Need a quick and affordable meal? Try these tuna recipes that everyone will love, using both fresh ahi and canned tuna!
Here’s a meal maker that’s affordable, easy to cook and shelf stable: a can of tuna. It might sound a little 1960’s, but this magic can provides loads of protein and omega 3’s, and tastes incredible prepared in different ways. These days you can also find fresh ahi tuna at your local grocery store, which makes meals that come together in a flash. So the next time you’re stumped on what’s for lunch or dinner? Think tuna. Here are our top tuna recipes from this website, as well as selections from two top recipe experts: Imma Adamu from Immaculate Bites and Yumna Jawad of Feel Food Foodie.
And now…the best tuna recipes for easy meals!
One of our favorite tuna recipes? This nostalgic Tuna Pasta Salad! It’s creamy but not too rich, with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of dried dill. It’s a seriously simple pantry meal that gives us cozy nostalgic vibes…and it works as a make-ahead lunch too.
This tuna melt is the stuff dreams are made of. Between crusty bread is sandwiched a creamy, savory mess of tuna and crunchy veggies so perfectly seasoned that you won't be able to stop taking bites. Gooey cheddar cheese is sandwiched in with a juicy ripe tomato that gives the sandwich just the right height and heft. Here's how to make a tuna melt that will make you…melt.
We’re always looking for fast lunch and easy dinner ideas: and this one works for both. Introducing Mediterranean Tuna Salad! Combine canned tuna with crunchy vegetables, feta cheese, olive oil and a punch of Dijon mustard for the most flavorful salad to hit your plate! Serve it with crackers as an easy lunch, or over greens for a quick dinner with pita bread and olives.
Need mealtime inspiration? Here’s an easy tuna recipe that's always a massive hit in our house: Tuna Patties! Also known as tuna cakes, these unassuming burgers made of canned tuna might sound humble. But au contraire: they’re so savory on the inside and golden crispy on the outside, you won’t be able to resist another bite! This recipe is spiced with Old Bay, parsley and Dijon mustard, and it’s a total treat.
Nicoise salad is a legendary tuna recipe: and for good reason! It’s a true treat, a stunning healthy Mediterranean diet lunch or dinner you'll never tire of. Boiled eggs, green beans, olives, tomatoes, and tangy potato salad sit on crunchy lettuce and are covered in a zesty lemon dressing.
The best tuna salad? This one. It’s perfectly creamy, bright and tangy, and so irresistible you can’t stop eating it. One bite in, you’ll declare it “the best!” too. (Promise.) Tuna salad is such an inexpensive and easy lunch or dinner, it will become part of your everyday repertoire! Serve it as a sandwich, or with gluten-free crackers as a dip. Also try Tuna Salad with Egg.
Here’s a unique way to use a can of tuna…try Tuna Burgers! Tuna makes an unexpectedly excellent burger: thick and savory. Balanced on a bun with chipotle aioli and veggie toppings, it’s a satisfying meal that everyone will enjoy. Plus, it’s economical and a great alternative to red meat.
Here’s a healthy tuna recipe to spice up your routine: avocado tuna salad! This spin swaps out the classic mayonnaise for nutrient-rich avocado. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. It takes only a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes to put together. You can also serve it inside an avocado half!
Garlic Lemon Tuna Pasta
Here's a Mediterranean-style tuna recipe that looks fancy...but takes only 10 minutes! Mix tuna with lemon and briny capers, and serve with spaghetti. It's a cheap meal to feed the family when you don’t have many fresh ingredients. Via Feel Good Foodie
Tuna Melt Stuffed Bell Peppers
Love a great tuna melt? Then why not add the filling into a bell pepper! These baked bell peppers are stuffed with tuna salad and topped with cheese for a tasty and easy dinner. They're much easier than a standard stuffed pepper recipe and will please everyone. Via Feel Good Foodie
Tuna Noodle Casserole
What's a more classic tuna recipe than Tuna Noodle Casserole? This budget-friendly casserole stars flaky canned tuna, pasta, peas and cheese then topped with buttery breadcrumbs for a wonderful texture. Truly a family-favorite meal meant for busy weeknights! Via Immaculate Bites
Avocado White Bean Tuna Salad
Pair canned tuna with fiber-rich white beans for a healthy lunch or dinner idea! This salad is bright and healthy, covered in an herby dressing. Serve it on top of salad greens, or spoon it into an avocado for serving! Via Immaculate Bites
Tuna Macaroni Salad
Here's a tuna recipe that's everything comfort food: Tuna Macaroni Salad! The creamy mayo-based dressing is sweet, tangy, and savory with pickle relish and mustard. Add peas and hard-boiled eggs, and it's a great tuna recipe for picnics, lunch, and dinner! Via Immaculate Bites
Let's move on to ahi tuna! This fresh variety of tuna is ideal for quick dinners and has the best rich, buttery texture and savory flavor. There's nothing quite like seared tuna as an easy dinner idea! It's irresistibly delicious and cooks in less than 5 minutes. Put it together with leftover veg or rice and you’ve got a quick dinner.
Got a great piece of ahi tuna? Let’s make tuna tartare! Pairing the bold flavors of soy sauce, lime and toasted sesame oil makes magic with this sushi-grade fish. It’s the ideal spread for crackers or toasts: eat it as an appetizer or as part of an easy dinner accessorized with a salad.
Tired of grilling burgers and salmon? Good, because here’s an incredible grilled dinner idea: grilled tuna steaks! Ahi tuna is rich and buttery. Seared perfectly on the outside, it tastes more like chicken or steak than fish! There’s nothing fishy about this tuna. Even better, it’s one of the quickest things you can cook. Just 1 to 2 minutes, and you’ve got dinner.
This Hawaiian bowl of seasoned raw fish, rice and crunchy veggies has caught on here on the mainland, and everybody’s doing it! Because poke is that good. And guess what? You can easily make poke bowls in the comfort of your own home. Here's how to whip up an easy poke bowl.
Notes on buying tuna
Buying tuna for these recipes? Here are a few notes on finding great canned tuna or fresh ahi tuna:
- For canned tuna, look for light tuna caught by pole and line fishing, which is the most sustainable choice. Light tuna that comes from skipjack has the lowest mercury levels of all types of tuna. (Read more here.)
- Look for ahi tuna labeled sushi-grade or sashimi grade. While there are no specific regulations around the label sushi-grade, it means it’s high quality fish that is safe to be eaten raw. (Read more here.) Look at your local fish counter for a tuna steak that has a firm texture and a bright red color.
- You can also find frozen sashimi grade ahi tuna at some grocery stores. It’s sold in a small box and intended for making sushi or sashimi, but it works for poke and tuna tartare to! If you buy frozen, pull it out of the refrigerator and let it thaw in the refrigerator the day of serving.
17 Tuna Recipes for Easy Meals: Tuna Pasta Salad & More!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch.
- 8 ounces pasta: shells or bowties (farfalle)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 green onions (or ¼ teaspoon onion powder)
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 2 5-ounce cans tuna
- ½ cup mayonnaise*
- 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Optional: ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
- Cook the pasta (and peas): Start a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. In the last 1 minute, add the peas. Drain the pasta and peas, then rinse with cold water.
- Prep the remaining ingredients: Meanwhile, thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Drain the tuna and flake it with a fork. Place them in a large bowl with the mayonnaise, white vinegar, dill, and kosher salt.
- Mix: Once the pasta and peas are cooked, add them to the bowl and mix. Taste and adjust flavors if desired, adding black pepper as necessary. Serve immediately. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days: before eating, allow to come to room temperature. You may want to add a swirl of mayo or sour cream and a pinch of salt to refresh the texture and flavor.
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Pasta
Keywords: Tuna recipes, canned tuna recipes