Canned Tuna Is the Star of This Pantry-friendly Dinner

Chef Jessica Halper is staying home, but she’s still committed to eating well. Here’s how she’s making the most of her limited runs to the grocery store.

Canned tuna, artichokes, and white beans
Canned tuna, artichokes, and white beans

These days, my trips to the grocery store are few and far between. While that’s ultimately the best thing for everyone’s health, it can make it difficult to maintain a nutritious and diverse diet. Grabbing a box of mac and cheese or a frozen pizza to fill my stomach and comfort my soul has never been so tempting. While these options are both consoling and accessible, they likely do not provide the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies in fighting shape.

Cooking with canned goods can be an inexpensive and pandemic proof method for maintaining a nutritious diet when fresh produce is unavailable. This bright and healthy recipe utilizes two of my favorite canned products: beans and tuna. The canned tuna provides a daily dose of lean protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and the beans are packed with fiber, which makes for a happy and healthy gut (and a vocal one too!). Artichoke hearts are also an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants, even in their canned state.

Quick note: When buying canned goods, choose options that are low in sodium or have  no salt added. If you aren’t sure, give the ingredient a quick rinse before using.

Tuscan-style White Bean Salad with Canned Tuna, Artichokes, and Shallot Vinaigrette

Serves 2

  • 1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 4 oz can of tuna, packed in olive oil or water, drained
  • ¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 oz greens (arugula, spinach, mixed greens, etc) (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the drained beans, chopped artichoke hearts, drained tuna, capers, celery and mixed greens (if using). 
  2. Combine the chopped shallot, vinegar, mustard and olive oil in a jar. Shake the jar until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Taste, then season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  3. Add half the vinaigrette to the salad; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add the remaining vinaigrette if desired or store in the refrigerator covered for up to one week. Enjoy!

Looking for more canned tuna ideas? Try these cream of mushroom tuna croquettes.