Got a tin of tuna sitting in the cupboard? It's not just for jackets and sarnies - here's 35 different ideas for things to make with a tin of tuna...
Got a tin of tuna sitting in the cupboard – we’ve got loads of great tinned tuna recipes to make right here! Tuna’s not just for jackets and sarnies – so here are 35 different ideas for things to make with it.
Tinned tuna is one of the most versatile ingredients you can keep in the cupboard. Add it to salads, stir it through pasta, serve with jacket potatoes or try one of our tinned tuna recipes, from a tuna crumble to seeded tuna fishcakes.
Tinned tuna is an affordable and excellent source of protein. We like to buy a few tins when it’s on offer, then keep them in the cupboard, knowing there’s always some on hand to make quick and easy family meals.
Have a look through our 35 things to make with a tin of tuna recipes to get some fresh ideas…
Tuna recipes: Things to make with a tin of tuna
1. Tuna and tomato calzone
You will need: 180g tin tuna chunks
We love calzones – a type of folded pizza, baked in the oven and with the topping hidden inside. Bite through the outside for a gorgeous, gooey filling of mozzarella, tomatoes and tuna.
2. Tuna pasta bake
You will need:185g tin of tuna in sunflower oil
Tuna pasta bake is a family favourite. Here’s our fail-safe recipe, made with a can of tuna, sweetcorn, tinned tomatoes, cheese and the secret ingredient – crisps! Trust us, they make for a seriously crunchy topping.
3. Pappardelle with tuna sauce
You will need: 1 x 198g tun tuna in brine
It’s easy to turn tuna pasta from everyday to ‘a bit fancy’. Swap spaghetti or penne for pappardelle and make a fresh tomato sauce with olive oil and herbs. Top with oregano and capers for a restaurant-worthy dinner.
4. Baked potato with tuna and spring onion
You will need: 160g tinned tuna
Sometimes you can’t beat a jacket potato. It’s one of our fave budget comfort foods, and we love them filled with tuna mayo, spring onions and a grinding of black pepper.
5. Tuna and lemon mayonnaise wraps
You will need: 160g tin tuna in brine
For a twist on tuna sarnies, make these yummy tuna and lemon mayonnaise wraps. A squeeze of lemon gives the mayo a citrussy tang, and you can pack the wraps with salad and tomatoes to get 2 of your 5-a-day.
Get the recipe: Tuna and lemon mayonnaise wraps
6. Tuna and chickpea salad
You will need: 250g tinned tuna in olive oil
There’s so much goodness in this filling salad – eat it for lunch and you’ll feel virtuous for the rest of the day! Tuna and chickpeas go really together, and there’s also Vitamin E-packed avocados, red onion and rocket in there, too.
Get the recipe: Tuna and chickpea salad
7. Tuna and noodle salad
You will need: 200g can tuna
This is a handy recipe to have up your sleeve on busy weeknights. Throw together egg noodles with a tin of tuna, cherry tomatoes, bought teriyaki sauce and chopped peanuts: dinner sorted!
8. Cheese and tuna jackets
You will need: 1 x 185g tin tuna
We love cheese on our spuds, we love tuna on our spuds – so when we can’t decide we have both at the same time! A pinch of cayenne pepper and a sprinkle of fresh parsley make this one delicious but easy dinner.
9. Seeded tuna fishcakes
You will need: 1 x tin tuna in brine
Give fishcakes a healthy twist by mixing the breadcrumb coating with 50g of mixed seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and linseed. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals and give the fishcakes a fantastic crunch, too.
10. Italian Tuna and Tomato Penne Pasta
You will need: 2 x 160g tins tuna chunks in brine
Turn the flavours of a classic tuna nicoise salad into a filling pasta dish for the family. Black olives, fresh basil and tomatoes make this feel like a real taste of Italy.
Get the recipe: Italian Tuna and Tomato Penne Pasta
11. Tuna and provençal vegetable crumble
You will need: 450g tinned tuna
Crumbles aren’t just for fruit. This delicious savoury crumble has a cheese and breadcrumb topping and is filled with aubergines, courgettes, mushrooms, pepper and tuna.
12. Tuna and potato layer
You will need: 2 x 200g tins tuna in brine
Another brilliant budget recipe involving the humble tin of tuna. Even better, this simple dish of potatoes, tuna and white sauce tastes delicious cold in lunchboxes the next day.
13. Slimming World’s tuna penne nicoise
You will need: 2 x 185g tins tuna in spring water
Slimming World knows its way around a healthy but filling recipe, and we’re big fans of this tuna nicoise – it’s got protein-packed eggs and a little penne in it to help keep you filled up.
Get the recipe: Slimming World’s tuna penne nicoise
14. Tuna and tomato salsa pasta
You will need: 130g tinned tuna
A quick-to-cook pasta recipe using a pot of fresh tomato salsa and a can of tuna. Great for a lunch or a snack for 2 people.
15. Tuna spaghetti Bolognese
You will need: 2 x 185g tins tuna in spring water
Save money by making spag Bol with a tin of tuna instead of mince. The meaty flavour and firm texture of tuna means it can stand up to strong flavours like tomato and garlic. Delicious.
Get the recipe: Tuna spaghetti Bolognese
16. Tuna, lime and coriander jacket
You will need: 2 x tins tuna in springwater
Give baked spuds a zesty twist by adding the classic Asian (or Mexican!) flavour combo of coriander and lime. Serve it with a red cabbage, carrot and coriander slaw.
17. Tuna fish cakes
You will need: 400g tin tuna in brine
A tin of tuna makes a budget-friendly alternative to expensive fresh salmon or cod in homemade fish cakes. Our recipe calls for cheesy mash but leftover plain mashed potato will work equally well.
Get the recipe: Tuna fish cakes
18. Crab or tuna, lemon and chilli linguine
You will need: 340g tinned tuna
Flake tuna into warm linguine to make this summery and sophisticated bowl of pasta. The lemon and chilli give it a real kick. Serve with a fresh green salad.
19. Tuna and onion jacket potatoes
You will need: 100g tinned tuna
Here’s another idea to jazz up baked spuds. Mix the tinned tuna together with cottage cheese, diced cucumber and red onion for a easy dinner with minimal washing up.
Get the recipe: Tuna and onion jacket potatoes
20. Tuna and caper spread
You will need: 1 x 185g tun tuna chunks in oil
This is such a versatile little recipe to have up your sleeve. Whizz together tuna, capers, butter and lemon to make a creamy spread for toast, dipping and party snacks.
21. Tuna and cheese ciabatta melt
You will need: 400g tinned tuna
Mmmmm…tuna melts are one of our favourite sarnies, and this one is our fave of all. The rich ciabatta base is topped with a tuna mayo with basil and olives and coated with golden, melted Cheddar.
22. Baby-friendly tuna fish cakes
You will need: 1 x tin tuna in spring water
These small fish cakes are suitable for babies over 6 months old. They may be small, but they’re packed with nutritious ingredients your little one needs – tuna, peas, carrots and potato.
You will need: 200g tinned tuna in spring water
If you like bold flavours, you’ll love this classic Italian pasta dish. It’s packed with chilli, anchovies, garlic and capers…and of course our old friend, tinned tuna!
24. Spanish-style fish stew
You will need: 250g tinned tuna
You can use a mixture of any affordable fish in this fragrant fish stew, including fresh or tinned tuna. Serve with potatoes, cous cous or white or brown rice.
25. Tuna and pea quiche
You will need: 200g tinned tuna
Quiche is normally off the menu if you can’t eat eggs, dairy or gluten. Luckily those clever types at Woman’s Weekly have come up with this brilliant free-from quiche that doesn’t contain any of them.
26. Crunchy tuna filler
You will need: 1 x tin tuna in oil
Don’t waste money on expensive sandwich fillers from the supermarket when it’s so easy to make your own. Our crunchy tuna filler has a summery, zesty taste as it’s packed with cucumber and yellow pepper.
27. Potato and corn cakes
You will need: 1 x small tin tuna
Turn these delicious potato and corn cakes into a filling meal by stirring in drained tuna and serving with a big green salad. Wrap any leftovers between sheets of kitchen paper and keep in the fridge to eat cold the next day.
Get the recipe: Potato and corn cakes
28. Fennel pesto gnocchi with tuna
You will need: 1 x 200g tin tuna steak in brine
Here’s an easy pasta dish that’s posh enough to serve when friends are over. Stir fragrant fennel pesto, tuna and anchovies into gnocchi and serve with crisp green beans.
29. Quick pasta Nicoise
You will need: 200g tin tuna
Give weekday pasta a French makeover with the classic flavours of a Nicoise salad like tuna, black olives, boiled egg and French beans. It makes a delicious pasta salad for lunchboxes.
Get the recipe: Quick pasta Nicoise
30. One-pot tuna pasta puttanesca
You will need: 100g tinned tuna
This easy one-pot dish is on the table in thirty minutes and comes in at under 500 calories per portion! It’s sure to become a family favourite…
31. Tuna and red pesto pasta
You will need: 1 x 400g tun tuna chunks in oil
Give your pesto pasta a protein boost by stirring in some tuna chunks. Add fresh basil or parsley to give it a fresh-tasting finish.
32. Tuna and brown rice salad
This quick, healthy and tasty tuna and brown rice salad is perfect for lunch boxes.
Get the recipe: Tuna and brown rice salad
33. Phil Vickery’s potato, apple and tuna frittata
Phil Vickery’s potato, apple and tuna frittata is a deicious twist on the classic Italian dish. It’s super easy to make and can be ready in 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Phil Vickery’s potato, apple and tuna frittata
34. Crushed potatoes with tuna
Such an understated recipe, but packed full of flavour and nutritious ingredients.
Get the recipe: Crushed potatoes with tuna
35. Pasta salad with tuna and peppers
Simple and nutritious, this pasta salad is packed with chunky tuna, diced peppers, spring onions and fennel shavings in a creamy mustard dressing.
Get the recipe: Pasta salad with tuna and peppers