Spicy Tuna Skillet

I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I am not a huge fan of tuna even though the rest of my family loves it. So I’m always trying to come up with ways to use tuna that will make us all happy. I find if the tuna is masked in something crispy (like my tuna croquettes) or combined with a well-flavored sauce, I do enjoy it.

That’s one of the things I’ve learned over the years when it comes to having a frugal kitchen. If there is an ingredient that provides a cheap protein source while still being healthy, I should find a way to use it. And it’s so much better when that item is actually liked by at least half of us. I do this with eggs, beans and lentils too. It really pushes me to be creative and helps to broaden our tastes as a family. What is your favorite cheap protein source?

Spicy Tuna Skillet

  • 1/2 lb. egg noodles
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 5 T. butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. milk, drained
  • 1 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  • 2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 T butter, optional
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, dice the red pepper, onion and celery. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Refrigerate until using. Combine the red pepper, onion and celery in a small bowl or plastic baggie and refrigerate.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add red pepper, onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook an additional 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, paprika and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low, stirring frequently.

Stir in cooked egg noodles, corn, tuna and mayonnaise. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, as needed. To serve immediately, cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Otherwise, refrigerate after combining until meal time and then just warm on the stove until heated through.

OPTIONAL STEP – If desired, melt 1 T. butter and combine with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the skillet and place under a broiler for about 2 minutes or in a hot oven for 5 minutes, just until golden brown.

5 thoughts on “Spicy Tuna Skillet

  1. You don’t mention what size the can of tuna should be for this. There are a couple of common sizes that are carried at my grocery store – which one would you recommend?

  2. OH MY GOD, i have just recently fell in love with tuna helper, not so healthy and this looks almost the same and healthier, so i will be tring this out!Thanks so much for the recipe!! Merry xmas!!

  3. I love tuna–and love that it is free so often with sales and coupons! One of my more recent favorite inexpensive proteins is black beans. Unfortunately, I really prefer the silky texture of canned rather than dried. Dried always come out a bit, well, dry! In most foods, it’s not a big deal, but in black bean burritos, where half the beans are pureed, the smooth texture of canned is so much better. Likewise with dishes like taco salad. If the meal requires long cooking, dried beans work just fine. If anyone has any tips on cooking dried beans so that they approach the texture of canned (maybe using a pressure cooker?), I’d love to hear them!

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