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

June 22, 2018

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

Tuna, Tangled Up

Tuna Sandwiches with a French Twist

Rice Is Always Nice

Just Add Tuna

More Preserved Friends

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


Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Karleen Whitley
    Karleen Whitley
  • BerryBaby
  • Nancy
  • Hana Asbrink
    Hana Asbrink
Hana Asbrink

Written by: Hana Asbrink

Hana is the senior lifestyle editor at Food52.


Karleen W. June 26, 2018
Thank you.
BerryBaby June 23, 2018
The classic tuna casserole!
Made it a couple nights ago. Always have tuna on hand and love it on my lunch salad with a squeeze of lemon.
Author Comment
Hana A. June 25, 2018
Yum, it's a classic for a reason! Hope all is well, BerryBaby. :)
Nancy June 22, 2018
Lovely collection to help us see tuna in a few new ways.
Two comments -
1) If you love tuna & happen upon an Italian deli or a regular grocery stocked with Italian belly tuna (various brands, look for "ventresca" on the label), treat yourself to a can. You many not thank me (I'm still trying to find the person who spoiled me for regular olive oil.)
2) Add some preserved lemons to tuna salad or sandwich. It gives a depth and roundness of flavor that regular lemon juice or zest don't have.
Author Comment
Hana A. June 25, 2018
Thank you for your comments and tips, Nancy! Love a good Ventresca tuna (and it's so hard going back to "regular" afterward!). Have a great week. :)