I always have cans of tuna in the pantry as it’s affordable, convenient, and protein-packed! Below, I’m sharing 13 Easy Canned Tuna Recipes that you can make for healthy lunch or dinner ideas any day of the week.
Best Canned Tuna Recipes
Nothing beats the cost and convenience of canned tuna for high-protein meals on a budget. It’s an inexpensive, low-carb ingredient I always have stocked in the pantry for last-minute meals. If you’re looking for inspiration, or if you’ve never fully embraced the potential of canned tuna before, I’m here to help you out.
Why Use Canned Tuna?
If canned tuna has been flying under your radar, I’m sure you’re not alone. I swear, canned tuna isn’t just for underground bunkers and noodle casseroles from the 1950s! Canned tuna is:
Super convenient. From quick lunches to afternoon snacks, canned tuna makes last-minute meals for busy weeknights a breeze. It’s one of my must-have pantry staples, and after today, you’ll be armed with plenty of recipes to turn cans of tuna into something healthy and delicious.
Budget-friendly. Most cans of tuna offer good bang for your buck. You get loads of protein, minerals, and vitamins per can, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Plus, canned tuna is non-perishable, so you can buy it in bulk, too.
Versatile. There’s so much more that you can make with canned tuna, above and beyond your average tuna fish sandwich. Below you’ll find tasty recipes for salads, lettuce wraps, comfort food casseroles, and even ceviche. All made with canned tuna!
13 Healthy Recipes with Canned Tuna
There are so many ways to turn your basic can of tuna into delicious, healthy meals that are anything but basic! I’ve rounded up some of my best tuna recipes below:
Ceviche always has a sort of fancy ring to it, but this easy homemade ceviche recipe is actually the easiest lunch or snack! It’s made with canned tuna that’s zested up with tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, chilies, and avocado.
Whether you cook them in the oven or in the air fryer, these quick and savory tuna croquettes come out irresistibly crispy and delicious. They’re sort of like tuna patties, packed with protein-rich canned tuna, potato, and dill, and perfect for dipping! Add them to bowls to make them a meal.
Love pasta salad, but not so fond of mayonnaise? This nutritious and easy tuna macaroni salad recipe has you covered. This recipe is filled with leafy green arugula, parmesan, and capers, tossed with whole wheat pasta and canned chunks of tuna in a zesty no-mayo dressing.
Quick, high-protein meals and lunches don’t get better than this light and satisfying egg salad bulked up with canned tuna and red onion. It’s the best of two classic salads, tasty on its own and just as yummy between two slices of whole wheat!
No canned tuna list would be complete without a classic tuna noodle casserole. Skip the cream of mushroom soup, I’ve lightened mine up with a few simple ingredient swaps. This tuna casserole is a comforting, healthy family meal packed with loads of flavor and nutrition (for under $10!).
What can I say? I just love an open-faced sandwich. This tuna melt is one of my favorites! Pile slices of whole wheat high with healthy tuna salad and veggies over a bed of melted cheese, for a fast and easy lunch on busy weekdays.
This tuna salad recipe is made with nutrient-rich broccoli, crunchy celery, and just a touch of light mayo. Spoon it over crisp endive leaves (or even crackers if you’d like) for a refreshing, healthy snack.
Add extra protein to your classic deviled eggs recipe! Mix up canned tuna with creamy yolks, onions, and mayo, and then pile your filling into a protein-packed hard-boiled egg. Perfect for on-the-go lunches!
This chickpea tuna salad is an all-in-one, healthy lunch idea that’s quick to make and tastes super light and fresh. Chickpeas add hearty fiber to this flavorful tuna salad with capers, kept light with no mayo. If you're not a chickpea fan, use white beans instead!
Italian riso e tonno is a healthy and inexpensive lunch made with canned tuna and nutritious brown rice. Everything gets mixed together with capers, olives, and crisp frozen veggies, then drizzled with lemon juice.
While you’re at it, skip the bread altogether and make a wildly tasty tuna melt stuffed inside a juicy ripe tomato! Transform a fresh and healthy tuna salad into a light, easy lunch topped with melty cheddar cheese.
Canned tuna has bucketloads of benefits. It’s low in calories and relatively cheap while being high in protein and rich in B-Complex vitamins, Vitamins A and D, and nutrients like omega-3s. Plus, it keeps forever in the pantry (OK, maybe not forever. But some cans will last for up to 2 years or more!). When shopping for tuna, you can also opt for healthier options, like brands with less salt added, or tuna that’s canned in water instead of oil.
What Is the Best Canned Tuna to Buy?
One of the downsides of canned tuna is sustainability and over-fishing. That, and another concern is mercury levels. Your best bet when buying canned tuna is to choose certified sustainable brands, like Wild Planet. Stick with canned varieties that are low in mercury, like light or skipjack tuna.
More Easy Lunches and Light Meals
Hungry for even more healthy, protein-packed fish recipes and light meal ideas? Definitely check out the recipe finder for more inspiration.