Ahh, chicken of the sea. We all keep at least one can buried deep in our pantry for emergencies (like when we’re coming home late from work and only have time to watch “The Bachelor”).
Well, good news. We’ll help you turn that canned backup into some way-better-tasting options.
While it’s safe to say your food dreams aren’t filled with cans of tuna dancing in your head, tuna really is an underestimated staple. Just think about the variety it offers in taste and texture: solid vs. chunky vs. flaky, packed in oil vs. water, white tuna vs. yellowfin…
No matter which type you’ve got stockpiled, they all contain protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and other nutrients that make them a worthy addition to your weekly recipe rotation.
Better still, you can whip up most of these recipes using cobbled-together ingredients you already have on-hand… like the ones that have been sitting next to that tuna for the last three months. TGFLSL (Thank God for Long Shelf Lives).
If you’re not interested in a formal recipe, you can bring a can of tuna to life using this simple formula: Simply swap your regular mayo for a combo of mustard and Greek yogurt and use a fork to mix it with your tuna.
Next, throw in any salty (capers or chopped pickles, anyone?) or sweet (grapes, perhaps?) additions, and spread it over Triscuits or some other 100 percent whole-grain cracker. Yum! You’ve reached savory taste nirvana.
Now let’s dive into slightly more innovative takes that kick it up a notch or two.
1. Tuna “Sushi” Stacks
Photo: Chelsea’s Messy Apron
These sushi stacks may look complex, but they’re surprisingly simple. They require just 10 minutes of prep time, and they’re loaded with good-for-you nutrients and antioxidants.
Plus, the recipe is made using a bit of Sriracha sauce, so it’s a great go-to when your taste buds are craving a little kick.
2. Tuna Cucumber Bites (3 Ways)
Photo: Hip Foodie Mom
Cucumber bites are so cute and easy to eat that they just make everything better. Simply slice up a cucumber and top each wheel with a dollop of tuna salad. While this recipe calls for peeling the cucumber, if you’re especially crunched for time, that’s totally not necessary.
3. Lemon Rice with Tuna and Spinach
Photo: The Weary Chef
When hunger strikes, fight back by whipping this up in minutes. High in protein, it’s a great lunch or dinner you can add your own touches to.
Use quinoa or brown rice instead of the white rice, or broccoli instead of spinach. Add any herbs and spices to bump up the flavor, even though we think lemon gets the job done.
4. Low-Carb Tuna Pizza
Photo: My Copenhagen Kitchen
Pizza night ain’t so unhealthy after all — just skip the store-bought kind and make this creative version at home.
The dairy-free, low-carb recipe uses tuna to make the pizza crust (yes, you heard that right, and yes, it’s firm enough to eat with your hands). And who knew walnuts would be such a great pizza topping?
5. Paleo Tuna Avocado Boats
Photo: Tastes Lovely
Your tuna will be singing, “I’m on a boat!” while you make this tasty recipe. Simply combine tuna and avocado, and then fold in some diced tomatoes, celery, parsley, and lemon juice — you can eat it right out of the avocado skin.
6. Tuna and Olive Pasta
Photo: Stuck on Sweet
One-pot meals are ideal when you’re feeding a crowd, especially when one can be done (from start to finish) in just 30 minutes.
An Italian kitchen staple, this dish is a combination of pasta, tuna, olives, and a light garlic-white wine sauce. The recipe recommends garnishing the dish with Parmesan cheese to taste. We say pile it on.
7. Tuna Patties
Photo: Simply Recipes
Don’t be put off by this long list of ingredients. You probably have the majority in your kitchen already. Even better, they’re all easy to swap out if you have one herb on hand but not the other.
These patties taste as good warm as they do cold, so you can make a big batch and store the leftovers for later in the week.
8. Tuna Corn Salad
Photo: An Italian in My Kitchen
Refreshing, light, and super easy to make, this corn salad is a great dish to serve guests —especially if you’re on a budget. Plus, cleanup is a breeze, so you can get back to that glass of wine in no time.