Tuna Confit and Tomato Salad

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
July 24, 2021 | Updated on August 8, 2023

This salad screams summer–tuna confit and tomato salad. It’s refreshing, bright, easy-to-make, and elicious.

For more tomato recipes, check out my Tomato Salad with Cilantro-Mint Dressing, next!

tuna confit and tomato salad

Tuna Confit and Tomato Salad

I can’t get enough of this tuna confit and tomato salad for a couple of reasons:

1. this salad was made for heirloom tomatoes and 2. the recipe steps your tuna game up by making tuna conserva AKA tuna confit.

The pairing of these two along with fresh basil, shallots, leftover confit oil and a squeeze of lemon is the epitome of summer eats.

What is Confit?

I’m here to tell you to finally ditch the canned tuna because there’s something better out there and guess what? You can make it in the comfort of your kitchen. It’s tuna confit, folks.

For those who have spent their entire lives eating tuna from a can (definitely me) there’s an alternative that is moist, flaky, and much more flavorful. I’m not knocking canned tuna; in a pinch, it’s great and who doesn’t love the luscious canned goodness from Spain (memories!). But I urge you to try your hand at making your own. It is definitely rewarding.

Confit is a preserving method, in which the tuna is poached in oil and slow-cooked at a low temperature. You can confit a number of things: fruit, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, meat–adding immense flavor to foods, especially meats.

Ingredients Needed for Tuna Confit

What’s great about confit is the flexibility in the use of ingredients to tailor it to what your taste buds will love. This line up of ingredients yields subtle flavors that won’t overpower the salad.

Prep the following ingredients to get started:

  • Yellowtail or albacore
  • Olive oil–the good stuff
  • Bay leaf
  • Black peppercorns
  • Lemon peel
  • Kosher salt
tuna confit and tomato salad side photo.

Storing Tuna Confit

Tuna confit can be stored in the refrigerator, covered in oil, for 2 weeks. But I guarantee it will be gone long before then.

Tuna Confit Food Pairings

Double the recipe and have it on-hand for easy lunches, snacking, and dinner. Pairing tender, flaky tuna confit with salad will always be a hit, but also try it with:

  • White bean salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Jammy eggs

The dressing consists of reserved confit olive oil and lemon. Dressings don’t always need to be complex and require a list of ingredients. As long as you have fat (olive oil) and an acid (lemon juice), you’re well on your way to making a delicious dressing.

Tomato Salad Ingredients and Assembly

I can’t get over how fresh and delicious this salad is. Assembly is pretty easy, requiring a quick chop and slice of tomatoes and shallots. I prefer to use heirloom tomatoes for this salad and enjoy using a variety of colors; orange, yellow, red, striped. Let’s get down to what you’ll need:

  • Tuna confit
  • Tomatos
  • Shallot
  • Fresh basil
  • Confit oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt + Pepper

Tuna Confit Oil Doubles as a Fantastic Salad Dressing

What’s great about this recipe is that the leftover tuna confit oil also serves as a great, flavorful dressing. Simply:

  • Add the first four ingredients to a bowl
  • Drizzle leftover cofit oil
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the salad
  • Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper

More Good Eats You’ll Love

Loving Tuna Confit and Tomato Salad?

We can’t get enough of it, either! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

tuna confit and tomato salad side photo.

Tuna Confit and Tomato Salad

This salad screams summer–tuna confit and tomato salad. It’s refreshing, bright, easy-to-make, and delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood


Tuna Confit

  • 1 pound yellowtail or albacore tuna fillet, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking
  • 2¼ cups olive oil
  • 1 2-inch strip lemon zest
  • 5 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • Kosher salt


  • Fresh basil, small bunch
  • 1 large shalloy, thinly sliced
  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


Tuna Confit

  • Season both sides of tuna fillet with kosher salt.
  • In a small dutch oven, add olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorn. Heat oil to 185°F and cook for 20 minutes to allow oil to infuse with aromatics.
  • Lower heat to a gentle simmer. Gently add tuna to the oil and bring oil temperature back to 150°F.
  • Turn off heat. After about 3 minutes, remove one piece of tuna and check for doneness. If you prefer tuna medium rare, remove from oil when center is still pink. For more well-done, keep in oil until desired level of doneness is reached (6-9 minutes). 
  • Place tuna in a dish. Once oil is cooled to room temperature, strain and pour over tuna. 
  • Cover leftover tuna and place in the refrigerator. Good for up to two weeks. 

Salad Assembly

  •  In a salad bowl, add tomato wedges, shallots, basil (desired amount), and top with flaked tuna confit.
  •  Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. 
  • Drizzle with leftover tuna confit oil and squeeze lemon juice over salad. Mix with each bite or before eating.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
tuna confit and tomato salad


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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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