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canned tuna--what do you like to do with it (healthy)?

So it's a cheap source of protein--what is your favorite thing to do with it? Preferably HEALTHY ideas :)

for me:
1. mixed into pasta with steamed veggies and 1/2 cup marinara sauce

2. mixed with black beans and topped with mozzarella cheese

3. dumped into low sodium soup

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  1. I make tuna mac-n-cheese. With the seasoned tuna (I like the thai flavour) I'll use it to flavour a drained can of white kidney beans or a quinoa salad.

    1. I like to chunk it into a mixture of white kidney beans, shredded fresh sweet basil, capers, diced red onion, and sliced black olives. Mix with a bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil, and serve with sliced crusty bread...yum.

      1 Reply
      1. re: critter101

        This is a favorite of mine, too. I don't always add olives and parsley often replaces the basil. Capers are a must! It makes a nice summer meal placed on top of a whole tomato sliced almost through from the top to form a "flower."

      2. I make tuna salad--the old fashioned kind--from time to time. I make tuna melts. And I like to chunk it atop a dressed green salad. On occasion, I just eat 1/2 a can for lunch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sueatmo

          A tuna melt can be a lovely thing. There was a little place when I was in college that did what still is my favorite. Incredible bread with tuna salad heavy on the black pepper, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and melted havarti, open faced. Sniff..... :))

        2. I place the can in the fridge to chill---in the mean time I finely dice bell pepper, green onion (scallions), and parsley. Drain the can, then break up the tuna, add the diced veggies, enough mayo to make everything hold together but not soupy.

          Slice fresh plum tomatoes, some lettuce leaves, a shmear of mayo on 2 slices of multi grain bread and i have a delicious sandwich.

          I also use the same mixture ontop of a summer salad for a cool, light lunch or dinner

          1. I toss it into pretty much everything to get some more protein in the meal. The solid white tuna though, the chunk stuff is like tuna soup.

            2 Replies
            1. re: redfish62

              I've read that the mercury content is higher in the solid white and you SHOULD eat the chunk LIGHT tuna if you're having it often.

              1. re: chrissy1988

                I don't care about mercury content, I can ingest enough mercury to kill 78 ordinary men and still laugh ... mercury is scared of me.

            2. Canned is the correct tuna for a lot of Mediterranean cold dishes, and probably the healthiest of those is Salade Niçoise. There are lots of variations, but my favorite has cold cooked green beans (the really skinny ones), cold boiled small potatoes, halves of boiled egg and tuna, all arrayed on a bed of butter lettuce (or whatever's your favorite) with a freshly-made vinaigrette on the side. Folks help themselves to what they want and dress it to their taste. You can add all kinds of stuff - cold cooked beets or carrots (raw would be too crunchy), lightly-cooked snow peas or sugar snaps, sticks of parboiled and chilled zucchini …

              1 Reply
                1. re: jbsiegel

                  really? what do you put in it aside from eggs? ive thought about doing this but never have because it seems "weird"...ya know?

                  1. re: chrissy1988

                    Love it...tuna, cheese and eggs. Onions in there are also pretty good!

                    1. re: chrissy1988

                      tuna, red onions, red apple, celery, curry powder, S & P... better to add diced red apple at the end or just sprinkle it over for garnish... for hot/cool contrast..

                    1. re: mucho gordo

                      re: the 6 ounces of jalapenos....would they be pickled jalapenos or what? thanks!

                      1. re: Val

                        Good question, Val. I'm not sure. I've used fresh jalapenos but, I don't see why pickled won't work.

                        1. re: Val

                          Since it says "undrained", I took that to mean pickled.

                        2. I like a tuna dip/spread that can be used with vegetables as a dip or a spread on crusty bread or crackers. Take 1 can, drained tuna, some chopped scallions, some peeled garlic, some capers, dijon mustard, Hellman's mayonnaise, some drained anchovies, lemon juice and fresh ground pepper and whiz in a food processor. Take your bows to thunderous applause!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: KateBChi

                            Oh boy that sounds good! I will def be making this later in the week.

                            I am in the tuna and beans camp myself. Canellini beans, diced red onion, a grating of garlic, lemon juice and s & p mixed gently with chunks of Spanish tuna in olive oil and served on crostini is delicious. Or tuna with black beans, corn, red bell peppers, lemon juice and s & p in a corn tortilla with a chipolte and mayo dip - so tasty.

                          2. Tuna cakes (a cousin to salmon patties): drain a can (quite dry), add maybe a couple of Tbl flour and a generous sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Form into patties, fry in olive oil just a few minutes, until each side is browned and crunchy.

                            1. I mix one can drained tuna with one mushed up avocado instead of mayo. Splash of lemon juice, seasonings...on some bread with salsa. It makes 2 servings for me (since hubby is a tuna/mayo purist). Avocado is nature's mayo!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BeeZee

                                Alton Brown does a sardine and avodado thing...meh--I tried it and not a fan, but I DO love love love my avocado and it does have a creamy, awesome umami similar to mayo...my favorite way to eat 1/2 an avodado is to remove the pit and scoop some Green Mountain Hot Salsa into the hole and just eat it that way with a spoon..heaven!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  these are all tuna salad--hmmm...not much of a tuna salad/tuna sandwich fan actually.

                                  1. re: chrissy1988

                                    well if you're open to exploring new ideas beyond the standard tuna salad with mayo & relish, you might find some things that appeal to you in those threads.

                                    one of my favorites is a Mediterranean-style tuna salad with chopped capers, shallot or red onion, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and flat-leaf parsley.dress with a sherry or red wine & Dijon vinaigrette...and you can make it even more filling by adding white beans.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      that actually sounds more my style :) thanks!

                                      1. re: chrissy1988

                                        more gems like it in those threads i posted for you - i wouldn't have gone to the trouble if it was all just celery & mayo! ;)

                                2. I just pulled a recipe out of my old files for something called Sicilian Tuna Soup, it has tomatoes and 2 kinds of beans among other things. It uses canned tuna. I was thinking of making it later in the week, if it's decent I'll post it here.

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: chrissy1988

                                      I'll write it out now, because I probably won't make it til next weekend, so if you make it first let us know if it's any good. It sounded different but good and easy. Plus I have about 15 cans of tuna on hand right now for some reason!

                                      SICILIAN TUNA SOUP
                                      2 Tbsp olive oil
                                      1 onion, chopped
                                      4 clove garlic, chopped
                                      1 zuccini, chopped
                                      2 15z cans tomato in juice
                                      quart of chicken stock
                                      2 Tbsp dry sherry
                                      1/2 tsp oregano
                                      1/2 tsp basil
                                      1/2 tsp black pepper
                                      15 z can of red beans
                                      19z can of cannellini beans
                                      2 6z cans chunk light tuna in water, drained

                                      Saute onions, garlic and zuccini in olive oil til transparent, about 5 minutes.

                                      Add tomatoes with juice, stock, sherry and spices. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes. Add beans and tuna and simmer another 15 minutes.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        I made this and it was great, a quick "grandma" kind of soup. A keeper for me. Only takes a half hour, with maybe 5 minutes prep, consisting of chopping veggies and opening cans.

                                  1. I sort of make an old-fashioned tuna salad. I am not a huge mayonnaise fan, but I can appreciate a minimal amount of high-quality stuff. I put lots of finely chopped celery and carrots in mine, along with sunflower seeds and tiny cubes of monterey jack cheese. Parsley is good, also.

                                    1. I drain the tuna, dice an onion, 2 ribs of celery, add a tbsp of mayo, a squeeze of mustard, a tbsp of pickle relish, S&P, mix and eat in lettuce leaves... a la lettuce rolls. Mmmmm... Sometimes if i feel adventerous I will add a tbsp of Pico de gallo to the mix. :)

                                      1. Oh I forgot...I also put red bell pepper in my tune salad.

                                        1. i don't know why i find this so satisfying, but every once in a while i'll drain a can of italian tuna (in oil), top it with a couple of tablespoons of low-fat greek yogurt and chopped scallions.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: wonderwoman

                                            I use low-fat greek yogurt to make tuna salad for sandwiches

                                          2. For lunch today I ate a tuna bowl. Tuna + cut up pear + chopped almonds + celery slices + mayo.

                                            It was lovely. I used Costco tuna and a beautiful yellow pear from WF.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              I make a lot of tuna patties. My friend's teenagers love them, and so do I!

                                              I mix a couple of cans of tuna, can of peas, chopped onion, cracker crumbs, little mayo, salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, sometimes cheese, a mashed potato and a fewveggs. Shape into attire and either fry in a bit of olive oil, or bake, on a greased baking sheet. My mom always topped hers with a dollop of ketchup before baking, so I do it too. They are yummy!

                                              1. re: Miri1

                                                Do you have a recipe for this? This sounds really interesting and I would love to be able to bake them/

                                            2. I add a little mustard, salt and pepper, lemon juice, tiny bit of mayonaise if you want, mix it all together, then make maki/sushi. Quite healthy really and delicious Get sheets of nori (seaweed), spread some cooked sushi rice on, put some of the tuna mixture in the middle, then slices of cucumber or slices of avocado or whatever else you want with it, roll it up and you've got a nice healthy meal.

                                              1. I refrigerate a large can of solid white tuna in water; then drain and flake up tuna. Add a small amount of Best Foods, a can of sliced, chopped, drained water chestnuts, a small can of chopped ripe olives, and a handful (or two) of petite frozen peas. a few dashes of worchestershire to taste. Serve w/lettuce leaves or in an avocado half; OR my favorite, with french style green beans.
                                                I believed "you people" about tuna canned in olive oil and I really intensely dislike it.
                                                I also do not like hot tuna as in tuna melt. really don't like.

                                                1. i just like to mix it up with cain's fat free mayo and then add some chopped celery, salt and pepper. good old-fashioned tuna sandwich, but the change in mayo keeps it pretty healthy.

                                                  i also top my pasta and steamed veggies with it for lunch

                                                  1. I make a marvelous sandwich: cannelini beans mashed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bit of lemon, as the sandwich spread, and then I make tuna salad w/ olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and diced red onion and capers. You can use lemon instead of vinegar, and the result will be just as nice. You can do an entire salad on the bun: lettuce, tomato, onion.......anything. It will be one of the best sandwiches you ever eat. Then there's tossing it into pasta, with garlic and olive oil. Beans are a nice addition to this too.

                                                    1. Oh how I love tuna! I keep it chilled in the fridge until needed...red bell peppers, celery, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, a little avocado, and hardboiled egg whites with mustard and red wine vinegar...so delicious on it's own but the best with some crispy crackers.

                                                      1. One of my favorite recipes is pasta with canned tuna, broccoli, caper, olives and meyer lemon. Blanch the broccoli in the pasta water. Combine al dente pasta and everything in a sauté pan. Tuna and lemon last. Add red pepper flakes and more evoo . Yum.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Helene Goldberg

                                                          I don't want to put a damper on all these tasty ideas and back before I knew better I loved canned tuna over a salad. Healthy, low cal and filling. But did you know tuna is one of the fish with the highest mercury levels? If you're not pregnant it's suppose to be safe in limited quantities. Just sayin.........

                                                        2. Tuna fried rice! It's one of my favorites..

                                                          1 can chunk light tuna (you can use white but i prefer the light)
                                                          about 3 cups left over cold rice
                                                          1/4 cup choped onion
                                                          1/4 cup frozen peas
                                                          2 sliced scallions
                                                          1/2 a finely diced bell pepper
                                                          1 stalk finely diced celery

                                                          Fry the onions and celery and bell pepper in a little oil in a wok or big pan on medium high, add the peas to just warm through then add the rice and stir fry it all together. One rice is hot and mixed and the tuna and toss until its all hot. Finish with a little bit (or alot) of soy sauce...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: rayrayray

                                                            Sounds great! I might add an egg in there too...

                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                              Sometimes i do, depends on my mood. Good call on that though!

                                                          2. Similar to goodhealthgourmet's suggestion, I like a hearty salad with various greens (or just romaine), sliced sweet onions, tomato, celery, hearts of palm can be nice, and then a vinaigrette with fresh garlic, Dijon, good olive oil and champagne or balsamic vinegar, then over the top some crumbled feta, the tuna, and some white beans. Delicious and healthy with crusty bread.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: rcallner

                                                              Oh my tht sounds delicious, especially the hearts of palm and feta additions. Yum, lady!! (I think?)

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                Yes, it's reliably crazy delicious. And yes.

                                                            2. Tuna burrito. Make tuna salad as for sandwich, grate colby or jack cheese, add your favorite salsa, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla and nuked until the cheese melts. Full disclosure: This snack seems to disgust everyone who finds me eating it, but I think it's delicious.

                                                              1. I just made a warm tuna pasta salad with wilted arugula the other night with planned leftovers. It's still chilly here and I can't stand a cold lunch when I'm freezing at my desk.

                                                                A pound of whole wheat penne, 1 can of Italian tuna in oil (drained and flaked), roasted grape tomatoes (quartered), kalamata olives (halved lengthwise), a few ounces of cubed feta, and about half a box of baby arugula.

                                                                I put the other ingredients in the bowl first, then arugula, then poured the drained hot pasta on top, let it sit a few minutes, then stirred in a tart lemon vinaigrette. It reheated very well for my lunch yesterday.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: LisaPA

                                                                  Forgot to add that I also sliced 2 green onions into it.

                                                                2. We had a lovley german young lady live with us for a year and take care of our kids (as an au pair) while both my husband and I worked. She made dinner for us once a week and her go-to meal was tuna pasta: from what i remember it was an onion, chopped and sauteed, with a can or two of tuna, a jar of pasta sauce (tomato/basil) and a can or frozen package of corn. Lots of oregano, served over pasta. Took some getting used to, but it was SO from the heart and we were hungry so it always tasted really good. I was surprised to enjoy tuna this way but it's hard to argue if it tastes good and fills the hole.

                                                                  1. I buy that tuna in a pouch instead of a can - you don't have to drain it and I think the texture is better. I buy the kind in sunflower oil. Mix it with some green tabasco and sprinkle on some celery salt. Great if you eat it just like this or on bread or toast. I like it best plain or on crackers. I am actually having this right now on triscuits.