Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ask the Internet: Canned Tuna Ideas?

Today's question comes from reader Jessie:
Flickr's aMichiganMom

Q: I was wondering what to do with my cupboard full of canned tuna besides tuna salad or casserole. Thoughts?

A: Jessie, that is a most excellent question. The Kitchn had an excellent post about canned tuna options back in 2009, though my personal favorite is Herbed Tuna in Tomatoes, an easy, no-cook alternative to those omnipresent sandwiches.

Readers, what do you do with canned tuna?

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Diane said...

I make a great pasta with it: saute a couple Tbsp onion or shallot, add (1) small tomato chopped and cook until a bit saucy, add can of tuna, add salt/pepper, when done add chopped parsley. Serve over linguine.

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

I like this recipe from the Stone Soup blog called Couscous with Tuna and Cherry Tomato Sauce:

It makes two servings and is very tasty and easy to make.

Anonymous said...

I make something similar to this pasta from Martha Stewart. I've used capers instead of olives, added garlic, left out the breadcrumbs, etc. The concept is pretty flexible as are the ratios. Tasty!

Anonymous said...

Pour katsup on it and eat it right from the can.

aletheia_vox said...

A quick recipe gleaned from a Thai friend:

Saute some garlic and onion in oil, add a can of tuna and scramble an egg into the tuna mixture. Add frozen peas if desired. Season with soy sauce and sriracha.

Serve over steamed white or brown rice.

Myrnie said...

We like to mix it with a little mayo and "sweet chili sauce for chicken" from the asian market, and use it as a sushi filling. My five-year-old loves this, and it means we can have a quick sushi night from cupboard items!

Anonymous said...

I mix tuna with cooked lentils and whatever veggies I have in the fridge. Quick and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Tuna quesadillas. Tuna a couple of tortillas and cheese, or anything else you want to trow in. Quick, & easy and surprisingly good.

Mandi said...

I make creamed tuna and peas and serve it over rice or mashed potatoes. My kids love it.


Teeny said...

There was a Mark Bittman recipe a while back that I really like to do. Make tuna wraps with 1 can tuna, 1 can white beans. Warm white beans, then drizzle olive oil over the beans, add in tuna and mix. Then put the bean and tuna mixture in a wrap with lettuce and tomato. Also yummy with cracked black pepper and Italian herbs.

Cooking With Kids said...

I'd love to offer an amazing quick recipe for tuna cans, but as soon as they come out of the cupboard, my kids eat them right away! They love the ones pre-flavored, but I like brine the best.

JuLo said...

I mash it up with avocado instead of mayo, then I add a little soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and chili sauce for spice. So delicious! When I have lettuce on hand I like to make lettuce wraps with it. And it's so healthy!

Anonymous said...

I make tuna patties with lemon dill sauce like the recipe on this site: http://ezinearticles.com/?Tuna-Patties-With-Lemon-Dill-Sauce&id=51393

Linda Woodrow said...

I have a great recipe for Very Herby Salmon Patties that is one of my favourite pull-a-dinner-party-out-of-a-hat recipes. I used to make it with tuna until I found out tuna is one of the fish species that is so overfished it could go extinct in our lifetime. But if you already have it in the pantry, this is a way to really appreciate it!

CarenNH said...

I got this [really] simple appetizer idea from a friend about 20 years ago.

Make up your favorite generic tuna mix as though for sandwiches (ie. mayo, lemon juice, etc. however you like it).

Serve a spoonful on rice cracker with a slice of bread and butter pickle.

My husband and I share: 2 cans of tuna w/mayo only, a package of rice crackers, and a jar of pickle slices and we've got dinner.

Heidi said...

Saute onion, garlic, mushroom & celery in olive oil until soft. Add dried oregano & fresh parsley, then the juice & zest of one lemon. Toss with 2 drained cans of tuna, 1 pound of cooked pasta and a couple pats of butter. Excellent hot, lukewarm or cold straight from the fridge the next day. The amount of veggies and herbs is up to you - I like a lot of mushrooms and parsley and easier on the others. I use angel hair, but any long thin pasta will work.

Mandy B said...

We just put tuna in with made mac and cheese and a can of peas. It's a surprisingly easy and pretty good recipe although I always grew up calling it "white trash casserole"

CJ said...

Here are some recipes I use often:


I don't have a link for these:

Chris Cosentino's Spaghetti with Canned Tuna (Incanto, SF)
Open a can of high-quality tuna and heat its oil in a skillet over medium heat. Mix in garlic, parsley, and lemon peel. Add tuna, gently breaking it up, and add a pinch of dried crushed red pepper. Toss the tuna with al dente spaghetti and enough pasta cooking liquid to moisten. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and herbs. No cheese necessary.

Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson's Open-Faced Tuna Melt (Frasca Food and Wine, Boulder, CO)

Drain can of oil-packed tuna into mixing bowl along with finely chopped celery, fresh basil, and rough-chopped pitted Kalamata olives.
Add fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic paste (made by finely chopping fresh clove and smashing it into a paste) to taste to your favorite mayonnaise; season with fresh pepper. Mix mayo and veggie/tuna mixture together until well incorporated. Taste. Add salt if necessary.
Grill two slices of sourdough bread until lightly browned. To assemble, top one slice of bread with a slice of ripe tomato and smoosh down a scoop of tuna salad.  Top with slices of Parmesan cheese and broil until nice and toasty. Before serving open-faced, top with a few  fresh basil leaves. If you want some more greens, lightly toss some frisée or your favorite greens drizzled with olive oil, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

CJ said...

Spinach, White Bean and Tuna Salad

1- 19 oz. can of cannelini or other white bean, rinsed and drained
2- 6 oz. cans tuna (preferably Italian, packed in olive oil) drained and flaked
1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 c. fire roasted tomatoes, chopped
1 c. ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery hearts and leaves
1/3 c. olive oil
3 T. fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 oz. bag of baby spinach, washed and dried

In a large serving bowl, add lemon juice, salt. pepper, red onion and olive oil, stirring to combine. Add drained beans, tuna, celery and tomatoes. Toss gently to combine. Adjust seasoning. This part of the salad can be prepared uo to two hours ahead and let stand at room temperature or several hours ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Serving option 1- Place spinach on a large serving platter. Spoon tuna/bean mixture over the greens.

Serving option 2- Place spinach atop the bean mixture in the large serving bowl and toss gently before serving.
Makes 12 first course or 6 main course servings

I love the convenience of canned tuna.

Antoher favorite way to eat is is to add a can pot a small pot of marinara sauce, then toss with hot pasta.

brannyboilsover.com said...

Awesome! I was just googling canned tuna recipes :)

Meister said...

I love canned tuna in a saute I make of onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, cumin, black pepper and salt, and canned diced tomatoes. Tossed over pasta or rice with some grated cheese? Simple and delicious. Sometimes I throw frozen chopped okra in there, too.

Joel said...

Mario Batali has a recipe for a "tuna omelet." It's more of a crepe, with olives, garlic, and parsley in the filling and orange in the crepe batter. Sounds really weird, so I made a double recipe of the crepes, filled half with the tuna and half with ham as an app this Thanksgiving. The tuna was the favorite!

Jessie said...

Thanks, everyone!

Nathalie said...

My favourite way to eat tuna is a green bean and tuna salad. Steam a bunch of green beans. In a salad bowl add green beans, a can of tuna, olive oil, the juice of a lemon, thyme (fresh or dried) and salt + pepper to taste. Toss and serve! Delicious warm (just made, beans still warm) or cold, so it's also a good make-ahead salad.

Josh Kohlbach said...


Always a favourite at our place. We sub the curry for paprika though, however much you think looks right :)

Anonymous said...

I make cheddar tuna rice patties and serve with either mac and cheese or salad. Mix about a cup of rice into a drained can of tuna, add a big handful of shredded cheddar cheese and one beaten egg. You can add breadcrumbs or seasonings if you like. Form into patties and cook in a small amount of oil on both sides. Delicious!

The Calico Cat said...

Tuna pate'

1 can of the cheap tuna in water drained
1 block of cream cheese
1 onion minced as finely as possible
Heinz chili sauce to taste

mix all of the above & enjoy. (You can pipe it into cored cherry tomatoes or spread it on crackers.)

Dangerous Lilly said...

One of my fave tuna things is a take on a cold picnic-style macaroni salad. As a kid I hated traditional macaroni salad bc of the raw onions and celery - but someone made one with just green peas and tuna, and I loved it.

In our family, we cut the mayo halfsies with Miracle Whip but I know some people hate MW, just as I used to hate Mayo.

Sassy Molassy said...

It's good in Italian potato salad: boil potatoes whole in the skins, then peel and roughly chop when cool enough to handle. Add a drizzling of olive oil, drained tuna, diced onion (if desired), capers, and salt and pepper.

BunnieGirl said...

Drain tuna (water or oil packed) and toss in skillet with evoo. Stir fry it alone or with sauteed onion etc. Then pour BBQ sauce over it. Simmer, then place open buns face down on the top of your simmering tuna and sauce, cover well with foil to allow the bread to steam about 2 minutes or so, assemble steamed soft sammy. For those of you who eat pulled pork sammys you can't tell the difference. There is truly no fishy tuna flavor. I have used the smoked tuna variety in a pouch which added another flavor dimension in the bbq theme. But any tuna will do the pan trick. Be ready to get "this can't be tuna" from your guests.

You can also grill your canned tuna (removed from can). I do it on an oiled grill screen. I add extra evoo to keep it moist, supervise and flip/flick it often, allow it blacken in some areas-again douse in sauce or cheese, serve on buns or open potato. Tuna is versatile, you will be rewarded when you have the courage to step outside the traditional mayo box-er I mean jar!

Oh, diced apples, walnuts, raisins, evoo, mixed and served on bed of lettuce with grated pepper jack cheese is a great alternative to traditional cold tuna salad.

Do try the pan or grill method, you won't regret the flavor! Or the kuddos you will receive. Best-

Anonymous said...

it very healthy Canned Tuna Recipes