Super healthy tuna avocado salad loaded with protein, a creamy and completely satisfying salad for lunch or workplace.
TUNA AVOCADO SALAD RECIPE
I love canned tuna, many times I just eat it as it is, with a squeeze of lemon juice and some crackers. A simple and delicious lunch or mostly dinner on days when I don’t have the time or the desire to cook.
But a simple tuna avocado salad is really not much more work either. A bit of chopping and a bit of mixing and there you have it: a beautiful tuna salad, creamy and crunchy, full of healthy ingredients.
I feel healthier just by thinking about the ingredient list… Well, anything made with avocado sounds super healthy, isn’t it? For instance, this Tomato Avocado Mozzarella Salad or this Mexican Chicken Soup with Avocado.
What makes a difference here is the avocado. I have had plenty of tuna salads over the years and I liked them all, but the avocado is really what takes a simple tuna salad up a notch, makes it irresistible and better than a regular tuna salad.
A nice ripe avocado is what you need, one that will slightly break while mixing, coating the rest of the ingredients.
INGREDIENTS FOR AVOCADO TUNA SALAD
What kind of tuna to use for tuna salad?
There are two kinds of canned tuna: in water or brine and in oil. Personally, I do prefer tuna in oil, it is tastier, less dry and really doesn’t need anything else if you just feel like eating some tuna.
However, I do use tuna canned in water or brine more often than the tuna in oil…
So, the choice is yours, whatever you prefer. Either way, drain the canned tuna well in a sieve and if using tuna with oil and want to cut on some calories, you might want to gently pat the tuna dry with some kitchen paper. Not mandatory though, only if you are worried about the calories.
Probably the most important ingredient in this tuna avocado salad.
Buy a ripe creamy soft avocado. The avocado replaces the mayonnaise in this tuna salad and if it is not ripe enough, it will not be able to fulfill its purpose, which is to coat the salad in a delicate layer of creaminess.
The issue with avocado is that you cannot always find the perfectly ripe one when you actually need it.
At least I never do.
I cannot never really plan a meal containing avocado, because I usually have to wait for my rock-hard avocado to ripen. So, I have got into the habit of buying avocado “just in case”, nowadays I often have one or two lying around waiting to reach their peak…
Here is a nice article on how to buy a good avocado, if you would like to read more about it.
How to ripen avocados at home
Place them on the counter and let them be, checking every day. The ripening will take at least 3 days in my experience, but it greatly depends on the state the avocado was in when you bought it.
However, if you want to accelerate the process a little, place the avocados in a brown paper bag together with an apple or a kiwi. The apples and kiwis contain a hormone that accelerates the ripening process.
Once the avocado is ripe, you can place it in the fridge. This will help it keep healthy for 2 more days.
I happened to have a small chicory when I took the pictures for this tuna avocado salad. It was perfect, very crunchy, fresh and with a very slight touch of bitterness. Not much though, I am not a fan of bitter salad.
If you don’t have chicory or don’t like it, don’t worry about it! Regular lettuce leaves will work just fine, maybe something a bit crunchier.
And if you don’t have any salad at all, well, just leave it out, the tuna avocado salad will still be super delicious! It is actually more about the tuna and the avocado than the rest of the ingredients, all the others are more or less just “fillers” and can be used, left out or replaced to suit your needs.
Use a good, creamy sort of feta, the one that comes in a block and in brine and not the already crumbled one. It takes 2 seconds to crumble the feta needed for this tuna avocado salad, so why not buy a good one, the already crumbled one will not save you any time, but it will save you a lot of good taste.
My vegetable patch is overflowing with fresh herbs at the moment. I recommend using at least one sort of fresh herbs, parsley being the one that is most available most of the times. I also had a small bunch of fresh oregano, which is not as intensive as the dry one and works very well in a salad.
Otherwise, you could use fresh coriander (as much as you like as its taste is pretty intensive) or chives.
And here how to use a lot of parsley if you, like me, have about 3 huge bushes in the garden at the moment. Make this wonderful Herb Garlic Paste, it is out of the world and you can pep up just about any dish with it.
I used frozen peas, which I cooked in a little water before using. Let them drain thoroughly and cool before adding them to the salad.
The peas can be replaced with some finely chopped peppers, drained corn from a can or some cooked cannellini beans.
HOW TO MAKE TUNA AVOCADO SALAD WITH FETA
- Cook the frozen peas in a little water and let drain well. Let cool.
- Slice the chicory or lettuce. Give it to a large bowl.
- Drain the tuna well. Chop the avocado. Slice the red onion. Chop the fresh herbs.
- Add all these ingredients and the dressing to the bowl and stir gently. Don’t worry if the avocado pieces break slightly, it is a desired step, this way the rest of the ingredients will be coated with a creamy film of avocado and dressing.
- To make the dressing whisk together the olive oil, only half of the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, grated garlic cloves, red chili flakes, fine sea salt and black pepper.
- Adjust the taste of the salad with fine sea salt, pepper and the remaining red wine vinegar, if necessary.
- Cover the salad and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
You can serve the tuna avocado salad immediately or you can leave it develop its flavors for several hours in the fridge. It also keeps well in the fridge for a day or two, just make sure you cover it, so that the avocado won’t get brown.
The tuna avocado salad is perfect for lunch or dinner, to take to work or a picnic in an airtight container.
- Tuna Avocado Salad:
- 225 g/ 8 oz/ 1 ½ cups frozen peas (See note 1)
- 1 – 2 cans of tuna (See note 2)
- 1 small chicory or lettuce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 small red onion
- a handful of parsley
- 4-5 fresh oregano sprigs (See note 3)
- 50 g/ 1.7 oz/ ½ cup feta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (See note 4)
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 small garlic cloves
- pinch of red chili flakes, to taste
- fine sea salt and black pepper
Give the frozen peas to a small saucepan, cover them with a little water, bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Drain well and let cool.
Drain the tuna well. Chop or slice the salad leaves. Chop the avocado, halve the onion and slice it thinly. Chop the herbs. Give everything to a bowl, add the drained and cooled peas. Crumble the feta on the tuna avocado salad. Add the dressing and mix gently to combine.
Adjust the taste with more vinegar, salt and pepper, if desired.
Whisk together the olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, grated garlic cloves, red chili flakes to taste, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- The peas can be replaced with 1 finely chopped bell pepper, drained corn from a can or some cooked cannellini beans.
- Tuna cans come in very different sizes and these sizes seem to vary a lot from one country to another. Don't stress about it, use the cans available in your country, a rough amount of 200 g – 250 g/ 7 – 8.8 oz drained tuna. You can use either tuna in water or tuna in oil.
- You can also use fresh coriander or chives, for instance.
- Only 1 tablespoon olive oil, if using canned tuna in oil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1/2 of the salad
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 541 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 1218mg Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 10g Protein: 37g