Tuna: A Versatile, Nutritious Ingredient

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 4.22.13 PMFinding healthy, inexpensive ways to feed one’s family can sometimes feel challenging, Easter H. Tucker, interim family and consumer sciences program leader for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but meat is usually the most expensive item on the menu.

“Individuals should consider preparing dishes that call for tuna,” she said. “Canned tuna or tuna sold in pouches is affordable and makes for a nutritious and versatile ingredient in many dishes.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate website recommends eating seafood (fish and shellfish) twice a week. Seafood has a variety of nutrients, including healthy omega-3 fats, which can help reduce inflammation, the risk of heart disease, instances of depression and cognitive decline.

“The American Heart Association recommends we eat fish such as tuna twice a week,” Tucker said. “Arkansans can try out the delicious recipe for spicy tuna salad from Iowa State University’s 2020 Nutrition and Fitness Calendar.”

-1 can or pouch (5 ounces) tuna, drained
-1/2 cup cooked beans
-1/2 cup salsa
-1/4 cup shredded cheese
-1/4 cup peppers, diced
-1/4 cup onions, diced
-Optional Ingredients: Baked tortilla chips, lettuce leaves, tortillas, salad greens

  1. Stir tuna, beans, salsa, cheese, peppers and onions together in a bowl.
  2. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  3. Serve as a dip for baked tortilla chips, a wrap with lettuce leaves or tortillas, or a topping for a lettuce salad.


  • Use canned beans that have been drained and rinsed or dried beans that have been cooked.
  • You can prepare a mild version of this dish by using mild salsa and bell peppers. On the other hand, you can turn the heat up a notch by using hot salsa and jalapeno peppers.

Source: Iowa State University

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s