Cheap Eats: 10 Ways to Use a Can of Tuna

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Growing up, we always had a few cans of tuna tucked in the back of our pantry. They were leaned on for easy brown-bag lunch sandwiches, yes, but also for simple, affordable dinners, most often seen in the form of classic noodle casserole. These days, I still find myself with a couple cans on hand at all times to lean on when I am in need of a fuss-free meal that won’t break the bank.

This is a gussied-up version of the classic that’s absolutely worthy of being served at your next dinner party, thanks to the addition of French flavors like artichokes, capers, and olives.

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(Image credit: Colin Clark)

This wholesome salad get a double dose of protein, thanks to the tuna and quinoa. It’s also fresh and bright-tasting since chopped mint and oregano are added in with the arugula.

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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

This crowd-pleasing, one-pot dinner comes together without fuss since it’s assembled and cooked right on the stove instead of in the oven.

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

There are a whole lot of ways to enjoy this colorful salad: Try it piled on toast, stuffed into a sandwich, or simply straight from the bowl.

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(Image credit: Izy Hossack)

This tuna salad, dressed with orange and ginger, is great served over cold brown rice as well as really any cooked grain or even cold soba noodles.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

This classic French salad makes for a light yet satisfying dinner — especially when paired with crusty bread and chilled white wine.

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(Image credit: Coco Morante)

Definitely save some of this pasta salad for lunch the next day, as it only gets better overnight when the ingredients have time to absorb more of the herby dressing.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

This lightened-up version of tuna salad swaps in tangy Greek yogurt for some of the mayonnaise and adds crunch to the situation in the form of chopped cabbage.

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(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

This is Nicoise salad in sandwich form. Layers of tuna, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs make for something that’s worthy of picnics and easy, hands-free dinners alike.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Classic tuna noodle casserole just got a whole lot easier with help from the slow cooker. If you’re not a fan of peas, try swapping them out for broccoli or spinach.

A Note on Mercury

In terms of any concerns over mercury, one thing we’ve read about mercury in canned tuna fish: Chunk light tuna has about a third of the mercury as solid white albacore tuna. The chunk light stuff is usually made from skipjack, a type of tuna that’s smaller and less predatory than albacore, which means it accumulates less mercury.

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