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Recipes you can make using canned tuna from dietitian, chef and author

It’s a feeling perhaps more common now than ever before, a pantry full of food but nothing looks good. Well, its author and chef Michelle Dudash to the rescue with her recipes for Spaghetti with Tuna, Spinach, and Garlic and Soy-Sesame Canned Tuna Salad.

Spaghetti with Tuna, Spinach, and Garlic


  • 6-ounces (wt) dry whole-grain spaghetti (judge by total weight of box, or about a 3/4-inch grab)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 8 cups baby spinach, packed (1 – 5-ounce package)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (7-0z) can tuna, drained
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast seasoning (or use Parmesan cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers or olives (optional)


Cook spaghetti according to package directions in salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water before draining. Then go ahead and prep the rest of the ingredients.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet that is large enough to hold the cooked spaghetti over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low as needed.

Reduce heat to low and add the spinach, wilting it for a couple of minutes and stirring and flipping it a few times.

Drain the pasta when its al dente, drain, then add it to the skillet. Add the tuna, lemon zest, and basil, nutritional yeast, and capers or olives. Pour in 1/4 c. pasta water and vegetable broth and heat through. Pour in more pasta water if you think it needs more moisture.


Makes 3 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Soy-Sesame Canned Tuna Salad

While I love a classic tuna salad, here is a totally new riff for you to try out with an Asian flair.


Drain one 7-ounce can tuna and place in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil and 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce. Top with roasted sesame seeds*, thinly sliced jalapenos or avocado. Pair with seaweed snacks, if desired.


*If you only have raw sesame seeds, not roasted, you can quickly toast them in a dry sauté pan on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, occasionally tossing or stirring the seeds to prevent burning.