I can with tuna - recipes

Having a couple of tins of tuna in your pantry cupboard means you can get lunch or dinner on the table in no time at all.

Tuna is nutritious. It’s a good source of protein and contains omega fatty acids.

Tuna-stuffed baked tomatoes. Picture: Antoine de Ras, Independent NewspapersTuna meatballs. Picture: Antoine de Ras, Independent NewspapersMoroccan-spiced couscous with tuna. Picture: Antoine de Ras, Independent NewspapersTuna and spinach roulade. Picture: Antoine de Ras, Independent NewspapersAsian tuna salad with passionfruit dressing. Picture: Antoine de Ras, Independent Newspapers

It even comes in portable pouches. Besides tuna sandwiches, it is ideal to use with pasta, in quiches and in salads.

We have used tuna in brine in these recipes. If you prefer, you can use the tuna in oil.


Serves 8

8 large tomatoes

salt and pepper

15ml olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

5ml chopped garlic

2x 170g tins of tuna in brine, drained

rind and juice of 1 lemon

125g cream cheese

80ml chopped fresh mint

125ml breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato and reserve. With a teaspoon, remove the tomato flesh. Roughly chop it and set aside. Season the tomato shells with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the chopped tomato flesh and fry for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Once cooled, mix in the remaining ingredients.

Spoon the tuna mixture into the tomato shells. Replace the tops and bake for 10-15 minutes, until tomatoes are just tender. Serve immediately.


Serves 6-8

30ml honey

10ml garam masala

30ml tomato paste

1 lemon, juiced and zest

45ml boiling water

250ml couscous

250ml vegetable stock, boiling

170g tin of tuna in brine, drained

4 tomatoes, seeded and diced

125ml flaked toasted almonds

125ml apricots, chopped

60ml pine nuts

125ml chopped fresh coriander


30ml lemon juice

60ml olive oil

15ml honey

In a large bowl, combine the honey, garam masala, tomato paste, lemon zest and juice and boiling water to form a paste.

Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes, and then stir in the couscous. Pour over the boiling stock and mix well.

Cover with cling wrap and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Flake with a fork to loosen the couscous. Add the rest of the ingredients, pour over the dressing and serve.

DRESSING: Whisk together all the ingredients.


Serves 6

300g spinach, washed

4 eggs, separated

250ml grated Parmesan cheese

125ml grated cheddar cheese


2x170g tins of tuna in brine, drained and flaked

60ml cream cheese

60ml sour cream

30ml chopped piquanté peppers

60ml chopped fresh parsley

10ml lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 24x35cm Swiss roll tin.

Cook the spinach in some water until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly and squeeze out any moisture. Chop finely and cool.

Tip into a large bowl and mix in the egg yolks. Stir in the cheeses and season.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into the spinach mixture.

Pour into the prepared tin and spread into the corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until set and light golden brown.

Turn the roulade out onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Peel away the lining and leave to cool.

Spread with the tuna filling and roll up like a Swiss roll. Chill until ready to serve.

FILLING: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.


Serves 2-3

2 x 170g tins of tuna in brine

5ml lemon zest

125ml chopped fresh parsley

250ml breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 chilli, deseeded, chopped

4 spring onion, finely chopped

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

60ml chopped basil

200g linguine

oil, for frying

grated Parmesan, to serve

Drain the tins of tuna and place in a bowl.

Add the lemon zest, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, chilli and spring onion and mix well.

Form 6 balls and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and basil in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the linguine in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown tuna balls on all sides. Place in the tomato sauce and cook for about 10 minutes. Combine the pasta with the tuna balls and sauce.

Serve with grated Parmesan.


Serves 4-6

1 packet of red spring onions, chopped

1 small cucumber, ends trimmed and thinly sliced lengthways into ribbons with a peeler

100g fresh baby corn, halved lengthways

60ml pickled ginger, drained

5 radishes, thinly sliced

30ml rice vinegar

5ml sesame oil

the pulp of 2 passion fruit

5ml brown sugar

a pinch of chilli flakes

In a bowl, gently toss together the spring onion, cucumber ribbons, baby corn, pickled ginger and radishes.

Pour over half the dressing and marinate for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter, flake over the tuna and pour over the rest of the dressing.

DRESSING: Whisk all the ingredients together.

Angela Day, The Star