Tuna Salad Tostadas with Chipotle Mayo

For Lent, make this heart-healthy tuna salad that packs a tangy, spicy punch!

We've reached the end of this week's series on heart-healthy recipes. Monday, I shared my recipe for Quick Chipotle Black Bean Soup. Wednesday was all about Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Chayote and Radish Slaw. Today, I'm sharing an easy recipe for Tuna Salad Tostadas with Chipotle Mayo. All three of these heart-healthy recipes were brought to you by Smart & Final

Happy second Friday of Lent, my friends! I can't believe February is almost gone. Although I've loved being able to work from home for the past year (a full year in two weeks!), it's been hard to mark the passage of time in my little world than when I was going into an office every day. I look up from my computer or from behind my camera and suddenly a month has passed! 

On the bright side, focusing on cooking more often has been one of the healthiest benefits of working from home. It's uncomfortable to admit this, but pre-pandemic, when I still had to report to an office every day, I had gotten into the habit of waiting until the last possible moment to get ready. I'd wind up too short on time to eat breakfast and pack a healthy lunch before heading out the door. That translated into my buying a spinach and egg breakfast burrito from a restaurant near my office building. Then four hours later, heading out again to get lunch from a different restaurant. Then two hours later, getting my venti iced Americano from you know where plus often a minor detour back to my office with a quick stop at a mom & pop coffee shop two doors down that made the best scones. I was averaging $25 for meals and snacks during my 8-hour workday FOUR OR FIVE DAYS A WEEK! Working from home has saved not only my bank account but my heart since I'm now cooking pretty much every meal. 

Stocking up on pantry items at Smart & Final every two to three weeks is so much better on my wallet. Shopping smartly means I can keep ingredients on hand to prepare quick yet healthy meals like this Tuna Salad Tostada with Chipotle Mayo.

As my regular readers know by now, seafood is not high on my list of foods that I naturally gravitate to, but I'm learning to appreciate it. The one exception has always been tuna. Thick slices of white bread stuffed with my Dad's tuna salad was a childhood favorite. I didn't know that there was any other way to make tuna salad until I was out on my own. His was chockful of black olives, pickles, onions, celery, tomatoes, tons of cilantro with chopped iceberg lettuce and a creamy dressing of mayo, mustard, celery seed and salt and pepper. 

I remember being shocked when I ordered my first tuna salad sandwich from the school dining hall during my freshmen year of college. With just mayo, tuna, and some minced onion, the salad was a one-note blob of baby food consistency. After my first experience, I wound up ordering it as a tuna melt, so at least I'd get a punch of flavor from the cheddar cheese on top. 

My Dad's tuna salad is the one I compare all others to. If I stray from his recipe, it needs to be able to stand up to it. This one does. Plus, with considerably less mayo than he uses, it's also healthier. 

The ingredient that takes this over the top is the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I mince and mix into store-bought olive oil mayonnaise. And if you bought chipotles to make Monday's Quick Chipotle Black Bean Soup, here's another excellent use for the leftover peppers.

Make this your own

Use this recipe as a template and customize it to what you have in your pantry and fridge. Don't have cucumbers but have bell peppers? Great. No grape or cherry tomatoes but a big juicy slicing tomato? That'll work. Is celery a must in your tuna salad? Add it! Ran out of lemons, but you've got a lime tree? Swap it in! Maybe you don't have chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in your pantry, but you have ancho chile powder or smoked Spanish paprika instead? Add some to the mayo (to taste) for that same smoky heat vibe.

Tuna Salad Tostadas with Chipotle Mayo

I used my toaster convection oven to make the tostadas, so I had to toast in two batches. Feel free to use a large baking sheet and toast all eight tortillas at once in a conventional oven. I've specifically called out solid white albacore packed in water over oil-packed because the water version is more heart-healthy. Water and oil don't mix, so the omega-3's don't leach out like they do in oil-packed tuna. When you drain oil-packed tuna, some of the fish's omega-3's go down the drain. I peeled the cucumber, but you can leave the skin on if you prefer.

Serves 4


12-ounce can First Street Solid White Albacore packed in water
8 Guerrero corn tortillas
First Street Canola Cooking Spray
½ cup chopped cilantro
⅓ cup finely diced red onion
1 cup chopped cucumber
½ cup quartered First Street Grape Tomatoes
1 jalapeƱo, minced (deseed and devein for less heat, if desired)

For the dressing:
2 generous tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus ½ teaspoon of the adobo
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon First Street Celery Seed
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the guacamole:
1 avocado
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

For serving:
Roasted and salted pepitas


Drain the tuna: Place the tuna in a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to drain well while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Make the tostadas: Preheat a toaster oven (or conventional oven) to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray four corn tortillas on each side with cooking spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted (rack is optional) — toast for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the tortillas and toast an additional 5 minutes or until the tortillas have dried out and are just starting to change color. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Prep the veg: Dice, chop and mince the cilantro, vegetables and peppers as noted in the ingredient list.

Make the salad: Add the drained tuna to a bowl and use a fork to flake it. Add the cilantro, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and jalapeƱos, tossing well to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, minced chipotles, adobo sauce, lemon juice, celery seed, a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the tuna mixture and stir well to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Make the guacamole: Scoop out the avocado flesh, place it on a small plate, and use a fork to mash it. Stir in the lemon juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Assemble the tostadas: Spread the guacamole onto a tostada. Add a scoop of tuna salad. Squeeze a lime wedge over the salad just before serving. Garnish with a handful of pepitas.

Storage notes: Leftover salad will keep in the refrigerator for three days. Stir well before serving. Store leftover tostadas in a resealable bag for up to one week.

* First Street is a Smart & Final store brand.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Smart & Final by way of a gift card to purchase groceries. To help offset the cost of recipe development and post-production, I occasionally enter into collaborations with brands I use and trust. Only products and ingredients that I use in my own kitchen and serve to my family are recommended here on Confessions of a Foodie. Please consider supporting our sponsors. 

I will also often make specific brand recommendations in my posts even when there is no sponsorship involved because I want you, my readers, to be able to duplicate my results. For transparency, however, sponsored posts will always be identified.

More from the heart-health series

Click on photos to get the recipes.

Part 1: Quick Mexican Chipotle Black Bean Soup …

Part 2: Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Chayote and Radish Slaw …

Until next time, friends ... xo, ani