Lucky 13


13 Fast Easy and Cheap Meals Using a Can of Tuna Fish

All but the last recipe use 1 – 5 or 6 ounce can of tuna, around here about $1.29. 

All recipes can be doubled, even tripled.

These recipes are a great way to use up leftovers from your fridge. Be creative.

Most of them can be served as a sandwich, or an open-faced sandwich on crusty bread, on crackers, over pasta, served as a salad on a bed of lettuce. Be creative.


1. Drain the can of tuna. Add enough olive oil, or mayonnaise or yogurt to just moisten the tuna fish. Mix well. Toss in some sliced almonds and mushrooms. Serve on slices of crusty bread or crackers.

2. Drain the can of tuna. Add a tablespoon or two of dill pickle relish or to taste to the tuna. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten and mix well. Serve on a slice of bread. VARIATION: Add a slice of Swiss cheese, or your favorite cheese, on top and broil until cheese melts.

3. Drain the can of tuna. To the tuna add enough mayonnaise or yogurt to just moisten. Add chopped celery (1 or 2 stalks) sliced green onions, some lemon zest, and about ¼ teaspoon curry powder or to taste.

4. Heat a jar of marinara or your favorite spaghetti sauce stir in a can of drained tuna. Serve over toast or spaghetti. Top with some capers.

5. Bake 4 potatoes. Cut top third of baked potato off. Scoop potato out of bottom third. (Click here to see how to do this: Stuffed Potato.) Mix a can of drained tuna with some sliced green onions, sliced water chestnuts, some grated cheese, a dollop or two of sour cream. Fill the potato with the tuna filling.

6. To a can of drained tuna mix ¼ to ½ cup pico de gallo. Eat with some crackers. Or top pasta with it. Use it as a dip.

7. To a can of drained tuna add halved green and/or black olives; or a medley of mixed olives from the deli. (Or if you like it hot, chopped jalapeños.) Use on top of crackers, crusty bread, or pasta of your choice.

8. To a can of drained tuna fish add some chopped marinated artichokes, black olives sliced in half, sliced green onions, and mayonnaise or yogurt to just moisten the tuna fish.

9. Add a can of drained tuna fish to a package of cooked tortellini. Add some olive oil and a package of frozen baby peas.

10. To a can of drained tuna fish add some sliced black olives, capers and drizzle on some olive oil.

11. To a can of drained tuna fish add a couple of chopped anchovies, minced garlic, minced green onions, and a few chopped capers. Drizzle with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Eat on top of crusty bread.

12. Mix together 1 can tuna fish drained, 1 can cream of chicken soup, ½ box frozen peas & carrots, ½ cup milk. Heat. Serve over toast and top with chopped hard boiled eggs.

13. Featured Recipe             No Mayo Tuna Salad

I created this recipe back in the 1970’s when I was a full time teacher during the day and in the evening a part time student getting my Master’s Degree. As you can imagine I did not have either much time to cook nor money to spend on fancy food.

This recipe fit into my time and money constraints very well.

I have never cared for mayonnaise. To this day it is an ingredient I still do not use very often. I never use it on sandwiches, except for traditional tuna fish salad. And even then I use very little of it. That is why I used olive oil in this recipe.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

2 cans tuna fish                                

2-3 tablespoons olive oil                  

1-2 green onions                               

½ small can chopped black olives    

2 hard boiled eggs chopped            

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Drain the tuna fish and place equal amounts on plates for each person

Drizzle some olive oil over tuna fish

Season with salt and pepper

Top with the chopped celery, then with the  chopped green onions, the olives, and last with the chopped eggs

Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and adjust seasonings.

This is the basic recipe.

But you can add all sorts of other things you find in your refrigerator. I often add chopped tomatoes, chopped capers, chopped carrots, even chopped anchovies to this tuna salad. Like I said, look in your refrigerator and use up what ever you have left that you might like on this tuna salad.

You can serve with soup and crackers or bread, whatever you can afford.

Bon appétit!!!


2 cans tuna fish                     $2.58                                                 

2-3 tbspns olive oil                $0.36             

1-2 ribs of celery                   $0.45  

1-2 green onions                   $0.22                                                 

½ can  black olives                $0.35    

2 hard boiled eggs                 $0.26             

Salt and pepper

Total cost = $4.22
Cost for 3 people = $1.40

Quote of the Day


Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we seek too late the one that is open.


Alexander Graham Bell


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2 comments to Lucky 13

  • Oh I remember student days of spaghetti with ketchup. 🙂 We never felt poor – just temporarily financially inconvenienced.

    I like your recipe! I like to add chopped apple to my tuna salad and sometimes add a few raisins in there too or dried cranberries.

    • Roberta

      Indeed. Happy days. Many happy memories of those days. Money is not everything.

      Fruit tuna salads are also very good. To your ingredients I would also add red and green grapes. 🙂