Quick Canned Tuna Dip

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!

hand with carrot dipping into small bowl of dip on plate with crackers and carrots.
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Ingredients

two cans of tuna in oil, lemon, garlic, and bowls of capers, olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

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!

How to serve

    hand dipping a carrot into bowl of dip on plate with crackers and carrots.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this in advance for a party?

Yes, the flavors will only get better in the first day after you make it.

How should I store this tuna dip?

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.

Recipe

Quick Canned Tuna Dip

5 from 1 vote
Category: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 58kcal
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 that are omitted in this recipe. But I promise that this lighter version tuna spread can be made in 5 minutes and will be just as delicious when you serve it at your Superbowl party in spread in a tuna sandwich or tuna melt.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

This recipe will make approximately one and a half cups of tuna dip. It can be made by hand instead of with a food processor, but it will end up being chunkier.
I recommend using tuna packed in oil because it has better flavor than tuna packed in water. If you use tuna packed in water, drain it, then add an extra tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the recipe.
You can use this recipe for a spicy tuna spread by adding a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Store leftovers of this canned tuna dip in your refrigerator for up to three days.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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