We Tasted a Ton of Tuna to Find the Best Flavored Varieties

16 cans (and jars) later, we stand behind 8 great choices that give you a break from your average tuna.


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These flavored tunas will definitely not be confused for cat food

safe catch tuna

Photo courtesy of safecatch.com

Photo courtesy of safecatch.com

Canned tuna is a beloved staple in the Family Circle Test Kitchen—and in the home pantries of everyone in the kitchen. What has us excited are the options beyond the tried-and-true basics. We ate can after can to find the ones that are worth your time. They all come from high-quality sustainable producers, and we have ideas for how to use them in your next meal.

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American Tuna

american tuna

Photo courtesy of americantuna.com

Photo courtesy of americantuna.com

We loved the Smoked with Olive Oil tuna. It’s meaty, and it eats like lox you can grab from the shelf anytime.

Taste tester quotes

  • “I like that it’s very unexpected. I keep going back for another bite.”
  • “I really like the sodium level, and the texture’s great.”
  • “It would be nice as a really simple appetizer—on a cracker with crème fraîche or something.”

Details


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bela tuna

Photo courtesy of food52.com

Photo courtesy of food52.com

The Skipjack Tuna Filets in Organic EVOO with Organic Piri-Piri (a Portuguese chile) delivered a slow build on the heat, leaving us craving another taste.

Taste tester quotes

  • “It’s not very fishy, which is good. I hate when tuna is fishy.”
  • “I would add this to a nice kale salad; it would be hearty.”
  • “The heat is there, but only on the back end. You taste the olive oil up front.”

Details

  • Price: $9.99 for a 6.7-oz jar
  • Available at: food52.com

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Safe Catch

safe catch tuna

Photo courtesy of safecatch.com

Photo courtesy of safecatch.com

Safe Catch is not playing it safe, and we love it. The company is landing on our list with three inventive flavors: Cajun, which conjures up Southern blackened fish; Habanero Mint, which was light on the mint but delivered on the spiciness; and Tandoori, which was as surprising as it was delicious.

Taste tester quotes

  • “They all have a pretty color.”
  • “I could picture the Cajun over a bed of rice. Maybe add some greens and red beans.”
  • “I want to use the Habanero Mint in a spicy tuna roll. The chile really comes through.”
  • “The Tandoori smells really good. The spices work well with the flavor of the tuna itself.”

Details

  • Price: $3.49 for a 6-oz can
  • Available at: safecatch.com and retailers nationwide

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Tonnino

Photo courtesy of tonnino.com

Photo courtesy of tonnino.com

Tonnino is a heavy hitter in the quality tuna scene, and we loved two of its flavored varieties: Jalapeño, which has a great chile aroma, a mild heat and pieces of jalapeño, and Oregano, which is packed in an herb-infused oil that’s begging to be used.

Taste tester quotes

  • “The fish in the Jalapeño kind is nicely moist. A tuna taco salad with some corn and sour cream would be great.”
  • “The Oregano tastes like fresh oregano. It would be awesome in a puttanesca-style pasta.”

Details

  • Price: about $8 for a 6.7-oz jar
  • Available at: tonnino.com and retailers nationwide

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A Walk on the Mild Side

natural sea tuna

Photo courtesy of naturalsea.com

Photo courtesy of naturalsea.com

If you want to break the monotony of standard canned tuna but aren’t in the market for jazzed-up fish, try a more subtle variety, like Natural Sea, Ortiz and Wild Planet.

Taste tester quotes

  • On Natural Sea Chunk Light Tongol No Salt Added: “This would be a good introduction if you want to get your kid to eat fish. It’s meaty and very mild.”
  • On Ortiz Bonito del Norte: “There’s not a strong smell; you could eat this at your desk.”
  • On Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna Fillets in Spanish Olive Oil: “If I were going to create a tuna, it would be like this.”

Details

  • Prices: Natural Sea: $3.69 for a 5-oz can; Ortiz: around $7 for a 3.95-oz tin; Wild Planet: $6.29 for a 4.5-oz jar
  • Available at: naturalsea.com, wildplanet.com and retailers nationwide