Spicy Tuna Salad with Granny Smith Apple and Black Olives

Spicy Tuna Salad with Granny Smith Apple and Black Olives (Serves 3-4)

Red chili powder is a wonderful addition to tuna salad! I think this may be my favorite version of tuna salad yet.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes


2 cans of tuna
1 small Granny Smith apple
1 small sweet yellow onion
1 can of black olives
2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (recipe for making it yourself below)
Red chili powder
Garlic powder
Black pepper


Add tuna to a mixing bowl. Chop apple and onion into bite sized pieces and add to bowl. Slice olives into halves (or quarters) and add to bowl. Add a nice dusting of each – salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and red chili powder. Don’t skimp on the red chili powder because that is what makes Spicy Tuna Salad spicy! Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise according to taste and then mix well. Taste and add more spices as needed.

Notes: This Spicy Tuna Salad is pictured with baby cut carrots and I’ve also had it with fresh spinach leaves drizzled with a little olive oil. I bet it would be good with any kind of lettuce, bell pepper slices, or celery too.

Homemade mayonnaise is surprisingly easy to make and bumps up the flavor of this dish. I learned to make mayonnaise from Melissa Joulwan, a wonderfully creative cook and writer. She promised me it would be easy and she was right! Don’t accept the soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives of store-bought mayonnaise anymore. Make some homemade yourself. I’ll walk you through it below or you can click here and let Melissa walk you through it.

Homemade Mayo

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin)


Place the egg, mustard powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and whirl until well mixed – 20 to 30 seconds. You can mix by hand in a bowl with a whisk like Julia Childs did in the old days, but that is a lot of work. Now here comes the important part: Drizzle in the last cup of olive oil very, very slowly while you keep running the food processor – as in, take about 3 minutes to drizzle in one cup of oil. Don’t get in a hurry and dump a lot of oil in at once or the mixture can collapse and stop looking like mayonnaise. IF your mayo collapses, all is not lost. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours and then stir it vigorously. Such “failed” mayo doesn’t look as pretty, but it still tastes good and works fine in tuna salad. Once you are done, transfer your mayo to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator until needed. Homemade mayo should be good until the expiration date of the egg it was made with.

Melissa Joulwan warns of the importance of starting with all ingredients at room temperature. I have had success using a cold egg, but am mixing with apple cider vinegar and not lemon juice like Melissa. That difference might make a difference.

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