When you have a couple of busy days ahead of you and you want to get lunch sorted in advance, make this Tuna Rice Salad with Grapefruit. Cut everything up and portion it into separate boxes. Mix in the dressing and seasoning on the day you want to eat it – and you’re done! Rice is filling, fresh salad vegetables and grapefruit add a whole range of flavours and textures and the mayo dressing makes the salad creamy and extremely enjoyable to eat!
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Tuna Rice Salad For Any Occasion
Tuna Rice Salad with Grapefruit was one of my favourite things to eat after school when I was a teenage girl. I always loved the bittersweet tartness of grapefruit, and pairing it with lots of fresh vegetables, rice and creamy mayo was the combination I liked to enjoy often.
These days this is a wonderful salad (alongside Tuna Pasta Salad) that Seb takes to work for lunch. What is more, this is one of those things that you can make a big batch of and enjoy for 3-4 lunches during the week. But, not only is it a perfect easy lunch recipe, it makes a great option for:
- BBQ parties and cookouts
- Buffet-style lunches
- Potluck dinners
Humble Canned Tuna For Delicious Meals
A humble can of tuna can become a meal that’s a true crowd pleaser if you treat it right! Besides this tuna rice salad recipe, there are so many different ways we cook with tuna here, at Somebody Feed Seb. Here are some delicious recipes that are centred around this great ingredient for you to try next:
- Ultimate Tuna Melt Wrap
- Tuna and Sweetcorn Sandwich
- Tinned Tuna Fish Cakes and Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce
- Better Tuna Nicoise (Tuna Salad Without Mayo)
- Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake
- Easy Mexican Tuna Salad
Need more ideas? Head to our Canned Tuna Lunch Ideas to find the right recipe for you!
Why You Will Love This Rice Salad With Tuna
This Tuna Salad Recipe is definitely our number-one choice for any busy week. And here’s why:
- Effortless Preparation. Whip up this meal with ease: all you need is a sharp knife, a chopping board, a large bowl and a spoon.
- Adaptable. Tuna and rice form the foundation of this dish, allowing you to customize the veggies to your liking or based on what’s in your kitchen.
- Perfect For Meal Prep. This salad keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days, making it a perfect thing to cook ahead of time.
- Filling And Nutritious. Tuna is a great source of protein and healthy fatty acids, whilst all the different veggies provide you with lots of vitamins. Rice and mayo dressing also make it a filling and satisfying meal.
- Perfect Use For Leftover Rice: we have all cooked too much rice at some point in life, right?
- Versatile. Whether you are looking for a light summer meal, a dish to take to a potluck dinner or a recipe for speedy suppers, this is a great recipe to make!
Ingredients and Substitutes
- white rice: use long grain rice, and make sure to cook the rice al dente (it is particularly important if you are meal prepping, as the rice will soften when it absorbs the moisture from other ingredients). Short-grain rice is too starchy to use in this salad (please see the Recipe FAQ section for more details).
- cucumber: If you can, use cucumbers that don’t have too many seeds in them and therefore aren’t too watery.
- red bell pepper: or any other colour you prefer.
- lettuce: we typically use iceberg lettuce, but cos, Romaine or Gem lettuce will work well too.
- tomatoes: salad tomatoes can be replaced with cherry tomatoes or baby plum tomatoes.
- pink grapefruit (optional, but highly recommended): you may use tinned grapefruit or fresh grapefruit (but make sure to take the bitter membrane off).
- gherkins: also known as dill pickles.
- tuna: we use tuna chunks in brine or spring water (not in sunflower oil).
- mayo: whole egg or reduced fat.
- sea salt & black pepper.
Extras for more flavour: spring onion (green onions) or finely chopped red onion, fresh lemon juice and/ or lemon zest, a drop of sesame oil are all great options to change your salad up a little every time you make it.
How to Make Tuna Rice Salad Lighter?
If you’re watching calories or looking for a light lunch option, use less rice, and more vegetables and substitute full-fat mayo for light mayo. Alternatively, you may choose to use ½ mayo and ½ low-calorie yoghurt. Seb loves his salad moist and creamy, so the recipe calls for quite a bit of mayo, but you can adjust the amount of mayo to your personal preferences.
You can also add any salad vegetables you wish, just make sure there’s a variety of colours and textures. Whatever we put into our Tuna Rice Salad, we make sure there’s red pepper, fresh cucumber, some type of lettuce and pink grapefruit in it. And lots of freshly ground black pepper too.
Cook rice following the packet instructions (it typically takes 10-15 minutes). When cooked, drain in a large colander and run cold water through to cool the rice down and remove any excess starch. Then leave to drain and cool completely to room temperature.
Peel your grapefruit and remove all the juicy pink flesh out of the inner membranes (or drain tinned grapefruit). Cut each segment into approx. 3 pieces. Chop up all the vegetables into small pieces.
Mix all the salad vegetables, grapefruit and drained tuna chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled rice, and mayo and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
If you are making your salad ahead of time, I would recommend cutting all the veg up and layering them in boxes alongside tuna and rice but don’t add mayo, mix or season. Just before taking it to work or on a picnic, mix in the mayo and season with salt and pepper. How long you can store your unmixed/ undressed salad in the fridge depends on what salad vegetables you’re using and how fresh they are. But if you’re using fresh produce, it will definitely keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Long-grain white rice or basmati rice are good options. They are less starchy than short grain rice varieties, which makes them ideal for salads as they won’t become overly sticky or mushy. We do not particularly like brown rice mixed with mayo, either. If you insist on using brown rice, we love this Italian Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso) by Skinny Taste.
No, veggies will lose their texture, and become watery and mushy. What is more, mayonnaise doesn’t freeze well either!
It depends. Healthy eating means a lot of different things to people. Whilst canned tuna is one of our favourite ingredients for lean protein, and we love the nutritious red peppers, lettuce and cucumber, mayonnaise and pickled ingredients may be more questionable.
Other Rice Bowls and Salads
If you like this recipe, let us know in the comments below. You may also like cold and warm rice recipes below:
- No-Fuss Vegetarian Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)
- Quick Halloumi Rice Bowl
- Teriyaki Aubergine Donburi | Vegan Aubergine Rice Bowl
Easy Tuna Rice Salad
- 100 g long-grain rice
- ¼ cucumber diced
- ½ red pepper diced
- ¼ lettuce shredded
- 2 small tomatoes chopped
- 1 pink grapefruit
- 2 gherkins
- 1 tin of tuna (160g) in brine or spring water
- 3 tablespoon mayo
- salt & pepper
- Cook rice following the packet instructions. When cooked, drain in a large colander and run cold water through to cool the rice down. Then leave to drain completely.
- Peel your grapefruit and remove all the juicy pink flesh out of the inner membranes. Cut each segment into approx. 3 pieces.
- Mix all the salad vegetables, grapefruit and drained tuna chunks in a bowl. Add the cooled rice, mayo and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.