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The 5 Best Substitutes for Tuna

Have you ever wondered what it means to cook with tuna and what the best substitutes would be?

Tuna is an incredibly versatile ingredient, used in a variety of dishes from salads and sandwiches to sushi rolls.

It has a distinct flavor that can be hard to replicate with other ingredients, but luckily there are multiple potential ways to substitute for tuna in almost any dish.

From salmon to trout, these five alternatives can help you get an authentically-flavored dish without the use of tuna.

What is Tuna?

Tuna is a type of fish that comes in an array of forms.

Succulent tuna steaks, chunks, and loins are perfect for grilling, while flakes and slices of canned tuna provide culinary versatility when cooking.

This lean fish is a great source of protein and is known for its mild flavor and creamy texture.

Whether you opt for fresh or canned tuna, it can be used as the main protein in recipes such as salads and sandwiches or served as an accompaniment to pasta dishes and soups.

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Its mild flavor and texture make it ideal for experimenting with different recipes; however, you should keep in mind that tuna steaks are best cooked rare or medium-rare if you want to enjoy the full flavor.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tuna

If you’re looking for a sustainable seafood alternative to tuna, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 5 of the best substitutes that offer a tasty and nutritious option:

1 – Salmon

Salmon is a truly intriguing fish.

Highly sought after, it spends part of its life cycle in salt water and part of it in fresh water, making it an anadromous creature.

Its flesh is especially orangey-pink in color – a hue that comes from its diet rich in crustaceans and natural carotenoids.

With its fatty yet delicate meat, salmon has a unique taste and texture unlike no other.

Despite being often referred to as “the tuna of the North,” salmon can be easily substituted for tuna in any dish due to its aesthetically pleasing look and flavor palette.

In short, this delectable fish should definitely not be overlooked.

2 – Trout

Trout is a species of freshwater fish that is collected from streams, rivers, and lakes.

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They can also thrive in streams connected to the ocean and brackish water.

Compared to other fish, trout are known for their pink-orange meat and delicate texture.

Many people compare the taste of trout to that of tuna, making it a popular substitution when a recipe calls for it.

Trout flesh generally has a clean taste with medium oil levels and no fishy notes.

When cooked properly, the texture becomes very delicate and flaky, which helps to make up for the lack of flavor.

In order to substitute trout for tuna, simply select roasted or smoked varieties rather than canned, as this will give you a better-tasting product.

3 – Tilapia

Tilapia has caused quite a stir with its sudden popularity.

Once an obscure river fish, it’s now found in most supermarkets.

It has a mild, subtle flavor and delicate texture that is comparable to some saltwater fish like cod and halibut.

Tilapia is often referred to as the “poor man’s salmon” because it can be substituted for tuna or salmon in many dishes but costs substantially less.

It absorbs marinades quickly, cooks easily, and flakes apart nicely, making it an excellent choice for tacos and salads.

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The versatility of this nutritious fish makes it a great choice regardless of whether you are on a limited budget or looking to try something new in the kitchen.

4 – Mahi Mahi

The seemingly unknown fish known as mahi mahi is surprisingly delicious and accessible.

It is a firm, aquatic fish native to tropical and temperate shallow seas but can also be found in food store aisles with relative ease.

This makes it an excellent choice for the home chef.

Taste-wise, it carries a sweet flavor and mildly delicate texture, allowing it to suit either slow-cooking techniques or light-fried dishes.

It’s mostly known as an ideal substitute for tuna due to its flaky yet tenacious consistency that won’t fall apart during cooking.

Alongside its robust versatility, this makes mahi mahi a fish for all occasions.

5 – Pollock

Pollock, a sea-dwelling species of fish, is an interesting delicacy.

It has a very distinct flavor and texture that separates it from many other types of seafood.

Pollock’s flesh tends to have a mild, buttery taste and a soft, tender texture which make it popular amongst chefs and seafood aficionados alike.

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It can be cooked in numerous ways, such as steamed, fried, or grilled, but when boiled, it takes on a chunkier consistency somewhat reminiscent of canned tuna.

Due to this, it is often used as an alternative for replacing canned tuna in recipes such as salads or casseroles, where it provides a healthier and more flavorful option than its preserved counterpart.


In conclusion, there are many great alternatives to tuna that can be used to substitute it in recipes.

From the delicate taste of salmon to the mild flavor of pollock, each fish provides a unique flavor and texture, making them all ideal choices for replacing canned tuna.

Whether you’re looking for an economical option or trying something new, these five options will guarantee success in the kitchen.

So, don’t be afraid to try something different and discover a new favorite among these delightful fishes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tuna

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tuna
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Tilapia
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Pollock


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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