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Cheap Healthy Recipe for Two - Tuna Pasta Salad in Homemade Tortilla Bowls

Updated on August 16, 2012
Tuna Pasta Salad in Tortilla Bowls
Tuna Pasta Salad in Tortilla Bowls | Source

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Some people believe they must spend a good amount of money for a plate of healthy and lovely-looking food. Wrong! Today I'm going to prove how canned tuna and tortillas, two ingredients so cheap and mundane in appearance, can look pretty darn sexy when they get onto a plate together. Since the tortilla bowls are the star of the presentation, I decided to embrace the flavor of Mexican salsa a bit by using lime juice in my citrus dressing and adding chopped cilantro to my salad. The overall flavor is bright and clean, but also very zesty, especially if you include a big dash of cayenne pepper in the dressing. Now speaking of nutrition, the tuna gives this main course salad a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids, so it is very heart-healthy. If you're trying to limit your calorie intake, you can eat this for lunch or dinner many times a week. It contains only about 540 calories per serving! And if you're low on the grocery budget, you would absolutely love this recipe. There's nothing on the ingredient list that would break your bank. See? A lack of funds doesn't always mean you have to compromise taste, nutrition or aesthetics.

Rate This Budget-Friendly Recipe

5 stars from 4 ratings of Tuna Pasta Salad in Tortilla Bowls
Some Main Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad
Some Main Ingredients for Tuna Pasta Salad | Source


  • 2 cans (5 oz each) chunk tuna in water, drained
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 small apple, cored and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 3 oz elbow macaroni
  • 2 tsps yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsps fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsps fresh lime juice
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper, (optional)

***You may leave the cucumber skin on if you want; that will add quite a bit of dietary fiber to your meal. I personally don't like the slight bitterness of it, so I always peel cucumbers when I make a salad.****

How to Make Tuna Pasta Salad



  1. Prepare elbow macaroni according to the instructions on the packet. Feel free to use penne, farfalle or shell pasta if you prefer.
  2. Drain well and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then refrigerate until cold (15 - 30 minutes). If you want to make the pasta one day in advance and keep it in the refrigerator overnight, cover the container with a lid, aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  3. Put tuna, apple, cucumber, cilantro and mint leaves into a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, honey, orange juice, lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper. This is your healthy citrus dressing!
  5. Add the dressing to your tuna pasta salad. Toss together well.

How to Make Tortilla Bowls without Tortilla Bowl Makers

Making Homemade Tortilla Bowls
Making Homemade Tortilla Bowls | Source
Homemade Tortilla Bowls
Homemade Tortilla Bowls | Source

Homemade Tortilla Bowls Recipe


  • 2 large tortillas, either wheat or corn (The thinner the tortillas, the crispier your tortilla bowls will be!)
  • 1 - 2 tbsps olive oil or vegetable oil


  • Preheat an oven to 400º F.
  • Put 2 small bowls upside down on a baking sheet.
  • Soften the tortillas a bit by warming them in a microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Thoroughly rub the oil on both sides of the tortillas.
  • Place the tortillas on the upside-down bowls and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until the tortillas turn crispy. I normally check the crispiness simply by touching it with the tip of my finger. Once it's not pliable anymore, it's done!
  • Carefully transfer your tortilla bowls to two serving plates and allow them to cool down a bit.

Finally, add your healthy salad to your lovely tortilla bowls and enjoy your meal with your companion!

Voila! Cheap, Healthy and Lovely Meal for Two!


Let's see how nutritious this budget-friendly recipe is!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bowl of salad
Calories 541
Calories from Fat171
% Daily Value *
Fat 19 g29%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 13 g
Carbohydrates 63 g21%
Sugar 6 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 34 g68%
Cholesterol 40 mg13%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

To Make Your Yummy Creations Look More Tantalizing, Use These Tortilla Bowl Makers

Some Other Excellent Choices of Dressing for this Main Course Salad

Simple Lemon Dressing

Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and a little bit of salt and black pepper together. This easy dressing is simply refreshing.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Mix 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a teaspoon of honey and a dash of salt. It's a little pungent but very delectably so.

Creamy Ginger Dressing

Combine 1/4 cup of sour cream with 1 tablespoon of thinly chopped white onion, 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger and a dash of salt. It's pretty rich and delightful!

Tarragon Mayonnaise

Mix together 1/4 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped tarragon and a teaspoon of lemon juice. This three-ingredient dressing is surprisingly good. The tarragon goes really well with the tuna.


Submit a Comment

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    @Ruchira - Yay! I'm glad I helped you save some money. =D

  • Ruchira profile image


    6 years ago from United States

    Great Idea, Om.

    I had been looking into investing in a tortilla bowl but, you save me money :))

    the creative salads were also good and fresh!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Peggy! So glad you like my tortilla bowl trick :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    6 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hi Om,

    Gave this recipe 5 stars and voted up and useful. Like Simone said, this is a neat little trick to turn the tortilla into a bowl shape to be used as a serving dish. I like all of the ingredients so know that this is a winning recipe. Thanks!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    @Simone - Thanks! Yeah, those tortilla bowls are super easy to make. Plus, this whole meal is super cheap! hehehe

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    6 years ago from San Francisco

    This is such a fabulous-looking dish! I had never thought it would be so easy to make a fancy-looking tortilla bowl just using bowls and an oven. What an awesome trick!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    Thanks a lot, lindacee. So glad you will give this tuna salad recipe a try. I'm just like you; I eat salads a lot more often in the summer!

  • lindacee profile image

    Linda Chechar 

    6 years ago from Arizona

    Thank you so much, Om. I've been trying to come up with easy summer recipes for the two of us. This salad sounds perfect as there is little cooking involved. Once the weather heats up, I lose all interest in cooking and like stick with salads. This is a well-balanced, healthy recipe. Love the idea for creating tortilla bowls. Brilliant!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    6 years ago

    Thank you so much, everyone. I'm so glad you guys find this recipe worth trying! =D

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I love the idea of serving tuna salad in homemade tortilla bowls! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • livingpah2004 profile image


    6 years ago from USA

    Looks very healthy and delicious. Thanks for the idea. Useful and voted up!

  • anglnwu profile image


    6 years ago

    What a good idea making your own tortilla shells. I love the citrus dressings--everything I love is in that. Great pictures--I'm drooling already and I just had lunch. Thanks for sharing.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    6 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I love it. Tuna is my favorite. It sound delicious and I can't wait to make it soon. Sister, thanks for writing. Voted up and shared.


  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 

    6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    This sounds very delicious! It also looks pretty easy to make. I'll have mine with Mustard Vinaigrette please! Gonna bookmark this one, and vote and share. Great Recipe!


  • Angela Brummer profile image

    Angela Brummer 

    6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

    Yummy this is really a great looking meal!

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    What a great idea and beautiful pictures as always. Voted up and 5 stars! Kelley


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