Cooking Canned Tuna: Tips and Techniques for a Delicious Meal

Looking for a quick and easy protein source for your meal? Canned tuna is the way to go! Not only is it affordable and convenient, it’s also packed with nutrients. But with so many different ways to cook canned tuna, it can be hard to know where to begin. In this article, we’ll cover tips and techniques for cooking canned tuna that will have you enjoying delicious meals in no time.

Cooking Canned Tuna: Tips and Techniques for a Delicious Meal | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking Canned Tuna: Tips and Techniques for a Delicious Meal

The Benefits of Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be used in various dishes, including salads, sandwiches, casseroles, and pasta dishes. Not only does it add flavor and protein to your meals, but it also offers several health benefits:

Rich in Nutrients

Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, B12, and selenium. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining overall health, including heart and brain function, immune system support, and bone health.

Convenient and Affordable

Canned tuna is an affordable and convenient way to incorporate seafood into your diet. It can be easily found in any grocery store and stored in your pantry for quick meal preparation. Plus, it’s a more accessible option for those who live far from coastal areas and can’t get fresh fish regularly.

Low in Calories and Fat

Canned tuna is a low-calorie and fat-free protein source, making it an ideal option for those who want to maintain a healthy weight. It’s also cholesterol-free, which is essential for those who have high cholesterol levels or are at risk for heart disease.

Sustainable Choice

Canned tuna produced by reputable brands is often caught using sustainable fishing practices that aim to preserve marine life and the environment. Therefore, choosing canned tuna can be a more environmentally friendly option than consuming other types of meat and fish that may have an unsustainable production process.

How to Choose the Best Canned Tuna

When it comes to choosing the best canned tuna, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure you get the best quality product for your needs. Here are some tips for selecting the best canned tuna:

Consider the Type of Tuna

There are different types of tuna, and each type has its own flavor and texture. The most commonly used tunas for canning are skipjack, yellowfin, albacore, and tongol. Skipjack tuna is the most affordable and has a mild flavor, while yellowfin tuna has a stronger flavor and a firmer texture. Albacore tuna is pale and has a mild flavor, while tongol tuna has a slightly stronger flavor and a darker color. Choose the type of tuna that suits your taste and recipe requirements.

Look at the Packaging

Check the packaging to make sure it’s intact and doesn’t have any dents, bulges, or leaks. A damaged can could indicate that the contents have been compromised, and it’s best to avoid such products.

Check the Label

Read the label to see what ingredients have been added to the canned tuna. Some manufacturers add salt, water, or oil to the tuna, which could affect its flavor and texture. Also, check the country of origin and the expiration date to ensure that you’re buying fresh and safe-to-eat canned tuna.

Consider the Brand Reputation

Choose a reputable brand that has a history of producing high-quality canned tuna. Look for brands that use sustainable fishing practices and have a commitment to quality and safety. Reading online reviews and checking consumer ratings can also help you make an informed decision on which brand to choose.

Prepping Canned Tuna

Before cooking canned tuna, it’s important to drain and rinse the fish thoroughly to remove any excess oil or liquid and enhance the flavor and texture of the tuna.

Step 1: Open the Can of Tuna

The first step in prepping canned tuna is to open the can. Use a can opener to remove the top of the can and discard it properly.

Step 2: Drain the Tuna

After opening the can, drain the excess oil or liquid from the tuna. You can use a colander or strainer to drain the tuna to make sure you remove all the excess oil or liquid.

Step 3: Rinse the Tuna

After draining the tuna, it’s time to rinse it. Place the tuna in a strainer, and rinse it under cold water to remove any remaining oil or liquid. Rinsing the tuna helps to enhance its flavor and texture.

Cooking Techniques for Canned Tuna

There are various cooking techniques that can be used when preparing canned tuna, including grilling, baking, sautéing, broiling, and poaching, each of which imparts a unique flavor and texture to the fish. In this section, we will discuss each of these techniques in more detail to help you choose the best method for your canned tuna recipe.


Grilling is a popular cooking method for canned tuna. To grill canned tuna, preheat your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Drain the liquid from the canned tuna and brush the fish with olive oil and your favorite seasonings. Place the tuna on the grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through and has grill marks on both sides. Grilled canned tuna is perfect for salads, wraps, sandwiches, or as the main course of a meal.


Baking is another popular method for cooking canned tuna. To bake canned tuna, preheat your oven to 375°F and drain the liquid from the canned tuna. Place the tuna in a baking dish and add your preferred seasonings and toppings. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tuna is cooked through. Baked canned tuna is great for casseroles, salads, and pasta dishes.


Sautéing is a quick and easy method for cooking canned tuna. To sauté canned tuna, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the drained tuna. Season with your favorite spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the fish heats through and has browned slightly. Sautéed canned tuna is great for wraps, sandwiches, or as a protein source for a stir-fry dish.


Broiling is a technique that is similar to grilling but is done in the oven. To broil canned tuna, preheat your oven’s broiler and place the tuna on a baking sheet. Brush the fish with olive oil and your preferred seasonings. Broil for 3-4 minutes per side or until it is cooked through. Broiled canned tuna is perfect for salads or as the main course of a meal.


Poaching is a gentle cooking method where the tuna is cooked in simmering liquid. To poach canned tuna, drain the liquid from the tuna and place it in a pot of simmering liquid, such as water or broth. Add your preferred seasonings and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Poached canned tuna is great for salads or as a protein source for a soup or chowder.

Creative Tuna Recipes

Canned tuna is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes to create healthy and delicious meals. Here are five creative tuna recipes to try:

Tuna Salad with Avocado

This tuna salad recipe is a healthy and delicious way to use canned tuna. Simply mix together canned tuna, diced avocado, chopped red onion, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve over a bed of mixed greens for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Tuna and Broccoli Pasta

This tuna pasta recipe is a quick and easy way to create a healthy and satisfying meal. Cook your favorite pasta according to package instructions, then toss with canned tuna, sautéed broccoli, garlic, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy.

Tuna Casserole with Mushroom Soup

This tuna casserole recipe is a classic comfort food dish that can easily be made with canned tuna. Simply mix together cooked noodles, canned tuna, condensed mushroom soup, frozen peas, and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for a warm and comforting meal.

Tuna Melt with Tomato and Onion

This tuna melt recipe is a tasty twist on the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Toast a slice of bread, top with canned tuna, slices of tomato and onion, and a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly, then serve hot.

Tuna Burgers with Dill Sauce

This tuna burger recipe is a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional beef burgers. Mix together canned tuna, breadcrumbs, chopped scallions, and an egg. Shape into patties and cook in a non-stick skillet until golden brown. Serve on a whole wheat bun with a dollop of dill sauce (made with plain Greek yogurt, chopped fresh dill, and a squeeze of lemon juice).

Storing Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is a popular pantry staple, and for good reason. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to casseroles. However, to ensure that canned tuna stays fresh and flavorful for longer, it should be stored properly.

Temperature and Environment

When it comes to storing canned tuna, the temperature and environment are crucial factors to consider. For optimal freshness, canned tuna should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Ideally, the temperature of the storage area should be between 50°F and 70°F.

Storing canned tuna in a warm environment can cause it to spoil more quickly, reduce its flavor, and possibly result in the growth of bacteria. Therefore, it’s best to avoid storing canned tuna near heat sources, such as stovetops or ovens.

Time Frame

Another important factor to consider when storing canned tuna is the recommended time frame specified on the packaging. Most canned tuna manufacturers recommend consuming the product within 3-5 years of the production date.

After opening a can of tuna, it’s best to consume it within a few days. However, you can also transfer the tuna to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Care and Handling

Care and handling are also essential when it comes to storing canned tuna. Before storing, ensure that the can is properly sealed and that there are no signs of damage or rust. A damaged can can lead to contamination and spoilage of the tuna inside.

When opening a can of tuna, make sure to use a clean utensil to avoid transferring bacteria to the tuna. Additionally, if you don’t plan to use the entire can at once, transfer the remaining tuna to an airtight container before storing.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope these tips and techniques have inspired you to try cooking canned tuna in new and delicious ways. From quick and easy salads to flavorful pasta dishes, there are countless ways to enjoy this affordable and versatile ingredient. So next time you’re thinking about what to make for dinner, remember to grab a can of tuna and let your imagination run wild!

Cooking Canned Tuna: Tips and Techniques for a Delicious Meal

Learn tips and techniques for cooking canned tuna in delicious and creative ways. From salads to pastas and more!

  • 2 cans of tuna (drained)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 stalk celery (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons red onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bread
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, Dijon, celery, red onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Toast the bread until golden brown.
  3. Divide the tuna mixture into 4 portions. Place a slice of toast on each plate and top with a portion of the tuna mixture. Top with another slice of toast and serve.
Main dish
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