Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cucumber Avocado Salad Recipe with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime (and 10 More Summer Salads with Tuna)

Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime
This Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime is better than tuna sandwiches, and just as easy to make!

Cucumbers. Avocado.  Cilantro.  Lime.  Let me get those four ingredients out there just in case anyone turned up their nose at this idea because of the canned tuna, which admittedly is not everyone's cup of tea.  I wasn't much of a canned tuna lover myself until I discovered my favorite tuna packed in olive oil, and now I find myself reaching for it regularly, especially during the summer months.  This Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime is something I came up with recently on one of those days when I was standing in front of the fridge wondering what to make for lunch.  My first time I just made one serving (and gobbled it up) and then the next day I worked on the actual recipe and took these photos.   And if this particular salad with tuna doesn't grab you, look after the recipe for some other ideas for tuna salads that are great for summer.

Cut up the avocado and toss with 1 tablespoon of lime juice. 

I used one of those long European cucumbers, but two small cucumbers will work.  If it's not a garden cucumber, I like to cut stripes so most of the peel is removed.

Then cut the cucumber in fourths lengthwise and slice into pieces.

Slice the green onions and chop the cilantro.

Whisk together the mayo and other tablespoon of lime juice to make the dressing.

Stir together the avocado, chopped cucumber, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onion.

Then add the dressing and stir to combine.

Drain the oil from the tuna and use a fork to gently break it apart.  (Don't overdo it, the tuna will break apart some more from being mixed into the salad.)

Then GENTLY mix the tuna into the salad, being careful not to overmix.  (You still want chunks of tuna in the salad.)  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and enjoy.  

Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime
(Makes 2-3 servings, depending on what else you're serving it with; recipe created by Kalyn when she needed a quick lunch.)

1 avocado
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice.)
1 large European cucumber (or 2 smaller cucumbers)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1 can (5 oz.) tuna packed in olive oil
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T mayo (can use light mayo, but there is not much mayo and full-fat mayo adds a lot of flavor)
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice.)

Dice the avocado into 1/2 inch pieces, put in a bowl large enough to hold the whole salad, and toss with one tablespoon of lime juice.  

Peel strips from the cucumber if desired, then cut into fourths lengthwise and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Chop the cilantro and thinly slice the green onion.  Whisk together the mayo and lime juice to make the dressing.

Add the chopped cucumbers, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions to the avocado and gently combine.  Add the dressing and stir just enough to combine.  Drain the oil from the tuna and use a fork to partly break apart the tuna into chunks.  Stir tuna into the salad and GENTLY combine (don't over-stir; you want the tuna to remain chunky.)  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve.  

This will last okay in the fridge for a day, but it's far better freshly made.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Although this salad is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients,  avocados are a limited food for the South Beach Diet, so you need to limit portion size with this, especially if you use full-fat mayo.  As long as you do that, I would consider this a good lunch for any phase of the diet. 
Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

Ten More Summer Salads with Tuna:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
My Favorite Tuna Salad ~ Sassy Radish
Baby Kale, White Bean, and Tuna Salad with lemon ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Healthy Mediterranean Tuna Salad ~ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
Garden Cucumber Salad with Tuna and Sweet Basil ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Sicilian Inspired Wheat Berry and Tuna Salad ~ Former Chef
Summer Tomato Salad with Avocado, Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Tuna-Stuffed Avocado ~ Laylita's Recipes
Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Cucumbers ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Tuna Salad ~ Sarah's Cucina Bella
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley ~ Kalyn's Kitchen  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. What a refreshing salad!! Definitely perfect for summer.

  2. Thanks Joanne; so glad you like it!

  3. That looks incredible, Kalyn! So creamy -- and refreshing with all that wonderful citrus. Thanks so much for also including a link to my tuna recipe!!

  4. Sarah, glad you like it, and my pleasure!

  5. So many ingredients that I love in one bowl!!! Josh will love this one too - maybe we'll take it on a picnic!

  6. Thanks Becky! So glad you like it!

  7. I love the idea of punching up a simple tuna salad with beautiful rich avocado and tangy herbs! This would clearly make the best possible sandwich. :)

  8. Kalyn, I doubt I'll be able to find that particular brand of tuna, so I will have to think about this salad in slightly different terms :-)

    Maybe adding some grilled salmon to it, in little pieces? I like all the flavors, but I imagine a bad canned tuna will completely ruin the experience

    Hope you are having a fantastic summer so far...

  9. Kalyn, your recipes are so simple and yet so flavorful :) i always love trying them out! thank you for a perfect summer lunch! Im not a tuna fan so I think I'll be replacing tuna with shrimp!

  10. I actually do like canned tuna, but as soon as I saw this recipe, I thought of chunks of fresh grilled tuna. And of course I'd swap half of the cilantro for some of my parsley, but I can see that a little bit of cilantro would really be important.

  11. Thanks Eileen, glad you like it.

    Sally, I think grilled salmon would be lovely in this. Great summer here, thanks!

    Cheetos, I like the idea of using shrimp too.

    Lydia, I love tuna with parsley so I'm sure that would be good here.

  12. Another winner! I made it last night for dinner and am having the rest for lunch today. I always avoided tuna in oil, but I will definitely be buying more now. Yum.

  13. Love the avocado and tuna combo!

  14. Awkward Dave, glad you liked it.

    Kevin, I love tuna, especially in the summer and this was easy and fresh-tasting.

  15. You're a genius, always combining great ingredients that I love but wouldn't have thought of. Only change I made here was to not drain all the oil, use some of it and skipped the mayo. Still delicious and maybe a few less calories .... but then again, I ate the whole thing, so maybe not exactly less calories at all!!

  16. Doren, I think using the oil from the tuna is a great variation! Glad you enjoyed it.

  17. Can we use tuna in water instead or it has to be in oil?

  18. Alis, of course you can use any tuna you'd like, but the tuna in olive oil has a lot more flavor.

  19. I love all these ingredient!! But... I bought lemons instead of limes. Think that would be ok or would it totally ruin the taste?

  20. Andrea, I don't know that it will "ruin" it, but I have to honestly say I think it would be better with lime! Sorry.

  21. I made this today and it's superb. Thanks for the recipe.

  22. I love this salad! So glad you like it too.

  23. Kalyn,
    I decided to try this salad. I actually had some leftover shredded cabbage that had been dressed with mayo and cilantro with a substantial amount of green onion so I mixed all the ingredients you listed in with my cabbage which added a totally delightful crunch.

    On a whim I tapped on the tuna link and found that is my favorite tuna also, which I get on sale at Safeway here in California. But I had to chuckle. Genova is the brand, but tonno is the Italian word for tuna. So to translate, tonno Genova is really genova tuna! :)

  24. Thanks so much! It was a hit. I added garbanzo beans, simply because I had some in the fridge, and used red onion instead of green, so I didn't have to go to the grocery store.

    1. Jill, I'm always in favor of adapting, especially if it prevents a trip to the store.

  25. Hi Kalyn,

    Love your blog and recipes!

    I've been collecting salad recipes from around the web for awhile and started to share them with family and friends then decided to post them on a blog. I used this recipe (and another from your blog) and linked to it here:

    I just want to double check that this is ok!

    Let me know.


  26. Hi Maria,
    Glad you like the recipe. I really prefer that you feature my recipes without listing the ingredients, so that people need to visit my blog to find out what is in the salad, since I make a living from this blog and I don't get paid if people can figure out the recipe elsewhere. Thanks,


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