For many Spanish people, tuna deviled eggs are part of their childhood memories, such as lunches at grandparents’ homes, or joyful dinners on a summer day. Nowadays it is also common to find this dish in the tapas showcase of many Spanish bars.
Stuffed (or deviled) eggs are an international dish with Mediterranean roots, presumably stretching back to the Roman Empire. Back in the fourth and fifth century AD, a cookbook called De re coomachia collected popular recipes for stuffed eggs, such as a version with pepper, lovage, soaked nuts, honey, vinegar, and fish sauce.
With the popularization of prepared ingredients, like mayonnaise and canned fish, tuna deviled eggs dish were introduced to the daily lives of many families. In Spain, this recipe became very popular in the gastronomic culture of the 80s.
Although the fillings of the eggs can be varied, the classic Spanish version consists of boiling chicken eggs and filling them with mayonnaise, canned tuna and green olives filled with anchovies. Anchovy olives are a very popular variety in Spain; they are usually served at parties and as appetizers. If you can’t get them for this recipe, do not worry, you can prepare these stuffed eggs using regular green pitted olives—or you can even cook them without olives.
If you prefer to avoid packaged or processed foods, do not hesitate to prepare these tuna stuffed eggs using homemade mayonnaise and swapping out canned tuna for boiled or cooked fish.
Once you’ve perfected the classic recipe, feel free to try variations on the filling. You can add in all kinds of pickles or fresh veggies. Also, you could even make a vegetarian version filled with hummus or babaganoush!
Accompany this dish with a Mediterranean salad and a gazpacho or any other cold summer soup, and you will have a complete meal in a matter of minutes.
Bring water to a boil and prepare your appetite, because in just a few minutes you will have a tasty dish on your table ready to eat.
Looking for deviled eggs that doesn’t use mayonnaise? Try our Deviled Eggs with Olive Oil, Capers and Chives.
Or try these Avocado Deviled Eggs from Damndelicious.com
Tuna Deviled Eggs (Spanish Tapa)
- 6 large eggs
- 7 ounces tuna canned in olive oil, drained
- 5 tbsp mayonnaise
- 12 pitted green olives, chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika plus extra for sprinkling on top
- Kosher salt
- Parsley leaves to decorate
- Place the eggs in the boiling water carefully to avoid breaking them. Let them boil on low for 10-12 minutes. (larger eggs 12 minutes, smaller eggs, 10 minutes)
- Once cooked, run them through cold water to stop the cooking process and to lower the temperature. Peel them and cut them in half lengthwise.
- In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, drained tuna (without oil), chopped olives, ground black pepper and smoked paprika. Smash all ingredients with a fork to avoid large lumps.
- Extract the cooked yolks from the eggs with a spoon and add yolks to bowl with tuna mixture. Mix well with the other ingredients.
- Fill the egg whites with the egg/tuna mixture, sprinkle with smoked paprika and kosher salt. Decorate with parsley leaves.
- Put the eggs in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
My grandmother’s recipe, which she was already making at the family restaurant back in 1920, only included hard-boiled yolks, tuna, “mahonesa”, and tomato sauce in the filling. She presented the eggs on a plate with a base of tomato sauce, the filled halves covered with “mahonesa” sauce, and everything sprinkled with grated hard-boiled eggs.
That’s how I do it at home and in the bars or restaurants where I work as a chef.
“Mahonesa” is the original Spanish version of mayonnaise from the Balearic Islands, and does not typically include ingredients such as mustard that are commonly found in other types of mayonnaise. It is the traditional version that only contains eggs, oil, salt, and lemon juice or vinegar.
Another great tuna recipe. This was delicious!