Canned tuna offers a serious bang for your buck. It’s filled with protein (just two grams less per serving than salmon!), contains heart-healthy omega-3s, and it’s overall nutritional profile is comparable to fresh and frozen tuna even though it’s much more affordable.
Tuna is a great source of vitamin D—something just about everyone needs right about now. “Vitamin D plays a crucial role in promoting the body’s immune response. And although evidence is still limited, researchers believe getting the correct amount of vitamin D may help reduce seasonal depression and anxiety,” says Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD. “One 3.5 ounce serving of tuna provides 34 percent of the daily value of vitamin D.”
Tuna’s versatility alone makes it worth stocking your pantry with it. With an affordable and ethically-sourced canned version on hand—like Wild Planet Tuna ($15 for 4) and Ocean Naturals Tuna ($50 for 12)—you can make a wide range of healthy meals that go well beyond tuna salad sandwiches. Let your creativity run wild and try some of the canned tuna recipes below.
The best healthy canned tuna recipes
1. Spiralized zucchini pasta with tuna
This tuna zoodle dish, which was published in the Well+Good Cookbook, comes straight from beauty trailblazer Bobbi Brown. Better yet, it’ll only take you 10 minutes to make.
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp thinly sliced garlic
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 large zucchini, spiralized (about 2 cups)
1 (5 oz.) can Italian tuna packed in oil, drained
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)
1 Tbsp lemon zest, for serving (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomato, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender but still al dente, with a bit of crunch. Add the tuna and toss to combine.
2. Season the marinara sauce with salt and black pepper and add it to the pan, using a wooden spoon to stir and coat everything evenly with the sauce. Cook for 1 minute, just to warm the sauce through.
3. Transfer to a bowl, top with the parsley and lemon zest, if desired, and serve.
This is the tuna melt you know and love, but upgraded. The quesadilla version can be ready to eat in under 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Tuna melt quesadillas
This flavorful salad only requires a handful of ingredients, including tuna, cucumber, onion, avocados, and lemon.
Get the recipe: Avocado tuna salad
Tacos, but make ’em tuna-style. This version is filled with protein and topped with a scallion crema.
Get the recipe: Easy canned tuna tacos with scallion crema
This zucchini casserole uses canned tuna for a protein boost. There’s also coconut milk, coconut flour, green chiles, and plenty of spices.
Get the recipe: Green chile tuna zucchini casserole
If you like your meals hot, this flavorful Korean spicy tuna recipe is a must-try. It can quickly turn any can of tuna into a delicacy.
Get the recipe: Korean spicy tuna
Place some tuna and fresh veggies in a collard green leaf, roll it up, and get to eating. This recipe is both easy and delicious.
Get the recipe: Thai vegetable tuna rolls
You only need five prime ingredients for this creamy pasta: canned tuna, spaghetti, garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
Get the recipe: Healthy canned tuna spaghetti
There are so many different ways you can enjoy these tuna patties. Eat them in a salad, put them in a wrap, or enjoy them with rice and veggies.
Get the recipe: Avocado tuna cakes
It doesn’t get prettier than these tuna tostadas. They get a nice crunch from watermelon radish and flavor from Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning.
Get the recipe: Watermelon radish tuna tostadas
If you’re looking for a tuna salad sandwich recipe, this option won’t disappoint. It’s filled with protein and crunchy thank to the celery and onion.
Get the recipe: Tuna salad sandwich
Between the tuna and chickpeas, this recipe is the ultimate filling lunch. You get a whopping 21 grams of protein per serving.
Get the recipe: Tuna chickpea lunch bowls
13. Tuna pasta bake
How can you pass up a cheesy tuna pasta bake? It’s loaded with tuna, crushed tomato, garlic, and pasta with a shredded mozz topping.
Get the recipe: Tuna pasta bake
Using canned tuna is a great way to add some protein into your wraps. It’s even better paired with the delicious avocado tahini dipping sauce.
Get the recipe: Tuna wrap with avocado tahini dip
This is a deconstructed version of a spicy tuna sushi roll, and it’s just as delish in a bowl. The spicy mayo dressing makes it even tastier.
Get the recipe: Spicy tuna roll bowl
Pretty, delicious, healthy, and really easy to make—what more could you want in a meal?
Get the recipe: Tuna salad and chickpea stuffed avocado
You can never go wrong with a classic tuna noodle casserole. This one uses pantry staples and a simple sauce.
Get the recipe: Tuna noodle casserole
18. Tuna stir-fry
Yep, you can even use canned tuna in your stir-fry. This recipe pairs it with veggies like broccoli and zucchini, as well as a flavorful sauce.
Get the recipe: Tuna stir-fry
Put your leftover rice to good use in these sushi stacks made up of tuna, mango, cucumber, onion, and avocado.
Get the recipe: Tuna sushi stacks
Tuna works on nachos, too. This recipe is packed with Asian flavors for a mouth-watering snack.
Get the recipe: Asian tuna melt nachos
Here’s why a dietitian eats canned tuna during quarantine:
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.