Is tinned fish good for you?
It is a common misconception that fresh seafood is more nutritious than canned. This is not the case: tinned fish is a great source of protein, essential oils and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids – highly nutritious vitamins which benefit heart and eye health and lower blood pressure. Plus, the tin essentially locks in all the nutrition, making it a super healthy way to consume seafood.
Is tinned fish sustainable?
The tinned food industry is hailed for its low-waste output. This is because it preserves fish for longer as it is stored out of the fridge and lasts up to four years. Plus, you can eat everything that’s inside the tin (if we all chose to consume fish on the day of catch, the concentrated time frame increases the risk of overfishing). Look out for canned or tinned fish with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, as this means it’s being fished using methods that aren’t depleting the oceans.
What other benefits are there?
Tinned fish is more affordable than fresh fish, perfect for those looking to keep costs low. Plus, since it’s already cooked, it makes a nifty no-cook ingredient. Simply throw into your dish of choice – we love it in pasta, salads, dressings and on toast. This is worth bearing in mind if you’re looking to expand your no-cook meal repertoire.
Best tinned fish to buy
These anchovies have a soft, silky texture that melts in the mouth. They’re consistent in thickness and length, and come in a neutral olive oil that lets the umami flavor sing. They’re not overly salty, and the taste is a pleasant flavor bomb without being too fishy. They don’t cook down as well as others due to the thickness, but they’re too good to melt away! Try in a caesar salad, or serve on sourdough with butter.
This latest venture from seafood sustainability champ Mitch Tonks preserves fish sourced directly from the south coast of England, reducing waste by using catch that would otherwise go unsold due to varying demand. Sardines, cuttlefish, mackerel and mussels are packed with traditional oils and sauces to infuse them with extra flavour.
With a really deep, rich flavor and slightly bitter, ‘beefy’ aftertaste, these are for the hardcore anchovy lover, or a recipe that requires a big savory hit. Perhaps too strong and salty to eat in salads for some, they work well in stews, melted into pasta dishes, or pushed into the skin of roast lamb. Used sparingly, they’re a secret ingredient to keep in your cupboard to make savory dishes sing.
More like this
For a pale, delicate tuna, try Spain-based Ortiz’s ‘Bonito del Norte’, a smallish tuna generally weighing less than 20kg. Packed in olive oil, this tuna is best when eaten simply: we love it on toast or in a classic salad Niçoise. Ortiz bonito tuna is individually pole and line caught, which helps avoid unwanted fish being caught and thrown away.
The East London Canning Co has recently launched Sea Sisters, a range of British tinned fish. Using ethically sourced and sustainable fish and seafood, the fish and seafood is harvested only when it’s in season and is therefore plentiful. Each fish is also paired with quality British ingredients, such as Somerset cider and locally produced ‘nduja made with regenerative farming practices.
20 tinned fish recipes
Tinned sardine recipes
10-minute sardines and peppers on toast
Pair tinned sardines with roasted red peppers, parsley and smoked paprika to make this jazzed up sardines on toast. It’s super quick to make and an easy midweek meal. Check out more sardine recipes.
Light tinned sardines shine in this quick and easy Sardinian spaghetti dish, lifted with dried chilli flakes and smoked paprika.
Warm roasted pepper, sardine and ciabatta salad
You’ll need 2 x 140g tins of sardines to make this Italian-style salad, combined with roasted peppers and ciabatta. It makes for a simple low-calorie midweek meal to feed the family.
Celeriac and sardine toasts
The zingy topping of celeriac, apple, celery and lemon juice really cuts through the deliciously oily sardines in this quick and easy sardine toast recipe.
Tinned anchovy recipes
Asparagus and anchovy pasta
You’ll need anchovy fillets to rustle up this bowl of asparagus and anchovy pasta, teeming with umami taste and added crunch thanks to the fennel seed pangrattato topper. Take a look at more anchovy recipes.
Oven-baked potatoes with capers and anchovies
Anchovy fillets combine with potatoes, peppers and capers to make a dish full of umami flavour. It’s perfect just with a leafy salad but also makes a great accompaniment to lamb or fish.
Try this fresh green sauce made with anchovy fillets, capers, lemon and fresh herbs. Pair it with grilled fish, chicken or vegetables.
Easy caesar salad
Finely chopped anchovy fillets add salty depth and a real kick of flavor to this caesar salad dressing. Expect crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and salty bacon lardons.
Tinned tuna recipes
Tuna, sweet potato and gruyere melt
Tinned tuna combines with gruyère and sweet potato to make a nutritious family meal. Serve with a green salad, if you like. Here’s more of our best tinned tuna recipes.
Edamame, potato and tuna salad
Check out this vibrant salad using tinned tuna. If you can’t get hold of edamame, double-podded broad beans or sliced mangetout would work well instead.
Tuna, orzo and bean salad
Use that tin of tuna alongside other store cupboard staples to make this vibrant, nutritious orzo pasta salad with roasted red peppers and black olives.
Tuna pasta bake
Put tinned tuna to good use with this classic family recipe, spiked with dried chilli flakes and rosemary. This comforting dish is a real crowd-pleaser and will be on the table in 50 minutes.
Spaghetti with tuna, capers and chilli
A nifty midweek dinner for when you want to use up store cupboard staples, featuring spaghetti, tinned tuna, capers, chilli, red onion, garlic and herbs. To give this dish an individual touch, add spices and herbs of your own choice.
Linguine with tuna, lemon and dill
A quick and simple pasta dish with tinned tuna, lemon, red onion and dill. Add some chilli or a tablespoon of drained capers for an extra kick. This would make a great fresh pasta salad too – just mix the salad with cooled short pasta such as fusilli.
Fishcakes are the ultimate comfort food and these ones, made using tinned tuna, are super easy. Squeeze over plenty of lemon juice and serve with a parsley, cucumber and caper salad.
Tuna niçoise pâté
Just tinned tuna, butter, cream and lemon zest make up this delicious pâté. Serve it with hot toast, olives and capers to impress the family using few ingredients.
Tuna melt jackets
Tinned tuna makes a great budget-friendly topping for a baked potato. This recipe adds cheese and spring onions for an extra melty finish, perfect for a comforting midweek meal.
Spicy tuna puttanesca
This simple Italian pasta can be made in 15 minutes, making the most of store-cupboard heroes such as tinned tuna, capers and black olives.
Tuna crunch baked potato
Perk up a jacket potato with a tin of tuna, spring onion, celery and sour cream. It’s really easy to make and perfect for when you’re short on time.
Tuna and caper bagels
Struggling on what to make for lunch? Jazz up your bagel with a tin of tuna, mayo, spring onions, capers, cornichons and parsley.