This quick Canned Tuna Dip is inspired by a classic Italian tonnato sauce recipe, traditionally made with canned tuna, lemon, capers, and olive oil plus the anchovies and mayonnaise omitted here. But this lighter version tuna spread takes just 5 minutes and is just as delicious whether you serve it at a Superbowl party or in a tuna melt.
Read on for all the detailed tips and tricks for making a tuna spread without cream cheese or mayonnaise. Or just grab that can of tuna, hit the Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make this canned tuna dip!
Tuna packed in oil has better flavor than tuna packed in water – I recommend Tonnino yellowfin tuna or Wild Planet because both prioritize sustainability. If you use tuna packed in water, drain your tuna and add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the recipe.
Just like canned beans, canned tuna is a great alternative to fresh or frozen. Use it in quick and easy recipes like this tuna dip or tuna pesto pasta, and save fresh tuna for the seared tuna steaks in this rainbow poke bowl!
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
- Make a classic tonatto sauce by adding mayonnaise and anchovies.
- Add a handful of pitted black olives to the food processor.
- Make a spicy tuna tuna with a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Recipe tips and tricks
There’s nothing complicated about making this Italian-inspired tuna spread. Simply add all of the ingredients to your food processor and blitz until smooth.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper and consistency, adding a bit more lemon juice as desired. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if you like!
Yes, the flavors will only get better in the first day after you make it.
Leftover tuna recipes should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Tuna spreads won’t freeze well or they’ll lose their creamy texture.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Quick Canned Tuna Dip
- 10 ounces tuna packed in oil two 5 ounce cans, do not drain
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.10 ounces tuna packed in oil, 1 lemon, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons capers, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon juice as desired.
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