5 Quick & Easy Canned Tuna Recipes For Cheap High-Protein Meals

All Things Mandy
by All Things Mandy

I'm trying to use up what I have in my pantry and I have a bunch of cans of tuna, so I decided to share some cheap and easy tuna recipes that even those who think you don't like tuna will love.

Tuna is a simple and affordable way to get protein in our diets when the meat prices are so high. I'm going to show you four different meal ideas. You can make these meals as big or as small as you need. Let's get to cooking.

Simple tuna melt recipe

1. Tuna melt recipe

We're going to make the ever-humble tuna melt. We're going to be using a tomato, a scallion, cheddar cheese, mayo, stone ground mustard, and a bit of hot sauce. 

First, I will cut up my scallions and place them into a medium-sized bowl. Next, we will take our drained tuna and put that in the bowl. Add salt and a good pinch of pepper. Stir it. I'm going to add stone ground mustard, a splash of hot sauce, and of course, some mayo.


Next, you'll build the tuna melt. I'm going to do mine like an open-face sandwich using a bun. I'm going to pile on the tuna and put a slice of tomato on each.  

Next, we're going to add some cheese. You can use any cheese that you like. I have slices of sharp cheddar I'm going to use. 

This goes into the oven under the broiler for just a couple of minutes until that cheese melts. Take the tuna melts out of the oven and let them cool for a minute. Cut it in half and enjoy.

Canned tuna salad recipe

2. Tuna salad recipe

Next, I'm going to stuff tuna salad in a capsicum pepper, and show you an option for turning it into a low-carb version of the tuna melt I just made.

The first thing I'm going to do is prepare my veggies. I'm going to cut up my scallions, then cut the top off of my pepper and cut out the ribs. I'm making this just like the mixture I made for the tuna melt.  

Next, I will take my five-ounce can of drained tuna, then I'll add my veggies. Next, add stone ground, mustard, and mayo. I don't want it too creamy, so I'm going to put a little less than what I used for the tuna melt.  

If you don't want to heat this, you could take your pepper and put the tuna mixture inside, then you're done!

Low-carb tuna melt recipe

I'm going to turn this into a tuna melt stuffed pepper. Put the pepper in a baking dish, place a piece of cheddar cheese on top, then pop it in a 350-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Tuna pasta salad recipe

3. Tuna pasta salad recipe 

For the next tuna meal, you'll need one can of tuna and one cup of pasta. I happen to have elbows. This is going to make one to two servings. You can make this as big or as little as you want. If you want to double the recipe, it will be enough for four. 

So I'm going to get my noodles on the stove, let them cook, and then show you how to make our tuna pasta salad. 

I have one cup of frozen green peas and two scallions that I'm going to chop. I've got my noodles drained and rinsed with cold water, then we're going to get this scallion chopped, and we're going to put together our tuna pasta salad.  

Now we have our cooked pasta, we're going to put in our drained tuna, scallions, and a cup of frozen peas. I'm going to add a little paprika. Give that a stir, and add in salt and pepper. Then, I'm going to get my mayo, add about two scoops, and give the mixture a toss.  

I will pop this in the fridge and let it set. This made a lot, and it is delicious.

Tuna cakes recipe

4. Tuna cakes recipe

The final recipe is tuna cakes. We will make this similar to how we've made the previous recipes. We'll start with two scallions that I've chopped up. I will add my one can of drained tuna and shape the mixture like a tuna burger. Add a bit of stone ground mustard and a dash of hot sauce for flavor.

Then, I'm going to add one egg, no mayo this time. Add salt and pepper and stir the mixture. That's going to be your binder.

Add bread crumbs; I eyeball it until the mixture combines and sticks together. You want that consistency like meatloaf, where it will stick together. 

Then take the mixture and form it into patties. You can make the cakes as big or as little as you want, depending on if you're going to put this on a bun or if you're going to eat it like a tuna cake. 

Heat a pan with a little bit of oil. Place the tuna cakes into the pan and let them cook for a couple of minutes on each side.

I have a lemon to use up and some tartar sauce in my fridge, so I'm just going to squeeze the lemon over the top and add tartar sauce to the bun.

Cheap & easy canned tuna recipes

I hope that you enjoyed these recipes using tuna, the unsung hero. From tuna melts to tuna cakes, tuna recipes are great when trying to beat high prices and feed your family. There are 20 grams of protein in a can and each can cost only 78 cents!

Let me know what you think of these recipes and if you have any other great frugal tuna recipes of your own to share in the comments below.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Denyse Belanger-Dow Denyse Belanger-Dow on Sep 09, 2022

    Hi there, the only icon I have are the Wow and Save on the left and a little red icon on the right to save to a board but no printer icon. Can you give me more detail. I so appreciate your help.

    thank you

  • Thanks for sharing your easy to follow variations of these economical, but tasty recipes! Kudos for your versions, it’s nice to change up some of our old favorite go-to recipes with new ideas!👍️♥️