What’s in your pantry? If you come to my house and take a peek, you’ll always find stacks of canned tuna and salmon on the shelf. Yes, always! That’s because they’re cheap, make it easy to whip up something satisfying, and can be prepared in many different ways. So you don’t get tired of the same old thing, here are 10 ways you can jazz up a can!
1. Basic “Adult” Tuna Salad
For a super quick lunch, grab a can of tuna in olive oil (it’s so much better than the in-water alternatives) and mix with a little Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. For an added crunch, add shredded carrots, finely chopped red onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Get my full recipe HERE! I like to serve a scoop on a bed of greens or between iceberg lettuce cups when I’m really craving that “sandwich feel.” If you grew up eating tuna sandwiches, this meal will really hit home.
2. Tuna Salad Cucumber Boats
This is a fun way to present a classic tuna salad. Start by making your favorite tuna salad recipe, set it aside. Cut a cucumber lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Then, scoop your tuna salad into the cucumber “boat” and enjoy! If you like a little tang, you can make this same dish in a pickle!
3. Tuna-Topped Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is still very much a trending dish. So, next time you find yourself craving the crunchy yet creamy bite, bump things up a notch by adding a layer of tuna! Finish it off with some alfalfa sprouts, red chili flakes, and a squeeze of vinaigrette dressing.
4. Fish Burgers
Move over beef burgers, there’s a new patty in town. Simply mix 1 can of tuna or salmon with 1 large egg and a 1/4 cup of almond flour. If you have fresh or spinach or other veggies on hand, sautéed them lightly and fold them in for added flavor and nutrition. Spice them up with your favorite seasonings and then cook in a frying pan with a little olive oil or bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes. Dinner is seriously that simple!
5. Tuna Quinoa Salad
In my cookbook, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave, I have a recipe for a Savory Quinoa Bowl. It mixes quinoa with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Flip to page 48 to make this base recipe and then just add a can of tuna or salmon. Voilá — a satisfying salad MEAL made with only a few basics.
6. Canned Sushi Rolls
With restaurants closed, if you’re craving sushi, why not make a spinoff tune or salmon roll by using canned fish? Start by making a serving of sticky sushi rice and spreading it onto a nori sheet, leaving a 1″ border at the top of the sheet. Place the canned fish along the center of the rice, along with some julienned cucumber and avocado. Brush the empty border of the nori with water and roll tightly. Press the border to seal, cut each roll into 6, and serve with tamari or soy sauce. It’s a fun and fancy-feeling meal without a lot of effort.
Love spicy tuna and spicy salmon? Make my Creamy Sriracha Mayo recipe!
7. Cheat Poke Bowl
By now you’ve probably heard the buzz surrounding poke bowls. Photos of the vibrant colored dishes are abundant on Instagram and Pinterest. To put it simply, poke is trending … and for good reason. Poke (pronounced “POH-keh) is a Hawaiin dish made with marinated raw fish—usually tuna—that’s tossed over a bed of rice and topped with veggies. But when it comes to making poke bowls, I like to take a flexible approach. Instead of raw fish, use canned. Plus, check out my entire list of flexible bases, proteins, veggies, and toppings HERE.
8. Canned Fish Tacos
If you have some gluten-free taco shells or soft tortillas in your pantry then you can easily make fish tacos in minutes. Inside your taco, layer canned fish, chopped onions, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, avocado, and lime. Yummm!
9. Tuna Stuffed Peppers
If you have some extra bell peppers in your fridge then you may have considered assembling and baking a batch of Stuffed Peppers. But, did you ever think to make them with canned tuna? While there are really no rules here, try stuffing your peppers with canned fish, cauliflower rice, diced tomato, diced onion, and garlic. (Or whatever you have in your kitchen). Finish them off with shredded cheese and bake in a 400º oven for about 20 minutes.
10. Fish-Filled Pasta
When it comes to pasta, do you like marinara sauce, pesto, butter with garlic, or just a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice? No matter what sauce makes your mouth water, adding a little canned fish packed in olive oil to the mix is a great way to instantly add protein. Plus, the flavors complement each other nicely!