Canned tuna is a great ingredient to keep in your kitchen. You can whip up a lot of dishes with it, but it isn’t often your first choice if you’re stuck for recipe ideas.
Canned tuna is so tasty, and these recipes prove that it’s one of the most versatile foods you can use in cooking!
We’re here to show you how great this tasty fish is with a roundup of the best canned tuna recipes.
From pizzas to salads and patties to casseroles, you’ll be shocked that these yummy recipes were made with tinned tuna.
Keep reading to find 33 of the best canned tuna recipes below!
1. Asian Tuna Salad
We’ll start this tuna recipe round-up with a twist on a tuna salad. This version infuses the salad with East Asian flavors, thanks to sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soba noodles.
You can swap the noodles for lettuce to keep the dish light or swap for whole wheat spaghetti if you can’t find soba noodles. Drizzle some fresh lime juice and spicy mustard on top for a tasty finish.
2. Pappardelle With Tuna Sauce
Tuna works well in a variety of pasta, and pappardelle is certainly one of them!
This sauce blends a range of savory ingredients that work well alongside the tuna, including onion, capers, and ripe tomatoes.
If you are using capers, you might need to run them under water before cooking them in the sauce. Capers can be kept in salty brines which might affect how the whole dish tastes.
3. Tuna And Tomato Calzone
This calzone recipe is so simple to prepare and is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face!
This folded pizza recipe uses stuffing made with tuna, olives, tomatoes, and mozzarella. These ingredients infuse every bite with strong savory flavors.
It’s best to serve the calzone on the day you make it, but any leftovers can be wrapped in foil and stored in an airtight container for later.
4. Easy Paleo Canned Tuna Fish Cakes
This recipe uses ingredients that pair well with tuna, including sweet potato, peppers, and onion. It’s also Paleo, low fat, and low in sugar, so it’s suitable for a range of diet plans.
These are great by themselves, but they also taste amazing when in a bun or on top of some thick lettuce leaves.
If you have a family, keep a few of these fish cakes on hand as they’re suitable for kids and adults alike. You can make a large batch and freeze them for later.
5. Easy Tuna Melts
A tuna melt is another traditional tuna recipe that’s simple and delicious. This recipe is slightly different as it uses an English muffin as the base instead of classic white bread.
The muffin will provide a firm base for all of the ingredients, while the holes in the bread will soak up any flavorful juices that leak through. Add a little lemon juice and Dijon mustard for a spicy finish.
6. Tuna And Chickpea Salad
If you want a light, but filling option that’s great for lunch and dinner, try this chickpea and tuna salad. Both of these ingredients are packed with protein that will keep you satisfied throughout the day.
It is also topped with scrumptious savory ingredients, including capers, onions, and avocado.
Stir lemon juice and vinegar dressing in the salad before eating, as this will bring out the flavors from all the ingredients well.
7. Baked Potato With Tuna And Spring Onion
If you need a lunch option that’s easy to prepare, look no further. This recipe uses a well-known combination of baked potatoes and tuna.
This traditional dish is made even better with the toppings in this version. Spring onions, olive oil, and a little butter are added for a truly decadent dish.
This tastes amazing when paired with a small salad, but it’s just as great when eaten on its own too.
8. Tuna Casserole Stuffed Shells
Here’s another version of the classic tuna casserole! This uses large pasta shells, mushroom soup, and Panko crumbs for a slightly different look.
This is perfect for serving to your family or on occasions where you need to bring a tasty dish along!
Each pasta shell will be filled with a tuna, mushroom soup, and pea mixture.
The creamy soup will blend well with the fish and peas for a mouthwatering result. Try not to boil the pasta shells for too long, as they taste better with a slight bite to them.
9. Tuna Pizza With Green Peppers
Tuna pizza might not sound like the most appetizing dish, but don’t knock it before you try it! If you love tuna salad, you’re bound to like this pizza.
Each slice is infused with crisp fresh ingredients, including onions, celery, and bell peppers. Cheddar cheese is also used to add a sharp contrast to the tuna, as well as the rest of the ingredients.
Top your slice with some hot sauce, or some green onion slices for presentation.
10. Onion And Herb Keto Tuna Cakes
Here’s another fish cake option if you’re after a quick and easy dish!
These onion and herb fish cakes are filled with blue cheese crumbles for a noticeable difference.
Each piece also has chopped mint leaves running through every bite, delivering a refreshing contrast against the strong tuna and onion flavors.
Try placing a little spicy mustard on each cake before serving.
11. Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole
Casseroles are known for being comfort food, but this lighter version changes that!
It uses fat-free chicken broth and reduced-fat cheese to lower the calories.
Mushrooms, peas, breadcrumbs, and a little butter work with the tuna, preventing the casserole from tasting too bland.
We’d recommend using a lot of spices, like cayenne, paprika, pepper, and chili as you make the casserole, as these will ensure the dish is hearty, not tasteless.
12. Baby Friendly Tuna Fish Cakes
This fish cake recipe is great to prepare if you have little ones in your household. They are free from any strong ingredients, so they are completely safe for when your baby is ready to try fish.
Just make sure that these are cooked fully before giving them to your child, as you want to avoid giving them raw or undercooked eggs.
13. Cheese And Tuna Jackets
This baked potato recipe uses a mix of tuna and cheese. These toppings might be simple, but they certainly aren’t bland!
The secret is mixing your tuna and cheese mix with spices and potent ingredients, like onions and parsley. Coat your potatoes with a little sunflower oil before baking, as this will make the skins crisp up nicely.
14. Go-To Tuna Wraps
These tuna wraps are so easy to make, that you’ll be tempted to make them a few times throughout the week.
The recipe uses a savory mix with some sweet undertones, including tuna, mustard, walnuts, and raisins. The raisins add a nice fruity dimension that goes well with the nutty flavors from the walnuts.
Feel free to customize the recipe, as chopped apples and celery also taste good in contrast with the tuna and raisins.
15. Tuna Lettuce Wrap
If you liked the previous wrap recipe, here’s a slightly lighter version if you want something a little healthier.
These use a tuna, mayonnaise, and mustard mix inside a thick lettuce leaf wrap.
Make sure that you opt for thicker lettuce options instead of thinner ones. Romaine and butter lettuce are good examples of this.
16. Broccoli And Cheese Tuna Casserole Budget Meal
This version of a tuna casserole is so easy to prepare and takes just 35 minutes to make!
It uses filling ingredients like brown rice and broccoli as a base which pair well with the strong tuna flavors. Low-fat cheddar and coconut milk mix throughout the casserole to add delicious creamy undertones.
Make sure you add lots of seasoning to ensure every bite is full of flavor!
17. Tuna And Tomato Salsa Pasta
Tuna and tomatoes bring the tangy notes out of each other, which is why they go so well in hearty pasta dishes like this one.
This recipe can be prepared and made in just 15 minutes, so it’s perfect to whip up if you need a quick dish for lunch or dinner.
Don’t leave the capers out, as these have a tartness that pairs well with the tuna.
18. Tuna Crumble
You can make this tuna crumble in just one hour with common ingredients you may have in your kitchen already.
It mixes succulent tuna pieces with juicy, flavorful vegetables, encasing them all in a lovely cheesy coating.
This crumble is perfect for getting more vegetables in your diet, as well as more protein from the canned tuna pieces.
19. Nicoise Salad – French Salad With Tuna
Nicoise salad is one of the most well-known types of tuna salad. It’s also so simple to prepare and is full of filling ingredients.
Boiled eggs and baby potatoes will keep hunger pangs away, while a lemon dressing enhances the rich flavors from the olives, beans, and tuna.
Serve with Dijon mustard and plenty of black pepper for a spicy finish.
20. Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich
Avocados are full of healthy fats that pair well with rich tuna pieces. This sandwich is full of healthy greens and protein, so it will be a great addition to many diet plans.
This recipe uses a bagel instead of your usual bread, but you can swap this for an English muffin, lettuce wrap, or even a tortilla to make a healthy wrap version.
21. Tuna Melt Crescent Ring
This tuna crescent ring looks more complicated than it is, but it’s relatively simple to put together! All you have to do is make a tuna filling and assemble it inside a crescent-shaped dough.
Slice into pieces and serve with a lemon and dill sauce to complement all of the ingredients in the filling.
22. Tuna Melts With Olive Oil Mayonnaise And Parmesan
Don’t try these if you’re on a diet!
These tuna melts are full of hearty ingredients, including parmesan, mayonnaise, and olive oil. These creamy foods taste great in contrast to the crisp baguette.
Add some mustard and apple cider vinegar for a refreshing contrast inside every bite.
23. The Best Tuna Casserole With Noodles
Tuna casserole is a well-known dish, but this version uses egg noodles and Panko-Parmesan for a twist on a popular classic!
This recipe is great if you’re after some comfort food. It’s full of cheese and buttery goodness, as well as flavorful veggies, like onions, peppers, and peas.
Just like other casserole recipes, you can make this dish in advance, as well as freeze it for a later date. If you do freeze it, make sure that it defrosts fully and that you heat it well before serving.
24. Penne With Tuna And Spicy Mustard
This is another tuna pasta recipe with a little kick!
This recipe uses mustard and parsley to add a savory dimension to the tuna pasta. The mustard brings out the sharp notes within the fish, while the pasta keeps the dish hearty and filling.
It’s best to use tuna canned in olive oil instead of brine, as the fish pieces will be juicier and tastier as a result.
25. Spicy Tuna Sandwich
If you’re after a simple tuna recipe, it doesn’t get any easier than this sandwich! Simply mix a tuna, mayonnaise, and Sriracha filling, then spoon across cheddar-lined bread. That’s it!
Try adding sesame oil to the filling, as this will add toasted notes that contrast well with the spicy Sriracha.
26. Rice Paper Tuna Salad Roll
These rice paper rolls are crisp on the outside and soft in the middle.
They contain tuna, mustard, and pickle filling. All of these ingredients bring out the richness of each other without overpowering them.
Lemon juice cuts through these robust flavors and adds a refreshing feel, but try not to use too much. The juice can start to drip through each roll and make them harder to eat.
27. Classic Tuna Macaroni Salad
Tuna macaroni may not be the most exciting dish, but this macaroni salad recipe is full of luscious flavors.
The protein in the tuna and hard-boiled eggs will keep you full, while the pickle relish, shallots, and lemon juice cut through the rich flavors in the recipe.
You can use any type of pasta that you like, but elbow macaroni works best for this salad. It’s also best to go for tuna in water, as brine or oil canned versions will change the flavors within the pasta.
28. Tuna Chowder With Corn Cheese
Tuna chowder is a lot more appetizing than it sounds! It’s also easy to prepare and serve if you need a filling lunch option on short notice.
This recipe is full of delicious vegetables that taste even better with a thick cheese sauce. Tabasco, onions, and celery also work well against the distinct notes within the tuna.
The chowder goes well with some warm crusty bread and, if you fancy it, a glass of dry white wine.
29. Crab Or Tuna Lemon And Chili Linguine Recipe
This linguine recipe initially uses crab, but you can substitute the crab for tuna too. The seafood sauce only needs five ingredients which you’ll probably have somewhere in your kitchen.
Make sure that you use tuna canned in olive oil instead of water or brine. The oil will make the fish sauce taste even better, but brine and spring-water tuna cans can water the sauce down.
30. Tuna Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed peppers are always fun to make and depending on the filling, they will keep you full for a while after eating them!
This recipe uses a mix of tuna, olives, and cottage cheese. This creates a rich filling, but the light and crispy peppers help to soften the heartiness of these ingredients.
Don’t skip the Dijon mustard or the lemon juice, as these will add a lot of flavor and help round out all of the different notes in each pepper.
31. Tuna And Red Pesto Pasta
This pasta dish is perfect for days when you don’t want to do much in the kitchen. It takes three steps and ten minutes to make, so you can enjoy it soon after you start making it!
This tuna recipe uses a mix of tuna, black olives, and pesto to create a delicious pasta dish. This pasta can be quite rich, so top with chopped parsley to add a fresh layer to each plate.
32. Easy Tuna Dip
Tuna dips are another versatile tuna recipe. You can spoon some in celery sticks, spread it on slices of toast, or dip crackers into it for a tasty snack.
Make sure that you add lemon in, as this will cut through the juicy tuna mix and enhance the notes from the onions and mustard.
33. Spanish Style Fish Recipe
Lastly, we have this Spanish-inspired fish stew.
This infuses fish stock with the flavors of juicy tuna and prawns. Spices like cumin and coriander are also added which harmonize well with the garlic and onions.
Make sure that you de-seed the red chilies before adding them to the stew, as the seeds can easily make the dish hotter than you expected!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Cook Tuna From A Can?
Canned tuna should be cooked before it is canned, so if you prefer, you can eat the tuna straight out of the can.
Most of the tuna in cans will have been cooked twice during the canning process, as this ensures that the fish meets quality check regulations before it is sold.
You can also cook with canned tuna by adding it to dishes. A good example is mac and cheese, as tuna will add a tasty element and increase the dish’s protein content.
What Is The Black Stuff In Canned Tuna?
The darker, almost black part of your tuna fish isn’t unhealthy or bad for you. This is a muscle that houses a lot of myoglobin, a blood pigment that contains iron.
This muscle is also found in swordfish, but don’t confuse this with green, brown, or black spots on the fish. These will indicate that the tuna has spoiled and shouldn’t be eaten.
Why Is Canned Tuna So Dry?
Tuna companies will cook tuna fish before it is canned, but this process can dry the fish out.
As the tuna is cooked, a lot of dripping will occur, but these drippings often contain the moist fats which are found within fish.
You can get around this issue by purchasing canned tuna that’s kept within spring water or sunflower oil. These substances may add extra moisture back into the tuna, making it more pleasant to eat later.
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