10 Ways to Turn a Can of Tuna into a Meal

10 Ways to Turn a Can of Tuna into a Meal

Sheela Prakash
Mar 29, 2017
How to Make Nicoise Salad
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Filling out two slices of sandwich bread is just the start of what a can of tuna has the ability to do. Keep a few cans tucked away in your pantry and know that you have a budget-friendly lunch or dinner on your hands at all times. Combined with veggies, pasta, whole grains, or a combination, canned tuna fish becomes much greater than the sum of its parts. Here are 10 of our favorite recipes that show off the star-power of tuna.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

1. The Perfect Tuna Salad

You can't talk about canned tuna without talking about tuna salad. This one is as classic as they come — with crunchy celery, bright lemon juice, and just enough mayo to hold it together.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

2. Slow Cooker Tuna Noodle Casserole

Go for a sturdy dry pasta like rigatoni or wide yolk-free noodles like Manischewitz brand in this recipe — otherwise the pasta will overcook and fall apart when cooked in the slow cooker for three hours.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

3. Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers, Tuna & Oregano

This pasta salad is just the thing to make on Sunday and enjoy for lunch throughout the week. It actually gets better after a few days, as the pasta absorbs more of the dressing and the flavors meld together.

(Image credit: Izy Hossack)

4. "Low-Rent" Tuna Poke Bowl

Here's a new way to enjoy a can of tuna: Toss it with a tangy orange-ginger dressing and pile it on brown rice with avocado and cherry tomatoes for a filling lunch or light dinner.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

5. Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad

This lighter take on tuna salad gets most of its creaminess from plain Greek yogurt (instead of mayonnaise) and has a big dose of crunch, thanks to lots of chopped cabbage in the mix.

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

6. Grown-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

What makes this tuna noodle casserole so grown up? The more traditional cream of mushroom soup and green peas are replaced by a quick, homemade cream sauce and lots of sautéed mushrooms, chopped kale, and a few handfuls of briny capers.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

7. Tuna Melts with Olive Oil Mayonnaise & Parmesan

What makes this recipe special is the homemade mayonnaise, which actually comes together quite easily using a hand mixer. Any extra mayo can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and used for the rest of your week's sandwiches.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

8. The Best Way to Add Protein to Mac and Cheese

This is barely a recipe, which is exactly why we love it. Drain a can of tuna, add it to instant macaroni and cheese, and you've got a satisfying, protein-filled meal in a matter of minutes.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

9. How To Make Niçoise Salad

Definitely don't be afraid to play around with this classic French salad depending on what you have in your fridge. Swap out the green beans and potatoes for leftover roasted vegetables, or toss in a lingering cucumber — just don't forget the tuna!

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

10. Stovetop Tuna Orzo Casserole with Broccoli

This bright-tasting casserole comes together all in one pot, in 30 minutes, right on the stove, which makes it a perfect contender for weeknight dinner, when you need a wholesome meal fast and don't want to bother with lots of dishes to clean up after. The orzo and crunchy broccoli will make it a favorite.

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