Our 13 Best Tuna Recipes

Elementary school tuna fish sandwiches can step aside — tuna is a versatile and delicious protein that deserves a place in your regular rotation of meals. But if you have a hard time thinking of recipes to help spice up the common seafood staple and give your weekly menu a lift, you've come to the right place. These recipes use different types of tuna — everything from canned to yellowfin — to deliver staple meals and fancy menu items to your list of lunch and dinner faves.

The thing about tuna is it's affordable (especially the canned kind) and incredibly healthy, too. The Food and Drug Administration suggests that adults consume at least two to three servings of fish (roughly 8 to 12 ounces) each week, and tuna is an easy way to meet that requirement. Plus, it's an excellent source of protein, and it delivers a high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids, which means it can help support a healthy heart.

So if you're ready to increase your fish intake the easy way, choose a few of these recipes to test out this week. We promise you won't be disappointed.

Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is always going to be a winner when it comes to tuna recipes because it's so quick and easy to make, but you don't have to stick with the tired old tuna-mayonnaise-dill relish-onions combination. This "spruced up" tuna salad recipe takes the standard version a bit further, delivering a fresh flavor you'll want to enjoy more than once.

With the addition of more veggies like cucumber, red onion, red pepper, carrot, and parsley, you up the nutritional content while maximizing the flavor. Plus, it only takes about 10 minutes to make, so it's a no-brainer solution when you're short on time.

Recipe: Spruced Up Tuna Salad

Simple Seared Ahi Tuna

Seared ahi tuna is certainly a step up from a can you grab off the shelf in the grocery store, but if you've never prepared fresh tuna before, there's nothing to worry about. This recipe is simple, and straightforward, and delivers a delicious cut of fish with a spicy, sweet, and salty marinade. The whole recipe takes less than 40 minutes to make but provides a restaurant-quality dinner, especially when paired with rice and a fresh salad.

Recipe: Simple Seared Ahi Tuna

Dilly Tuna Casserole

If you love tuna, and you love the fried onions on top of a Thanksgiving green bean casserole, you'll love this dilly tuna casserole recipe. With a combination of canned tuna, condensed cream of celery soup, egg noodles, and peas, it provides the perfect casserole combination of proteins, fats, and carbs.

Then with the fresh dill and layer of crunchy fried onions? It's the type of comfort food casserole your family will request over and over again.

Recipe: Dilly Tuna Casserole

Tuna Melt Panini

This recipe designed for one is exactly the quick and easy option you need to jazz up your lunch menu when you're working from home. Not only is the baguette bread an upgrade from basic sliced white, but the tuna melt also features tuna (obviously), along with capers, Dijon mustard, roasted red peppers, and cheddar cheese, all toasted and melted for a deli-like meal. Enjoy it alongside kettle-cooked chips or a fresh, green salad, and you'll feel like you're at your corner bakery.

Recipe: Tuna Melt Panini

Dill Tuna Patties and Cucumber Cream Sauce

If you're looking for a quick pantry-staple meal you can whip up in a flash, or make batches of and freeze for later use, you need to make these dill tuna patties. While they can be eaten like fish sticks or crab cakes, served solo with a dipping sauce on the side, you can also serve them sandwiched between hamburger buns for a pescatarian burger alternative. The dill cream sauce, which is very similar to tzatziki, is also worth making and keeping on hand, whether for your tuna patties or as a dipping sauce for your favorite chips and veggies.

Recipe: Dill Tuna Patties and Cucumber Cream Sauce

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steak

When you want to trick your guests into thinking you have some serious cooking skills (and that you spent lots of time preparing a fancy meal), you need to make these sesame-crusted tuna steaks. You only need five ingredients to make these steaks, and if you frequently make Asian cuisine, you may already have most of them on hand. With nothing more than soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and canola oil, you can make this entire recipe in just 15 minutes flat.

Recipe: Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steak

Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Cutting back on carbs will be a lot easier to do with recipes like these tuna lettuce wraps in your back pocket. To be fair, they're essentially just a different (and easy) way to serve your favorite tuna salad — one featuring red onions, whole grain mustard, celery, parsley, capers, and dill relish.

But instead of spreading the salad between slices of bread, you dollop the fish inside butter lettuce leaves, garnishing with more greens, if desired. It doesn't hurt that the whole recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and if you double or triple it, you'll have plenty of leftovers the next day.

Recipe: Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna Crudo

Fresh ahi tuna is one of those fish that is perfectly safe (and delicious) to eat raw. If you love sushi and sashimi, you're bound to love this simple recipe for tuna crudo (which literally means "raw tuna").

You only need five ingredients (including the tuna) and 15 minutes to make the dish. It delivers a lovely combination of soft fish and crunchy cucumbers and sesame seeds, all brought together with the ponzu sauce. Eat it by itself as a snack, or serve it with rice and steamed veggies for a healthy (and high-end) lunch or dinner. 

Recipe: Ahi (Yellowfin) Tuna Crudo

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

You don't have to spend an arm and a leg at a sushi joint for a fresh ahi tuna bowl. This 20-minute meal is packed with delicious ingredients, a little bit of spice (thanks to sliced jalapenos and red onions), and a flavorful tuna marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.

And because the bowl is homemade, you can of course add or substitute vegetables based on your preferences. It's the perfect way to enjoy a quick and healthy meal without leaving home.

Recipe: Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Chili Lime Tuna Steaks

Summer barbecues don't get much better than with this recipe for chili lime tuna steaks which makes the perfect pescatarian choice for the grill. The steaks are marinated in a sweet-spicy-tangy sauce and drizzled with fresh lime juice, making them perfect to pair with tropical fruit skewers, chili lime rice, and a mai tai. And while the recipe is designed to serve four, there's no reason you can't easily double or triple the recipe if you're feeding a crowd — they'll still be ready to serve in about 25 to 30 minutes.

Recipe: Chili Lime Tuna Steaks

Tuna Tartare Stacks with Wasabi Shishitos

When you're really looking to impress your guests (and even yourself), it may be time to turn to this fancy-looking and delicious-tasting tuna tartare recipe. Admittedly, it's more involved than the other recipes on this list — and even requires some special tools — but the end result is worth the hour's worth of work you'll be putting in. With a combination of rice, avocado, and marinated tuna all stacked within a ring mold (or biscuit cutter) before being released and garnished with microgreens, fried onions, and a blistered pepper, the result is a flavor combination that's sure to impress even your most critical foodie friends.

Recipe: Tuna Tartare Stacks with Wasabi Shishitos

Refined Tuna Sandwich

You probably still make tuna salad the same way your mama made it, and she probably made it the way her mama made it. Simple recipes you've made a thousand times often don't get the second-look makeover they deserve.

That said, it's possible to elevate your standard sandwich to take on more refined sensibilities, adding fresh herbs, using higher-quality ingredients, and a different type of bread. In this case, you'll still enjoy all the expected flavors of a tuna fish sandwich — tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, dill, and lemon juice — but when served on whole wheat sourdough with a bed of arugula? You may just update your family's favorite tuna recipe permanently.

Recipe: Simple Yet Refined Tuna Sandwich

Baked Tuna Steak with Sesame-Miso Glaze

This 30-minute baked tuna steak recipe is an awesome way to enjoy the flavors of a tuna steak without having to monitor its cooking on the stove or grill. Instead, you take 10 minutes to do your prep work and glaze the fish, then pop it in the oven to bake. This gives you 20 minutes to work on other things, like cooking rice or making a side to pair with this simple and delicious main course.

Recipe: Baked Tuna Steak with Sesame-Miso Glaze