5 Ways to Transform Canned Tuna from Whomp-Whomp to Wow

posted: 04/28/15
by: Mara Betsch
tuna salad
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Canned tuna is so much more than tuna salad sandwiches.

What's cheap, healthy and delicious? Canned tuna. It may be the main ingredient in tuna salad sandwiches, but don't pigeonhole this pantry staple. At just $2 a can and rich in heart-healthy fats, B vitamins and vitamin D, tuna is the rare food that's both budget-friendly and nutritious. One word of warning: Tuna can have higher levels of mercury, so opt for canned light varieties. (Children under six can safely eat up to three 3-ounce portions per month and older children and adults can have it once a week). These mouthwatering meal ideas will make you stop viewing tuna as a one-trick pony and start thinking of it as a protein with infinite possibilities.

Try Tuscan-style tuna

Tuna-noodle casserole may have had its heyday, but there was a reason it was once baking in kitchens across the country: It's hearty, healthy and can feed a family for days. With some vegetables, milk, cheese and noodles (topped with breacrumbs, of course!), you can easily throw this no-fuss dish together on a weeknight.

Try this elegant tuna-noodle casserole recipe.

Blizzarding like it's 1956. #tunanoodlecasserole #food #foodporn

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Take tuna south of the border

Fish tacos are delicious -- so what about tuna quesadillas? We'll let you test them out for yourself, but we don't think you'll be disappointed. Just mix scallions with canned tuna (maybe even some corn if you're feeling wild), top with cheese, and spread it on to a tortilla. It will turn into a melted meal you'll start to crave.

Try this tuna quesadilla recipe.

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Pair it with bold flavors

Canned tuna doesn't have a particularly strong flavor (it was marketed as "chicken of the seas," remember?), so adding vinegar, capers, white beans, onions and herbs can transform tuna into a taste bud-tempting dinner.

Try this white bean tuna salad recipe.

Turn it into a crab cake

With some breadcrumbs, a few veggies and lots of spices and seasonings, you can create a gourmet dish in just 30 minutes. This food blogger topped it off with a sriracha aioli, which is the perfect way to spice up seafood.

Try this tuna cakes recipe, which is featured on The Simple Taste's Instagram account.

When in doubt...just add avocado

Instead of mayo, use creamy avocados -- plus red onion, lemon juice and cilantro -- to add a kick to your tuna salad. You won't regret it, and your waistline won't either. Be sure to serve it on crispy toast to really step up your sandwich game.

Try this avocado tuna salad recipe