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 (70)

  1. Barb says:

    I like to mix my tuna with tiny little pastas, sweet peas, a little Miracle Whip, and crushed pineapple….it’s great with saltine crackers.

  2. Christiana says:

    Tuna mixed with a little bit of chopped pickles…I even like it with the ‘bread and butter’ pickles. Tangy and savory!

  3. Carol says:

    For a tuna salad sandwich, I mix white albacore tuna with chopped red pepper, celery, fresh dill, and chives. I take a few tablespoons of low fat mayo and mix it with spicy brown mustard and mix that with the tuna and other ingredients. it makes a great sandwich on whole grain bread or roll.

  4. Marcia says:

    Wow, I just had 1 canned chunky light in water tuna and 2 tbs of Natural Salsa refridgerated it for a hour or so and it sooooooo rocked with some TownHouse Crackers and also a warmed up tortilla. This will be my lowfat lunch for a few weeks. Its feeling and it taste great without all the fat. I also added about 15 red grapes on the side for a sweet tasty fruit. Sooo awesome. It's funny because I already started making the tuna w/ salsa before I even came to this site and it help confirm that it should taste great because others are doing similar recipes. I knew chunky light canned tuna in water was good and I knew Natural Salsa was good and also both are good for you so why not put them together. And Walllaaaa!!!! 1 whole canned 5oz. tuna: 100 calories/20 from fat, 2 Tbs Natural Salsa: 10 calories/0 from fat, 1 regular tortilla: 85 calories/20 from fat. (Total 195 Calories/40 from fat. Less than 16 grams carbs total, Less than 500mg Sodium total, 13 grams Protein)

  5. colette says:

    This is Tahitian Tuna Toast -I use 2 oz. canned, Albacore tuna packed in water, drain and flake. Add
    1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple and 1 teasp. mayo stir together and serve on toast. Sometimes
    I don't add the mayo just use more pineapple liquid. Other things you can add to this would be
    celery,toasted chopped pecans and serve it on a bed of lettuce You can use the whole can of
    tuna and stir in the pineapple until the desired consistency is reached. I use this a lot. Enjoy!

  6. Ant says:

    i just use 2 cans in water with brown rice and lettuce and tomato and mix it all up and add sum limon and taste so great very low cal and healthy

  7. Cynnthia says:

    The Peruvian canned tuna recipe is so good! It is a must try. Better than mixing tuna with mayo, yuk!
    It is defintley 5 stars *****…….

  8. NewOrleans says:

    its not that healthy but i LOVE fresh Albacore tuna straight out the package with sour cream and cheddar chips!!! im guessing the baked chips are lower in fat but its so frikken delicious i dont care! lol*

  9. Marie says:

    I love Mac. so I put tuna in oil in a pan aslo sometime I add anchovies stir in tomatoes in a can and you have a great tasty meal in minutes

  10. Aletta says:

    I cook up a batch of whole wheat spaghetti and season it with garlic and italian seasonings and add 1/2 cup of white wine and canned tuna. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Very simple, but very good

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