Spanish Tuna-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers (Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos de Atún) Recipe

A brightly flavored tuna salad inside sweet piquillo peppers. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

The Spanish are masters at packing RDS (Really Delicious Stuff) into cans. When I'm drinking a glass of sherry or a Rioja with my wife Adri, I could be content with a good loaf of bread, some excellent olive oil, and some RDS. This recipe—pimientos del piquillo rellenos de atún (that's Spanish for "peppers with some well-dressed tuna shoved inside'em")—requires two jars of RDS: piquillo peppers and oil-packed bonito tuna. But it still takes all of 15 minutes to put together.

Why this recipe works:

  • Starting with high quality canned ingredients means very little labor is required to reach delicious results.
  • A garlicky and bright allioli brings tons of flavor to the tuna salad.

Note: If you don't want to make homemade allioli, you can make a quick cheaty version by whisking together 1/2 cup of store-bought mayonnaise, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 minced garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon minced garlic), and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Season well with salt. If you can't find piquillo peppers, substitute canned roasted red bell peppers cut into 1 inch wide strips. Assemble by spooning tuna salad on top of bread and laying a strip of bell pepper on top.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1 (250-gram, about 8.5 ounces) can oil-packed bonito tuna, such as Ortiz, drained
  • 1 recipe allioli (see note), divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped brined capers
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (12- to 14-ounce) jar piquillo peppers, drained, about 12 total (see note)
  • 12 slices baguette, cut on a sharp bias and toasted
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving


  1. Combine tuna, 1/4 cup allioli, shallots, lemon juice, capers, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, and olive oil in a medium bowl and fold gently to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice, olive oil, or allioli if desired.

  2. Stuff tuna mixture into piquillo peppers. Arrange baguette slices on a serving board. Top each with a stuffed pepper. Top with a dollop of allioli. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Place a toothpick in each to secure it to the bread and serve immediately.

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