This delicious and healthy Mediterranean tuna salad is bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors. The combination of juicy tomatoes with tender flakes of tuna and hearty bulgur creates the perfect balance of flavors, texture, and nutrition.
I’m a big fan of hearty salads. You know the ones that are not just greens with a bit of dressing, but flavorful salads that are a whole meal. This is one of them. Inspired by the famous tabbouleh, which includes bulgur which is a type of cracked wheat which is whole grain. You may often see tabbouleh made with couscous, but they are different.
Couscous and bulgur are both types of grains that look similar but have some key differences. Couscous is made from semolina flour, and provides fluffy texture, while bulgur is made from whole wheat grains and has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. Nutrition wise, bulgur is higher in fiber, which is an important factor and that’s why I always use it.
In this recipe I added tuna (canned in water-I add my own olive oil to the salad). This provides additional protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
And what I like most here is the fact that you heat the canned tuna along with cherry tomatoes making a sort of sauce.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad Ingredients
The ingredients for this salad are simple and easy to find.
For the sauce I use extra virgin olive oil, canned tuna in water, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. It’s quite simple!
For the rest of the salad, I prepare the bulgur wheat (no cooking required) and a generous amount of fresh parsley.
How to make Mediterranean Tuna Salad
Your first step is to prepare the bulgur wheat. All you have to do is measure it out in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, add hot boiling water, and a tsp of olive oil, give it a swirl and then cover (I use plate). Let it sit in the water for about 20 minutes. You can also do this a day ahead.
After about 10 minutes, heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pan, add the sliced chopped garlic along with the tomato and tuna, separating it with a wooden spatula and sauce over medium heat. Continue heating until tomatoes burst and you have a somewhat thickened mixture, about 8 minutes.
Once bulgur is ready, straining any leftover water. Empty in a bowl and add another tsp of olive oil and mix. Then add the chopped parsley and mix again, and then add the tomato-tuna mixture and mix well.
Add a bit of salt and pepper and serve. You may add an additional 1-2 tsp of olive oil and squeeze a bit of lemon juice before serving.
More Bulgur Wheat Recipes
Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Couscous – Caramelized roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas and plenty of herbs.
Classic Tabbouleh (Tabouli Salad) – A Mediterranean Favorite
Warm Bulgur Wheat with Tomato and Peppers – Warm and comforting
More Fish Recipes
Mediterranean Garlic and Herb Crusted Roasted Sardines – Simply delicious roasted sardines with a garlic herb crust
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca – Classic Italian Pasta
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Get it here >> The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners
Mediterranean Tuna Salad
- ½ cup uncooked bulgur wheat
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 7-8 oz (200g) cherry tomatoes
- 1 can (6 oz or 160 g) can drained tuna in water
- 1 ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon for serving
- Place the bulgur wheat in a heatproof bowl, add a pinch of salt, and 1 cup hot boiling water, plus a tsp of olive oil, give it a swirl and then cover with a plate. Let it sit in the water for about 20 minutes until it has absorbed most of the water. Once bulgur is ready, strain any leftover water. Empty in a bowl and add another tsp of olive oil and mix. Then add the chopped parsley, mix again, and set aside.
- In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pan, add the sliced chopped garlic along with the tomato and tuna, separating it with a wooden spatula and saute over medium heat. Continue cooking until the tomatoes burst and you have a somewhat thickened mixture, about 8 minutes.
- Add the tomato-tuna mixture to bulgur-parsley and mix well.
- Add a bit of salt and pepper and serve. You may add an additional 1-2 tsp of olive oil and squeeze a bit of lemon juice before serving.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved
This was so easy and good!
I love tuna but don’t often think to eat it because of the higher mercury. What gluten-free substitute would you recommend for the bulgur? Thank you for sharing!
Buckwheat is gluten free, as is millet.