3 Recipes That Turn a Can of Tuna Into an Easy Weeknight Meal in No Time Flat

After a long day, a delicious dinner has the power to turn your mood around. Unfortunately, that mood-boosting meal often requires prep, grocery shopping, and instruction reading—aka not so enticing after an already chaotic day.

Luckily, your cupboards might be hiding a star ingredient that can solve those busy-night blues. Tuna—yes, the OG pantry-staple and sea-dwelling protein—has plenty of nutritional benefits, and is more versatile than your basic sandwich filling or salad topping.

Need proof? Chef Carla Contreras whipped up three creative weekday tuna recipes that are definitely more elevated than your everyday tuna-salad sammy. But, they're also super easy to execute and take minimal prep time—perfect for the days when your Google cal starts to resemble a Rubik's cube.

For all three tasty-yet-attainable tuna recipes, Contreras calls on Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, which means each affordable can is wild-caught, packed with lean protein, and shelf-stable so you can stock up for the week(s) to come. Snag the tuna recipes below, and cue the dinner-time good moods.

Getting hungry? Keep scrolling for three tuna recipes to integrate into your low-maintenance weekly meal prep.

Tuna Farro Bowl + Lemon Tahini Sauce

Serves 2 to 4

2 cans (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore, drained and flaked with a fork
½ cup uncooked farro
½ tsp sea salt
1-2 cranks freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1-2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cups of cooked or roasted veggies of choice (Contreras suggests broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, fennel, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, or cucumbers)
Fresh herbs to taste (Contreras suggests chives, dill, or basil)
1 watermelon radish or 2-3 red radishes, sliced thin
1 tsp thinly sliced scallions
1 Tbsp sesame oil, or sub extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon tahini sauce, to taste (see below)

1. Cook farro according to package directions, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.

2. Serve in bowls, and add the roasted veggies, radishes, and scallions.

3. Add the tuna, season with salt and pepper, and top with a squeeze of lemon juice, sesame oil, and lemon tahini sauce to taste.

Lemon Tahini Sauce 

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 lemon)
1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup smooth, liquid tahini
1 Tbsp white miso
1 tsp Dijon or whole grain mustard
½ tsp pure maple syrup
¼ cup filtered water
1 tsp granulated garlic
Small pinch of kosher salt
2-3 cranks freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until incorporated and smooth. Store up to five days in the fridge.

Tomato + Tuna Soup

Serves 4 to 6

2 cans (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
6-10 cranks freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 carrot, diced small (about ½ cup)
½ onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
2 celery stalks, diced small (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 can (28 oz.) tomato puree
1 can (28 oz.) tomato cubed
1 can (32 oz.) chicken or veggie broth
10 oz. baby spinach
1 lb. tortellini pasta, cooked (optional)

1. In a large pot, like a Dutch oven, add olive oil and diced onion. Cook on medium low for 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly golden and translucent. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

2. Add carrot and celery, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for one to two minutes longer.

3. Add the apple cider vinegar and cook until almost gone (1 to 2 minutes). Add the bone broth and cook for 45 minutes on medium.

4. Add the spinach, tuna (leave it chunky, if possible), and cooked pasta.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste (about ⅛ tsp of salt and three to five cranks of freshly ground pepper). Store in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze up to one month.

tuna recipes

Tuna + Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Serves 4 to 6

2 cans (5 oz.) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore, flaked with a fork
1 lb. fusilli, bow ties, or shells, or preferred pasta shape
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 can (14.5 oz.) canned pumpkin
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp miso paste
1-3 drops hot sauce
1/16 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
15 oz. fresh ricotta or vegan cheese
1 cup kale, thinly sliced in ribbons
⅛ tsp kosher salt, plus more for the breadcrumbs
3-5 cranks freshly ground pepper
2 tsp coconut oil or preferred fat to grease the baking pan
2 Tbsp melted butter (non-dairy also works)
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Cook pasta according to the directions, shortening the cook time by one to two minutes, so pasta remains al dente. Drain pasta, leaving 1-2 Tbsp pasta water in pot, and return pasta to the pot.

3. Stir in coconut milk, chicken broth, canned pumpkin, granulated garlic, hot sauce, nutmeg, and ricotta.

4. Fold in the tuna (keep it chunky, if possible). Grease baking dish or cast iron enamel pot, then add in the mixture.

7. In a separate dish, melt the butter, add the Panko breadcrumbs, season with salt, and fold in the parmesan cheese. Pour breadcrumb mixture on top of the pasta and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (check regularly, so as not to burn the topping).

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Photos and Recipes: Carla Contreras for Well+Good

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