If you've got a pantry full of canned tuna, then cue the music and give us your best Carlton dance. We've got ten easy tuna recipes to share that are off the hook!

easy tuna melt, from Shelf Cooking

Canned tuna doesn't get the respect it deserves! If you're on a budget, this humble can of fish is one of the easiest ways to feed your family. It's quick, it's simple, it's versatile, but it's also misunderstood. If you think tuna stinks, think again!

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Allow us to introduce you to ten of your new favorite weeknight meals. In just a few minutes, you can whip up some mean meals your family will love for just a few bucks. These easy tuna recipes are here to save your budget and your sanity, so let's dive right in!


Who doesn't love a good sandwich now and then? They're super easy to throw together, they're cheap, and they're a great way to feed a crowd. So, open up a few cans of tuna and try one of these sandwich recipes:

  • Tuna Melt – We use the word “recipe” loosely here because you really don't even need one to make a tuna melt! Mix some canned tuna with mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. (Eyeball it!) You can also add cubed pickles, diced onions, celery, or hard-boiled eggs to the mix. Spread your tuna mixture between two slices of bread, top with cheese, then grill and enjoy! Seriously, SO good. Serve with a cup of soup or salad, and dinner is served.
  • Tuna Burger – Where's the beef?! Well, you won't miss it if you try this recipe! Check out this 20-minute tuna burger recipe from Taste of Home. Serve your burgers with corn on the cob, a side salad, or your favorite fries. Who needs the drive-through window, anyway?!

Ready for more? Next up, we've got a few recipe ideas for the pasta-lovers.


tuna pasta salad, from Shelf Cooking

When two pantry staples (pasta and tuna) join forces, magic happens. Try one of these easy, affordable ideas:

  • Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole – The Toasty Kitchen has a 5-star rated tuna noodle casserole recipe that features egg noodles to make one of the cheapest, most filling meals ever!
  • Tuna Noodle Soup – Everyone loves chicken noodle soup, but have you ever tried tuna noodle soup? Just replace the chicken with canned tuna.
  • Pasta Salad – We have a delicious and easy pasta salad recipe on our sister site, Fun Cheap or Free. Yep! Tuna is the main ingredient.
  • Tuna Mac ‘N Cheese – Spruce up your boxed mac ‘n cheese with the help of some canned tuna. Toss in a handful of peas, too, for a tasty combo.

Mmmm…mmmmm…MMM! All of these recipes are so comforting. Ready for a few more?


Okay, we've got four more tuna recipes you have to try! Whether you're looking for a no-cook or low-carb option, we've got something for everyone in these ideas:

  • Tuna Lettuce Wraps – Fill some lettuce cups with tuna salad and top with crushed nuts and diced veggies or fresh guacamole. This dish is perfect for those warm days. No cooking required!
  • Fish Cakes – Crab cakes and salmon cakes get all the love, but you can make fish cakes with tuna, too. Try this easy tuna patties recipe from Allrecipes.
  • Charcuterie Board – Break out the cheese, nuts, fruit, and crackers, and use canned tuna instead of deli meat. So fancy but so dang cheap. WAY cheaper than those $20 charcuterie boards you see at restaurants these days.
  • Stuffed Avocados – We love a good avocado recipe! Slice an avocado in half, take the pit out, and then stuff each half with tuna salad and top with cheese for a low-carb take on the tuna melt. You can add salsa or diced tomatoes, too.

By the way, as you're whipping up these recipes, be sure to hang on to that fish oil! Here's how you can use the canned fish liquid.


These ideas alone should help you use up a few dozen cans of tuna. So, the next time your pantry is filled to the brim, you'll have the perfect oppor-tuna-ty to put this post to use. 😉

Do you have other ideas to share? Leave a comment below and tell us how you use canned tuna!

Cold pasta salad with tuna on a plate from Shelf Cooking.

Want to try a few more easy recipes?

Now go use that tuna!