These Whole30, Paleo, and Keto/Low Carb spicy Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps are so easy to make and totally delicious! The heat from the habanero pepper is cooled with a little mayo and lettuce, and balanced with cilantro and celery, so this tuna salad recipe is just lovely. You can’t go wrong with a simple canned tuna recipe + lots of bright flavor!
About the Recipe
Tuna salad is Meal Prep 101. But it doesn’t have to be boring! This spicy tuna salad is made with habanero peppers, which give it a ton of depth of flavor and plenty of heat. And since it’s combined with mayo, celery, and cilantro, served in lettuce wraps and topped with sugar free pickled onions, this is a far cry from the boring tuna salad we grew up with.
Not only is this recipe unbelievably easy to make and super delicious, it’s also perfect for Whole30, Paleo, Keto, and Weight Watchers eating plans!
You might be skeptical, thinking this is some boring, simple canned tuna recipe with lettuce. But canned tuna is a great protein because it’s so easy and really versatile. I eat it all the time (I use it in my Mediterranean Tuna Salad recipe), and I can promise you, this recipe is anything but boring!
What you’ll need:
- Canned Tuna: I usually get my tuna at Costco or Kroger. My favorite brand is Safe Catch. And always check for sneaky ingredients in canned tuna (added sugars or vegetable broth with soy are two ways they try to get ya!).
- Habanero (or Jalapeño): I love the distinct flavor of the habanero, and a little goes a long way! But if you find jalapeños are more easy to come by or just prefer them, that’s an easy 1:1 substitution.
- Mayo: Use homemade or buy one the store-bought Whole30 compliant mayo brands.
- Pickled Onions: Use my sugar-free pickled onion recipe (Whole30 compliant). You could skip this, of course, but I think the acid really works nicely with the heat, plus it adds a little more crunchy texture.
- Lettuce Wraps: I like the romaine lettuce, but feel free to substitute any kind at all. Butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce would work great!
Making the Recipe
Slow your scroll! Here are a few tips you’ll want to know before you start making this recipe:
- Finely dice the celery and habanero. You want to get a little crunch and a little heat in every bite.
- WEAR GLOVES when you dice the habaneros and remove the seeds. This is advice I always give to others, yet hardly ever follow myself. Every time I cut hot peppers, I somehow think I can get away with it, but that always ends up biting me in the behind. I’ve accidentally touched my eyes and burned them FAR too many times, so please, learn from my mistakes! For the love of hot peppers, WEAR GLOVES!
- For a milder heat in your tuna salad recipe, saute the diced peppers for a few minutes, until softened, before adding them to the tuna and serve with extra lettuce. Cooking the pepper mellows out a good amount of heat and the lettuce helps dilute the heat, too. Me? I’m of a mind that the spicier the better, but I realize not everybody loves that level of heat! You do you, friends.
There’s no actual cooking in this recipe, so just mix everything together and season to taste. Spoon the tuna salad into the lettuce wraps just before eating, and enjoy!
How to Store Tuna Salad
You can store tuna salad for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
More healthy & delicious meal prep recipes:
- Apple Walnut Chicken Salad (Whole30, Paleo)
- Easy Collard Wraps (Whole30, Low Carb)
- Butter Chicken Meal Prep (Whole30, Low Carb)
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Spicy Habanero Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps (Whole30, Low Carb)
Habanero Tuna Salad
- 8 oz. tuna
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 habanero pepper or substitute 2 tsp diced jalapeno
- 4-5 tbsp mayo
- 1.5 tbsp cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4-6 lettuce leaves
- pickled onions optional
Prep the Ingredients
- While wearing gloves, finely dice the habanero pepper, removing the seeds. Chop the celery and cilantro. Drain the oil from the tuna.
Mix & Serve
- Mix everything together in a bowl until well combined. Season to taste.
- Spoon the tuna salad into lettuce wraps and top with a little extra cilantro and pickled onions.