The Absolute Best Way To Use A Can Of Tuna

Likely lining your pantry shelves is a protein-packed and versatile ingredient that can turn an ordinary meal into a dish worthy of hosting a fun dinner party. Known for being the base of a famous lunch sandwich, canned tuna may be one of the most underrated shelf-stable cans in the grocery store.

In addition to ease of preparation and delicious taste, canned tuna is one of the leanest protein sources. According to Healthline, each 3-ounce serving of tuna roughly has 25 grams of protein with only 110 calories. The outline advises that tuna is safe for weekly consumption. Canned tuna provides a healthy serving of omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, on top of its 100 grams of selenium — over a daily dose of antioxidants, per WebMD.

So, how can you elevate a traditional can of tuna into a delectable meal outside of a tuna-salad sandwich? By making tuna croquettes!

How to turn your can of tuna into croquettes

Thankfully, you likely have everything you need to make your homemade tuna croquettes right at home — starting with your can of tuna. You'll also need a binder, like eggs and breadcrumbs, plus more breadcrumbs for the outside. Add seasoning, herbs, vegetables, etc. to your liking, fry them up, and your can of tuna is now transformed: into a plate of tuna croquettes. 

Originating in France, the basic recipe for croquettes was first recorded by chef Auguste Escoffier, per Voorn Croquettes. While the original croquettes featured a beef filling, today, you can make a croquette out of any vegetable, fruit or protein — from potatoes to strawberries to canned tuna.

Like our Turkey and Mashed Potato Croquettes, the secret to making phenomenal croquettes is mixing cold ingredients so they hold their shape. Croquettes can be formed into a disk (or round), a ball, or oval — it's up to you. Once you've shaped your canned tuna croquettes, we recommend letting them rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Per Alton Brown, be sure you also have plenty of breadcrumbs to generously coat your croquettes before frying; the breadcrumbs (or panko) are key to achieving a golden brown. Frying croquettes doesn't take long: two to four minutes should be enough.

Food & Wine says breaded croquettes will keep in the freezer (in an airtight container) for up to a week, making canned tuna croquettes not only the absolute best way to use a can of tuna but a great way to prepare for your next dinner party or Friday meal-for-two.