Extremely easy tuna corn salad is made with sweet corn, red onion, jalapenos, bell peppers, and tossed in a flavorful spice mix. This addicting Mexican inspired salad can be served with crackers, on a sandwich, or in a wrap.Jump to Recipe
Have canned tuna on hand you're trying to use up? Look no further than this light and refreshing salad. It's extremely easy to put together and can be customized with the items you already have on hand.
You don't have to worry about fishy flavor in this tuna corn salad recipe because the jalapeno juice and Mexican seasoning take it to a whole new level. It's my favorite way to use up canned tuna and everyone loves it. Make this for your next pot luck, game day appetizer, or as a side for your next meal.
Why You'll Love This Easy Tuna Corn Salad Recipe
Quick and Easy: This salad is extremely quick to prepare. Once you're done chopping the veggies simply dump the remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl, stir well, and you're done. It's a great last minute idea for pot-lucks or parties.
Customizable: You can easily make this easy mexican tuna salad your own. I suggest checking your fridge and pantry to make easy substitutions or feel free to throw in extra ingredients. Consider adding cherry tomatoes, black beans, green onions, or fresh herbs of any kind.
Cost-Effective: Who doesn't love saving money when it comes to food? Canned tuna and corn are often affordable pantry staples that we always have on hand.
So Many Ways to Enjoy: This salad can be a dip, sandwich, used in lettuce wraps, or enjoyed alongside a delicious meal as a side dish. You can even meal prep as a light meal with some crackers. Regardless of how you serve the tuna corn salad, you can expect so much flavor with every bite.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Canned tuna - You can use any canned tuna you have on hand. I personally prefer albacore tuna because of its mild flavor. Be sure to drain the can of tuna of any excess liquid before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
Mayo - Tuna salad is usually not complete without mayonnaise. This recipe doesn't call for a lot because we don't want it to be overly creamy. Just enough is used to bind all the ingredients together. An easy substitute is sour cream or greek yogurt as a more nutritious alternative. If you're not a fan of mayo you can substitute extra virgin olive oil to give the salad a rich flavor and texture.
Corn - Fresh corn is best. I love making this in the summer when fresh corn is cheap and easy to find. If your grocery store doesn't have fresh corn, you can use frozen corn or canned corn instead. With canned corn, be sure to drain and rinse the corn before adding. If using frozen you can add as is and wait until it thaws or let it thaw before you add. I've made it both ways and it's turned out great each time.
Pickled jalapeños - For added tanginess, heat, and flavor. If you're looking for something a little more mild try canned green chilis or simply use less. Classic tuna salad often times uses relish. This is used in place of relish.
Pickled jalapeno juice - To add to the creaminess of the salad but to also add even more flavor throughout the salad. This juice is extremely tangy and delicious. If you don't have this on hand you can substitute lemon or lime juice.
Red bell pepper - Adds a little bit of crunch and freshness to the tuna salad. You can substitute green, yellow, or orange bell peppers.
Red onion - For color and added flavor. Other types of onion like sweet onion, yellow, or white can be substituted. You can also add spring onions for added freshness.
Toppings and Seasonings
Taco seasoning - Includes flavors of cumin, paprika, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. This takes the mexican salad to the next level, you can either make your own or add a pre-mixed seasoning.
Cilantro - Fresh herbs takes any salad to the next level. The cilantro complements the other main ingredients so well. If you don't like cilantro, fresh parsley can be substituted.
Salt and pepper - To enhance the other ingredients.
How It's Made
Step 1. Place all ingredients through red onion in a medium size bowl. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
Step 2. Add taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Step 3. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.
Step 4. Serve on a bed of leafy greens, in a sandwich, wrap, or as a side dish.
Tuna Corn Salad Variations
Tuna and Avocado Salad: Add diced creamy avocado for extra richness and creaminess.
Greek Tuna Corn Salad: Incorporate ingredients like diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Substitute your favorite Greek dressing. Serve on top of a bed of lettuce for added crunch.
Asian Tuna Corn Salad: Include ingredients like edamame, shredded carrots, and sliced scallions. Create a dressing with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger.
Tuna Corn Pasta Salad: Mix the salad with cooked and cooled pasta, such as rotini or penne, for a heartier dish. Combine the tuna pasta salad with a creamy dressing using mayonnaise, mustard, and a touch of honey.
Tuna Corn and Bean Salad: Incorporate a variety of beans like kidney beans, black beans, or chickpeas for added protein and fiber. Use a simple vinaigrette dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and your choice of seasonings.
Ways to Serve Tuna Corn Salad:
Sandwich or Wrap Filling: Use tuna corn salad as a filling for sandwiches, wraps, or pitas. Serve along with lettuce, tomato, and other favorite sandwich fixings.
Lettuce Wraps: Spoon the tuna corn salad into large lettuce leaves, such as Romaine or iceberg, for a low-carb and refreshing option. This is an excellent choice if you're looking for a lighter meal.
Over a Bed of Greens: Serve the salad over a bed of mixed greens or spinach for a more substantial and nutritious meal. You can drizzle with your favorite salad dressing for added flavor.
On Crackers or Crostini: Spoon the salad onto crackers or small slices of toasted baguette for a delightful appetizer or snack.
As a Dip: Turn it into a dip by serving it with pita chips, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetable sticks for a party or gathering.
As a Side Dish: Serve it as a side dish alongside other dishes like grilled chicken, burgers, or barbecued foods. It can add a refreshing contrast to heartier main courses.
Immediately after preparing or serving, store any leftover tuna corn salad in an airtight container. I recommend eating the salad within 2-3 days for the best and freshest results but it will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the creamy dressing. I don't recommend freezing the salad because the texture and flavors will become weird.
Frequently Asked Questions
Two common types of tuna commonly used in tuna corn salad are albacore tuna and light tuna. Solid white albacore tuna is a premium option. It has a firm texture and a milder, less fishy flavor compared to chunk light tuna. This type of tuna works well in tuna corn salad, especially if you prefer a more substantial and meaty texture. It can be packed in water or oil, so choose the one that suits your taste.
Chunk light tuna is typically a mix of different types of tuna, including skipjack and yellowfin. It is flakier and has a slightly stronger flavor compared to solid white albacore. Chunk light tuna is often the more economical choice and is still a great option for tuna corn salad. The choice between the two comes down to personal preference. Both types are great options for this salad.
This also comes down to personal preference. Tuna packed in water is lower in calories and fat compared to tuna in oil. If you're looking for a lighter and lower-calorie option, water-packed tuna is a better choice. This version also has a milder flavor so it doesn't take away from the other ingredients.
Tuna packed in oil on the other hand, has a richer flavor and a more indulgent, flakier texture. The oil adds a layer of richness to the tuna that can be appealing in a salad. The oil can serve as a natural dressing almost eliminating the need for as much mayonnaise.
Canned tuna is so versatile and can be mixed with a variety of other ingredients. Tuna pairs exceptionally well with the ingredients used in this recipe along with those items listed in the variations. Try incorporating any fresh herbs or vegetables you already have on hand.
More Delicious Recipes
Easy Tuna Corn Salad Recipe
- 8 oz canned tuna drained
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/2 cup corn
- 2 tablespoons pickled chopped jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients through red onion in a medium size bowl. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
- Add taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.
- Serve on a bed of leafy greens, in a sandwich, wrap, or as a side dish.