Tuna Patties

Tuna Cakes are a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal option for hot summer days. Delicious, filling, and endlessly versatile!

The post Tuna Patties appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’ve already reached oppressive heat levels here in Tennessee, so I’m looking for all the quick low-heat meals I can get! These super simple Tuna Patties (a.k.a. Tuna Cakes) hit the spot this week. They’re quick to pull together, delicious over a bed of greens, and the perfect excuse to make my favorite Comeback Sauce. ;)

Side view of two tuna cakes on a plate of greens.

What is a Tuna Patty?

Tuna patties are just like a burger, but made with canned tuna. In addition to the tuna, they usually also contain egg and breadcrumbs to hold them together, and some seasoning for extra flavor. The mixture is then flattened into a patty and fried until deliciously golden brown. The best part about tuna patties is that you can season them in so many different ways, so it’s one of those quick and easy meals that you can make over and over without getting tired of them!

How to Season Tuna Cakes

I used one of my favorite go-to seasonings for my tuna cakes, Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, which is basically Creole-flavored seasoning salt. So if you can’t find Tony’s or you just want to go a different route, you could use a different seasoning salt, like Lawry’s, or choose a different seasoning blend like Old Bay Seasoning, lemon pepper, or even curry powder. Just keep in mind that if your seasoning blend does not contain salt you’ll want to add a little extra to your patty mixture.

How to Serve Tuna Patties

My favorite way to serve tuna patties is on a bed of greens, like a salad, with a little of my Comeback Sauce. But you could also stuff them into a pita with some tomatoes and greens, and a little sauce. Or, you could make mini cakes and serve them with toothpicks and a sauce for dipping as a party appetizer!

Sauce Options

I’ve already mentioned that I served my tuna patties with Comeback Sauce, but if you don’t like that sauce or just want to try a different option, there are several other sauces that would be great with these tuna patties. If you’re looking for something light and simple, even just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice would be awesome. Other sauces to try include sriracha mayo, ranch dressing, tartar sauce, yogurt dill sauce, or creamy Caesar dressing.

Two tuna cakes drizzled with comeback sauce.
Two tuna cakes drizzled with comeback sauce.

Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties are a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal option for hot summer days. Delicious, filling, and endlessly versatile!
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $3.08 recipe / $0.77 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 patties
Calories 260kcal
Author Beth

Ingredients

  • 2 green onions, chopped $0.22
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) $0.10
  • 1 12oz. can chunk light tuna in water, drained $1.79
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.32
  • 1 large egg $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise $0.15
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice $0.02
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt* $0.10
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08

Instructions

  • Roughly chop the parsley and green onions. Drain the canned tuna well.
  • Place the tuna, green onion, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise, seasoning salt, and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together just until evenly combined. Avoid over mixing.
  • Divide the mixture into four equal portions, then shape each portion into a patty.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the tuna patties and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and slightly crisp.
  • Serve warm over a bed of greens or stuffed into a pita!

Notes

*I used Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, but you can use any seasoning salt or seasoning blend. See the remarks about seasoning options above the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1patty | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 931mg | Fiber: 1g
Overhead view of two tuna patties on a plate with greens.

How to Make Tuna Patties – Step by Step Photos

Chopped parsley and sliced green onion on a cutting board.

Roughly chop about 2 tablespoons of parsley and two green onions. I like to chop the green onions for this rather than just slice them, so they mix in a little better. Drain one 12oz. can of chunk light tuna in water, well.

Tuna patty ingredients in a bowl.

Add the drained tuna, parsley, and green onion to a bowl along with ½ cup plain breadcrumbs, one large egg, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1.5 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp seasoning salt.

tuna patty mixture combined in the bowl.

Mix the ingredients together just until evenly combined (don’t overmix). I use my hands for this job!

A container of tony's seasoning held close to the camera.

This is the seasoning I use, but you can use any seasoning salt, or any other seasoning blend you like. Just make sure to add extra salt if your seasoning blend does not contain any.

Raw tuna cakes shaped and in the skillet.

Divide the patty mixture into four equal portions then shape each one into a patty. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the tuna patties to the hot skillet.

Browned tuna patties in the skillet.

Cook the tuna patties for about five minutes on each side, or until deliciously golden brown.

Two tuna patties on a plate with greens, a hand holding the side of the plate.

Serve warm in a pita or over a green salad. And don’t forget to make a little Comeback Sauce to drizzle over top!

Try These Other Tuna Recipes

The post Tuna Patties appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Nicoise Salad

Nicoise salad is a French main dish that’s hearty and satisfying! This colorful Mediterranean recipe is ideal for summer or…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Nicoise salad is a French main dish that’s hearty and satisfying! This colorful Mediterranean recipe is ideal for summer or anytime.

Nicoise Salad

When it comes to classic French dishes, there’s nothing better than the carefree vibe of the great Nicoise salad. This Mediterranean main dish salad is colorful, light yet satisfying, and ideal for summer. Boiled eggs, green beans, olives, tomatoes, and tangy potato salad sit on crunchy lettuce and are covered in a zesty lemon dressing. Eat it al fresco with a glass of wine in hand and you’ll be transported to the South of France. Here’s how to make this classic salad!

What is Nicoise salad?

Nicoise salad (Salade Niçoise in French) is a composed French salad that’s served as a main dish. In French, it means “salad from Nice, France” and it’s a classic dish from the Southern coast. The hearty salad features canned tuna, potatoes, blanched green beans, olives, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, a vinaigrette salad dressing. Because it’s packed with protein, it’s filling and incredibly satisfying.

How to pronounce Nicoise? Here’s how to say it: Nee-SWAZ salad. Or in French, sah-LAHD nee-SWAZ.

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients in Nicoise salad

Eating our first Nicoise salad in Paris cemented this French classic in our summer repertoire. This recipe is an adaptation of Julia Child’s rendition of the French standard that we’ve grown to love. What makes it so impressive is the potatoes: her French potato salad is the base for the potatoes, and it’s so delicious you won’t be able to keep from sneaking bites. Here’s what’s in a classic Nicoise salad recipe:

  1. Tuna: Tuna is traditional in Nicoise salad, though you can make variations with salmon or even eat it as a vegetarian salad. It’s best with oil-packed tuna, but you can also use water packed and mix in a bit of olive oil. Another option? Make it with seared tuna.
  2. Hard boiled eggs: This key element is ideal for making ahead. Try our perfect stovetop method, steamed, or in the Instant Pot.
  3. Green beans: This salad calls for blanched green beans: this cooking method makes them tender and bright green.
  4. French potato salad: This classic recipe uses red potatoes to make a French potato salad with shallot, capers, and a vinaigrette dressing.
  5. Olives: Olives are key to the briny, salty flavor. Look for Nicoise olives if you can find them, or use Kalamata.
  6. Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes bring in color and freshness; you can also use wedges of large tomatoes.
  7. Butter lettuce: Crisp Bibb or butter lettuce serves as a base for the flavors.
  8. Lemon vinaigrette dressing: A zingy lemon vinaigrette salad dressing ties everything together.
Blanching green beans

Tips for prep

This Nicoise salad recipe is easy to make, but there are quite a bit of elements to prepare. While you can make a lot of the components at the same time, it can feel like a lot especially if you don’t have a partner in the kitchen. Here are a few tips for advanced prep:

  • Make the hard boiled eggs in advance. They’re ideal for advanced prep: simply refrigerate until serving. Tip: you can also find pre-packaged hard boiled eggs at some grocery stores, which makes this recipe a breeze.
  • Make the dressing in advance. The Nicoise salad dressing is simple to prep ahead; refrigerate and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Blanch the green beans in advance. Blanch the green beans up to 5 days in advance and refrigerate until serving.
  • Make the potato salad in advance. The French potato salad stays good 4 to 5 days if you prep it before hand; refrigerate until serving.

Pick even 1 or 2 of these items to make in advance, and it makes for a much simpler prep the day of. If you decide to make it all in one evening, it’s nice to have a friend or partner to help!

Nicoise salad

How to serve Nicoise salad

Nicoise salad is the perfect spring salad or summer meal for enjoying al fresco. It screams for a glass of white wine or rosé (or even frozen rosé?). Serve it with a starter of crostini or a side of crusty bread, and you’ve got patio meal perfection.

Serving vegetarians? Tuna is traditional for Nicoise salad, but for a vegetarian salad you can omit it and it’s still just as tasty! The potatoes and hard boiled eggs make it a filling vegetarian salad.

More dinner salad recipes

There’s nothing better than a great main dish salad in the summer! Here are a few more main dish salads that work for dinner:

This salad Nicoise recipe is…

Gluten free and pescatarian.

Print
Nicoise Salad

Nicoise Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Nicoise salad is a French main dish that’s hearty and satisfying! This colorful Mediterranean recipe is ideal for summer or anytime.


Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 small shallot (2 tablespoons minced)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • ½ tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato
  • 2 cans tuna, packed in oil or water
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce (aka butter lettuce)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced

Instructions

  1. Cook the hard boiled eggs: Follow the instructions to make the Hard Boiled Eggs or Steamed Hard Boiled Eggs, or complete this step in advance and refrigerate.
  2. Boil the potatoes and beans: Fill a large pot with cold water and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the whole potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 8 to 12 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Blanch the beans: Cut the ends off the beans. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil with ½ tablespoon salt. Boil the beans for about 5 minutes until tender but still bright green. Prepare a large bowl of ice water (or use the same one as for the hard boiled eggs). Right when the beans are tender, remove them from the boiling water with tongs and transfer them to the ice bath. Remove the beans and dry them with a towel, then mix them with a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Finish the potatoes: While the potatoes are cooking, mince the shallot. When the potatoes are done, drain them. When they are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite sized pieces. Place them in a bowl and gently mix in the minced shallot, white wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ cup warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Then add the capers, chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a few grinds black pepper. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  5. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Gradually whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil working one tablespoon at a time, until creamy and emulsified.
  6. Prep the salad ingredients: Slice the tomatoes into wedges (or cherry tomatoes in half) and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
  7. Prep the tuna: Drain the tuna and flake it using a fork. If not packed in oil, add a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt.
  8. Serve: To serve, in large shallow bowls or on large platters, add the Bibb lettuce leaves. Top with the potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, tuna, and olives. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Nicoise salad, salad nicoise, nicoise salad recipe, salade nicoise

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Tuna Burgers

These tuna burgers are thick, savory, and irresistible! Pile on the toppings and smother with aioli for a satisfying meal.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These tuna burgers are thick, savory, and irresistible! Pile on the toppings and smother with aioli for a satisfying meal.

Tuna Burger

Here’s a unique way to use a can of tuna…try Tuna Burgers! Tuna makes an unexpectedly excellent burger: thick and savory. Balanced on a bun with chipotle aioli and veggie toppings, it’s a satisfying meal that everyone will enjoy. Plus, it’s economical and a great alternative to red meat. Just like our popular tuna patties, it’s a healthy dinner idea that will surprise and delight. Here’s how it’s done!

Ingredients in tuna burgers

Tuna burgers are simply a burger where canned tuna stands in for ground meat. You’ll also need to add some binders to help the tuna stick together, like egg, breadcrumbs, mustard and mayonnaise. It all comes together into a savory, hearty mix of flavors! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White meat tuna (see below)
  • Green onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Plain panko or coarse breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs; see below*)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil
Tuna Burger

Tips for buying canned tuna

There are lots of options at the grocery store when it comes to canned tuna. Here’s what to look for when buying for these tuna burgers:

  • Look for light tuna caught by pole and line fishing, which is the most sustainable choice. Light tuna that comes from skipjack has the lowest mercury levels of all types of tuna. (Read more here.)
  • Buy BPA free cans. Look for cans or pouches that are BPA free.
  • Oil packed or water packed work. Use whatever is your personal preference for this recipe! Either way, drain the can before using.

Panko vs breadcrumbs

Do you stock panko in your pantry? It’s extremely versatile and our favorite option when it comes to breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are important to get a cohesive, solid texture to a tuna burger. Here’s the difference between panko and traditional breadcrumbs, and why we prefer panko:

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. It makes a beautifully crispy coating and it’s very versatile. Use it in recipes like Pistachio Crusted Salmon or Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. Or our favorite way: use it as a stand-in for croutons in a Kale Caesar Salad or Romaine Salad.
  • Breadcrumbs also work! Packages labeled “coarse breadcrumbs” are best, since traditional breadcrumbs have a finer texture like sand. But either should work! You can also make homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Want breadcrumb substitutes? Try gluten-free panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs, or use an equal amount of crushed crackers of any type.
Tuna Burger

How to make tuna burgers: some tips

Once you’ve got all your ingredients, tuna burgers are simple to put together. Just make sure to leave 15 minutes for allowing the burgers to firm up in the fridge. Here are some notes on the process:

  • This recipe makes 4 very large or 5 medium burgers. We prefer the size with 5 because it fits in a bun nicely but still has some heft (the size with 6 is too small). It might be an odd number, but then someone gets seconds! Or leftovers save well for 2 to 3 days.
  • Form the burgers, then refrigerate 15 minutes. This helps them firm up prior to pan frying. Use this time to make the burger sauce or prep other parts of the meal.
  • Pan fry 4 minutes per side. Fry in olive oil until they’re golden brown on both sides.

Tuna burger toppings

Once you’ve got your tuna burgers: the best part is the toppings! Make sure you pair a creamy sauce with these tuna burgers, otherwise the sandwich will be on the dry side. Here are some of our favorite sauces and toppings for a tuna burger:

Chipotle Aioli

More tuna recipes

There’s so much you can do with a can of tuna! Here are a few more ideas:

This tuna burger recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy-free.

Print
Tuna Burger

Tuna Burgers


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large or 5 medium burgers

Description

These tuna burgers are thick, savory, and irresistible! Pile on the toppings and smother with aioli for a satisfying meal.


Ingredients

  • 3 5-ounce cans white meat tuna
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups plain panko or coarse breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs*)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 recipe Chipotle Aioli, Truffle Aioli, Remoulade, or Tartar Sauce, for serving*
  • To serve: red onion, tomato slices, lettuce, buns

Instructions

  1. Drain the tuna and flake it into small pieces with a fork, smashing up any big chunks. In a medium bowl, mix it with green onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, kosher salt, panko, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and eggs.
  2. Form the dough into 5 small or 6 large patties. Refrigerate the patties for 15 minutes to firm up the texture (or up to 24 hours). If desired, use the time to make the aioli, remoulade or tartar sauce.
  3. When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, then gently flip them with a spatula and cook about 3 to 4 minutes more until lightly browned on the other side.
  4. Serve on a bun with tomato, red onion, lettuce, and aioli, remoulade or tartar sauce. Leftovers save well refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Notes

*Make sure to have a creamy sauce with these tuna burgers, otherwise the texture will be on the dry side. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Tuna burgers

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Tuna Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw

These ahi tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These ahi tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle crema.

Tuna tacos

Love a good fish taco? Here’s a new spin that you’ll fall for just as hard: Ahi Tuna Tacos! Meaty tuna steak is the ideal filling for a taco, contrasted with fresh cilantro lime slaw. Top it off with chipotle sauce and another sprinkle of cilantro, and it’s a little bit of everything: savory, spicy, fresh, cool, and creamy. It’s ideal for an easy weeknight meal, but impressive enough for entertaining. If you’re a tuna steak lover like we are, you’ll love this unique way to serve this versatile fish.

Elements in tuna tacos

These tuna tacos are a spin on the fish taco, invented in the 1950s in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. In fact, both the cities of Ensenada and San Felipe, Mexico claim to have invented the fish taco! The idea then quickly spread across the border to San Diego, where they became popular in America in the 1980’s (much in part to a restaurant called Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill).

This recipe seeks to honor the traditional Mexican flavors, using seared tuna instead of the typical breaded fish and pairing it with a zingy fresh slaw. Here are the elements in these ahi tuna tacos:

  • Ahi tuna steaks
  • Spices: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • Cilantro lime slaw
  • Chipotle crema (or alternative sauce; see below)
  • Tortillas
  • Red onion (for garnish)
Ahi Tuna Tacos

Tips for buying ahi tuna steak

Ahi tuna, aka yellowfin tuna or bigeye tuna, is a mild, lean fish commonly served as sushi, in poke bowls, or cooked rare or medium-rare. Here’s what to look for when buying tuna steaks for these tuna tacos:

  • Make sure it’s sushi or sashimi grade. There are no specific regulations around the label “sushi-grade,” but it means it’s a high quality fish that is safe to be eaten raw.
  • Check at the fish counter. You should be able to find ahi tuna steaks at your local grocery counter.
  • Look for frozen steaks. Or, it’s possible that your grocery might have frozen steaks. These can be even fresher than fresh tuna if they’re flash frozen right when they’re caught. You’ll just need to thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
  • Find wild caught. Fish that is wild caught is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.

How to cook tuna steak

Once you’ve got a great piece of fish, the hardest part of this recipe is searing the tuna. Here are a few tips on how to cook tuna steaks:

  • Allow it to come to room temperature first! This is important: otherwise the inside is still cold when the exterior is cooked! Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking. You can use this time to prepare the slaw and sauce, then sear the fish right before serving.
  • Use a food thermometer to assess temperature (130 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the steaks to a skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare the inside. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point.
  • Rest for 2 minutes. This helps it to set and become easier to cut.
Cilantro Lime Slaw

For the cilantro lime slaw

A great fish taco often has a creamy slaw, and this one is no exception! The cilantro lime slaw in these tacos is so good, you’ll find yourself continually sneaking bites. This recipe has a bit of a shortcut so you’re not spending too much time chopping. Use a bag of coleslaw mix, then combine it with shredded red cabbage! It makes for a lovely mix of color and texture.

Tip: Got any leftover cilantro lime slaw? Eat it as a side dish for the tacos!

Sauces for tuna tacos

These tuna tacos are fantastic drizzled with chipotle crema, which adds a savory creaminess and a bit of smoky heat. Mix it up while your tuna comes to room temp, or try one of these alternative sauces based on your preferences and what you have on hand:

  • Chipotle crema: A sour cream-based sauce with adobo sauce, garlic and lime
  • Chipotle sauce: A zingy vegan sauce with tahini, adobo sauce and lime
  • Yum Yum sauce: A mayo-based savory sweet sauce that originated at Japanese steakhouses (not spicy)
Chipotle Crema

More tuna recipes

Tuna is one versatile fish! Here are a few more great tuna steak recipes with ideas for how to cook it:

Print
Tuna tacos

Tuna Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (8 tacos)

Description

These tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle crema.


Ingredients

For the cilantro lime slaw

  • 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix (7 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the tuna tacos


Instructions

  1. Allow the tuna steak to come to room temperature by letting it stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the slaw: Shred the red cabbage and chop the cilantro. Place it in a large bowl with the coleslaw mix. Mix in the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice, maple syrup, chili powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Make the sauce: Make the Chipotle Crema, Chipotle Sauce or Yum Yum Sauce.
  4. Cook the tuna: When ready to cook, pat the tuna dry. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sprinkle the seasoning mix liberally on all sides of the tuna. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the tuna steak and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare the inside. The tuna will continue cooking while sitting. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point. Cool for 2 minutes. Then slice the tuna against the grain into ½-inch slices. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  5. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  6. Assemble the tacos: Add generous spoonfuls of cilantro lime slaw, then slices of tuna. Top with Chipotle Sauce and more fresh cilantro. Enjoy immediately. 

Notes

*Frozen is okay, just thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Tuna tacos, ahi tuna tacos

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Tuna Patties (aka Tuna Cakes!)

This tuna patties recipe makes a crowd-pleasing easy dinner! The tuna cakes are tender on the inside with a golden…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This tuna patties recipe makes a crowd-pleasing easy dinner! The tuna cakes are tender on the inside with a golden crisp exterior.

Tuna Patties

Need mealtime inspiration? Here’s an easy healthy dinner that is always a massive hit in our house: Tuna Patties! Also known as tuna cakes, these unassuming burgers made of canned tuna might sound humble. But au contraire: they’re so savory on the inside and golden crispy on the outside, you won’t be able to resist another bite! This recipe is spiced with Old Bay, parsley and Dijon mustard, and it’s a total treat. We recently made them for my parents who immediately asked for the recipe…and our 5 year old licked his plate clean.

Ingredients in tuna patties, aka tuna cakes

Tuna patties are small fishcakes made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, mustard and breadcrumbs, similar to a crab cake. Also called tuna cakes, they’ve been a staple affordable meal idea in America for decades. But while they might be known as a cheap dinner, the flavors are anything but! Old Bay, Dijon mustard and fresh parsley make this tuna patty recipe taste restaurant quality. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Canned tuna
  • Fresh parsley
  • Green onion
  • Old Bay seasoning: Look for this classic American seafood seasoning in your grocery store in the spices aisle. Or, you can buy Old Bay online or make homemade Old Bay.
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Plain panko or coarse breadcrumbs: use gluten-free panko if necessary. See below!
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil
Tuna Patties

How to make tuna patties: the basic steps

Tuna patties are simple to make: the only thing to remember is that you’ll need 15 minutes for the patties to set before you pan fry them. Here’s the basic idea for how to make tuna cakes (or see the recipe below for specifics):

  • Mix: Drain the tuna and shred it with a fork. Mix it with the other ingredients (parsley, spices, panko, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, egg; see the recipe below.).
  • Form and refrigerate: Form the dough into 8 burger shapes, using ⅓ cup for each. Refrigerate 15 minutes to firm up the texture. (You can also refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking them, making them easy to make in advance.)
  • Pan fry: Heat the olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the patties and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until lightly browned on both sides.

Panko vs breadcrumbs

The panko or breadcrumbs are an important component for tuna patties: they make the texture cohesive and help it stick together. Panko is our top choice, since it’s easy to have on hand and very shelf stable.

  • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. You can use it in many other recipes like Pistachio Crusted Salmon or Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, or even in place of croutons in a Kale Caesar Salad or Romaine Lettuce Salad.
  • Coarse breadcrumbs also work! Packages labeled coarse are best, but traditional breadcrumbs also work. Or make homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Need breadcrumb substitutes? Try gluten-free panko or gluten-free breadcrumbs if necessary. You can also use an equal amount of crushed crackers to stand in in this recipe.
Tuna Patties

How to serve tuna patties

Neither Alex nor I grew up with tuna patties, which gives them a bit more allure in our household! This is one of the only dinners where our 5 year old cleans his plate and even asks for seconds. Here are several ways we like to serve these tuna cakes:

When we served this for my family as a “fancy” dinner, we plated the tuna cakes over a bed of lemon couscous with fennel salad and butter lettuce salad as sides. Extra Parmesan dressing from the salad with ideal as a sauce for the top of the cakes!

Tips for buying canned tuna

There are lots of options when it comes to the canned tuna aisle. What’s the best tuna to look for in this tuna cakes recipe? Here are some tips on buying it:

  • Look for light tuna caught by pole and line fishing, which is the most sustainable choice. Light tuna that comes from skipjack has the lowest mercury levels of all types of tuna. (Read more here.)
  • Buy BPA free cans. Look for cans that are BPA free, or some tuna is now sold in BPA free pouches.
  • Oil packed or water packed work. Some canned tuna comes packed in oil, whereas others are packed with water. Use whatever is your personal preference! Either way, drain the can before using.

More tuna recipes

What can’t a can of tuna do? Here are a few more fun tuna recipes that make dinnertime easy (and affordable):

This tuna patties recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko.

Print
Tuna patties

Tuna Patties (Tuna Cakes!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (+15 minutes chill)
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 patties (4 servings)

Description

This tuna patties recipe makes a crowd-pleasing easy dinner! The tuna cakes are tender on the inside with a golden crisp exterior.


Ingredients

  • 3 5-ounce cans tuna
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup plain panko or coarse breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs*)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking

Instructions

  1. Drain the tuna and flake it into small pieces with a fork, smashing up any big chunks. In a medium bowl, mix it with the parsley, green onion, Old Bay, garlic powder, kosher salt, panko, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and eggs.
  2. Form the dough into 8 patties using a ⅓ cup measuring cup to portion it out, then patting it into a patty with your hands. Refrigerate the patties for 15 minutes to firm up the texture (or up to 24 hours).
  3. When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add the patties and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, then gently flip them with a spatula and cook about 3 to 4 minutes more until lightly browned on the other side. Repeat with the next batch, adjusting the heat because the pan will be hotter on the second batch (much like pancakes!).
  4. Serve immediately, with a sauce (like remoulade, tartar sauce, Caesar dressing, or Parmesan dressing) or over rice, couscous, or quinoa.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Tuna patties, Tuna patties recipe, Tuna patty, tuna patty recipe, tuna cakes, tuna cakes recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a creamy and comforting classic American dinner full of noodles, a creamy mushroom sauce, tuna, and peas.

The post Tuna Noodle Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As I’ve gotten older my palate has become more adventurous, preferring flavors that surprise and excite my tongue. But I grew up in the midwest in the ’80s when creamy casseroles were a dinnertime staple, so I still have a soft spot for classic dishes like this Tuna Noodle Casserole. It might not be as flashy as many of my other creations, but it’s filling, creamy, and totally comforting! I did update this classic a bit to fit my current cooking style by making this tuna noodle casserole from scratch, with no canned condensed soup.

Overhead view of tuna noodle casserole in a square dish with a wooden spoon

What is Tuna Noodle Casserole?

This classic casserole dish starts with a creamy mushroom sauce combined with delicate egg noodles, peas, and tuna, then topped with a buttery breadcrumb, cracker, or potato chip topping. The classic version of tuna noodle casserole uses a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup for the sauce, but in the recipe below I’ve whipped up a homemade creamy mushroom sauce instead. It does take a little more time, but it’s totally worth it, IMHO!

Make it Cheesy

One of the most popular variations of this classic casserole is to add cheddar cheese. So if you like your tuna noodle casserole extra cheesy, feel free to stir in a cup of shredded cheddar when combining the sauce, pasta, and tuna. It will get nice and melty as the casserole bakes! Parmesan is another great option.

What to Serve with Tuna Noodle Casserole

This casserole can be a bit on the heavy side, especially if you prefer to make the cheesy version, so I like to pair it with a really light and simple side salad. The delicate flavor and texture of the salad perfectly balance the creamy tuna casserole and it helps you get a little more green on that plate. Plus, it only takes five minutes to make! A simple Three Bean Salad might also be nice.

close up of tuna noodle casserole on a plate with salad
Side view of tuna noodle casserole being scooped out of the casserole dish

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a creamy and comforting classic American dinner full of noodles, a creamy mushroom sauce, tuna, and peas. 
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Total Cost $6.85 recipe / $1.14 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 1.3 cups each
Calories 432kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.32
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.44
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced $1.69
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided $0.04
  • 1/4 tsp pepper $0.02
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.40
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth $0.13
  • 4 oz. cream cheese $0.75
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas $0.25
  • 8 oz. wide egg noodles $0.70
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs $0.08
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.22
  • 12 oz. chunk light tuna, drained $1.79

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion and add it to a skillet with 1 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until softened.
  • While the onion is cooking, slice the mushrooms. Add them to the skillet with the onion and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Continue sautéing over medium heat until the mushrooms have softened. Remove the mushrooms and onions from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add the flour and an additional 2 Tbsp butter to the skillet. Cook and whisk over medium heat as the butter melts. Continue whisking as the butter and flour bubbles and foams for about one minute.
  • Add the milk, broth, and cream cheese to the skillet. Whisk to combine with the butter and flour mixture. Continue cooking over medium, whisking until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce begins to simmer, at which point it will thicken.
  • Add the frozen peas and the cooked mushrooms and onions back to the sauce. Stir to combine, then season with more salt and pepper (about ½ tsp salt and another pinch of pepper). Set the sauce aside.
  • Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Once boiling, add the egg noodles and boil for about 7 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the noodles in a colander.
  • While the noodles are boiling, prepare the breadcrumb topping. Melt 1 Tbsp butter, then stir in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
  • Combine the creamy mushroom sauce, cooked and drained noodles, and drained tuna.
  • Transfer the casserole mixture to a 3 quart casserole dish, then top with the breadcrumb topping.
  • Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on top. Serve hot and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.3cups | Calories: 432kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 20g | Sodium: 811mg | Fiber: 3g
Side view of tuna noodle casserole being scooped out of the casserole dish

How to Make Tuna Noodle Casserole – Step by Step Photos

Onion and butter in skillet

Start by finely dicing one yellow onion. Add it to a skillet with one tablespoon of butter and sauté over medium until the onions are soft.

Sautéed mushrooms in the skillet

While the onions are sautéing, slice 8oz. of mushrooms. Add the mushrooms, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the skillet with the onions and continue to sauté until they are tender. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to a clean bowl.

butter and flour added to the empty skillet

Add two more tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour to the skillet. Continue to cook over medium, whisking the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Continue to cook and whisk for about one minute after the butter and flour mixture begins to bubble and foam. The butter and flour mixture helps thicken the sauce.

milk, broth, and cream cheese added to the skillet

Add 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of vegetable broth, and 4oz. cream cheese (cut into chunks) to the skillet. Continue to cook and whisk these ingredients together over medium heat until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce begins to simmer.

Peas and mushrooms added to the sauce

Add the cooked onions and mushrooms and ½ cup frozen peas to the creamy sauce. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper (I added another ½ tsp salt and a pinch of pepper). Set the sauce aside.

Cooked egg noodles in a pot, pasta spoon in the center

Begin to preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add 8oz. wide egg noodles. Boil for about 7 minutes, or just until tender. Drain the noodles in a colander.

Parmesan breadcrumb topping in a bowl

While the pasta is boiling, mix together the Parmesan breadcrumb topping. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, then stir in 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan.

pasta and tuna added to creamy sauce

Finally, combine the creamy mushrooms sauce, cooked and drained egg noodles, and one 12oz. can of tuna (drained). If you wanted to add cheddar, this is the point where I’d stir it into the mix.

Tuna noodle casserole in the dish ready to bake

Transfer the casserole mixture to a 3-quart casserole dish and top with the Parmesan breadcrumb topping.

baked tuna noodle casserole

Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes in the preheated 350ºF oven, or until heated through and golden brown on top.

close up of tuna noodle casserole being scooped out of the dish

Serve hot and enjoy the creamy goodness!

overhead view of tuna noodle casserole on a plate with salad

The post Tuna Noodle Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This Mediterranean tuna salad takes just minutes to put together: it’s a fast and flavorful lunch or healthy dinner! We’re…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Mediterranean tuna salad takes just minutes to put together: it’s a fast and flavorful lunch or healthy dinner!

Mediterranean tuna salad

We’re always looking for fast lunch and easy dinner ideas: and this one works for both. Introducing Mediterranean Tuna Salad! Combine canned tuna with crunchy vegetables, feta cheese, olive oil and a punch of Dijon mustard for the most flavorful salad to hit your plate! Serve it with crackers as an easy lunch, or over greens for a quick dinner with pita bread and olives. This one is so quick and versatile, it’s in our hall of fame of healthy meal ideas. Here’s how to make this tasty Mediterranean diet recipe.

Ingredients for Mediterranean tuna salad

This Mediterranean tuna salad combines quick and easy canned tuna with Mediterranean flavors: cool cucumber, briny caper, salty feta and tangy Dijon mustard. It’s pretty straightforward in its composition, but it’s a genius idea for using simple ingredients to make big flavors. We made it once, and it’s now on repeat for a simple lunch or dinner. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned tuna:  Use either water-packed or oil packed (we prefer water packed).
  • Shallot: A milder version of red onion, it’s a favorite for salads.
  • Red bell pepper
  • English cucumber: This variety is long and thin with no tough skin, no seeds and a milder flavor than standard cucumber: look for it in the produce section!
  • Capers: These bring big salty, briny flavor: look for them jarred near the pickles in your grocery
  • White wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Feta cheese crumbles, optional

All you have to do for this recipe: flake the tuna, chop the veggies, and mix it together! It’s seriously simple and the pop of tangy, savory flavor is unreal.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Ways to serve Mediterranean tuna salad

This Mediterranean tuna salad is great because it’s quick, healthy, and it’s super versatile! You can serve it as a sandwich or just in a bowl, with crackers, or as a gluten-free main dish. It works as a quick lunch or a super-fast dinner! Here are some ideas for ways to serve it:

  • Over greens: Place it over crunchy greens and it works as lunch or dinner; add some sliced tomatoes and hard boiled eggs for a heartier meal
  • Sandwich: Throw it onto bread: you can also use Mediterranean-style breads like focaccia, pita or flatbread
  • Lettuce wraps: Wrap it into lettuce leaves as a gluten-free main
  • Crackers: Serve with gluten-free nut crackers (we like Nut Thins) or the cracker of your choice
  • Crostini: Spread over baguette slices
  • In an avocado: Throw it into half of an avocado for a healthy dinner option
Mediterranean Tuna Salad

Canned tuna nutrition

Canned tuna is part of a healthy diet! Even better, it’s shelf stable for 2 to 5 years in your pantry. It’s a pretty amazing ingredient. Here’s what Healthline has to say about the nutritional benefits:

  • Canned tuna is high in protein and low in calories. One 5-ounce can of tuna has about 30 grams of protein, which is about 60% of your daily need.
  • Tuna is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to brain and heart health.
  • Look for tuna that is sustainable and low in mercury. Find cans of light or skipjack tuna, and sure they have an MSC certification on the label.

More tuna recipes

There are so many things to do with a can of tuna! And it doesn’t have to be 1970’s cheesy casserole. Here are a few favorite tuna recipes:

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Mediterranean tuna salad

Mediterranean Tuna Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large, or 4 sandwiches
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Mediterranean tuna salad takes just minutes to put together: it’s a fast and flavorful lunch or healthy dinner!


Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber (or standard cucumber, peeled)
  • 2 5-ounce cans white meat tuna
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prep the red pepper, shallot and English cucumber as noted above.
  2. Drain the tuna and place it in a medium bowl: mash it lightly with a fork. Add the chopped vegetables, capers, white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, feta (if using) and kosher salt and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stores up to 3 days refrigerated.
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Mediterranean tuna salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

A Lunch for When There’s No Time for Lunch

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. For the next few weeks, we’re sharing sneak peeks from the Big Little Recipes cookbook, all revving up to its release (blasts airhorn, throws confetti in the air).


What do you make when you don’t have time to make lunch?

Read More >>

Tonnato Is the Sauce to Lead You From Winter to Spring

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52’s very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.

Tonnato originally hails from Piedmont Italy, made possible with tuna caught from nearby coastal Liguria. The…

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52's very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.


Tonnato originally hails from Piedmont Italy, made possible with tuna caught from nearby coastal Liguria. The original sauce consisted of tuna, pounded with anchovies, capers, and olive oil to render it creamy.

Read More >>

Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch. There’s a magical meal fix out there, and we’re here for it. It’s a can of tuna. That sounds a little 1960’s, right? But there’s a reason why canned tuna was so popular in previous decades. It’s a cheap protein that’s super shelf stable. And you can transform it into seriously tasty meals: like this nostalgic Tuna Pasta Salad! It’s creamy but not too rich, with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of dried dill. It’s a seriously simple pantry meal that gives us cozy nostalgic vibes…and it works as a make-ahead lunch too. Here’s more about it! Ingredients in tuna pasta salad This tuna pasta salad is a retro style recipe with a modern spin! We tried to take all that’s good about tuna pasta salad of the past, without the gloppy, overly rich mayonnaise. This recipe uses about half the mayo than the 1970’s version, so it’s just creamy enough. Here’s what you’ll need: Tuna, packed in water Pasta: short noodles of any type Frozen peas Mayonnaise Red onion Green onion (or substitute onion powder) […]

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

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch.

Tuna pasta salad

There’s a magical meal fix out there, and we’re here for it. It’s a can of tuna. That sounds a little 1960’s, right? But there’s a reason why canned tuna was so popular in previous decades. It’s a cheap protein that’s super shelf stable. And you can transform it into seriously tasty meals: like this nostalgic Tuna Pasta Salad! It’s creamy but not too rich, with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of dried dill. It’s a seriously simple pantry meal that gives us cozy nostalgic vibes…and it works as a make-ahead lunch too. Here’s more about it!

Ingredients in tuna pasta salad

This tuna pasta salad is a retro style recipe with a modern spin! We tried to take all that’s good about tuna pasta salad of the past, without the gloppy, overly rich mayonnaise. This recipe uses about half the mayo than the 1970’s version, so it’s just creamy enough. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tuna, packed in water
  • Pasta: short noodles of any type
  • Frozen peas
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red onion
  • Green onion (or substitute onion powder)
  • Mayonnaise
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dried dill
  • Feta cheese, optional

It’s so easy to make this recipe: literally just boil the pasta and mix together the pasta salad ingredients. It’s mind-blowingly simple and uses mostly pantry ingredients! The only refrigerated ingredient is the green onion, which is optional. A few notes on storage, though…

Tuna pasta salad

Make it even creamier, if desired

Love a super creamy tuna pasta salad? The amount of mayo we’ve used here is about 1/2 the amount of a traditional super creamy pasta salad. You can add one of two things to this pasta salad to get an even creamier texture:

  • Add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt. We love using Greek yogurt in combination with mayo to get extra creamy sauces with less calories (like our Ranch Dressing). Do this if you’re going to eat it right away. But if you’re planning on leftovers, don’t use the Greek yogurt! The texture gets gummy in the fridge (see below).
  • Add 1/4 cup sour cream. Sour cream has a nice rich texture that doesn’t get quite as gummy as Greek yogurt in the fridge. The downside? it’s got a few more calories. If you’re going for a splurge, it makes for a nice creamy texture.

Eat immediately, or use as a make ahead lunch

This tuna pasta salad is best immediately, in our opinion! We usually eat it for dinner with some sides (see below). If you’d like, you can make it ahead for lunches throughout the week! Here’s what to know:

  • Refresh the texture and flavor before serving. This pasta salad can become drier in the refrigerator. We suggest swirling in a little mayo or sour cream before eating, and refresh with a few pinches of salt if you like. The added sour cream option above is nice if you’re wanting creaminess to hold up over several days.
  • Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. This one is best at room temp; it’s not designed as a cold pasta salad.
Tuna pasta salad recipe

Make tuna pasta salad into a meal!

This tuna pasta salad is the perfect pantry meal: with a few simple items, you’ve got dinner! It’s especially perfect for snow days or evenings where you just don’t have the energy to think. Here are a few ways you can accessorize it for lunch or dinner:

More tuna recipes

Tuna to the rescue! Canned tuna is great for throw-together pantry meals. Here are a few more of our canned tuna faves:

Tuna pasta salad

This tuna pasta salad recipe is…

Pescatarian. For gluten-free, use gluten free or legume pasta.

Print
Tuna pasta salad

Classic Tuna Pasta Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta: shells or bowties (farfalle)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 green onions (or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta (and peas): Start a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. In the last 1 minute, add the peas. Drain the pasta and peas, then rinse with cold water. 
  2. Prep the remaining ingredients: Meanwhile, thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Drain the tuna and flake it with a fork. Place them in a large bowl with the mayonnaise, white vinegar, dill, and kosher salt
  3. Mix: Once the pasta and peas are cooked, add them to the bowl and mix. Taste and adjust flavors if desired, adding black pepper as necessary. Serve immediately. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days: before eating, allow to come to room temperature. You may want to add a swirl of mayo or sour cream and a pinch of salt to refresh the texture and flavor. 

Notes

*Make a super creamy pasta salad by adding 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream. Only use Greek yogurt if you’re not planning to save leftovers; the texture can become gummy in the refrigerator. For saving over several days, sour cream is the best option. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Tuna pasta salad, Tuna pasta salad recipe

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