Spicy Tuna Dip With Jalapeño

This spicy tuna dip is creamy, with a subtle tang taste from pickled jalapeño peppers, and it can be made in just 5 minutes!

Spicy tuna dip with jalapeno in a bowl with chips on the side.

About The Recipe

This easy tuna dip recipe is made with just a few ingredients, yet it is delicious and perfect to serve at game day or any other gathering.

If any of you have ever been to a Mexican party or gathering, I am sure you have already seen this delicious dip on the table along with other Mexican appetizers.

This is because we often arrange last minutes parties and this tuna and cream cheese dip can be made in just a couple of minutes, making it perfect for those unexpected gatherings.

Flavor & Texture Profile

Once you try this delicious recipe, we know you’re going to be hooked because it is:

  • Creamy
  • Spicy
  • Tangy
  • Simple
close-up of Mexican spicy tuna dip.

Why You Should Make This Recipe

  • Simple Ingredients. No hard-to-find ingredients, all the ones needed for this recipe can be found in many countries, even the pickled jalapeno peppers.
  • Quick and Easy. Forget about cooking skills, with this recipe you only need to throw the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and there you go! The perfect appetizer is ready to serve and impress your guests.
  • Highly Customizable. Make your own recipe by adding other ingredients like a couple of olives, green onion, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, etc.
  • Easy to make ahead. So, perfect for parties and gatherings as you can make it up to 3 days ahead.
  • Perfect for potlucks. As it’s easy to transport and you don’t need to reheat.

The Ingredients

  • Canned tuna: I like to use tuna packed in olive oil but it can be made with any canned tuna you want or have available.
  • Jalapeños & brine: Pickled jalapeño chilies are the key ingredient for this amazing dip. I don’t recommend skipping this ingredient, however, you can adjust the quantities to your liking.
  • Cream cheese: You can use even low-fat cream cheese if you want, I don’t feel the need to add mayonnaise or cream to the recipe because cream cheese adds all the texture and flavor needed.
  • Lime: Lime juice adds a nice tangy touch to the dip. If you can’t find fresh limes where you live, you can also use lemon juice.
  • Salt & black pepper: To taste, just take in mind that cream cheese, tuna, and pickled jalapeños are salty already, so go easy when seasoning.

Related: Tips for buying canned tuna. By Eating Well.

Spicy tuna dip ingredients displayed on a counter top and labeled with names.

So, grab your ingredients, and let’s make this easy dip already!

How To Make Jalapeno Tuna Dip

Drain the canned tuna and add it to a food processor or blender with cream cheese.

Tuna and cream cheese in a food processor.

Add pickled jalapeños and a few tablespoons of brine to help them blend better and add some flavor.

Ingredients for tuna dip in a processor.

Add lime juice, a pinch of salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Blend until you will have a smooth mixture.

tuna dip freshly blended in a food processor.

Taste and adjust flavors by adding more jalapeño chilies, lime juice, salt, etc. Don’t forget to blend between additions.

Transfer the jalapeno tuna dip to a serving bowl and garnish with some chopped peppers if you want.

Tuna dip in a white bowl garnished with pickled jalapenos.

Serve as suggested below or store for later (read below our storing recommendations).

Recipe Notes

  • If you want this appetizer with a stronger tuna flavor, simply reduce the amount of cream cheese and increase the amount of tuna.
  • If, on the other hand, you want a delicate flavor, a single can of tuna will be enough to achieve a smooth taste without being too “fishy”.
  • I usually add 3 large pickled jalapeños because I like this dip on the spicy side, but you can add less. Just taste the mixture before adding more or you’ll end with a very spicy dip.
  • Don’t skip adding the jalapenos brine, it adds tons of flavor and helps the ingredients to blend better.
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers are very easy to find even outside of Mexico, they come in small cans and are sold in various online stores, Mexican stores, and local supermarkets in the international aisle.

How To Serve

You can serve this dip as an appetizer with:

  • Potato chips.
  • Corn chips.
  • Stuffed in celery sticks.
  • Toasted bread.
  • Pita chips.
  • Vegetables (carrots, cucumber, or bell peppers).
  • Favorite crackers.
  • As a spread for sandwiches or avocado toasts.

However you decide to serve it, don’t forget to pair it with your favorite drinks. We recommend this tamarind fresca or this agua de mango.

Taking some Mexican spicy tuna dip with jalapeños from a bowl with a tortilla chip.

Recipe Variations

  • Onions. Chopped fresh onions give the dip a bold, lightly pungent flavor. And texture!
  • Fresh chives. For garnish, their unique flavor goes so well with cream cheese.
  • Cilantro. Blend in a small bunch of fresh cilantro for a fresh touch.
  • Creamy. Make it creamier by adding a few tablespoons of mayonnaise or cream.
  • Garlicky. Add chopped garlic or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for a zesty and intense flavor.

How To Store

This dip stores nicely for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to place the leftovers in an airtight container so they won’t spread the smell to the other foods.

The flavors blend together once this tuna dip has rested a while in the fridge, so it tastes even better!

I personally don’t recommend freezing simply because 1) this recipe is SO easy to make and 2) defrosted cream cheese can get watery and ruin a little bit of the creamy texture.

But if you really have to, just place the dip in a resealable bag and vacuum the air as much as possible, then freeze the dip for up to 2 months.

More Appetizer Recipes

If you love easy Mexican appetizers, you might also love our:

  • Atun a la Mexicana. Canned tuna with sautéed tomatoes, onions, and chilies.
  • Tostaguac. A crispy tostada topped with guacamole, beans, lettuce, and pico de gallo salsa.
  • Cilantro Lime Sauce. An easy dip sauce to serve with your Mexican favorites recipes. It’s fresh, tangy, herbaceous, and limey!
  • Guacamole. The classic dip that never fails! It’s creamy, healthy, and packed with flavors.
Spicy tuna dip with jalapenos recipe.

Spicy Tuna Dip With Jalapeño

author Maricruz
6
This tuna dip is creamy, tangy, and with a spicy jalapeño kick. It can be made in just 5 minutes and is perfect for potlucks or last-minute parties!
prep 5 minutes
total 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 cans tuna (6 oz / 170 gr each)
  • 2 packages cream cheese (7 oz / 200 gr each)
  • 3 pickled japaleño chilies
  • 3 Tbsp pickled jalapeños brine
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Add cream cheese into a food processor or blender.
  • Drain tuna and add it to the blender.
  • Add jalapeño peppers (read notes), brine, pinch of salt, and pepper.
  • Add the juice of half a lime and then blend until smooth.
  • Taste and add more jalapeño peppers if you want, blending between additions.
  • Adjust salt, lime juice, and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve (check notes).

Notes

  • I usually add 3 large pickled jalapeños because I like this dip on the spicy side, but you can add less. Just taste the mixture before adding more.
  • Don’t skip adding the jalapenos brine, it adds tons of flavor and helps the ingredients to blend better.
Serve with:
  • Potato chips.
  • Corn chips.
  • Stuffed in celery sticks.
  • Toasted bread.
  • Pita chips.
  • Vegetables (carrots, cucumber, or bell peppers).
  • Favorite crackers.
  • As a spread for sandwiches or avocado toasts.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1177IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use tuna in water?

Yes. You can use tuna packed in water to make this recipe, just take in mind that it will have a strong flavor. We recommend adding only one 1 can instead of two.

Is spicy?

Yes. The recipe has a spicy flavor profile, but you can adjust the spiciness to your liking by adding fewer jalapeño peppers or removing the seeds before blending.

What is in tuna dip?

This particular recipe is made with canned tuna, cream cheese, pickled jalapeno peppers, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh Maricruz! This dip was the highlight of the party! We did a small gathering with the family and this was such a suceed! Everybody asked about it and said nice things! It will become a regular in my table, thank you very much!