10 Best Canned Tuna Brands for Sandwiches, Pastas, You Name It

There are many factors to consider when judging the best canned tuna. Flavor is a huge one, of course, which is why I always opt for tuna packed in olive oil over water.

Yet just as important is safety. Tuna has been found to contain significant level…

There are many factors to consider when judging the best canned tuna. Flavor is a huge one, of course, which is why I always opt for tuna packed in olive oil over water.

Yet just as important is safety. Tuna has been found to contain significant levels of mercury, a toxic heavy metal occurring both naturally and released through industrial pollution. Mercury is airborne, but eventually collects in water, where it is absorbed by fish, entering the food chain and winding up, eventually, on our plates. Though ingesting small amounts of mercury is okay, as it builds up in a body it can cause a host of maladies. To reduce the risk of mercury poisoning, the Environmental Defense Fund, as well as the EPA and FDA, regularly list guidelines for which canned fish are the safest and most environmentally-conscious to eat.

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Classic Salade Nicoise

Authenticity is a broad subject that probably many people agree that we’ll never agree on, since food changes and evolves, as time goes by, and as people cross borders, using what they can get where they live. But I sometimes have an amusing image in my head that the people who are scouring the internet, pointing out inauthentic recipes, are sitting in cafes, eating chicken…

Authenticity is a broad subject that probably many people agree that we’ll never agree on, since food changes and evolves, as time goes by, and as people cross borders, using what they can get where they live. But I sometimes have an amusing image in my head that the people who are scouring the internet, pointing out inauthentic recipes, are sitting in cafes, eating chicken Caesar Salads. (The true Caesar Salad doesn’t have chicken on it. Or tomatoes, shrimp, corn, or tortilla chips, which I’ve seen.)

I didn’t know a lot about Salade Niçoise, the true version, until I came to France. But even so, your chances of finding a vrai (true) Salade Niçoise are almost nil. I’ve seen versions that have everything from rice to Parmesan on them, and some even have cooked green beans and potatoes.

Continue Reading Classic Salade Nicoise...

Tuna Melt

Tuna melts are easy to make at home! Make some tuna salad, sandwich with cheese, and grill on the stovetop until toasty. Makes a simple lunch or a light dinner. Continue reading “Tuna Melt” »

Tuna melts are easy to make at home! Make some tuna salad, sandwich with cheese, and grill on the stovetop until toasty. Makes a simple lunch or a light dinner.

Continue reading "Tuna Melt" »

Classic Tuna Salad

With so many people going back to work but without the luxury of being able to use their break room microwaves or refrigerators, classic cold lunches like tuna salad are making a comeback! So let’s talk about tuna salad a bit, shall we? Tuna salad doesn’t have to be the gloppy mess you find in […]

The post Classic Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

With so many people going back to work but without the luxury of being able to use their break room microwaves or refrigerators, classic cold lunches like tuna salad are making a comeback! So let’s talk about tuna salad a bit, shall we? Tuna salad doesn’t have to be the gloppy mess you find in a cafeteria. I’ve got a classic tuna salad recipe below, a few tips for making a good tuna salad with plenty of flavor and texture, plus a few modifications to make it your own. So let’s go get it!

Tuna salad on a piece of bread with baby greens, a second piece of bread on the side.

What Makes a Good Tuna Salad?

I think tuna salad gets a bad rap for being gloopy, bland, and smelly. But it doesn’t have to be (well, I’m not sure I can do much about the smell). To make a good tuna salad you want to use good tuna, make a dressing that has flavor dynamic, and add in some crunchies to give the salad some texture, something to chew on. No more bland mush.

What Type of Tuna to Use:

There are several canned tuna varieties to choose from, depending on your needs. “Chunk light tuna” is probably the most common and one of the less expensive options. Chunk light is smaller pieces and may appear a little shredded. “Solid albicore” is more expensive, but you’ll get nice big solid chunks of fish that will give your tuna salad more texture, and it can be a little less smelly. For more canned tuna language defined, check out Tuna Terms You Need to Know from Cooks Illustrated (they have great photos, too).

As for whether you should get your tuna packed in oil or water, that is a personal choice. Oil pack will give you a richer tuna salad, while water pack will give you a less caloric tuna salad. I find oil pack to be messy and difficult to drain, so I choose water pack for that reason alone.

Tuna Salad Dressing:

To give my tuna salad dressing flavor, I make sure to add in a little lemon juice to brighten it up and cut through the heaviness of the mayonnaise. I add a couple sliced green onions to add a little savory layer of flavor, and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper for a pop of flavor. They’re small additions that add up to a big difference in flavor.

Add Texture:

There are several things you can add to your tuna salad to add texture (and flavor). I like to add celery and walnuts. They each have their own “brand” of crunch that really adds to the interest of the tuna salad as you chew (mushy is boring). Here are some other ingredients you can add in to your tuna salad for texture:

  • sunflower seeds
  • shredded carrots
  • pickle relish
  • shredded radish 
  • olives
  • capers
  • dried cranberries
  • white beans
  • hard boiled eggs

How to Serve Tuna Salad

The recipe below is for the tuna salad only (not the sandwich fixings) because there are several ways you can serve tuna salad. We’re all familiar with the classic tuna salad sandwich, which is often built on toast with lettuce. You could also serve your tuna salad sans-bread, over a bed of greens, as an actual salad. Sometimes I eat it with just some crackers or celery for dipping, or you can stuff it into a pita or tortilla as a wrap. Lots of options, all delicious!

Classic tuna salad in a bowl with bread and lettuce on the sides

 
Classic tuna salad in a bowl with bread and lettuce on the sides

Classic Tuna Salad

Say goodbye to gloopy, bland tuna salad and hello to a delicious tuna salad packed with flavor and texture! Perfect for brown bag lunches.
Total Cost $5.20 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 1 cup each
Calories 462.38kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 12oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $3.98
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs) $0.35
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts $0.30
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.12
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise* $0.40
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02

Instructions

  • Drain the canned tuna well. Finely dice the celery, chop the walnuts, and slice the green onions.
  • Combine the tuna, celery, walnuts, green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Serve as a sandwich, salad over a bed of greens, or with crackers and vegetables for dipping. Refrigerate up to four days.

Notes

*I like my tuna salad a little on the "dry" side. Add more mayonnaise if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 462.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.85g | Protein: 41.98g | Fat: 31g | Sodium: 1215.78mg | Fiber: 4.55g

A classic tuna salad sandwich front view with sandwich fixings in the background

How to Make Classic Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Classic Tuna Salad ingredients in a bowl

Drain two 12oz. cans of chunk light tuna in water. Finely dice about one cup of celery, chop 1/4 cup walnuts, and slice two green onions. Add the tuna, celery, walnuts, green onions to a bowl with ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

Stirred tuna salad in the bowl

Stir the ingredients to combine, then serve, or refrigerate up to four days. I do like my tuna salad a little bit dry, so if you prefer you can always add an extra tablespoon or two of mayonnaise to make it a little “softer.”

Tuna salad sandwich next to a tray with sandwich fixings

Serve your tuna salad as a sandwich, a salad (over a bed of greens), with crackers and vegetables for dipping, or stuffed into a pita or tortilla/wrap!

The post Classic Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Next Level Niçoise Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Caper Vinaigrette

This protein-packed twist on a classic Niçoise salad features flakes of albacore tuna, hard-boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and crispy chickpeas, drizzled with a tangy caper vinaigrette. Side dish no more… the best salads are the ones you can eat as a full meal, satisfying and filling all on their own. And this next-level Niçoise salad […]

This protein-packed twist on a classic Niçoise salad features flakes of albacore tuna, hard-boiled egg, cherry tomatoes and crispy chickpeas, drizzled with a tangy caper vinaigrette.

Side dish no more… the best salads are the ones you can eat as a full meal, satisfying and filling all on their own. And this next-level Niçoise salad certainly fits the bill!

Large shallow dish with butter lettuce and nicoise salad toppings, with a dish of crispy chickpeas and tomatoes and dressing in the background.

This recipe is a twist on a classic Niçoise salad (called as such because it hails from Nice, France). Niçoise salads traditionally have hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, olives and anchovies or tuna, often accompanied by cooked green beans or potatoes with a tangy vinaigrette dressing.

Here we’ve swapped the briny olives for capers which get whisked into a whine wine vinaigrette with olive oil and parsley. We also added crispy fried chickpeas for a textural contrast (dare I say they’re better than croutons?)

It’s a protein packed salad that serves as a meal in and of itself, with tender butter lettuce and cherry tomatoes, and flaked Chicken of the Sea® Wild Catch™ Albacore Tuna, hardboiled eggs, and crispy chickpeas for a triple-protein punch.

Closeup of Next Level Niçoise Salad, topped with red and yellow cherry tomatoes, flaked tuna, chopped hard-boiled egg and caper vinaigrette drizzled over top.

(more…)

Grilled Tuna

Here’s how to make the very best grilled tuna: seared on the outside and tender on the inside! Full of savory flavor, it’s a true showstopper. Tired of grilling burgers and salmon? Good, because here’s a uniquely incredible grilled dinner idea: grilled tuna steaks. And there’s nothing fishy about this tuna. Ahi tuna is rich and buttery, and seared perfectly on the outside, it tastes more like chicken or steak than fish! Even better, it’s one of the quickest things you can cook. Just 1 to 2 minutes, and you’ve got dinner. Here are all the tricks to getting that perfect sear on the grill. Ingredients for grilled tuna The nice thing about ahi tuna: it’s so flavorful on its own that you hardly need any seasoning! Just salt and pepper will do. Here’s what you need for grilled tuna steaks: Ahi tuna steaks: Look for sashimi grade. If you can find it, wild caught tuna is most sustainable. You can use fresh or frozen tuna steaks: if it’s frozen, thaw it by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight the night before you plan to grill. Salt Pepper This recipe makes perfectly seared grilled tuna In this recipe, you’ll use […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the very best grilled tuna: seared on the outside and tender on the inside! Full of savory flavor, it’s a true showstopper.

Grilled tuna

Tired of grilling burgers and salmon? Good, because here’s a uniquely incredible grilled dinner idea: grilled tuna steaks. And there’s nothing fishy about this tuna. Ahi tuna is rich and buttery, and seared perfectly on the outside, it tastes more like chicken or steak than fish! Even better, it’s one of the quickest things you can cook. Just 1 to 2 minutes, and you’ve got dinner. Here are all the tricks to getting that perfect sear on the grill.

Ingredients for grilled tuna

The nice thing about ahi tuna: it’s so flavorful on its own that you hardly need any seasoning! Just salt and pepper will do. Here’s what you need for grilled tuna steaks:

  • Ahi tuna steaks: Look for sashimi grade. If you can find it, wild caught tuna is most sustainable. You can use fresh or frozen tuna steaks: if it’s frozen, thaw it by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight the night before you plan to grill.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Seared grilled tuna

This recipe makes perfectly seared grilled tuna

In this recipe, you’ll use the grill to make seared tuna using ahi tuna. What’s seared tuna?

  • Seared tuna is made with only the highest quality, freshest ahi tuna. This is the tuna is the quality that’s used in sushi and sashimi.
  • The perfect seared tuna is browned on the outside and raw on the inside: a beautiful pink color! It’s absolutely safe to eat, unless you’re a pregnant woman staying away from raw fish.

How to grill ahi tuna: time and temperature

The basic concept behind grilled ahi tuna: you need to crank up your grill to the highest heat possible! To get a perfect sear on the outside and a raw inside, the hotter the better. Because grills vary, the exact temperature will be different based on your grill.

  • Preheat a grill to the highest heat possible: 500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on how hot your grill gets.
  • Pat the tuna dry and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Grill 30 to 60 seconds per side, until cooked on the outside but still raw on the inside. It’s helpful to use a food thermometer: the internal temperature should be 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grilled tuna

More on buying ahi tuna

Where to look for ahi tuna at the grocery? If you’re not used to buying it, here are a few things to know:

  • Look for frozen steaks. It’s possible that your grocery might have frozen ahi tuna steaks. These can be even fresher than fresh tuna if they’re flash frozen right when they’re caught. You’ll just need to remember to thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
  • If not, look at the fish counter. Ahi tuna steaks have become more popular lately, so you should be able to find it at your local grocery counter.
  • Find wild caught. If you can find wild caught, this is preferred from a sustainability perspective. US caught is preferable due to US regulations. Read more about buying sustainable seafood here.

Ways to serve grilled tuna

There are lots of fantastic sides to pair with grilled tuna! One thing to note: if you want to serve other grilled vegetables with the tuna, you’ll need to cook at medium high heat (375 to 450 degrees). So you’d grill them first, then increase the heat for the tuna. If this presents logistical challenges with your grill, you may want to opt for other sides like salads or rice.

Seared tuna | Seared ahi tuna
Serve it over rice with a few veggie sides!

Other ways to eat ahi tuna

Ahi tuna is a highly nutritious lean protein (more info here). There are many ways to eat it, but here are our favorites:

This grilled tuna recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free, and pescatarian.

Print
Grilled tuna

Perfect Grilled Tuna


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minute
  • Yield: 4

Description

Here’s how to make the very best grilled tuna: seared on the outside and tender on the inside! Full of savory flavor, it’s a true showstopper.


Ingredients

  • 2 6 ounce ahi tuna steaks (best quality you can find; wild caught recommended)*
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill to as hot as it gets (500 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Pat the tuna dry. Sprinkle it liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides.
  3. Add the steak to the grill and cook 30 to 60 seconds per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still raw on the inside (115 degrees Fahrenheit). If you’d like to sear the short sides, turn the tuna with tongs and sear each side for a few seconds.
  4. To serve, slice the tuna against the grain into 1/2 inch slices. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Frozen is okay: make sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before serving.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Grilled tuna, Grilled ahi tuna, How to grill tuna

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

17 Canned Tuna Recipes for a Winner-Winner Pantry Dinner

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


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, or when we couldn't go to the grocery store and needed to rely on what was already stocked.

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Avocado Tuna Salad

This fresh and healthy avocado tuna salad swaps the classic mayo for nutrient-rich avocado! It will become your new go-to after first bite. Here’s a healthy lunch or dinner idea to spice up your routine: avocado tuna salad! This spin swaps out the classic mayonnaise for nutrient-rich avocado. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. Alex and I might like this even better than classic tuna salad (except our recipe is really the very best so it’s a hard call). It takes only a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes to put together. It’s easy to forget about tuna salad, but this one is now solidly part of our healthy meal repertoire! Ingredients for avocado tuna salad The best part about tuna salad? You can make it using mostly pantry ingredients. Of course, you’ll need a ripe avocado. But other than the celery and onion, it’s totally pantry. Here’s what you’ll need to make it: 1 can tuna (water packed or oil packed work) 1/2 ripe avocado Celery Red onion Dill pickles are the key to getting that classic tangy flavor! Lemon juice for a little pop Dijon mustard adds just the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This fresh and healthy avocado tuna salad swaps the classic mayo for nutrient-rich avocado! It will become your new go-to after first bite.

Avocado tuna salad

Here’s a healthy lunch or dinner idea to spice up your routine: avocado tuna salad! This spin swaps out the classic mayonnaise for nutrient-rich avocado. The flavor is so fresh and delicious, you may give up the mayo version altogether. Alex and I might like this even better than classic tuna salad (except our recipe is really the very best so it’s a hard call). It takes only a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes to put together. It’s easy to forget about tuna salad, but this one is now solidly part of our healthy meal repertoire!

Ingredients for avocado tuna salad

The best part about tuna salad? You can make it using mostly pantry ingredients. Of course, you’ll need a ripe avocado. But other than the celery and onion, it’s totally pantry. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 1 can tuna (water packed or oil packed work)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Celery
  • Red onion
  • Dill pickles are the key to getting that classic tangy flavor!
  • Lemon juice for a little pop
  • Dijon mustard adds just the right savory note

All you have to do is chop the veggies, then mash the ingredients together with a fork. This might just win the easiest meal ever award!

Avocado tuna salad

How to safely pit & chop an avocado

The only technique to avocado tuna salad recipe is making sure to safely pit your avocado! Many people have issues with knife safety when cutting this green fruit. Here’s the best way to cut an avocado:

  1. Cut lengthwise around the avocado. Twist the two halves to separate them.
  2. Place a towel in your hand and put the avocado on top. With a gentle but quick motion, tap the knife into the avocado pit.
  3. Don’t remove the avocado pit with your hand! Instead, pull the cutting board close to your body, then place the pit against the far edge of the cutting board and pull back to release it from the knife. (Watch the video below for this part!)
  4. Use a large spoon to scoop out the avocado from the peel. Place the avocado with the cut side down, then cut it into slices and then rough pieces.

Ways to serve avocado tuna salad: the sandwich & beyond!

Of course, the first way you’ll think of to serve this healthy tuna salad is the classic sandwich! There are lots of other creative ways to serve it: especially gluten-free and Paleo options. Here are some ideas:

  • Sandwich: There’s nothing wrong with the classic! Try our Artisan Bread (shown here), No Knead Bread, Whole Wheat Bread, or Best Sourdough.
  • Lettuce wraps: Try tuna salad wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves!
  • Main dish salad: Or, place the avocado tuna salad on mixed greens and add some sliced tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Instant meal!
  • Crostini or crackers: Spread over baguette slices or crackers. For gluten free or Paleo, try our homemade almond crackers.
  • In an avocado: What to do with the other half of your avocado? Use it for serving your tuna salad!

Avocado nutrition

Alex and I aren’t against mayo over here. Our classic tuna salad has a touch of mayo along with some Greek yogurt, and so does our tuna salad with egg. But it’s fun to have a variation that maximizes the nutrition of this healthy fruit. Here are some facts about avocado nutrition…as if you needed more inspiration to eat it! (Source)

  • Rich in fiber. Avocados have lots of fiber; one serving has 7 grams or about 25% your daily value.
  • Full of heart healthy “good” fats. Avocados are full of monounsaturated oleic acid, a heart-healthy fatty acid.
  • Loaded with vitamins and nutrients. They’re also filled with a long list of vitamins.

This avocado tuna salad recipe is…

Pescatarian, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Print
Avocado tuna salad

Avocado Tuna Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2

Description

This fresh and healthy avocado tuna salad swaps the classic mayo for nutrient-rich avocado! It will become your new go-to after first bite.


Ingredients

  • 1 5-ounce can white meat tuna
  • 1/2 celery rib (1/4 cup finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles (2 pickles)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice*
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain the tuna. Place it in a bowl and use a fork to break apart any large clumps.
  2. Roughly chop the avocado. Finely chop the celery, red onion, and dill pickles.
  3. Mix together the tuna and vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Eat immediately: the avocado will start to brown after exposure to air.

Notes

*Mix it up! Try it Mexican-style: swap the lemon for lime and add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro!

  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Avocado Tuna Salad

More healthy lunch ideas

Tuna salad is perfect for lunch! Here are a few more healthy lunch ideas you might enjoy:

  • Kale Quinoa Salad This colorful kale quinoa salad is full of healthy ingredients and tastes incredible! Meal prep this easy plant-based lunch idea for meals all week.
  • Avocado Toast The classic! It’s so easy to make and delicious every time.
  • Simple Chickpea Salad A 5-minute fast lunch idea! Easy to throw together: the perfect healthy plant based desk lunch or quick fix dinner.
  • Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich This avocado grilled cheese is a simple way to step up the standard! In just 10 minutes, it makes an easy meal with soup or salad.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Sesame Tuna Salad

Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a […]

The post Sesame Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a shot. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness and deep nutty undertones, and can be served several ways. Scroll down to see ideas for substitutions and add-ins, as well as a few different ways you can gobble up this tuna salad.

Simple Sesame Tuna Salad

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers, cucumber slices, and red pepper slices

Red Bell Pepper Substitutes:

If needed, you can substitute the red bell pepper with one shredded carrot. The carrot will supply a similar mild sweetness and a decent amount of crunch. Use a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrot.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil and Can I Substitute It?

Toasted sesame oil is the ingredient that brings most of the sesame flavor to this recipe, so I don’t suggest substituting it. You can find a photo of my toasted sesame oil (purchased at Aldi) in the step by step photos below. Toasted sesame oil is pressed from sesame seeds that have been toasted first, so it has a very strong toasted nut flavor.

Unfortunately, toasted sesame oil isn’t always labeled as “toasted” but you can differentiate it from regular sesame oil by the color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor, is a light straw color similar to canola oil. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, has a deep amber color. You can usually find it in major grocery stores in the International foods aisle, near the Asian ingredients.

If you’re not into toasted sesame as a flavor or can’t source this ingredient, try my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad as an alternative.

Other Add-in Ideas:

There are other fun things that you can add to this Sesame Tuna Salad, if you have them on hand. Edamame would be a great way to stretch the tuna salad, while adding both protein and fiber. Chopped water chestnuts would also make a fun, fresh, and crunchy addition, as would slivered almonds. If you like a little spicy kick you can always add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

How to Serve Sesame Tuna Salad

I love this recipe because of all the different ways you can serve it. As shown in the photos, it’s great on crackers or cucumber slices. You can also serve it over a bowl of rice with a few cucumber slices as a nice bowl meal, or use it to fill lettuce wraps (with or without rice). You could even use it to make a more American style wrap sandwich in a large wrap with baby spinach. And lastly, this sesame tuna salad would be a great topper to any bed of greens.

Meal prep container filled with Sesame Tuna Salad, crackers, and cucumber slices

Find these glass meal prep containers in my Amazon shop.

 
A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices
Print

Sesame Tuna Salad

This fun spin on canned tuna is savory, sweet, and nutty. Sesame Tuna Salad is great on crackers, sliced cucumber, in lettuce wraps, or on salad greens.
Total Cost $2.59 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 about 1 cup each
Calories 218.6kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.20
  • 2 tsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.02
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $1.58
  • 1/2 red bell pepper $0.50
  • 2 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to a bowl. Dice the red bell pepper (I served the other half on the side with the tuna salad) and slice the green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the tuna.
  • Pour the prepared sesame dressing over the tuna and vegetables in the bowl. Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 218.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.8g | Protein: 28.55g | Fat: 6.8g | Sodium: 607.45mg | Fiber: 1.9g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

A cracker topped with sesame tuna salad held close to the camera

How to Make Sesame Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Bottle of toasted sesame oil

This little bottle is where all the magic happens. Toasted sesame oil has a VERY strong nutty-sesame flavor. This brand labels it as “toasted” but sometimes the bottles just say “sesame oil.” You can tell it’s toasted vs. un-toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown/amber color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor and is better suited for cooking, is a light straw color, like canola oil.

Sesame dressing in a small bowl

Prepare the sesame dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame seeds. 

Tuna, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Drain two 5oz. cans of chunk light tuna in water, then add them to a bowl. Dice 1/2 of a red bell pepper and slice two green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the drained tuna.

Sesame dressing being poured into the bowl with tuna

Give the sesame dressing another quick stir, then pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

Finished sesame tuna salad in the bowl

Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Don’t stir so vigorously that the tuna completely shreds.

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices

Serve the Sesame Tuna Salad immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. The tuna salad will be good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, and you’ll probably want to give it a stir before serving if it’s been stored in the refrigerator. :)

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