Tuna Caesar salad is a delicious spin on a classic Caesar. It’s a perfect combination of crispy lettuce, Parmesan, garlicky croutons, tangy dressing, and savory tuna fish. Enjoy it a light lunch or dinner.
Caesar salad dates back to 1942. It was created in Mexico by Italian restaurant owner Caesar Cardini. It quickly became popular all over the world.
In the original recipe, whole romaine lettuce were tossed a tangy dressing and served with a single crostini on top.
Today, we can see a lot of different variations of Caesar salad. Besides being a side dish, more and more people enjoy it as a light meal with added protein and other veggies.
Blackened chicken Caesar salad is another variation of this dish that can be served as a light dinner or lunch.
Our tuna Caesar features sustainable canned tuna on top of classic Caesar salad ingredients with added tomatoes and red onions.
Using canned tuna is quick, easy and more likely you already have a few cans in your pantry.
If you have a fresh tuna steak, you can cook it in the oven or on the grill to add to the salad.
This salad is full of flavors and textures. I like how tomatoes add color, sweetness and flavor, while red onions make the salad a little spicy and sharp.
I also recommend making your own croutons using your air-fryer or oven. Home-made croutons taste 100 times better than the store-bough ones.
And if you are looking to turn you salad in to a sandwich – try our Buffalo tuna salad.
Please, see the ingredients quantities in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Romain lettuce: use fresh and crispy romaine lettuce.
- Canned tuna: I always buy sustainable caught canned tuna. You can also use freshly baked tuna steak.
- Tomatoes: cherry tomatoes work best, as they have a sweeter taste.
- Red onions: onion adds sharpness to the dish. You can skip it if you do not like raw onion in salads.
- Croutons: store-bought or homemade croutons. I like to use garlic Parmesan croutons for my Caesar salad.
- Parmesan: adding shaved or shredded Parmesan brings up the salad flavors.
- Caesar dressing: you can use store-bought or make your own Caesar dressing (the best way).
Below are step-by-step directions how to make Caesar salad with canned tuna. If you are suing fresh tuna fish, follow the cooking instructions in the paragraph below this one.
Step 1. Place the romaine heart on a cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise. Chop each half into bite-size pieces.
Step 2. Add chopped romaine to the salad spinner bowl. Rinse with cold water. Use a spinner to dry the lettuce.
Note: if you do not have a salad spinner, separate the romaine heart by leaves and rinse the whole leaves under cold water. Place on a towel to dry. After that chop them up.
Step 3. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Slice the red onion into half moons.
Step 4. In a large shallow dish, add chopped romaine, tomatoes, and onions.
Step 5: Open the can of tune and drain any liquid. Add tuna, croutons, Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with the Caesar dressing on top and garnish with some black pepper by taste.
How to cook tuna for salad
If you have a fresh tuna steak, it will can turn your salad into restaurant style meal. You can simply bake it in the oven using just a few ingredients:
- 1 Tuna steak
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pat tuna steak dry with paper towels and brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place tuna on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature riches 145°F and the edges are slightly browned.
- Remove tuna and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, cut into small bit-sized pieces and toss it with lemon juice. Add cooked tuna to the salad.
Tuna steaks are considered cooked until the internal temperature reaches at least 125°F.
I recommend getting an instant food thermometer if you do not have one yet.
Since we are using canned tuna, this salad is very easy to prepare ahead of time.
First, make sure you have Caesar dressing and canned tuna on hand.
Simply add chopped romaine, tomatoes, and onions to an air-tight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When ready to enjoy, add tuna, croutons, and dressing and enjoy your salad.
- Buy whole romaine hearts (not the chopped ones) for a fresh taste.
- Rinse all the vegetables before adding them to the salad.
- Choose sustainably caught canned tuna.
- You can add other fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, and grated carrots.
How to serve it
This dish is great as a light meal or a starter.
When serving tuna Caesar, provide quests with forks and knives as sometimes the pieces may be too large and need to be cut.
I also like to offer extra shaved Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.
Besides serving this salad as it is, you can turn it into a wrap or a sandwich.
If you have time, share with us in comments if you liked the recipe and what is your favorite salad?
Other salads you may like
Tuna Caesar Salad
- 1 salad spinner
- 1 shallow dish
- measuring spoons
- 1 ea romaine heart or one cup of chopped lettuce
- 1 can tuna
- 6 ea cherry tomatoes
- 5 slices red onion
- 6-8 ea croutons
- 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Caesar dressing
- black pepper
- 1 slice fresh lemon optional
- Chop the lettuce into bite bite pieces. Add it to a salad spinner bowl and rinse the lettuce with cold water. Spin the lettuce to dry it.
- Wash cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Slice the red onion thinly.
- In a shallow dish, add chopped romaine, sliced tomatoes and onions. Open the can of tuna and drain any liquid. Flake the tuna with a fork as it may come in one chunk.
- Add tuna, croutons, and shredded Parmesan to the salad. Drizzle it with Caesar dressing. Garnish with black pepper by taste. Enjoy!
- use canned or freshly bake tuna steak.
- homemade croutons always taste much better.
- pick fresh and crispy romaine lettuce.
- make it keto by using cheese chips instead of croutons.