Affordable and convenient, canned tuna is a pantry staple. Rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, tuna supports heart health, muscle building, and may even help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Its long shelf life ensures that you always have a quick and nutritious option for meals, without the need for frequent shopping trips.
Tuna is also known as the chicken of the sea because of its versatility and mild flavor, making it a popular ingredient that can be easily incorporated into a variety of recipes to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are 20 easy, nutritious, and filling canned tuna recipes to get you through those lazy days when you just can’t be bothered to spend hours in the kitchen.
1. Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich
A classic and simple dish, this recipe involves mixing canned tuna with mayonnaise, diced celery, green onions, dill pickle, and a bit of Dijon mustard for a creamy and zesty touch. Typically served on white bread (though you can use whatever bread you like) with lettuce and tomato, it's a quick and satisfying lunch option.
The crunch of celery and the creaminess of mayonnaise complement the tuna perfectly, and the protein will help you feel energized and full for longer.
Recipe: Recipe Tin Eats
2. Tuna Pasta Salad
Ideal for busy weeknight dinners, this cold dish combines cooked pasta with canned tuna; chopped vegetables like onions, peas, and cucumbers; and a tangy and creamy dressing. It's a refreshing meal — especially during warmer days — and can be customized with your favorite veggies and preferred sides.
Recipe: Simple Joy
3. Easy Fried Tuna Patties
These savory, crunchy patties are made by mixing canned tuna with breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, finely chopped onions, and seasonings, then pan-frying them until golden brown and crispy. They're great served with a side salad or in a burger bun with your favorite condiments. Tuna patties offer a tasty way to enjoy a seafood burger with the added benefits of omega-3s and other nutrients.
Recipe: All Recipes
4. Tuna and White Bean Salad
This protein-packed recipe combines canned tuna with cannellini beans, red onions, capers, watercress, and a lemony olive oil dressing. It's a dish that’s both hearty and light — and won’t leave you feeling bogged down. Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, this dish will keep you full and energized throughout the day.
Recipe: Food and Wine
5. Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado
For a low-carb, keto-friendly option, this recipe involves filling avocado halves with a mixture of canned tuna, diced red onion, bell peppers, and a splash of lime juice. It's a creamy and satisfying meal that's rich in healthy fats and protein — making it a great choice for a nutritious snack or light pre-workout meal.
Recipe: The Stay at Home Chef
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6. The Ultimate Tuna Melt
A beloved classic that screams comfort food, this recipe tops slices of white bread with a mixture of canned tuna, mayonnaise (ideally KewPie mayo), chopped onions, celery, and dill to create a fusion of flavors that hit all the right notes of creamy, savory, and crunchy. It's finished with a layer of melted cheese and grilled until golden. Talk about warm, gooey deliciousness. This is it.
Recipe: Bon Appetit
7. Tuna Noodle Casserole
We love casseroles here at Cheapism, and this decadent tuna noodle casserole is no different. The dish, which combines canned tuna with cooked noodles, a can of Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping, is ideal for when you’re craving something hearty and comforting but don’t feel like spending hours cooking. Baked until bubbly and extra cheesy, it's a family-friendly meal that's sure to impress at the dinner table.
8. Mediterranean Tuna Salad
This one’s for all the people who despise mayonnaise. Mix canned tuna with chopped cucumber, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, feta cheese, and a lemon-olive oil dressing. The result is a fresh and light salad that's packed with the bold and zesty flavors of the Mediterranean. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients from the vegetables.
Recipe: Foodie Crush
9. Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl
Who said only poke bowls can be impressive? This quick and easy tuna rice bowl features canned tuna, cooked rice, and your choice of toppings like avocado, green onions, bell peppers, chili flakes or sriracha, and soy sauce. It's a simple yet flavorful dish that's great for a last-minute dinner — all you have to do is throw the ingredients together and voila!
Recipe: All Recipes
10. Zesty Tuna Wraps
This low-carb dish works great as a portable lunch because it travels well and it's super easy to customize to your heat and taste preferences. To recreate it, combine canned tuna with mayonnaise, sriracha, Dijon mustard, carrots, avocados, celery, and sliced green onions, then wrap it in a tortilla with Romaine lettuce or spinach. You can also heat it up in a pan for a few minutes on each side for a crunchy exterior.
Want more wrap ideas? Check out these quick and easy lettuce wrap recipes.
Recipe: Eat Yourself Skinny
11. Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes
Hollow out large tomatoes and fill them with a mixture of canned tuna, diced celery, dill pickles, onion, and a light, garlicky dressing. These stuffed tomatoes are bursting with flavor and are perfect to enjoy on a picnic, or to bring as a side dish for a potluck or holiday party.
Recipe: Simple Joy
12. Tuna and Potato Hash
A great breakfast option, this hash is loaded with protein and combines hash browns, eggs, canned tuna, and mayonnaise, and is then pan-fried or broiled until golden brown and crispy. Serve it with a fried egg and a side of sautéed or steamed green beans and veggies for a complete meal.
13. Tuna Curry
This twist on traditional curries is everything we love in a good curry: zesty, rich, and bursting with flavor. This version uses canned tuna, coconut milk, tomatoes, onions, and a blend of curry spices. Serve it over a bed of jasmine rice for a quick and delicious dinner.
Recipe: Cook With Nabeela
14. Tuna and Avocado Salad
Mix canned tuna with diced avocado, red onion, cilantro, and a lime dressing to create this salad that’s rich and creamy, yet not overly heavy. Packed with healthy fats and full of flavor; give this one a try if you’ve got veggie haters at home.
Recipe: Natasha’s Kitchen
15. Tuna Quesadillas
Fill tortillas with a mixture of canned tuna, cheese, mayonnaise, seasonings, and finely diced chives, then pan fry until golden brown and crispy on the outside. These quesadillas are a fun and easy twist on a Mexican favorite and are sure to be a crowd pleaser for a satisfying weeknight dinner.
Recipe: Girl Heart Food
16. Tuna and Cannellini Bean Bruschetta
This creative recipe swaps tomatoes for tuna to recreate the beloved Italian classic. Top slices of toasted baguette with a mixture of canned tuna, cannellini beans, chopped tomatoes, green onions, and parsley, and season with a lemony vinaigrette. It's simple to make (no cooking required) and results in an elegant appetizer or light meal.
Recipe: Sunset Magazine
17. Tuna Caesar Salad
If you’re not a fan of chicken, consider incorporating canned tuna to a classic Caesar salad for added protein. It's a simple way to enhance this traditional salad and make it a more filling and satisfying meal.
Recipe: Wholly Tasteful
18. Tuna and Corn Fritters
These fritters make a delicious snack or light meal, and are a great way to use up pantry staples. Mix canned tuna with corn, flour, eggs, cheese, and spices, then fry until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side). Serve with a side of your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.
19. Asian Tuna Salad
Combine canned tuna with dried cranberries, green onions, carrots, cilantro, and a ginger-soy dressing to create an Asian-inspired salad that has all the right textures and flavors. Plus, it’s full of protein and essential nutrients, and makes for a perfect quick lunch or appetizer.
Recipe: All Recipes
20. Tuna and Egg Sandwich
A simple and delicious combo, this sandwich fills two slices of whole wheat bread with a mixture of canned tuna, diced celery, and chopped hard-boiled eggs. It’s seasoned with mayonnaise, freshly cracked black pepper, and Dijon mustard to create a foolproof sandwich that will keep you full and energized for hours.
Recipe: All Recipes