Spicy Tuna Salad

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This Spicy Tuna Salad has all the same flavors as your favorite spicy tuna roll but is made with canned tuna instead.

188 CAL 3g CARBS 7g FAT 27g PROTEIN 1

Spicy Tuna Salad is a staple in our house for lunches. We use it for everything from quick sandwiches to sushi bowls to salads. It has all the same components as a sushi-style spicy tuna but is made with affordable canned tuna instead.

Our other favorite tuna recipes include this Tuna Egg Salad and Avocado Tuna Salad

A few weeks ago I had a major craving for sushi but with no car in sight, I was forced to improvise and this spicy tuna salad was born. We have been eating it almost every day since then. It just might be my new favorite way to eat canned tuna. 

Like any good spicy tuna, the sauce for this salad starts with two very important ingredients - spicy Sriracha and creamy mayonnaise to counter all that spice.

To keep things light and healthy, I used a combination of light mayo and Greek yogurt and it worked perfectly. Then to kick up the flavors even more, I added some rice vinegar, soy sauce, and scallions. 

Trust me, if you like tuna and spice, you want to make this immediately. It is also delicious as a spicy tuna bowl.

Tips for Making Spicy Tuna Salad

Follow these tips to make perfect tuna salad every time.

  • Add sesame oil: If you want a bit more flavor in your tuna, consider adding a touch of sesame oil to the mix. I like to use toasted sesame oil and a little goes a long way. It will add some nuttiness and earthiness to the tuna salad.
  • Use avocado: If you don't like mayo, avocado is a great substitute. Just mash it up and use it in place of the mayo. You can also keep the mayo and add some chopped avocado to the mix as well.
  • Sesame seeds and Furikake: If you have ever had tuna poke, one of my favorite things to use on top is Furikake, a Japanese seasoning mix that contains sesame seed, nori, salt, sugar, and a special seasoning. It's delicious and is a really great addition to this spicy tuna salad. Sesame seeds also work to add crunch.
  • Use a different protein: If canned tuna isn't your favorite, you could always use a different protein. This salad works with chicken, salmon, cooked shrimp, tofu, chickpeas, and even hard boiled eggs.

Spicy tuna salad with Sriracha and soy sauce on cucumber slices.
Ways to Enjoy this Spicy Tuna Salad

There are many different ways to serve this tuna salad. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Make sushi: For the adventurous (or those with this amazing sushi maker), this is a great way to make a super affordable and delicious spicy tuna roll at home. 
  • Sandwiches and wraps: Just like classic tuna salad, this salad makes a killer sandwich. Layer it up with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, and greens. 
  • Sushi burritos: You can also make the easier sushi burrito by wrapping this spicy tuna salad up with some cooked rice and veggies in a large piece of nori. Drizzle some extra soy on top and add a very thin layer of wasabi for even more spice.
  • Salad: We love using tuna salad as a protein for salads and this one is no different. Grab a big bowl of greens or shredded cabbage. Top with veggies and consider doubling up the dressing so you can add the extra to the salad as well. Crumbled seaweed on top is a great addition as well.
  • Sushi Bowls: Make your own sushi bowls. Just grabbed some cooked white or brown rice, chopped cucumbers, shredded carrots, and avocado. Top with spicy tuna and you have a healthy meal ready to go.

How long will tuna salad last in the fridge?

Generally speaking, it is best to eat tuna salad 2-3 days after making it.

If you think you will need to store it for longer, I recommend just making the dressing.

The dressing will keep for about one week in the fridge and you can simply add the tuna and vegetables when you are ready to prepare it.

What is the best tuna for tuna salad?

There are so many different options when it comes to canned tuna and it can be hard to know which one to choose.

Here is a general overview of the most commonly found canned tuna in the grocery store. 

  • Water vs. oil packed tuna: To start, tuna usually comes packed in oil or water. Water packed tuna will have fewer calories and fat than oil packed tuna, so for most people, this is their preferred choice. But some people prefer the flavor of tuna packed in oil. If you choose tuna in oil, make sure to look for one packed in a heart-healthy oil like olive oil. One other consideration is that water packed tuna is usually higher in Omega 3 fatty acids. 
  • Albacore vs. Yellowfin vs. Skipjack: Most markets will carry albacore and yellowfin options and skipjack is becoming increasingly popular as well. Albacore and yellowfin tuna are white tuna varieties with the mildest flavor. However, these tuna options also have the highest level of mercury. Skipjack is usually what you find in light or chunk light tuna. This tuna is browner in color, has a stronger flavor, and has less mercury than the white varieties. A fourth option is tongol, which is similar to skipjack. It is also brown in color and contains less mercury than white tuna.
  • Solid vs. chunk: Most tuna comes as solid or chunk. Solid tuna will be one larger piece of tuna meat from the loin whereas chunk tuna is smaller pieces that fall off of the loin and are packed together. Chunk tuna is more affordable than solid tuna.

How to make spicy tuna salad without mayo?

To make spicy tuna salad without mayo, you have a few options. 

  • Mashed avocado is my favorite option and adds creaminess, healthy fats, and great flavor to the tuna.
  • Another good option is Greek yogurt. Go for a full fat variety for less tang and more creaminess.
  • You could also use sour cream, vegan mayonnaise, or even hummus.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions about making this tuna salad.

For the most tradtional spicy tuna flavor, use Japanese mayonnaise, called Kewpie. This has a slightly sweeter, more umami flavor. It also is richer since it is only made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs.

There are two easy ways to make this spicier. The easiest is to simply add more Sriracha to the dressing. For some texture and crunch, add freshly diced jalapenos to the tuna salad.

The Recipe
Spicy tuna salad on cucumber slices with sesame seeds.

Spicy Tuna Salad

188 CAL 3g CARBS 7g FAT 27g PROTEIN 1
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  • 15 oz canned tuna
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha (adjust to taste, this is spicy)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos for GF)
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Make the dressing by combining the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Sriracha, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a bowl. Taste and adjust as needed. If you aren't sure about the spice, start with a small amount and add as you go. It's easy to make it spicier if needed.


Add the tuna, celery, and green onions. Stir to combine. Taste and season as needed.


Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes for the flavors to really combine if possible.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 702mg
Total Carbohydrate 3g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 2g
Protein 27g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Spicy Tuna Salad
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June 5, 2023 - 10:06
Add a Rating:
I used a little less yogurt and a little more siracha but it turned out great. It's not super spicy but has a nice tingle to it. I'll be eating this for years to come.
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January 11, 2022 - 16:27
Add a Rating:
Just made this for dinner! I did the 2 serving size and skipped the yogurt and cut the mayo down for my personal preference. The balance of savory and spicy was amazing! I'll definitely be making this again for quick lunches/dinners.
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