Dressing Up Your Canned Tuna

by in Healthy Tips, May 12, 2009

tuna pasta
The classic tuna sandwich will never go out of style, but you can kick up canned tuna with more than just slices of bread and a dollop of mayo. Here are some easy-to-make ideas that can transform eating simple canned tuna (and salmon) into a new, improved and healthy experience.

The Nutritional Benefits
Both canned tuna and salmon (packed in water) are high in protein and many energy-boosting B-vitamins. Two ounces (or 1/4 cup) of canned tuna contains 50 calories, 0.5 grams of fat and is carb-free. Tuna and salmon are also packed with selenium, a trace mineral that helps keep the body in top working order. (You can get 64% of your daily needs in one 2-ounce serving.) It’s still unclear the role selenium plays in cancer prevention, but you may see the name popping in and out of the news as new studies are published.

Both tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fats, which are trumpeted for their heart-healthy benefits as well as contributions to growth and brain function. Try getting 4 to 5 ounces, twice a week, and choose chunk light tuna, which studies show have lower mercury levels.

Canned Fish Ideas
Canned tuna or fish is a hot commodity in my house, so we always have plenty on hand. And when cans run for less than $3 a pop, they’re a thrifty protein choice. Here are some ways I’ve used the canned stuff successfully:

  • Tossed with pasta and tomato sauce
  • Mixed in a green salad with romaine lettuce, tomatoes and radishes
  • Formed into salmon cakes, cooked in the pan and finished in the oven
  • In a tuna casserole

When I went searching for more recipes to try, I came across a Peruvian Canned Tuna Ceviche (a.k.a. Ceviche De Atun). Of course, the title made me click on it — it does look tasty: a mix of jalapeno, onions, lime juice and cilantro. I haven’t tried it yet, but if you do, let me know what you think.

Recipes to try:

Tuna and Crab Wraps
Tuna and Green Bean Salad
Spaghetti with Spicy Tuna Marinara (above)

TELL US: What’s your trick for kicking up canned fish?

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Comments (69)

  1. Meg says:

    I like to make a sandwich with a toasted whole wheat English muffin spread with a little mustard, some drained tuna (no mayo), mixed greens dressed with a little olive oil and vinegar, and a slice of tomato to top if off. Really light and delicious. Also, try adding canned tuna to homemade tomato sauce, along with some capers–hm, so good.

  2. nora says:

    yummmyy.. caned fish is one of my fav.. used to make fish sanwich for breakfast witha lil bit of diced onions, lime, grounded pepper with chllie and salt of coz with many mayo :D my son ado this recipe without chillie. try it!!

  3. Kelie Armstrong says:

    My mate and I are always fighting over who gets to put mayo or salad dressing on the tuna concoction, so one day I put both in the tuna salad and now we don’t fight anymore or make 2 bowls. And it tastes great. We are in love again.

  4. Morgan says:

    I have become a fan of Kraft’s new Olive Oil mayonnaise. 45 cal/4 gm fat per Tbsp. Still have to consider fat content, but this tastes very good to me, and I have been trying to use olive oil as much as possible when I need fat in a recipe.

  5. Joyce says:

    mmmm….drained light tuna mixed up with capers, red onion, a squeeze of lemon juice, a smidge of freshly ground pepper…..in a pita, on Wasa bread, Ak-mak, or any type of toast, or on a bed of greens and veggies.

  6. perry jackson says:

    does anyone know how to make a good tuna gravy?

  7. Gillian says:

    When I lived in Hawaii, one of my favorite meals at the snack bar at work was tuna salad (in Italian dressing instead of mayo) with a scoop of brown rice and a lettuce and tomato salad. I’d mix the whole thing together and sometimes add Tobasco. I still make this for myself for lunch pretty often.

  8. Carrie Berg says:

    I eat tuna out of the packet with nothing but am going to try the hot sauce. buy a scoop of tuna from the healthfood restaurant and it has green onion, celery and avocado.. very tasty. Trader Joes makes a no salt added tuna in a can.

  9. Cheryl says:

    I use fresh squeezed lime, minced white onion, chopped plum tomato, minced fresh jalapeno and little salt and pepper and scoop up with some tortialla chips. NO MAYO

  10. Tracy says:

    Mix drained tuna with drained non-fat yogurt (inst of mayo-yuck!), a nice dose of wasabi, chopped celery and green onions. Serve on wheat bread or in a pita for a spicy sandwich.

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