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Tuna Stuffed Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Lime

Avocado Stuffed with Tuna Salad
Earlier this year I wrote about how much I loved the Italian tuna packed in olive oil I’d been finding at my local grocery store. I’ve been having fun creating new salads using this delicious type of tuna. (More to come after this one!) One day at lunchtime, the idea popped into my head to make something with a cilantro-tuna salad mixture stuffed into an avocado. It was one of those hmmm, what’s in the fridge kind of recipes, and this was the tasty result.

The entire time I was making this, I was thinking it was a lot of trouble to hollow out an avocado and stuff it with the tuna mixture. Somewhat fussy recipes like this are not normally my thing. But as soon as I ate some, I realized what a wonderful combination it was with a bit of avocado and cilantro-tuna mixture in every bite, and I decided it was worth the extra couple of minutes to make it this way. If the idea of stuffing an avocado doesn’t appeal to you, another option would be making the salad with pieces of avocado mixed into the tuna mixture.

While the tuna drains, finely chop cilantro and green onions and then mix well with the tuna.

Hollow out the inside of the avocado, leaving a shell about 1/4 inch thick to stuff the tuna mixture into. The avocado you scrape out will be combined with the dressing, then mixed with the tuna/onion/cilantro mixture and stuffed back into the avocado.

Tuna Stuffed Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Lime
(Makes two generous servings, or you could cut each avocado in half to make four side-salad servings; recipe created by Kalyn, probably with memories of some of the recipes listed below.)

1 large avocado
1 can tuna packed in olive oil (I love Tonno Genova brand which is relatively inexpensive.)
1/4 cup very finely chopped green onion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 T olive oil
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
4-6 leaves romaine or other leaf lettuce
2-3 tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
sea salt (or salt) and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Open tuna can and dump tuna into a colander and let drain well. While tuna drains, finely chop cilantro and green onions, then mix chopped onions and cilantro well with drained tuna, breaking up tuna pieces with a fork.

Whisk together olive oil and lime juice and set aside.

Cut avocado in half lengthwise (through the skin) and carefully remove skin and pop out the seed. Using a spoon, carefully scrape avocado until you have a shell about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle sea salt or salt over the inside of the avocado shell.

Put the extra avocado into a bowl, mash well, and then mix in olive oil/lime juice dressing. Combine dressing/avocado mixture with the tuna/cilantro mixture. Carefully stuff half of the tuna mixture into each avocado half.

Wash and dry lettuce leaves and arrange on two plates with four or more slices of tomato on top of the lettuce. Place stuffed avocado on top of tomatoes, season as desired with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This would be a great salad for any phase of the South Beach diet. It might seem high in fat with the olive oil in the tuna, avocado, and olive oil in the dressing, but all the fat here is what South Beach considers to be “good fat.” I might eat this on a day when I’m having lower-fat options for dinner.

More Great Salads with Tuna:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley
Garbanzo and Tuna Salad with Parsley and Red Pepper
Tuna Stuffed Peppers from What Did You Eat
Italian Tuna and Avocado Antipasto from What We’re Eating
Tuna, Beet, and Avocado Salad from Fresh Approach Cooking
Herbed Balsamic Tuna Salad from Gluten Free By The Bay
Inventive Tuna and Avocado Salad on Mixed Greens from Once Upon a Feast
Tuna, Potato, and Asparagus Summer Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette from Gastronomie

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30 comments on “Tuna Stuffed Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Lime”

  1. Anonymous, glad you liked it. I say, change every recipe to fit your own taste, that's what cooking is all about!

  2. I made this today for lunch – though I used water packed tuna and only used half as much olive oil as the recipe called for and found it very tasty. I follow the South Beach Diet and I would definitely make it again!

  3. Anonymous, thank you. It makes me happy that I might be inspiring someone to cook who doesn't normally do it!

  4. I know this is old, but I just found it, and made it for lunch.
    It was fantastic, and almost easy.
    I say almost, because I am not so much of a cook. Served it with a really good Fume Blanc. Very nice combo.

    Great recipe, and thank you!

  5. I love the idea of the avocado stuffed with the salad….how light, summery and a nice change for ones palate. YUM

  6. Carolyn, haven’t seen that brand here, but it sounds good.

    Ed, Pille, Maria, Sher, thanks. This was really good and for once I was pretty happy with my photo. (I’m usually just not quite satisfied!0

  7. The colors in the photo are beautiful–and I’m very happy anytime I see italian tuna. It’s marvelous. And then the avocado and the tomatoes….perfect.

  8. The salad looks great in the avocado. I will have to make this for lunch sometime!

  9. This is a wonderful-looking salad, Kalyn – so tasty and healthy. Thanks for the recipe!!

  10. Kalyn – I can almost taste your recipe by just looking at that gorgeous photo!

  11. I’ve been a fan of Italian tuna packed in olive oil for several years. What a huge difference in taste it offers. But in the last year I’ve been buying young line caught tuna (contains less mercury) from Carvalho Fisheries. It’s really good. Maybe not the same flavor as the Italian stuff, but it’s quite good. It isn’t cheap (especially once you pay for shipping) but I feel like I can eat it more often this way.

  12. Amy, I’m blushing. I don’t know about genius, but it did taste good with the avocado mixed with the tuna.

    Paz, me too. We’re just a couple of cilantro-lovers!

    Chigiy, I must confess that the tomatoes are from Costco. Next time! I have a few getting ripe.

  13. Kalyn,
    Are those tomatoes from your garden?

    This looks like a tasty combo. I’ll have to try it.

  14. I love the looks of this. Just the mention of cilantro makes me go crazy with excitement! ;-)))


  15. It’s pure genius to use avocado instead of mayo! Definitely trying this recipe soon!

  16. Jaden, yes, yes, yes. There is a huge difference. The Italian tuna in olive oil is so rich and delicious.

    Lucette, hope you like it!

    Padma, thanks. I think you’ll like it. Combining the tuna with cilantro, avocado, and lime is very different than most American recipes for canned tuna. I think the Tonno Genova brand that I like so much is sold all over the U.S. If not, look for tuna in olive oil.

    Katie, guess I thought of doing it without the skin because once when I was on a cruise I loved the crab-stuffed avocados they served with no skin on the avocado. You’re not the only good cook to recommend leaving the skin on. (Especially if you’re taking photos, it was hard to keep the avocado looking nice.) But I did kind of like being able to slice through the avocado and getting a bite that has tuna, avocado, tomato, and lettuce all in the same bite!

  17. What pretty tomatoes!
    I wouldn’t have thought of stuffing a ‘skinned’ avocado – great idea, fussy, but great!
    I usually leave the skin on…
    I do like tuna with avocado… health, tasty…

  18. I surely would love to duplicate this salad, I didn’t try tuna yet, since I came to US. Your salad is tempting me to try this…this salad is straightly going to my to-do-recipe list, very simple yet full of flavours.. Thanks for sharing Kalyn. As always stunning salad.

    I am not sure if I can get the same italian tuna in NJ :O

  19. By a happy coincidence, I have all the ingredients on hand!

  20. A few months ago when my mom came to visit, she brought with her a couple cans of tuna packed in olive oil. I thought to myself, “now why did she fly cross country and bring me tins of tuna? very strange”
    I’ve never really like canned tuna that much (smells like cat food) so I never opened them.
    Is there really a big diff btw packed in water and packed in olive oil? is thre really a difference btw gooood canned tuna and the regular Starkist brand?

  21. Sorry not to get back sooner to answer comments. I’m out buying new clothes for Blogher! Thanks everyone for the nice feedback on this little off the cuff creation. I loved the combination of cilantro, lime, and tuna here. This is definitely a repeater for me.

  22. Wow, I mean to tell you that is really spectacular! Fantastic colors. Wish I had some right now and I had a nice dinner.

  23. Wow! This looks like a winner. Thanks for all the great recipes — I’m really enjoying your blog.

  24. I am writing this one down right now and trying it this week! It sounds so tasty!

  25. I love what you’ve done to tuna salad!

    I must admit, I’m with cookie crumb – I don’t think I’d bother to peel the avocado – scoop & stuff sounds good to me.

    As for Italian tuna, I recently tried Alleggia tuna in oil and now it’s hard to eat anything else.

    Thanks for sharing and see you in Chicago.

  26. That looks so good. I love, love, cilantro and lime, and I have never tried it with tuna. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  27. I actually went to a local italian deli and got a jar of tuna after reading one of your posts. Now I know what to do with it, thanks!

  28. Hey, even easier would be not to peel the avocado. Just halve it and yank out the pit, do your delicate scooping, and then plunk the still-sturdy (and now stuffed) avo in its shell right on the plate.
    Mm. Sounds so good.

  29. This looks great. I love avocado and the tuna salad itself is so colorful. Way better than a tuna fish sandwich.

  30. It’s nice to have a tuna salad without mayonnaise; the Italian tuna is so rich and flavorful that it doesn’t need much else. Lovely photo, too.

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