Canned tuna made its first appearance in 1903 and quickly became a consumer favorite. Canned tuna is pre-cooked so it is safe to eat cold or heated. It is also an inexpensive and versatile food item because it can stand alone or be the base for a meal. From sandwiches and salads to casseroles, canned tuna is a pantry staple.
In the United States alone more than half of the canned tuna that is sold is used to make tuna fish sandwiches. To make a basic tuna salad sandwich, mix 1 can of tuna drained and 2 to 3 tbsp. of mayonnaise with a fork. Add spices like salt and pepper to taste. Other common ingredients in a tuna salad sandwich might include relish, onion, onion powder, mustard, garlic and celery. To zest your tuna sandwiches up a bit you may consider scaling back the mayo and adding 1 to 2 tbsp. of horseradish. Make a tuna melt by adding cheese to your sandwich and grilling your sandwich on a warm, greased skillet for a few minutes on each side. Serve the tuna sandwiches with chips, fries or a garden salad.
Tuna casserole is a meal made in one dish and baked in the oven. It comprises tuna and noodles blended with other ingredients that make a creamy sauce. For a basic tuna casserole, cook about 3 cups noodles; elbow and egg noodles are a popular choice. Put the noodles in a casserole pan with a can of cream soup like cream of chicken, mushroom or celery. Mix in 1 to 2 cups of cheddar cheese. To finish off, top the whole thing with bread crumbs, or french fried onions and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes.
If you like crab cakes, make a variation of them with canned tuna. A basic tuna cake recipe would have you combine 2 cans white tuna in water, drained, flaked, 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1 carrot, shredded, 1/4 cup mayo and 2 tbsp. sweet pickle relish. Refrigerate the mix for 10 minutes. Shape like a hamburger patty and cook in a greased and warmed non-stick skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Serve tuna cakes with a side dish such as french fries or a garden salad.
Use tuna in combination with other fresh or canned seafood to make a salad. Serve seafood salad on pita bread, a sandwich roll, sandwich bread or over salad greens. Make a simple seafood salad recipe with 1/2 lb. each of crab meat and de-veined shrimp shredded, 1 can of tuna drained and 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Blend these ingredients together and season to taste. Spices to consider are salt, pepper, old bay seasoning, oregano, turmeric, garlic and mustard powder. Adding a sliced hard boiled egg and diced vegetables like onions, celery and bell pepper is also an option.
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