If you have a can of tuna, you have many weeknight dinner options. The pantry staple easily transforms into easy, delicious dishes that you can serve for family dinners, bring to potluck parties, and pack for school and office lunches. Go beyond the usual tuna casseroles and tuna melts (though we've got awesome versions of those, too) with these creative ideas.
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Tuna Tetrazzini Casserole
Spend an hour assembling and baking a one-pot tuna tetrazzini on the weekend, and you'll have an easy dinner to reheat on busy weeknights. This classic, cheesy casserole of tuna and spaghetti with a creamy mushroom sauce also freezes well up to a month.
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Tuna croquettes are a budget-friendly alternative to crab cakes and make a tasty party appetizer. Make them a day ahead by sautéing the ingredients, then forming the mixture into patties to store in the fridge. On party day, they're quick to fry up and serve with tartar sauce or a Dijon-mayo dip.
03 of 31
Tuna Salad With Chopped Eggs and Dill
Tuna salad with chopped eggs and dill is a deli classic that makes an excellent picnic or potluck salad, or a nice light lunch. Stuff it into cored fresh tomatoes, serve it on toasted bread, or simply enjoy it on a bed of greens. Tweak it to taste with extra dill relish, green olives, or even chopped almonds.
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Easy Canned Tuna Fish Tacos
In less time than it takes to boil a pot of pasta, you can make these tasty tuna fish tacos topped with zesty lime crema for dinner. Feel free to dress them up with coleslaw, diced avocados, or your favorite taco toppings.Continue to 5 of 31 below.
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The Ultimate Tuna Melt
This is not your school cafeteria's tuna melt. The classic recipe gets a gourmet twist with this open-faced warm tuna sandwich that makes a satisfying lunch and takes just 20 minutes to assemble and bake. The secret weapon here is flash-fried capers, which add phenomenal saltiness and crunch.
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Hot Tuna and Egg Salad Rolls
Pack pickle-flavored tuna and egg salad into hot dog buns, and warm quickly in the oven, for an easy lunch that kids can eat on the go. Makes a great party sandwich idea, too.
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Tuna and Chickpea Patties
Combine chickpeas with tuna, finely chopped veggies, and fresh herbs to form croquettes for frying, for these tasty tuna and chickpea patties. They're a great first course or light lunch that is entirely egg free. For an extra boost of flavor, add a teaspoon of cumin or za'atar seasoning to the patty mixture.
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Easy Tuna Carbonara
In just 30 minutes, you can make a delicious, creamy tuna carbonara with ingredients you probably already stock in your pantry and fridge. Simply fry up some bacon, sauté a few vegetables from the crisper, and toss with cream-enhanced eggs, canned tuna, and parsley.Continue to 9 of 31 below.
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Tuna Corn Chowder
Use fresh or frozen corn kernels for this rich, creamy corn chowder with tuna, potatoes, onion, and scallions. It makes a tasty, tummy-warming lunch on chilly days. This recipe has you puree some of the corn and return it to the pot to thicken the soup without the need for flour.
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Parmesan Tuna Sandwiches
There has to be at least one tuna sandwich on this list. This is an upgraded tuna sandwich spread, with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and sour cream to add an extra tangy flavor. Enjoy it on whole-grain bread for a tasty weekday lunch.
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Tuna Macaroni Salad
Throw together this popular tuna macaroni salad for summer picnics, potlucks, or as a school lunch idea for kids. Diced red bell pepper and celery add color and crunch to drained canned tuna, creamy mayonnaise, and tender macaroni shells.
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Creamy, flavorful tuna risotto is wonderful comfort food that makes a tasty, filling weeknight meal. It's easier to make than you might think and takes about 30 minutes to get on the table. Be sure to use Arborio rice, which is high in starch, giving this classic Italian dish its famous creamy texture.Continue to 13 of 31 below.
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Tuna Salad Sushi Roll
Have you always been intimidated by the idea of making sushi at home? This tuna salad sushi roll is the perfect recipe to break down that barrier. Instead of raw fresh fish, it uses canned tuna as the filling for cooked sushi rice rolled in nori (dried seaweed).
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Tuna Spaghetti Casserole With Potato Chips
It's amazing what a difference a few, simple ingredient changes can make. Make tuna pasta casserole with long spaghetti noodles instead of elbow macaroni, and a crushed potato chip topping in place of the usual breadcrumbs. It's a cheesy one-dish family meal everyone will enjoy.
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Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuna noodle casserole is right up there with meatloaf as family-favorite comfort food. Make it tonight with this classic recipe that includes a scrumptious, buttery, browned breadcrumb topping and an easy, flavorful sauce—no condensed soup needed.
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Quinoa, Tuna, and Chickpea Salad
Makeover your brown bag lunch with this colorful tuna salad. The tasty medley of tuna fish, quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach, mint, and cilantro in a garlicky vinaigrette dressing is satisfying. It's sure to fill you up.Continue to 17 of 31 below.
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Stuffed Peppers With Tuna and Breadcrumbs
Stuffed bell peppers are a classic Italian-American weeknight meal. It's even better when you use canned tuna in place of beef. Make them by stuffing halved bell peppers with a savory mixture of tuna and breadcrumbs, and spritz with a little lemon juice for added zing. Top with melted cheddar cheese and serve hot.
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Moroccan Tuna Bocadillos With Olives, Potatoes, and Harissa
Supersize your weekend lunch with this harissa-spiked hoagie-style Moroccan tuna sandwich that includes both cooked and fresh ingredients. Load up a halved French baguette with drained canned tuna, diced cooked potatoes, slivered steamed carrots, chopped hard-boiled egg, onion, olives, and tomato. Top with cheese if you like, slather on some spicy harissa, and dig right in.
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Spanish-Style Deviled Eggs With Tuna
You've put hard-boiled eggs into a tuna sandwich. Now put tuna fish into your hard-boiled eggs. Doing so is a great way to put a tasty new spin on a classic deviled egg appetizer. Garnish with a sprinkle of sweet Spanish paprika, chives, and cherry tomatoes for an irresistible bite.
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Tuna Green Bean Casserole
Add tuna fish to green bean casserole for a tasty take on the popular autumn and winter side dish. Assemble it easily, folding dried thyme, tuna, fresh or frozen green beans, and celery into a quick stovetop white sauce. Bake the dish in the oven until the whole thing is bubbling and browned.Continue to 21 of 31 below.
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Skillet Tuna and Shells With Cheese
Easy, cheesy pasta shells with tuna is a great, kid-pleasing dinner for busy weeknights. You need only 20 minutes and six ingredients to throw it together for your family. It's always a hit with kids who like macaroni and cheese. Feel free to sneak in extra nutrition with frozen cooked peas or mixed vegetables.
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Easy Tuna Potato Bake
Put a new spin on holiday scalloped potatoes and turn them into a warming, everyday family meal by adding canned tuna to the mix. Use packaged scalloped potatoes for ease of assembly, and toss in some thawed frozen broccoli florets for a complete dinner in one dish.
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Craving a warming potpie on colder days? Skip the freezer section of your grocery store and make your own creamy tuna potpie. Use a prepared pastry crust to make things easy on yourself, and feel free to add any veggies you have on hand to spruce up the savory tuna and gravy filling.
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Pasta With Garlic, Lemon, Capers, and Tuna
You'll be amazed by how common pantry ingredients combine to create an elegant seafood pasta dish that you can make for last-minute guests. Toss hot cooked pasta spirals with oil-packed tuna, garlic, capers, lemon zest, a little dry white wine, and optional red chili flakes.Continue to 25 of 31 below.
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Tuna, Pasta, and Spinach Florentine Casserole
Tuna Florentine casserole with pasta and spinach makes a filling and inexpensive family meal. Bake it up in 30 minutes, using only six ingredients. It also freezes well for a make-ahead supper.
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French Toasted Tuna Sandwiches
Tuna salad sandwiches go gourmet with this recipe for a lightly battered and fried tuna sandwich. It's similar to the deli-favorite Monte Cristo but uses tuna instead of ham. Jazz up the filling with paprika and pimientos, if you like, and serve hot, with a side of potato chips.
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Creamy Tuna Á la King
Tuna à la king is a rich, creamy, and comforting dish that comes together in 30 minutes on your stovetop using common pantry ingredients. Feel free to add your favorite frozen or canned vegetables to the mix, and serve over biscuits, rice, pasta, or puff pastry shells for an easy, last-minute dinner idea.
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Gluten-Free Tuna Casserole
Finally, a creamy, cheesy tuna casserole that gluten-free families can enjoy. Make it for dinner in less than an hour, substituting gluten-free versions of pasta, breadcrumbs, and cream of mushroom soup for the usual ingredients, plus a little rice flour to thicken the sauce.Continue to 29 of 31 below.
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Tuna, Cheese, and Rice Casserole
Use up any leftover cooked rice in this tangy, delicious tuna casserole. The recipe includes plenty of sharp cheddar cheese, onion, peas, celery, diced pimientos, and a buttery, golden brown breadcrumb topping.
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Tuna Alfredo Casserole
You won't believe how much flavor five ingredients can produce in this easy tuna Alfredo casserole that bakes in under 30 minutes. All you need is canned tuna, jarred Alfredo sauce, prepared pesto, pasta noodles, and Parmesan cheese, and you're all set.
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Old-Fashioned Chow Mein Tuna Bake
Straight from the 1960s dinner table, this "chopstick" tuna casserole is a fun alternative. Rather than pasta and breadcrumbs, this recipe uses chow mein noodles, both in the creamy tuna mix and on top for extra crunch. It's an inexpensive twist and a great way to use that can of chow mein that's sitting in the pantry.