14 Easy Canned Tuna Recipes to Make Right Now
Use this pantry-friendly protein for more than tuna salad sandwiches. Canned tuna is the star of pastas, rice bowls, Mediterranean-inspired salads, tuna patties, and other tasty recipes.
It's time to use canned tuna for more than just the classic tuna salad: This type of tinned fish has come a long way in quality and flavor and has earned its place in your regular dinner rotation. It's the star of many inventive and delicious recipes that are sure to satisfy. Stock up on this pantry-friendly protein and you'll always have the starting point for your next meal on hand.
Start by buying the best quality canned tuna you can. Make environmentally friendly choices by selecting sustainably caught fish, which will typically be labeled pole and line or troll caught—these two methods have minimal impacts on other marine life. Next, decide between oil-packed tuna, the favorite in our test kitchen, or water-packed tuna. Tuna-packed in olive oil has extra flavor and juiciness but tends to cost a bit more and has higher calories and fat. Drain off the water or oil before using the fish, but reserve a little extra oil for drizzling over the finished dish—you won't be sorry you did.
Now that you have the right tuna on hand, check out our recipes that include unexpected spins on classics like tuna salad served in an avocado half, tuna melts with briny additions like pickles and olives, and a modern tuna casserole that also features cauliflower for a super delicious result. If you want to make something entirely new, give our garlicky chickpea and tuna dip or a tuna panzanella salad a try. We've also got several different pastas, including the elemental Spaghetti with Tuna and Caper Sauce shown here and an irresistible creamy one-pot tuna pasta with arugula and asparagus. Try some Asian-inspired preparations like the simple to prepare tuna handrolls and an Easy Tuna Rice Bowl with poke vibes.
Browse our easy-to-make recipes that turn eating canned tuna into a delicious culinary experience.
One-Pan Creamy Tuna Pasta
If you have tuna and pasta, you can make dinner in no time. This one-pan tuna pasta recipe is quick and satisfying. Cooking the pasta with the rest of the dish creates a creamy sauce, and fresh asparagus and arugula are added just before serving to make a balanced meal.
Tuna Salad Hand Rolls
Making sushi is not as hard as you think, especially when you try making handrolls. Start by doctoring up a can of tuna with mayonnaise, lemon, and cilantro—think: spicy tuna with the spice on the side. Then add rice and crunchy seasoned carrots and cucumber for the perfect balance of flavor and texture. Serve with your favorite condiments like soy and hot chili sauce.
Turn canned tuna into an unexpected meal by forming it into cakes. Serve these cakes on top of greens with your favorite condiments or treat them like a burger patty substitute and stack them between a bun with ketchup or tartar sauce and crispy lettuce and tomato.
Open Face Tuna Melt
Here's a quick meal with a lot of comfort: the diner classic, a tuna melt. In this version, pickles add a briny bite, but you could also try this version with tomatoes instead of pickles and kalamata olives. Put it on top of your favorite toast and finish it with any melty cheese— like cheddar, Monterey jack, or mozzarella—that you have on hand.
Easy Tuna Rice Bowl
Bring the poke trend into your kitchen with this easy tuna and rice bowl. Just top steamed rice with tuna, cucumber, hard-boiled egg, edamame, and nori for a balanced meal that's ready in 10 minutes. A drizzle of soy sauce dressing brings the bowl together for plenty of Hawaiian.
Pasta with Peperonata Tuna and Olives
An unexpected combination of flavors delights in this easy, colorful pasta. Bell peppers are cooked until tender and jammy to create a sauce. Canned tuna adds protein and golden raisins, Kalamata olives, and Parmesan cheese bring sweetness and salty contrasts.
Tuna Salad in Avocado Halves
Skip the bread! There's no better way to have tuna salad than stuffed into a creamy avocado. It's filling and totally delicious.
Tuna Noodle Casserole with Cauliflower
Indulge in a modern update of a family favorite, the old classic that is the tuna casserole. Rather than short egg noodles, use long swirls of pappardelle. We also think you'll love how cauliflower, a decidedly unexpected addition, pairs with the creamy sauce.
Tangy Tuna Salad
Sure, there are many ways to prepare tuna salad, and everyone has their favorite, but we insist that you try this recipe. Apple and yogurt add a tang that sets this tuna salad apart from the rest. Serve it sandwiched between bread or over a bed of fresh salad greens.
Who doesn't love a recipe that you can whip up with ingredients on hand? Use leftover bread and open up a can of tuna and another can of beans. A bit of pickle juice adds immense flavor while a small amount of basil, or any herb you have on hand, adds a burst of freshness.
Tuna Salad Nicoise
Try this classic French salad that combines tuna, hard-boiled egg, vegetables, olives, and lettuce. Enjoy it for dinner and use any leftovers in a sandwich the next day. This recipe calls for roasting the potatoes and tomatoes for extra flavor. After that, it's just a matter or whisking up a lemon vinaigrette and assembling the remaining ingredients.
Lemony Orzo with Tuna
Perfect as a side dish or the main attraction, this lemony orzo and canned tuna salad mixes in raisins, scallions, lemon, and mint for a lively play on savory and sweet. Enjoy it warm or make it ahead of time and eat the dish cold.
Chickpea and Tuna Dip
This might just be hummus 2.0. Combining tuna with chickpeas makes a chunky dip that's just right for all your favorite dippers. Try it with crisp crudités or crunchy chips.