14 Best Substitutes for Tuna

Best Substitutes for Tuna
Photo by 27707 on Pixabay

A healthy and adaptable component, tuna is frequently used in various culinary preparations, including salads, casseroles, sushi, and sandwiches.

Because of its unique flavor, tuna is a valuable ingredient in cooking.

However, there are several reasons for looking for substitutes for tuna, such as taste or dietary constraints, allergies, or availability.

Thus, finding appropriate substitutes for tuna can improve your culinary adventures by offering choices according to the particular dish, preferred flavor and texture, nutritional content, and personal preferences.

Fortunately, we’ve got fantastic selections in our list of fantastic ideas! Here are the top substitutes for tuna without further ado.

1. Tempeh

Photo by mochawalk on Pixabay

Tempeh is starting our list of substitutes for tuna. It’s a soy-based product and may be an excellent meat substitute in various recipes, particularly in place of tuna. 

Tempeh has a similar seafood flavor to tuna in a recipe, but it’s a better source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Tempeh can be flakes added to stir fry, casseroles, and tuna salads.

2. Canned Sardine

Canned Sardine
Photo by monicore on Pixabay

Canned sardines and greens are displayed next to bank sprats on a black background with parsley and dill.

Sardines are an excellent substitute for tuna, even though many people find the thought of them unappealing.

Fish called sardines are small and are typically canned whole, including the bones and skin.

Its flaky, firm meat can be used in many recipes instead of tuna.

Sardines have a strong fishy flavor and scent, so you might want to start with a smaller amount rather than tuna.

Sardines can be canned in several ways, such as tomato juice, oil, or water.

If you want something that tastes like tuna, we advise against choosing the tomato version.

Choose smaller tinned sardines if you can locate them, as they are easier to break apart into flakes.

Bigger sardines can be meaty and thick, and the gritty skin and bones are not to everyone’s taste.

3. Raw Jackfruit

Jackfruit and Seeds - Fruits With Big Seeds
by Dennis S. Hurd is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

Jackfruit on a wooden table, half a jackfruit, and a jackfruit leaf in a white dish.

The adaptable jackfruit is also on our list of substitutes for tuna.

This odd fruit has a flaky feel similar to tuna and is available in cans. It may be marinated to provide a fantastic substitute for tuna and readily absorb other flavors.

Adding ingredients like soy sauce or nori can give jackfruit a fishy taste. Combined with vegan mayonnaise, it is a delectable substitute for filling tuna sandwiches.

4. Salmon

What to Serve With Salmon
Photo by Karyna Panchenko on Unsplash

Although salmon is sometimes considered a delicacy, it may be purchased for less money than tuna.

The wonderful thing about salmon is that it comes in every form that tuna does, so you can purchase both canned and steak varieties!

While salmon’s flavor is a little sweeter than tuna’s, both have a firm texture that keeps its shape when cooked.

If you use comparable ingredients and seasonings, you can substitute them for tuna without making too many changes to the dish.

5. Chickpeas

Image by depositphotos.com

Chickpea is also one of the substitutes for tuna on the list; it requires a little more work up front, but the results are well worth the effort!

A highly nutrient-dense, high-protein substitute for tuna is chickpeas.

Although chickpeas don’t taste very similar to tuna, they may be utilized to create a delectable tuna salad substitute with a few easy adjustments.

Simply mash some cooked chickpeas lightly and combine them with finely chopped celery, onions, and vegan mayonnaise. Soy sauce or nori flakes can be used to give seafood flavor.

The ideal vegan substitute for a tuna salad sandwich is to load the mixture onto a fresh baguette and top it with sliced tomato and lettuce leaves!

6. Fluke

Summer Flounder
by FWC Research is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This fish’s inclusion on our list of substitutes for tuna is no accident.

According to American Restaurant, Fluke is an Eastern Atlantic fish with a mild flavor profile and texture akin to our previously discussed halibut.

As a result, if you marinade it well and give it the attention it deserves in your poke bowl, it’s delicious, eaten raw.

While soba noodles are often served with poke, you may try something different by boiling them first and letting them cool for a few minutes before preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the soba noodles, marinade, and fluke with all the other ingredients, then savor this unique poke dish.

7. Sea Trout

Sea Trout
by lights_and_shadows_uk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tackle Village says that ocean trout is great raw and is frequently served sashimi-style at your neighborhood sushi restaurant.

While it is possible, it is usually unlikely that raw trout has parasites, and even if it does, the effects are often not very harmful. 

When frozen for a minimum of 24 hours before consumption, trout acquires a salmon-like flavor that is more subtle and can be consumed raw.

This process also helps eliminate any possible parasites. With its fresh taste, texture, and scent, citrus enhances the natural salts and flavors of trout, making it one of the fantastic substitutes for tuna.

8. Hamachi

by Premshree Pillai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Regarding protein content, it’s understandable why tuna is frequently considered a natural companion to poke bowls.

All you need to know about maguro, also known as bluefin tuna in Japan, is that it’s one of the best raw fish and rice pairings when used in your favorite nigiri. 

But coming in close second is hamachi, sometimes mistaken for tuna due to its ties to the misleadingly titled yellowtail tuna, a kind of amberjack.

Ironically, though, these commonalities set hamachi apart and make it one of the great substitutes for tuna.

It also doesn’t hurt that this fish has the highest protein content.

9. Sea Bream

Sea Bream
Image by depositphotos.com

The sea bream, named after the gold bar on its head, is a fish often overlooked yet has delicious white meat and a unique flavor.

Like other fish, it has an exceptionally high mineral and protein content and is heart-healthy and anti-cancer.

It can be used as a substitute for tuna in a poke since it is versatile in the kitchen and performs well in sushi and sashimi.

10. Red Snapper

Red Snapper
by MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Red snapper is next on our list of substitutes for tuna. In addition to being delicious, red snapper is produced using sustainable methods. 

Therefore, by eating it, you’re not only considering your health and hunger but also benefiting the ecology.

The meat of red snapper has a distinct flavor that is medium sweet.

This red, deep-water fish with big, snapping jaws is said by WebMD to offer several health advantages, such as supporting thyroid function, eyesight, and cognitive alertness.

From a taste perspective, many seafood enthusiasts appreciate it for its somewhat nutty flavor and rich, juicy meat.

There are several preparation methods, but none are required when thinking about poke.

11. Mackerel

by jenny downing is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another fatty fish that can be used as a substitute for tuna is mackerel; it has a unique flavor.

Although mackerel has a strong flavor that not everyone enjoys, it is a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals.

Try mackerel on tacos, pasta dishes, or grilled meals.

12. TVP

TVP is a great alternative to tuna and has a lot of nutritional value.

This soy flour-based product includes significant plant-based protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

It’s a fantastic low-fat, cholesterol-free substitute for tuna that significantly boosts fiber and other vital minerals.

These substitutes for tuna can be applied in many different contexts. It’s delicious on salads, casseroles, or sandwiches.

You can also cook it with sauces like curry or marinara to make a delicious, filling, healthy vegetarian meal.

TVP must usually be rehydrated in hot water before being added to cooked veggies and other components.

You may effortlessly transform TVP into your preferred tuna dish by adding imagination without the fish!

13. Halibut Steak

Halibut Steak

Halibut steaks are also fantastic substitutes for tuna steaks if you’re a fan of the latter but want something different.

As halibut is a strong meat that holds its shape well under various cooking techniques, it’s a great alternative to tuna.

It has a fantastic meaty texture that rivals prime tuna steak and may be baked, grilled, or pan-fried.

Regarding flavor, halibut tastes fantastic and is somewhat sweeter than tuna. It takes on spice well with marinades and sauces meant for tuna.

Its naturally occurring, subtly sweet flavor complements robust seasoning. This implies halibut won’t interfere with other ingredients in tuna preparation. 

14. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is ending our list of substitutes for tuna, which is a fantastic choice for vegetarians or vegans.

Although we’ve long been fans of cauliflower rice, cauliflower steaks elevate this adaptable vegetable!

There are several ways to prepare cauliflower steaks, such as roasting and pan-frying.

These techniques enhance the flavor of cauliflower, which is sweet, nutty, and incredibly flavor-absorbing.

Cauliflower steaks can, therefore, be prepared and served exactly like tuna steaks if you need to provide a vegetarian option at a dinner party.


When looking for substitutes for tuna that work well, it’s important to consider availability, allergies, and personal preferences.

You may ensure that your meals stay satisfying and well-balanced while satisfying your taste and nutritional needs by looking at the abovementioned top alternatives.

Remember that every alternative has unique advantages and disadvantages and appropriate recipes or foods that work well with it.

Be willing to try a variety of these substitutes for tuna and see which ones best suit your cooking style and taste preferences.

By considering aspects like flavor, consistency, nutritional worth, dietary constraints, and cost-effectiveness, you may select the ideal substitutes for tuna with assurance for any given dish.

Therefore, enjoy the culinary adventure and keep improving your cooking skills by using various alternative ingredients instead of just tuna. Enjoy!!

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