8 Easy Appetizer Recipes Using Canned Tuna

March 31, 2021

Here are eight (8) delicious appetizer recipes that put a twist on regular canned tuna to make your weekend meals and family gatherings more exciting.

Tuna is a hearty alternative to meat and can be prepared as the main dish or even as additions to side dishes. It is best grilled, especially if the cut has a lot of meat or it can even be cooked into sinigang for a warm bowl of delicious soup.

Easy canned tuna recipes

8 Easy Appetizer Recipes Using Canned Tuna

    What’s good about tuna is that it’s not a seasonal fish, in fact, it’s readily available in major supermarkets and even in local wet markets. Nevertheless, in case fresh tuna is not available, you can always use canned tuna for your various dishes at home. All it takes is your creativity.

    Health benefits of eating tuna

    Tuna is high in nutrients for supporting overall physical health and wellness, including maintaining a strong immune system.

    Tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known for its benefits to cardiovascular health, vision loss prevention, protection against cancer types of cancers, and may aid in weight loss.

    You can also enjoy these benefits in canned tuna because the nutrients are kept intact. However, you might want to opt for tuna that is packed in water because it has lower calories and fat as compared to tuna in oil.

    Canned tuna recipe ideas

    Canned tuna can be served as is because it’s already seasoned. Just top it over hot rice and you’ll have a quick and delicious meal. You can also use your creativity in whipping meals using canned tuna.

    In any case, if you don’t like to burden yourself with having to think of ways to prepare canned tuna, here are 8 appetizer recipe ideas that you can easily whip up at home.

    Thai Fish Cakes

    Thai tuna fish cakes recipe
    Thai fish cakes

    Fish cakes are easy-to-prepare yet they pack a lot of flavors. It’s also versatile because you can add your favorite minced vegetables to the mixture.


    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna chunks in water, drained
    • One (1) tablespoon of Sriracha or chili sauce of your choice
    • Two (2) tablespoons of chopped green onions
    • Two (2) tablespoons of chopped Thai basil leaves or coriander leaves
    • One (1) piece Magnolia brown egg
    • One-fourth cup of bread crumbs
    • One (1) cup of Golden Fry Palm Oil


    1. Combine the tuna, sriracha, green onions, basil, egg, and bread crumbs in a bowl. 
    2. Using a fork, mash the tuna and mix it into the other ingredients.
    3. Form two (2) tablespoons of the mixture into patties. If the mixture is runny, you can add more bread crumbs.
    4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry fish cakes until they are golden brown.
    5. Serve with extra Sriracha sauce. 

    This recipe makes 6 servings.

    Cooking tips:

    • You can substitute mashed potatoes for the bread crumbs with mashed potatoes for a different texture.
    • Chill patties for 30 minutes in the refrigerator to allow them to set before frying.

    Tuna Tacos

    Tuna tacos recipe
    Tuna tacos

    These tuna tacos are easy alternatives to regular beef tacos that we all love. However, they are just as filling and as flavorful.


    • One-third (1/3) cup of Magnolia Real Mayonnaise
    • Two (2) teaspoons of chopped garlic
    • Six (6) pieces of small flour tortillas or pita bread, lightly warmed or toasted
    • Half cup of shredded lettuce leaves
    • Half cup of sliced cucumber
    • One (1) piece of medium tomato, sliced
    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna Chunks in Oil, drained


    1. To make the garlic sauce, mix the mayonnaise and garlic, then set aside.
    2. In the center of each flour tortilla, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, tomato slices, and tuna. Drizzle with garlic sauce.
    3. Fold tortilla to secure the filling.
    4. Serve on a plate
    Makes 6 servings.

    Preparation tips:

    • Keep tortillas in the refrigerator for up to a week and freeze for up to 3 months.
    • To warm store-bought tortillas: heat in a dry hot pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side, wrap stacked tortillas in a paper towel, then wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 300°F for about 10 minutes, and cover tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.
    • Buy salad greens that are bright in color, leaves crisp, free of blemishes and smell fresh.

    Fresh Spring Rolls with Tuna

    Vietnamese spring rolls recipe
    Vietnamese spring rolls

    Spring rolls are great for appetizers as well as light snacks. They are loaded with crisp and fresh vegetables so they are a delight to munch on.


    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna in water, drained
    • Three (3) tablespoons of Hoisin sauce
    • Five (5) pieces of rice paper wrappers
    • One (1) piece of cucumber, sliced into thin strips
    • One (1) piece of carrot, sliced into thin strips
    • Five (5) sprigs of cilantro or basil
    • One (1) cup of shredded lettuce leaves
    • Two (2) tablespoons of Magnolia Real Mayonnaise


    1. Mix the tuna and two (2) tablespoons of hoisin sauce together, the set aside.
    2. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water, then dip rice the paper carefully until soft.
    3. Lay the rice paper on a flat surface and while soft, quickly place one (1) to two (2) tablespoons of tuna in the center, then add several pieces of cucumber strips, carrot strips, cilantro, and shredded lettuce.
    4. Fold the sides of the wrapper inwards, then tightly roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
    5. To make the dipping sauce, mix together the remaining hoisin and mayonnaise. Serve with the spring rolls.
    6. To make Hoisin from scratch (about 1/2 cup), combine the following: one-fourth (1/4) cup of soy sauce, two (2) tablespoons of peanut butter or black bean paste, one (1) tablespoon of brown sugar, honey, or molasses, two (20 teaspoons of rice wine or white wine vinegar, two (2) teaspoons of sesame oil, one (1) clove garlic minced, or one-eighth (1/8) teaspoon of garlic powder, one-eight (1/8) teaspoon of ground black pepper, and one (1) a teaspoon of hot sauce
    Makes 5 servings.

    Preparation tips:

    • Use a combination of fresh vegetables and herbs in making the rolls such as cucumber, red radish, bean sprouts, bell peppers, zucchini, shredded cabbage, leeks, and mint leaves.
    • Do not over soak the rice papers in water as it will become soggy and sticky.
    • Space assembled spring rolls apart to prevent them from sticking to each other.

    Tuna Bruschetta

    Tuna Bruschetta recipe
    Tuna Bruschetta

    Bruschetta may sound sophisticated but it’s really just lightly toasted bread topped with olive oil and seasonings.


    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna chunks in oil
    • One (1) piece of chopped onion
    • Tree (3) pieces of chopped tomatoes
    • Six (6) pieces of chopped basil leaves
    • One-fourth cup of capers
    • Half cup of sliced black olives
    • One (1) teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
    • Two (2) tablespoons of olive oil
    • One (1) piece of baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick and lightly toasted


    1. In a bowl, combine the tuna, onion, tomatoes, basil, capers, olives, vinegar, and olive oil.
    2. Top each piece of the bread with a scoop of the tuna mixture.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Tuna Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)

    Tuna onigiri recipe
    Tuna onigiri

    For Japanese food lovers, this is a flavorful treat that can be eaten before a meal or as a heavy snack.


    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna Chunks in Water, drained
    • One-fourth cup of Japanese mayonnaise
    • Five (5) cups of sushi rice (steamed rice flavored with vinegar and sugar)
    • 10 pieces of nori wrapper sheets, 1”x 4” in size


    1. In a bowl, combine the tuna and mayonnaise, then set aside.
    2. To make the onigiri, place 1/4 cup of rice on a surface covered with plastic wrap.
    3. Flatten the rice then place 2 tablespoons of the tuna mixture in the center. Cover tuna with another 1/4 cup of rice.
    4. Form into a ball, and then shape into a triangle.
    5. Place the onigiri at the center of a nori sheet. Fold sides to stick to the rice ball.
    6. Repeat the procedure for the rest of the ingredients.

    Makes 10 servings.

    Tuna Tomato Melt

    Tuna tomato melt recipe
    Tuna tomato melt

    This simple appetizer is easy to make and can be served as appetizers in simple occasions.


    • One (1) pack of Magnolia Quickmelt Cheese, grated
    • One (1) pack of La Pacita Supreme Flakes, crushed
    • Two (2) tablespoons of chopped basil
    • One (1) can San Miguel del Mar Tuna Chunks in Oil, drained
    • One-third cup of Magnolia Real Mayonnaise
    • One (1) tablespoons of mustard
    • Two (2) tablespoons of chopped red onions
    • Six (6) pieces of large salad tomatoes, hallowed out


    1. Combine the cheese, crushed crackers, and basil.
    2. Add the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, and onion, then mix well.
    3. Stuff each tomato with 1/3 cup of the tuna filling.
    4. Bake in a preheated oven toaster set at 350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

    Makes 6 servings.

    Preparation tips:

    • Use hollowed-out vegetables such as large onions, bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant as an alternative with the filling.
    • To level up filling, add black olives, mushrooms, and different herbs and spices.

    Tuna Salad Nicoise

    Tuna salad Nicoise recipe
    Tuna Salad Nicoise

    Salad Nicoise is a delicious and filling salad that pleases not just the belly but also the eyes because of their colors.


    • Two (2) cans of San Miguel del Mar Tuna Chunks in Water, drained
    • One (1) pack of lettuce, about 230 grams and pre-washed
    • Three (3) pieces of Magnolia brown eggs, boiled, peeled, and sliced into quarters
    • One-fourth kilos of marble potatoes, boiled
    • One-fourth cup of French beans, blanched
    • Three (3) pieces of sliced tomatoes
    • One-fourth cup of pitted whole black olives
    • One-fourth cup of store-bought Italian or French dressing


    1. Arrange the tuna, lettuce, eggs, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and olives in a salad bowl.
    2. Serve with salad dressing.

    Makes 6 servings.

    Tuna Poke Bowl

    Tuna poke bowl recipe
    Tuna poke bowl

    This Hawaiian-inspired dish can be eaten as an appetizer or a light meal in itself.


    • One (1) can of San Miguel del Mar Tuna Chunks in Water, drained
    • One-fourth cup of store-bought teriyaki sauce
    • Two (2) cups of brown or red rice, cooked according to package direction
    • One-fourth cup of purple cabbage, thinly sliced (optional, for garnishing)

    For the salsa:

    • One (1) piece of diced ripe mango
    • One (1) piece of diced tomato
    • One (1) piece of chopped shallots
    • One (1) teaspoon of vinegar


    1. Heat the tuna together with the teriyaki sauce. Set aside.
    2. For the salsa, mix together mango, tomato, shallots, and vinegar.
    3. Fill 2 bowls with a cup each of rice. 
    4. Top each with half a portion of tuna and salsa. 
    5. Garnish with cabbage.

    Makes 2 servings.


    These eight delicious recipes put a twist to regular canned tuna. If you are thinking of simple and tasty appetizers for your family or even for simple occasions, then you can whip up any of these recipes. Who knows, these might even inspire you to create your own canned tuna recipe.

    Canned tuna appetizer recipes

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    1. Tuna is one of those things we all like but I have never really tried to make it any different that in a sandwich. I like these recipes and will try to venture into a new way to prepare it!

    2. It is good to know tuna has great health benefits because we have been eating fresh tuna. I will try one of these recipes for my son.

    3. I have heard about this tuna brand, it really looks so delicious. I'll try it with your recipe.

    4. These are great recipes! I would really love to try the tuna tomato melts.

    5. Scarlett Brooklyn21 August 2021 at 00:12

      Great ideas. I'll definitely try the Thai fish cake or tomato melt..

    6. These are great ways to use canned tuna! Tuna is full of protein and easy to find, thanks for sharing!

    7. I love these tuna recipe, they are so delicious and easy to make. Yum!

    8. My favorite by going through your post is the tuna tacos and run spring rolls wrap. I will love to also try the salads

    9. Coming from the Tuna Capital of the World, GenSan, I certainly love tuna. :) And I would love to try all those recipes. They all look delish! -LYNNDEE

    10. This tuna recipe collection is so good. I love tuna. I am going to try all the recipes from here.

    11. These are such great recipes and so many ways to use tuna. My absolute favorite is the tuna and tomato melt. Love the options provided!

    12. These are great and healthy ways to indulge much with tuna, so healthy!

    13. Rowena Callo Villareno8 May 2022 at 03:31

      Thank you for sharing the recipes po natakam sa thai fish cakes and tuna tacos .ang simple ulam naging social 🤤Must try talaga.