Tuna Filled Avocado Salad

Welcome to my favorite lunch of all time. In the dog days of summer, I eat this at least two times a week. It throws together in a trice* and fills me up without weighing me down.  In the winter, I eat this as a way to stave off the cold-weather blahs.

*Trice. Did I really just type that? What does this say about me?

This lunch comes with a side of epiphany. It  is a dish so simple that I hesitated to post it.  And here’s where that light bulb went off…

Simple food is what we all need.  And the fact that I -a mom of five in secluded Amish country- eat this all the time doesn’t mean that everyone else does.  Hey, I didn’t say my epiphany was brilliant.


Anyway. This dish. It takes less than five minutes to create. Five minutes.  That’s better tasting than takeout (unless your takeout comes from Ad Hoc or Ma Pêche), faster than a speeding microwave, cheaper than delivery and ever-so-good-for-you. What’s that? Oh, yes. This lunch is healthy.  Mega-healthy.  Power healthy.  Allow me to enumerate:

  1. Tuna provides lean protein (helpful in building lean muscle mass), Omega-3 fatty acids (shown to promote heart, blood, and brain health), folic acid, magnesium and other good-for-yous.
  2. Avocados are packed with vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, fiber, iron, potassium, lutein and beta-carotene.  And yes, you want all those. As if that wasn’t enough, the consumption of avocados has been shown to lower the bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
  3. Limes! They’re not just there to keep the avocado from browning. Aside from keeping the avocado pretty, limes deliver a vibrant burst of flavor and are a readily available source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
  4. Did you know cilantro has natural antibacterial properties?  It’s true!  Beyond that, you get dietary fiber, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Such a lot of power in such a little package; I call that efficient.

But wait! There’s more! (I get an inordinate amount of joy from saying that.)

The avocado is so creamy, it acts as the dressing for the tuna.  No mayonnaise needed*! The silky, substantial avocado and lean tuna combine to make an incredibly fresh, light, satisfying meal. It doesn’t just taste great and look pretty, it makes you feel great when you eat it. That’s a whole lot of payoff for less than five minutes of work!

*This is not me hating mayonnaise.  But really, tuna tastes great without the ubiquitous filter flavor of mayonnaise, too.  I encourage you to try it ‘clean’ if you haven’t done so before.

For the best results, use a good tuna;  That doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive one! Do some investigating and find a brand that has actual pieces of tuna in it.  Albacore is a safe bet in most brands, but some chunk light tuna is better than others.  Just try a few and decide which you like best.

Do you dislike cilantro?  Tuna?  Don’t pitch the idea, substitute green onions, parsley or chives for the cilantro.  Swap out the tuna for salmon, fresh or canned, or leftover chicken, diced.  You can use lemon or orange juice instead of lime juice.  It’s wide open for interpretation and interpretation tastes delicious!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Tuna Filled Avocado Salad
Prep time
Total time
The avocado is so creamy, it acts as the dressing for the tuna. No mayonnaise needed! The silky, substantial avocado and lean tuna combine to make an incredibly fresh, light, satisfying meal.
Recipe type: Main, Lunch, Healthy
Serves: 2
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado (I prefer Florida avocados for this salad because of the large well left by the pit, but Haas avocados taste wonderful, too.)
  • 2 wedges of lime or 2 tablespoons of lime juice, separated
  • 2 cans of chunk tuna, drained but not squeezed dry
  • fresh, coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  • fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. Halve an avocado lengthwise. Remove and discard the pit. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the cut surfaces and into the wells of each avocado half. Put half of the tuna in each avocado well. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the tuna and avocados. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and sea salt over the top. Squeeze the second lime wedge over the tops (or drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of life juice. Eat.
To easily halve an avocado, slice through the skin of the avocado lengthwise, and down through the flesh until you reach the pit. Hold the knife against pit and pivot the avocado around the knife. When you've sliced around the circumference of the avocado, rotate the halves against each other. They should come apart easily. The pit should pop out of the avocado with little effort. If it is stubborn, gently slide a spoon around the edges then under the pit before popping it out.


  1. says

    So pretty. I just love green. I also love that you posted this. Complicated doesn’t automatically mean better. In fact, some of the simplest dishes are my favorites – big flavor comes in small packages sometimes! (However, I still want mayo with my tuna…still love me?)

  2. Christine says

    Bless you Rebecca – I just started new diet today. I was about to start feeling sorry for myself when I saw your post. This not only works within the diet’s (brutal) constraints, it would actually be something to look forward to! (Don’t you love food that is good for you AND makes you feel like you are treating yourself?) I hope you post more simple stuff like this! (But keep up any exceptional evil stuff. One day I’ll learn how to protect keyboard from drool…)

  3. Karen D. says

    I just finished eating this! WOW! Thank you for posting something so simple, but delicious and healthy at the same time. I am not a big tuna eater, but every once in a while I get a craving. I don’t care for mayonaise on my tuna, though, so decided to try your recipe. (I just happened to have a half of an avocado in the fridge left over from making California rolls.) I did not have any fresh herbs in the house, but it was wonderful even without it! Don’t skimp on the lime, it makes the whole dish. I will be eating this a lot!

  4. says

    this was delicious – thanks for the idea! Also, I mashed up the second half all together and it made a fantastic tuna salad on bread … I’m not a fan of mayo anyhow except in “salads”, and it looks like this is another place I can cut it out of now too! Got anything for egg salad or deviled eggs? Avocado for those too?

  5. C4bl3Fl4m3 says

    My dear giddy aunt.

    I love tuna and this has 3 of my other favorite flavors in it (avocado, cilantro, lime). AND it’s “cheap avocado” season.

    I MUST try this soon.

  6. C4bl3Fl4m3 says

    I’ve made it 3x now. Love it to pieces. Here in Canada you can also get little, half-sized cans of flavored tunas… thai chili, mayo & water chestnuts, tomato & basil. Tried some of those in the dish, and they’re good too! (But I don’t think as good as plain… the simple flavors in the dish REALLY work well.)

    I like how it’s easily thrown together. It makes a good nighttime snack, esp. when you realize you’re low on protein.

    I tried it with both fresh squeezed lime juice and the stuff from the bottle, and I have to say, the fresh really is better. Has a different taste.

    I even recommended it to my Catholic mother for a new recipe she can eat on Fridays during Lent (pescatarianism is part of the “fast”). Of course, she doesn’t like cilantro so I mentioned fresh parsley.

  7. Norman Dunnagan says

    Take a can of tuna fish and put it on the stovetop. add a dash of garlic powder or garlic salt, some tony’s, and a hit of teriyaki sauce. cook it until it’s nice and hot, then put the tuna on the avacado half.

    I want to try this lime one though.


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