substitutes for tuna

7 Protein Substitutes for Tuna Recipe

Tuna is a saltwater fish that is enjoyed around the world in a variety of dishes. With its mild flavor, firm texture, and abundance of healthy fats and minerals, it’s no wonder why so many people incorporate tuna into their diets. But, sometimes, you may need a substitute for this beloved fish due to dietary restrictions or availability.

Whether you’re looking for a plant-based alternative or just a different type of fish, there are plenty of tuna substitutes that will fulfill your nutritional needs and satisfy your taste buds. Let’s dive in and explore the fantastic world of substitutes for tuna!

1. Salmon


Salmon is an excellent tuna substitute since it has a similar flavor and can be prepared in the same way. It’s also rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, particularly wild-caught salmon, making it a nutritious choice. Compared to tuna, salmon filets have a fattier texture, which gives them their own distinct flavor. It also has much lower levels of mercury than tuna, making it safer to consume on a regular basis.

Salmon has a mild flavor, so it can take on various seasonings and sauces like vinaigrette or mayonnaise. This means it works nicely in salads and sandwiches and is also a great option for baking, where you can cook it with a variety of spices and herbs to produce distinctive dishes. Poach salmon filets in broth or wine and serve with prepared veggies or a fresh salad for a wonderful supper that requires little effort.

2. Trout


Nutritionally, trout offers a good source of protein, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and niacin. It also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for your heart health. Trout is also relatively low in sodium and calories.

When substituting trout for tuna, you may bake it or sauté it with olive oil and your preferred spices. Trout makes a great addition to salads, sandwiches, tacos, and casseroles. You can also use it as a pizza topping with tomatoes and mozzarella for a tasty and nutritious lunch. Whatever method you use to prepare trout, it will be a delectable and healthful substitute for canned tuna.

3. Sardines


Sardines are not only high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamins, but they are also simple to add to your diet. Sardines also have low mercury levels compared to tuna, so you can safely add them to your diet regularly.

One of the easiest ways to make use of sardines is in salad — simply drain them from their tin, cut apart the fillets with a fork, and then mix them with your favorite salad toppings. We recommend getting smaller canned sardines so you can easily pull them apart with a fork. You can also add sardines to a sandwich or try them in a spaghetti dish if you’re feeling experimental. However, since sardines have a strong fishy smell, it’s best to use smaller amounts compared to tuna.

4. Halibut


Halibut is another excellent substitute for tuna in many dishes. It has firm flesh that is easier to cook and a mild yet unique flavor that will suit any palate. Halibut is also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, which are known to have several health advantages.

Halibut works well as a substitute for tuna in recipes that call for lighter cooking methods like baking, poaching, or steaming. Since it has a mild taste, you can cook it with various spices and herbs according to your taste. Halibut is delicious when served over potatoes or on top of spaghetti with your favorite sauce. For a light and delightful lunch, try spicy seared halibut with warm herbed quinoa or oven-baked halibut with tomatoes and capers.

5. Chickpeas


If you want a vegan alternative to tuna, chickpeas are a fantastic option. They contain a lot of healthy, plant-based protein and dietary fiber and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They also provide some essential fatty acids. Chickpeas are versatile and can be used in many recipes — from salads to sandwiches and wraps.

Consider flavoring chickpeas with a variety of flavors or additives to whip up an enticing tuna substitute. You can make a vegan “tuna” salad by mixing cooked chickpeas with vegan mayonnaise and mustard (try dijon for additional zing!) and then add sliced celery, onions, and pickles for crunch. Alternatively, you may add some garlic aioli to make something resembling traditional tuna salad.

6. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Textured Vegetable Protein

TVP is an ideal substitute for tuna and can provide numerous nutritional benefits. It is made from soy flour and contains a high amount of plant-based protein, as well as dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s a great low-fat, cholesterol-free alternative to tuna that also provides a substantial increase in fiber and important nutrients.

You can use TVP in a variety of ways. It tastes great in salads, casseroles, or sandwiches, or you can cook it with sauces such as marinara or curry to create a delightful vegetarian meal that is both hearty and nutritious. Generally, you will first have to rehydrate TVP with some hot water and then add it to cooked vegetables and other ingredients. With a little creativity, you can easily turn TVP into your favorite tuna dish — minus the fish!

7. Tempeh


Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soybean dish comprised of mildly fermented fried soybean patties. Not only is it high in protein and fiber, but it also includes resveratrol, which has been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, heart failure, and stroke.

Tempeh can be used as an ingredient in many recipes as a stand-in for tuna. You can crumble or cut it into cubes and add it to salads and sandwiches, stir-fries, wraps, and tacos instead of tuna. You can also marinate, grill, steam, or cook tempeh in curries, soups, stews, and casseroles as a replacement for seafood, including tuna.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.