The Month of Mexican – Spicy Tuna Dip

Tuna Dip - Just like Carlos and Pepe's
Spicy Tuna Dip with Chips
Spicy Tuna Dip with Chips

Spicy Tuna Dip


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After work, when I lived in Santa Monica, California, we had a Carlos and Pepe’s Mexican restaurant right across the street from the house. I loved to go over there and have their wonderful spicy tuna dip. I have been trying to recreate it for years, and I think my rendition of it is pretty spot-on, if not a little better.

When you make this, please us tuna in oil. The tuna in water tastes very bland and requires more mayonnaise to taste better. My favorite, with the best flavor, is albacore in olive oil. If you can’t find it or don’t want to pay the hefty price for it, regular tuna in oil will be fine. I think the thing that sets my dip apart is the use of Aleppo pepper, which you can find at Penzey’s with other excellent spices. I also recommend True Citrus’s True Lemon and Lime because they can be added to foods without worrying about making them too thin – it’s just pure crystalized lemon or lime – delicious!  Links are further down on the page.

Let’s Make Spicy Tuna Dip

Spicy Tuna Dip with Chips

The Month of Mexican - Spicy Tuna Dip

Tuna Dip - Just like Carlos and Pepe's
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Adrienne Boswell




  • Mise En Place
    mise en place
  • Make sure to mince the cilantro well, and keep a little bit for garnish. I have found that a mezzaluna does the best job for this.
  • Minced cilantro
  • Mix all together and refrigerate for a few minutes to let the flavors meld. Serve with chips.


This makes enough for 2 people, so if you want to make more, just increase the ingredients.


Nutrition Facts
The Month of Mexican - Spicy Tuna Dip
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 233 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 149mg6%
Potassium 227mg6%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Aleppo Pepper

Aleppo Pepper at Penzey’s

The Month of Mexican - Spicy Tuna Dip

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About arbpen

As an award-winning and serious home cook, I seriously believe there is no reason why you can't have a restaurant quality meal at home. One of the good things about eating at home is to save money, so armed with a good menu plan, a shopping list, and an appreciation of good food, we can all have gourmet food on a budget.

4 Responses to The Month of Mexican – Spicy Tuna Dip

  1. Matt says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve always really liked that tuna dip at Carlos and Pepe’s and this one is really close.

  2. Mary M says:

    I had a little get together over the weekend and made this along with some of your Guacamole. Just perfect.

  3. Harout says:

    Yeah, I’ll bet this would be good with salmon, too, and lime juice.

  4. Anush says:

    Yummy, I had this with pita bread and it was just delish! Thanks!