What to CookPantry

15 Ways to Turn a Can of Tuna Into a Weeknight Hero

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Throw open my kitchen cabinet doors and you'll find a host of goodies: baking ingredients and dried goods on one side, a myriad of spices and tins along the other. My husband and I adore tinned things, especially those housing oily, briny, rich-in-flavor sardines, tuna, and shellfish. These have served their duty time and time again as easy weeknight "dinners" when we are just too tired to fire up the stove—we just grab a crusty baguette on our way home from work, and pop a tin open when we get home. Doesn't get easier than that.

Canned or jarred tuna serves as one of our most reliable pantry soldiers. Whether they're packed in oil or water, imported from afar or grabbed off the shelves of the supermarket downstairs, preserved tuna is beloved any which way: folded into pasta; heaped upon bread; hidden in rice balls; even added into recipes that don't originally call for tuna, but would taste mighty fine with their addition.

Lean on these tuna can-friendly dishes during your busy weeknights and don't forget to share your own tuna go-tos with us below.

And If You're Not Into Tuna...

We'll Never Say No to a Tuna Salad

Low-Key Niçoise Salad

Low-Key Niçoise Salad by Emma Alpern

Kill Two Birds and Eat Tuna Salad for Lunch

Kill Two Birds and Eat Tuna Salad for Lunch by Amanda Hesser

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Tuna, Tangled Up

Tuna & Noodles With Kimchi
Tuna & Noodles With Kimchi
First Night in Florence Spaghetti....

First Night in Florence Spaghetti.... by boulangere

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Redux

Tuna Noodle Casserole - Redux by fiveandspice

Zuni's Pasta with Preserved Tuna

Zuni's Pasta with Preserved Tuna by Nicholas Day

Noodles with Tuna and Peas ("Tuna Pea Wiggle")

Noodles with Tuna and Peas ("Tuna Pea Wiggle") by Merrill Stubbs

Tuna Sandwiches with a French Twist

Pan Bagnat:  Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich

Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich by Waverly

Provençal Tuna Melt

Provençal Tuna Melt by boulangere

Rice Is Always Nice

How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) Any Which Way
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How to Make Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls) Any Which Way

Just Add Tuna

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca by Snafu06

Curried Chickpea Sandwich

Curried Chickpea Sandwich by Suzanne D'Amato

Jaengban Guksu (Korean-style Soba Noodles with Spicy Dressing)

Jaengban Guksu (Korean-style Soba Noodles with Spicy Dres... by Rach Kim

Back-Pocket Canned Salad

Back-Pocket Canned Salad by Food52

A Handy Guide to Mixed Grain Rice Bowls (No Recipes Needed!)
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A Handy Guide to Mixed Grain Rice Bowls (No Recipes Needed!)

More Preserved Friends

Ramón Peña Spanish Seafood

Ramón Peña Spanish Seafood

From $30
Portuguese Sardines in Olive Oil (6-Pack)

Portuguese Sardines in Olive Oil (6-Pack)

$18
Mackerel in Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Pack of 12)

Mackerel in Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Pack of 12)

$30
Preserved Lemon and Hand-Rolled Cous Cous

Preserved Lemon and Hand-Rolled Cous Cous

$19

What's your favorite way to use up the pantry-friendly tuna can during busy weeknights? Let us know below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Tuna