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Adlen Robinson: The Humble can of Tuna
Tuna sandwich

Canned tuna is a staple ingredient in most households—it is relatively inexpensive, a healthy form of protein, and tastes delicious. In addition, canned tuna can be used in many ways. 

I ate lots of tuna salad growing up—this was and is my favorite recipe. Of course, you can make it your own by adding different herbs or other veggies. If you don’t have fresh dill, you can totally use dried dill weed. 


Favorite Tuna Salad

  • 2 cans solid white tuna packed in water, drained

  • 1-2 ribs celery, finely minced

  • ¼ cup onion, finely minced

  • 2 boiled eggs, chopped

  • ½ carrot, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons relish, sweet or dill

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon

  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pepper


Place drained tuna in a bowl and flake with a fork. Add finely minced celery, onion, eggs, carrot, relish, mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon, dill, chives, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. If the tuna salad seems dry, add a little more mayonnaise and/or Greek yogurt. 

Serve tuna salad on toasted bread, or in a lettuce wrap, or make a tuna melt. 


Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 6 ounces egg noodles (or another type of noodle)

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 onion, minced

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 ounce dry sherry

  • 10 ounces mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 2 cans solid white tuna, drained

  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated

  • 1/3 cup Panko or other type of breadcrumbs


Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until slightly undercooked, about 1-2 minutes less than package recommends. Drain and set aside. Melt butter over medium-high heat and add onion. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add flour, stirring for a minute or two. Sprinkle with salt. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Whisk in chicken broth, and milk. Raise heat, whisking to combine. Add sherry, mushrooms, peas, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often until thickened. Add tuna and cook another minute. Remove from heat. Add cooked and drained noodles to tuna mixture. Stir in cheddar cheese. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking oil. Pour tuna noodle mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes. Broil for a minute and then serve. 


Tuna Patties

  • 2 cans solid white tuna, drained

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon

  • ½ cup white bread, torn into small pieces

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon water from the tuna liquid

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pepper

  • 2 dashes Tabasco or other favorite hot sauce (more to taste)

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon butter


Drain tuna and add to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon tuna liquid, olive oil, mustard, bread pieces, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, chives, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add egg, stirring to combine. Divide into four balls and then flatten into patties. Place on parchment paper lined plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. In a skillet, add olive oil and butter. Cook tuna patties 3-4 minutes on both sides. Serve with tartar sauce. 


Curried Tuna and Sardine Salad

  • 2 cans solid white tuna packed in water, drained

  • 1 tin sardines, packed in water, drained

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pepper

  • 1/3 cup cilantro, minced

  • 1 jalapeno, half of it minced and half of it cut into rounds


To a bowl, add drained tuna and drained sardines, mashing together. Add mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, pepper, cilantro, and minced jalapeno. Mix well, adding more mayonnaise if it seems dry. Place a mound of salad on top of salad greens and garnish with jalapeno rounds.