oil as that’s the one we prefer, but if you want to cut off on calories you can add also tuna in water.

If you still can’t decide what type of tuna to add, I recommend reading this article: Tuna in oil vs Tuna in water.

All ingredients ready on bowls and labeled with names placed on a marble surface.

The dressing is very simple, just Mexican crema or sour cream (if you can’t find the first), a bit of mayonnaise, and the “secret” ingredient: Vinegar from canned jalapeños!

Fresh or canned vegetables?

I use both. When I have some vegetables sitting in the fridge and I don’t know what to do with them, I’ll just cut them into small bites and boil them in salted water until they are al dente. I use anything I have available, like carrots, potatoes, peas, corn, green beans, etc.

Vegetables and tuna on a bowl, and dressing ingredients on small bowls alongside.

For example, one of my friend’s moms used to add chopped celery, and when my mother made this Mexican tuna salad for Christmas she will also add green apples cut into small cubes. Both additions are very good and delicious!

As for canned vegetables, I find them very convenient because they’re cooked already. I just gave them a quick rinse under running water and let them drain on a colander for a couple of minutes before adding them.

Mexican Tuna Salad Recipe

  • Prepare your fresh vegetables by washing them and cutting/chopping them.
  • Place lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a can of mixed veggies in a medium bowl.
  • Drain well the canned tuna and add it to the bowl with veggies.
  • Add Mexican crema, mayonnaise, pickled jalapeños, and vinegar from the last.
  • Season with salt and mix well.
  • Serve your ensalada de atun with tostadas, salty crackers, or fill a sandwich!
Ensalada de atun mixed inside a bowl.

Make It ahead & How To Store

You can make this ensalada de atun up to two or three days ahead. I just recommend not adding the lettuce, as it will become soggy and unappetizing after sitting for long.

For storing, make sure to keep the salad refrigerated in an air-tight container. Mexican tuna salad is perfect for bringing to gatherings, for office lunch, or for picnics as it can stay fresh for a couple of hours outside the fridge.

Tuna salad on a turquoise bowl.

More Mexican salads to try

  • Salpicon – This healthy salad is made with shredded beef and vegetables.
  • Coditos Salad – The Mexican version of macaroni salad with a fun tangy and sweet touch from pineapple.
  • Cactus Salad – Made with pickled nopales, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
  • Curtido – This Mexican cabbage salad is perfet to top your crispy tacos.
Ensalada de tun recipe.

Ensalada de Atun

Ensalada de atun is a delicious Mexican tuna salad perfect to serve as an appetizer or easy lunch any weekday.
PREP 10 minutes
TOTAL 10 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 2
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

  • 1 -7 oz can tuna (drained)
  • 1 ½ cup iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • ½ cup tomatoes (diced)
  • ¼ cup onions (chopped)
  • 1 -8oz can mixed vegetables
  • cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños (chopped)
  • ¼ cup vinegar from pickled jalapeños
  • salt

Instructions

  • Place lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mixed veggies on a medium bowl.
  • Add tuna, well drained.
  • Add Mexican crema, mayonnaise, pickled jalapeños, and vinegar.
  • Season with salt and mix well.
  • Serve with tostadas, salty crackers or fill a sandwich!

NOTES

The recipe yields 2 complete servings for lunch or dinner. If you make this salad as appetizer it can serve up to 6.
Nutrition
Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 687mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 11947IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 3mg
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