If you're looking for a flavorful, mayonnaise-free, potato salad recipe, this potato salad recipe with tuna will not disappoint! A couple of spices add depth, and a simple dressing brings it all together. Gluten Free.
The world loves potato salad, and among Mediterranean kitchens alone, the variations are plenty!
At first glance, this potato salad with tuna looks a whole lot like Nicoise Salad. Yes, the resemblance is there, although a classic Salade Nicoise, as I learned, would not include potatoes nor green beans.
A similar potato salad is known in parts of Spain as Ensaladilla Rusa, meaning Russian Salad or little Russian Salad. It is known to have been invented by the Russians in the 19th century, but the Spanish had since made several variations of this dish making it a popular tapa, often with the addition of tuna and sometimes chorizo, and homemade garlic mayo for dressing.
This no-mayo potato salad recipe is neither Nicoise nor quite the classic Ensaladilla Rus, but it may borrow hints of both. And it is truly a meal in its own right with tons of color, texture, and flavor--thanks to a light and bright dressing and warm spices including smoked paprika and cumin.
Why this potato salad recipe works?
Cooked fingerling potatoes are combined with green beans, tomatoes and pearl onions (or shallots.) The draw for me are the flavor makers--canned tuna crumbled in, earthy spices like smoked paprika and cumin for smokiness and depth, a nod to Spain. Fresh garlic, which, in my opinion, makes everything better. And a simple, bright dressing excellent extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.
Shameless plug here, in a dish like this, I would recommend a bold extra virgin olive oil such as our Spanish Hojiblanca EVOO or Early Harvest EVOO.
How to serve this Spanish-Style Potato Salad
You can make this potato salad a few hours ahead of serving, and store it in the fridge so the flavors will meld. I like to then assemble it on a pretty platter on top of a bed of spring greens or butter lettuce.
Of course, if you’re serving a group, the obvious way to serve this Spanish potato salad is as they do in Spain: tapas-style. And here a few options for dishes to go next to it: Roasted Garlic Hummus; Grilled Brussels Sprouts Skewers; Mediterranean Roasted Tomato "Nachos."; Skillet Shrimp and Chorizo; Balela Salad.
But, this potato salad can make a great lunch or a light dinner along with your favorite crusty bread and a glass of good white wine.Print
Potato Salad Recipe with Tuna
- Total Time: 24 minutes
- Yield: serves up to 8 people
Bright, flavor-packed Potato Salad with tuna, green beans and tomatoes. A couple of spices add depth, and a simple dressing pulls it together.This has hints of Nicoise salad and the popular Spanish Potato Salad known as Ensaladilla Rusa.
- 12 oz fingerling potatoes or small red potatoes
- 10 oz French green beans, trimmed
- 6 oz small tomatoes (such as campari tomatoes or small Roma tomatoes), cut into wedges
- ⅓ cup pearl red onions or small shallots, quartered
- 15 oz can quality tuna
- 2 to 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (more to your liking)
- ¾ tsp cumin (more to your liking)
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 oz spring greens or butter lettuce
- Place fingerling potatoes in a large pot and cover well with water. Boil for 10 minutes or until you are able to stick a fork through potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, remove potatoes from boiling water and transfer to a plate for now. Do not discard water.
- Prepare a large bowl with iced water and set aside near the pot.
- In the same cooking pot, with the water boiling, add green beans. Cook 4 minutes or so. Drain, and immediately place the green beans in the bowl with the iced water (ice bath) to stop cooking (this helps them keep their vivid green color too.) When cooled enough, remove green beans from ice bath and pat dry.
- Cut fingerling potatoes in halves length-wise, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add green beans, tomatoes, onions (or shallots), tuna (crumble it up a bit before adding), and garlic.
- Season with salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and crushed red pepper. Combine Early Harvest EVOO and vinegar then add to the salad. Give everything a gentle toss making sure all the ingredients are well-coated. Taste and adjust seasoning or add more smoked paprika, cumin, or crushed red pepper to your liking (remember, flavors meld with time.)
- Assemble spring greens or butter lettuce on a nice platter. Arrange the salad on top. Enjoy!
- Prepare ahead note: You can prepare this salad a few hours in advance up to step #5. Cover and refrigerate. When ready, assemble on a platter on top of a bed of fresh spring greens or butter lettuce.
- Recommended for this recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives.) SAVE! Try our Greek Olive Oil Bundle
- Recommended for this recipe from our all-natural and organic spice collections: Smoked Paprika and Cumin. SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle or Create Your Own 6-pack or 3-pack of spices.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 14 mins
- Method: Boiled
- Cuisine: Spanish
Keywords: Spanish Potato Salad, Potato Salad, Spanish Potato Salad with Tuna, Potato Salad Recipe, Spanish Potato Salad Recipe
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So I made this for my Bible Study group tonight, and it was delicious! I used market fresh red Bibb lettuce for the base, and plated individually. I used market fresh red skins, liberally added cumin and smoked paprika and a healthy pour of my new favorite spice, Aleppo pepper. I used wild caught canned white tuna in oil, shallots and organic grape tomatoes. Dressed it with Milanese Gremolata olive oil and white wine vinegar. I was concerned it might be too spicey for my girls, but, it was absolutely delicious and they all loved it. The great thing about Aleppo pepper is the major flavor boost you get - its not just spice, it's flavor!!! This salad was a big hit and I'll be making it again soon. I'm guessing my friends will too as at their request I sent them the recipe! I also sent them the link to your website, ever since my husband discovered your site this is where I find ideas for most of our meals. Thank you!!!
Awww! Thank you for leaving such a wonderful review, Liz! I totally agree with you on the Aleppo :).