Southwest Tuna Salad

I went back and forth a couple of times on the name for this dish, finally settling on what I hope conveys the flavor profile best. If you frequent this page, you are clear on one thing for sure; JuJu loves Northern Kingdom flavors! Northern Kingdom is the biblical reference for the tribes that are widely known as the Hispanic/Latino/Indigenous people of today. I was born and raised in Colorado, which contributes a great deal to my culinary background, and general palate. Mexican (known biblically as Issachar) flavors are where it is at for this Judah sista. I also married a Judite man who loves this flavor profile more than me. We joke that we are going to be sent to the Issachar gate at the end of it all…lol. We’d just be grateful to make it. For now, our Judah bunch will just enjoy the flavors of our brethren as much as possible.

This spin on classic tuna is a must try, and lord willing, soon to be favorite in your Sabbath lunch rotation. With many of the same ingredients as the original, this version takes on an identity all it’s own. With the introduction of warm spices, mild chilis, and other Southwest food elements, this is unlike many of the tuna salad you’ve tried.

You may have the majority of these items in your pantry, but if not, don’t be detoured from a store run. This dish is quick to whip up, and can be enjoyed over a couple days. The recipe below makes a pretty nice sized batch, and lasted my lord’s house about three days. You can easily feed a group of 8-10 folks I’d say. Try over lettuce, on a nice roll (if you are doing carbs), or with crackers. I hope you love it as much as we did!


  • 2 – 12oz cans Albacore Tuna in water

  • 2 – 12oz cans Chunk Light Tuna in water

  • 1.5 cups Hellman’s Mayo

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup of cilantro

  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced fine

  • 1 small shallot or 1/2 of a large shallot, diced fine

  • Juice of half a lime

  • 1 cup of red and green bell peppers, diced

  • 3/4 cup of red onion, diced

  • 2 tablespoons of culantro, finely chopped (if you can’t find this, it is okay to leave out)

  • 4 tablespoons Cotija Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon Cumin (add more at 1/2 a teaspoon until desired flavor is achieved)

  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder (add more at 1/2 a teaspoon until desired flavor is achieved)

  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1 tablespoon Badia Sazon Complete (add more at 1/2 a teaspoon until desired flavor is achieved)

  • At least 1/2 of a 15oz can of sweet corn (use the entire can if you want more corn)

  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • Six hardboiled eggs

  • 1 teaspoon agave

  • Half of a 15 oz jar of Green Chilil Salsa (Pace)


  • Open all cans of tuna and drain completely. Set aside.
  • Place garlic, cilantro, sour cream and lime juice in a blender, and blend to fully incorporate.
  • Add tuna, bell peppers, onion, shallot to a large bowl and mix.
  • Add Green Chili Salsa, Cotija, corn and give another mix.
  • Pour sour cream mixture over the ingredients, followed by the mayo. Mix fully. You may opt to add more Mayo at the end, but hold off to see if you like how the consistency comes together.
  • Add Badia, cumin, chili powder, celery seeds, vinegar, and agave, and mix completely. Taste your mixture at this point, and add salt and pepper if desired. You may also want to add more of the spices to your desired liking. Bear in mind that these are very assertive spices, and a little goes a long way. Add in small amounts if you want more of a punch. Also, once the flavors sit for a while, the wake up quite a bit. Keep that in mind as well.
  • Once you have your flavor just where you want it, add the eggs and culantro, and gently fold into the mixture. Give it another taste, and finish with a nice squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle with more cilantro at the very end.
  • Dig in right away, or refrigerate for at least a couple hours for flavors to deepen. Enjoy!

I paired our salad with smashed avocado, onion, tomatoes, lettuce and a Mexican cheese blend. I packed plantain chips, crackers, and a tortilla for flexibility. My lord went the wrap and crackers route, while my daughter ditched the tortilla and opted for the crackers and plantains. In both cases, not a bite of the tuna was left in their containers. That makes a wife/mama proud indeed!

The next time I try this recipe, I’m going to add some black beans. I plan to drain them really well, and toss in about half a can. If you get to try it before I do, let me know how it turns out! Happy eating family. Shalom!

Note: Culantro can be found at your neighborhood international or Latin market. Culantro is in the Cilantro family, but has a milder flavor profile that gives salads and soups a nice depth of flavor.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *