Delicious Alternatives: Discover the 7 Best Substitutes for Tuna

7 Best Tuna Substitutes

Tuna is a versatile fish that is often consumed in a variety of ways, such as steaks, sandwiches, and pasta casseroles. However, there may be times when you need to find a substitute for tuna due to personal preference or unavailability. In this article, we will explore the seven best alternatives to tuna that can provide similar texture and flavor profiles. Whether you’re looking for alternatives from other types of fish or vegetarian options, we’ve got you covered.

1. Halibut Steaks

Halibut steaks are an excellent alternative to tuna, especially if you enjoy the delicious seared texture of tuna steaks. Halibut has firm flesh that holds its shape well in a variety of cooking methods, including grilling, baking and pan-frying. It offers a meaty texture that rivals a prime tuna steak. On the palate, halibut has a sweetness similar to tuna and a distinct fishy flavor. It pairs well with sauces and marinades intended for tuna, making it a suitable substitute.

2. Canned Sardines

While the idea of canned sardines may put some people off, they can be an excellent substitute for canned tuna. Sardines are small fish that are canned in their entirety, including skin and bones. The flesh of sardines is firm and flaky, making them suitable for a variety of dishes that call for tuna. Be aware, however, that sardines have a strong fishy smell and taste, so you may want to use a smaller amount than you would with tuna. Canned sardines come in several varieties, including water, oil, and tomato juice, with the water or oil options being closer in flavor to tuna.

3. Jackfruit

For those looking for a vegetarian alternative to tuna, jackfruit is a versatile option. This unusual fruit can be purchased in cans and has a flaky texture similar to tuna. It absorbs other flavors well and can be marinated to create a great alternative to tuna. By adding ingredients like nori or soy sauce, you can give jackfruit a fishy flavor. Mixed with vegan mayonnaise, it makes a delicious substitute for tuna sandwich filling.

4. Lox

Often considered a delicacy, salmon can serve as a relatively inexpensive alternative to tuna. It comes in a variety of forms, including steaks and canned options, making it very versatile. While salmon has a slightly sweeter flavor than tuna, it has a firm texture that holds its shape well when grilled. You can easily substitute salmon for tuna in recipes without making major adjustments, as they work well with similar ingredients and seasonings.

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a nutritious and vegetarian alternative to tuna. Packed with protein, they can be turned into a delicious alternative to tuna salad with a few simple tweaks. Start by lightly crushing cooked chickpeas and tossing them with finely chopped onions, celery and vegan mayonnaise. For a seafood flavor, add nori flakes or soy sauce. Toss the mixture into a fresh baguette with lettuce leaves and sliced tomato for a perfect vegan substitute for a tuna salad sandwich.

6. Salmon Trout

Trout is an excellent choice if you are looking for a fish with a flavor profile similar to tuna. Both saltwater and freshwater trout can be used as a substitute for tuna. However, it is important to note that trout has a more delicate and softer texture compared to tuna. Trout works well in a variety of dishes, whether grilled, baked or broiled, and can be incorporated into recipes that call for tuna.

7. Cauliflower

For those looking for a vegan alternative to tuna, cauliflower can be a surprising and delicious substitute. By marinating cauliflower steaks and baking or grilling them, you can achieve a texture similar to tuna. Cauliflower absorbs flavors well, making it versatile in many recipes. It can be used as a tuna substitute in salads, sandwiches, or even pasta dishes for a unique and satisfying alternative.
In conclusion, there are several excellent substitutes for tuna that can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences and availability constraints. Whether you prefer other types of fish like halibut and salmon, or opt for vegetarian alternatives like jackfruit, chickpeas, or cauliflower, you can find a suitable replacement for tuna in your favorite dishes. Experimenting with these substitutes can give your meals a refreshing twist while still providing a satisfying culinary experience.


Can I substitute other fish for tuna?

Yes, there are several fish options that can serve as a substitute for tuna. Halibut, salmon, trout, and even canned sardines can provide a similar texture and flavor profile to tuna.

Are there any vegetarian alternatives to tuna?

Absolutely! For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, jackfruit and chickpeas are excellent alternatives to tuna. Jackfruit can be cooked and flavored to mimic the texture and taste of tuna, while chickpeas can be turned into a satisfying tuna salad substitute.

What about the texture of these tuna substitutes?

The texture of substitutes can vary slightly from tuna. While fish alternatives such as halibut, salmon, and trout offer a firm and meaty texture, vegetarian options such as jackfruit and chickpeas can offer a different, yet enjoyable, texture when prepared properly.

Can these substitutes be used in the same recipes that call for tuna?

Yes, these substitutes can be used in a variety of recipes that traditionally call for tuna. Whether you’re making sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes or even sushi, these alternatives can be easily incorporated with similar ingredients and seasonings.

Are these substitutes readily available at grocery stores?

Yes, most of these substitutes are available in grocery stores. Fish substitutes such as halibut, salmon, and trout are often available in the fish case, while canned sardines can be found in the canned fish section. Vegetarian options such as jackfruit and chickpeas are often found in the canned goods or produce section of the store.