Meatless Monday Challenge

5-Ingredient Spicy Tuna Salad with Crushed Red Pepper

on March 19, 2024
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This simple, spicy tuna salad is full of flavor with the perfect amount of spice from crushed red pepper. Only 5 minutes and 5 ingredients required.
Toasted bread with spicy tuna salad, tomato, and lettuce on a plate.

Looking for a simple lunch with a little kick? This simple Spicy Tuna Salad comes together in 5 minutes, with 5 simple ingredients, and is packed with flavor.

With the perfect amount of earthy herbaceous flavor from dried oregano and just the right amount of spice from black pepper and crushed red pepper, this easy canned tuna recipe hits the spot every time.

Pressed sandwich with spicy tuna salad, tomatoes, and lettuce.

As an environmental scientist, I try to source ingredients responsibly when I can. For a sustainable way to buy canned tuna, look for skipjack or yellowfin tuna. Most tuna labeled as “light” is skipjack or yellowfin, as opposed to “white” tuna which is usually albacore.

Green tip:  Opt for “light” tuna to reduce your environmental impact as this typically indicates the tuna is skipjack or yellowfin, which is more sustainable than albacore.

Spicy Tuna Salad Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Canned tuna (preferably in water).
  • Greek Yogurt or Mayonnaise.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Black pepper.
  • Crushed Red Pepper.
all the ingredients for spicy tuna salad, including mayonnaise, pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano, and tuna

How to Make Spicy Tuna with Crushed Red Pepper

Drain and Mix

It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe. Simply drain the water (or oil) from your can of tuna and add the tuna to a bowl with the Greek yogurt (or mayo), oregano, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Use a fork to mix it all together. Take a little taste to make sure you’re happy with the spice level, and add some salt if it needs it. If you want more of a kick, add some extra crushed red pepper.

Mixing together tuna, Greek yogurt, oregano, and crushed red pepper.
Add the tuna, yogurt (or mayo), oregano, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to a bowl.
Freshly made spicy tuna salad in a bowl with a fork.
Mix everything together and taste to see if you want to add salt or some extra spice.

How to Serve Your Spicy Canned Tuna

I love this spicy tuna on a simple sandwich with lettuce and tomato or pressed with melty cheese to make a tuna melt! You can also eat it on its own, wrapped up in lettuce or a tortilla, or served with crackers or chips!

Cropped image of a spicy tina salad sandwich.

How to Properly Store Leftover Tuna Salad

Leftover tuna salad with crushed red pepper will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. It can be enjoyed cold right out of the fridge.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and enjoying your leftovers!

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Why This Spicy Tuna Salad is My Go-To Lunch

  • It’s crazy quick. No cooking required. As simple as draining your can and mixing everything together!
  • It’s simple. Just 5 ingredients (or 6 if you add salt!) mixed together in a bowl.
  • It has tons of flavor. The perfect amount of spice.

If you’re loving this spicy tuna salad and want more canned tuna recipes, check out these Canned Tuna Nachos and Tuna Pesto Pasta Salad.

Toasted bread with spicy tuna salad, tomato, and lettuce on a plate.

5-Ingredient Spicy Tuna Salad with Crushed Red Pepper

5 from 3 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
This simple, spicy tuna salad is full of flavor with the perfect amount of spice from crushed red pepper. Only 5 minutes and 5 ingredients required.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 servings



  • 4 ounces tuna in water (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste (optional)
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  • Open your can of tuna and drain the water (or oil).
  • Add the tuna to a bowl with the Greek Yogurt (or mayo), oregano, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and use a fork to mix and combine.
  • Taste the spicy tuna salad to see if you want to add salt, and test the spice level to see if you want to add extra crushed red pepper. Enjoy on its own, as a dip, or in a sandwich or wrap.

Pro Tips

  • I typically use Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise, but it does lend a little bit of a tangy taste. Mayo is definitely more mild and allow the tuna to shine. 
  • I find with the spices and the tang of the Greek yogurt, I don’t need much (if any salt), but if you’re using mayonnaise, you may want to add some!

Share This Recipe

Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, 5 Ingredients or Less, Canned Tuna, Pescatarian, Spicy, Tuna Salad
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