5 Great Recipes for Canned Tuna

Updated on February 17, 2018
LiteraryMind profile image

I love to cook and try new foods and recipes. I try to do my best to incorporate healthy foods, but sometimes I need a little comfort food.

Creative and Original Canned Tuna Recipes

How about we try some canned tuna recipes other than a tuna noodle casserole?

Let's discuss this versatile fish. The darker the canned tuna, the stronger the flavor tends to be. There also tend to be variations by brand. I find Starkist has a stronger flavor than Bumblebee. It's up to you. Some people like a fishier taste than others. I would use a more pungent-flavored version if I was mixing it with something bland, like pasta.

I tried skipjack once. I found it to be the most pungent of the pungent. It is however, a very sustainable fish and reproduces rapidly. It is also considered to have "moderate" amount of mercury.

I usually use Natural Sea albacore or tongol tuna. It is caught in the Pacific Ocean where, supposedly, there is less mercury in Pacific than Atlantic fish. Although there is supposed to be more mercury in albacore than skipjack. Natural Sea claims it is sustainably caught in the Pacific and is dolphin and marine mammal safe.

When I can find it, I get tongol tuna. It tastes great and is supposed to be lower in mercury. I look for brands who label their products as sustainable and line caught -- not endangering dolphins.

Some More Info on Mercury in Tuna

On a 2015 Dr. Oz program, he indicated the larger the tuna the more mercury it contains.

The order of these tuna species, from highest in mercury to lowest is: Big-Eye, Yellow Fin, Albacore, Skipjack.

Creamed Tuna on Toast
Creamed Tuna on Toast | Source

Creamed Tuna

My mother used to make this for me for lunch when I was a child. It quick and easy, and the cream sauce is a simple béchamel sauce.

Prep time: 30 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces of toast.
  • 5 ounce can of tuna
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of milk (regular or soy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sherry or Port - regular or cooking (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour slowly and continue stirring over low heat. Stir the cup of milk in very slowly. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.
  2. Add the tuna, flaking it apart and also the peas. If you used a mild tuna, you might want to add salt. If you used a more pungent one, you might have more than enough flavor.
  3. For a little extra flavor add the tablespoon of sherry or port and let it cook 30 seconds more to burn off the alcohol content. Spoon over toast.
  4. Other options are: to spoon it over biscuits, English muffins or puff pastry.
  5. Variation: Use pieces of sweet roasted red pepper instead of peas.

Curried Creamed Tuna - Serve Over Rice

This recipe is just a slight variation of the above recipe. If you have mastered the above, this is simple.

For the milk, you can use regular or soy. I use almond milk; it adds a subtle sweetness that adds to the exoticness of the dish.

Try substituting coconut oil for the butter or margarine. It will add an extra smoothness, and a subtle coconut flavor. That, and it is very healthful.

Prep time: 30 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 servings of cooked rice
  • 5 or 6 ounce can of tuna
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter, margarine or coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of milk (regular or soy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 3/4 cup mandarin orange sections

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour slowly and continue stirring over low heat. Stir the cup of milk in very slowly. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. Add the curry. You might want to taste it. If you are fond of curry you might want to add more.l
  2. Add the tuna . If you used a mild tuna, you might want to add salt. If you used a more pungent one, you might have more than enough flavor.
  3. Take it off the heat and stir in the mandarin oranges. Spoon over rice

Curried Tuna Salad Recipe

Cool and creamy, with a savory little crunch and spice.

Prep time: 20 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 5 or 6 oz can of tuna drained and flaked
  • 6 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3/4 cup mandarin orange pieces

Instructions

  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together thoroughly. Then, gently stir in the mandarin orange slices.
  2. Serve on a bed of greens.

Waldorf Salad With Tuna

This is a nice refreshing salad.

If you like, you may use your favorite Waldorf Salad recipe and just add tuna. Or you can use my recipe.

Prep time: 20 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced apples
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3/4 cup mayonaise or Veganaise
  • 5 or 6 ounce can of tuna

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill well. Serve.

Tuna, Black Olives and Shells Salad - A Different Twist on Tuna and/or Macaroni Salad.

I used to have a "friend" named Gayle, she stole or tried to steal every man I ever dated. In her favor, she gave me this delicious recipe. Thank you Gayle, thirty years later, I still enjoy the recipe -- it's forever, the men were fleeting.

Somehow the combination of the texture and taste of the black olice slices is just right with the small shell macaroni. I have tried it with other shaped pasta, but it just isn't right. I used whole wheat, but you could use regular (good old Gayle always did). They taste better if they are al dente -- not overcook.

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 3 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 5 or 6 oz can of tuna (drained)
  • 3 cups cooked small pasta shells
  • 2.5 oz can sliced black olives (drained)
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise

Instructions

  1. Put the pasta in a bowl. With a fork break up the tuna in the can, so it is flakey. Add it to the shells, add the olives and mayonnaise. Stir gently so as not to break the shells. Refrigerate for an hour. Serve cold.

Tuna Black Olive Shells Salad - Step-by-Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
3 cups cooked, drained, small shell pastaFlake the tuna first before adding so as not to break the shells.Add the sliced black olivesAdd 1/2 cup mayonnaise.   Stir. Chill
3 cups cooked, drained, small shell pasta
3 cups cooked, drained, small shell pasta | Source
Flake the tuna first before adding so as not to break the shells.
Flake the tuna first before adding so as not to break the shells. | Source
Add the sliced black olives
Add the sliced black olives | Source
Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise.   Stir. Chill
Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Stir. Chill | Source
Red Kidney Bean and Tuna Salad
Red Kidney Bean and Tuna Salad | Source

Red Kidney Bean and Tuna Salad

This salad is high in protein from both the tuna and the beans. The beans and celery provide fiber.

It has a little different "chew" to it. The beans have an interesting texture and I always cook the pasta al dente. For the recipe shown here, I used whole wheat elbows.

I prefer elbows over any other shaped pasta for this recipe.


Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 20 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 5 or 6 oz can of tuna flaked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 15 oz can of red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or vegannaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Instructions

  1. Drain the cooked elbows well. Place in a large bowl. Add the celery. Flake the tuna in the can with a fork and add it to the bowl. Add the drained and washed kidney beans. Add the mayonnaise and the celery seed. Mix gently and chill for an hour.
  2. See step by step photos below.
  3. Hint: To get the gel like sauce off of the kidney beans, I put them in a colander and rinse under running water.

Red Kidney Bean and Tuna Salad Pictures - Step-by-Step Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Put drained elbow macaroni in large bowl.Add chopped celeryAdd flaked tunaAdd drained kidney beans.Add mayonnaise and celery seed.  Stir gently.  Chill.Finished salad
Put drained elbow macaroni in large bowl.
Put drained elbow macaroni in large bowl. | Source
Add chopped celery
Add chopped celery | Source
Add flaked tuna
Add flaked tuna | Source
Add drained kidney beans.
Add drained kidney beans. | Source
Add mayonnaise and celery seed.  Stir gently.  Chill.
Add mayonnaise and celery seed. Stir gently. Chill. | Source
Finished salad
Finished salad | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Ellen Gregory

    Do you ever make meals or side dishes with tuna?

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      • Elyn MacInnis profile image

        Elyn MacInnis 

        4 years ago from Shanghai, China

        I LOVE creamed tuna on toast. My Mom used to make it too.

      • Merrci profile image

        Merry Citarella 

        4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

        Definitely! I love tuna casserole, though I'm the only one in the family who does. I even enjoy it on crackers. The recipe with the beans is one I will definitely try. Thanks for putting this together!

      • Charito1962 profile image

        Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

        4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

        At home, we simply mix canned tuna with mayo and a dash of sugar. We eat it as filling for our sandwiches.

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 

        4 years ago from Colorado

        That tuna and kidney bean salad is calling my name. I had forgotten about creamed tuna on toast. That sounds really good right about now. Thanks for helping me expand my tuna menu options. I was stuck in a rut.

      • profile image

        sybil watson 

        4 years ago

        I used to love my mom's creamed tuna on toast - I'd forgotten all about it. It was so warm and comforting. You have a lot of great ideas on this page - I'll definitely be back.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        4 years ago

        Are you kidding me? I've been on such a tight budget lately, tuna has been my go-to meal. I just open a can, drain it, and toss it on a bed of lettuce and tomato. Sometimes I'll add a few croutons. I tend to stock up on it when it's on sale. I only buy albacore tuna because I love the taste and texture. Bumblebee albacore tuna is my go-to brand. I gave up on Starkist because it's too shredded and there's too much liquid in the can.

        Your Waldorf Salad with Tuna recipe looks good. Think I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

      • Sara2901 profile image

        Sara2901 

        4 years ago

        Yes. I add it to my salad for quick protein rich dinner.

      • profile image

        nonya222 

        4 years ago

        I love tuna but needed new ways to use it. Got my wish with the red kidney bean and tuna salad. Can't wait to try it.

      • Pat Goltz profile image

        Pat Goltz 

        4 years ago

        All the time, I make tuna dishes. It looks like one of them is essentially Chicken a la King, with tuna instead. I will want to try that one, because I like Chicken a la King, but they put monosodium glutamate in it, which I can't eat.

      • Erin Mellor profile image

        Erin Mellor 

        5 years ago from Europe

        I have crazes on tuna and eat lots, then stop for months. I like it in omelets for a quick, filling lunch.

      • noner profile image

        noner 

        5 years ago

        I'm pretty simple when it comes to tuna. I will mix some mayo in and make a sandwitch, or add a can of tuna to a pre-packaged alfredo pasta mix. That's about it.

      • Melissa Miotke profile image

        Melissa Miotke 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        The curried tuna sounds really good!

      • theallin1writer profile image

        theallin1writer 

        5 years ago

        I love tuna but I sometimes get stuck on doing the same recipe with it over and over. Refreshing lens, I am going to try one of these!

      • casquid profile image

        casquid 

        5 years ago

        I sure do, and intend to use your Curried Tuna recipe soon! Thanks!!

      • GeekGirl1 profile image

        GeekGirl1 

        6 years ago

        Thanks for the recipes. I am drying to try all of these since it all sound simple and delicious.

      • LiteraryMind profile imageAUTHOR

        Ellen Gregory 

        6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        @Bellezza-Decor: They are good summer dishes -- or to serve at an outdoor cookout. Hope you enjoy them.

      • Bellezza-Decor profile image

        Bellezza-Decor 

        6 years ago from Canada

        I've bookmark you because I would like to try out the Tuna Waldorf Salad and the one with Black Olives.

      • dave-sutton profile image

        dave-sutton 

        6 years ago

        Almost a good a spam. I love tuna

      • Commandrix profile image

        Heidi 

        6 years ago from Benson, IL

        Those look yummy. I might have to try some of these recipes next time I get hold of some cans of tuna.

      • Commandrix profile image

        Heidi 

        6 years ago from Benson, IL

        Those look yummy. I might have to try some of these recipes next time I get hold of some cans of tuna.

      • Sylvestermouse profile image

        Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

        6 years ago from United States

        Wow! Thanks for all of the great tuna recipes!

      • OrganicMom247 profile image

        OrganicMom247 

        6 years ago

        These are definitely something I haven't tried but would love to.

      • profile image

        sherioz 

        6 years ago

        I was going to look at one of your several vintage lenses (being a collector myself), but then the title of this one caught my eye. I love tuna and I love your suggestions here. I didn't get farther than the sherry in the first recipe - going to pour myself a glass now and relax and bookmark this lens for future reference.

      • junecampbell profile image

        June Campbell 

        6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

        I confess to being a very big tuna fan. I have used it in lots of ways. Too bad about the high mercury content now. It makes me limit the amount of tuna I eat.

      • jlshernandez profile image

        jlshernandez 

        6 years ago

        Tuna salads are one of my favorites with chopped celery for that extra crunch. Thanks for sharing the different recipes. I should test them out.

      • mrsclaus411 profile image

        mrsclaus411 

        6 years ago

        I love this. I'm going to try out your recipes. I love eating tuna but I would also like a little variety aside from the ones I usually make.

      • verymary profile image

        Mary 

        6 years ago from Chicago area

        I love the olive/shells salad idea, despite its origins with your frenemy Gayle! Bet you could add some chopped herbs to that, maybe a little fresh ground pepper - mmm. Very nicely done lens -- *blessed*

      • Spiderlily321 profile image

        Spiderlily321 

        6 years ago

        I also love tuna. These recipes you talked about sound so good.

        I sometimes put corn, mayo, a little bit of shredded cheese, jalapenos, a little bit of diced tomatoes.

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