• 10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 3
  • 10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 4
  • 10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed) 5

10 Best Canned Tunas in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)

Canned tuna is a pantry staple for many. It is versatile and can be used in recipes like salads, casseroles, pasta, and sandwiches. It is perfect for a light snack as you can take it on the go; some tunas are even delicious straight out of the can. Tuna provides many benefits as it is full of omega-3 fatty acids and protein-dense. Whether you need a low-sodium option, one in creamy olive oil, or a choice with less mercury, there is a perfect canned tuna for you!


However, with the multitude of options on the market, you might not be able to spot the best canned tuna. If that's the case, check out our list of 10 canned tunas that are highly recommended by users. Our favorite is Wild Planet's Albacore Wild Tuna, which contains no added oil, fillers, or water. Plus, the tuna is caught using sustainable fishing methods. There are more yummy products on our list, so give them a glance. Also check out our buying guide, which has been reviewed by a chef, for more information on how to pick the perfect canned tuna. 

Featured in this article

Jim Quast
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-24-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Canned Tuna - Buying Guide

When selecting the perfect canned tuna, there are some important criteria to consider. The added ingredients, how the tuna is packaged, the caching method, and the type of tuna are all essential factors. 

Decide Between White Tuna and Light Tuna

The first factor that you'll want to consider is the type of tuna used to create the product. There are various types and they all have different textures and flavors. But the two most popular types are white tuna and light tuna. 

White Tuna Is Mellow and Compliments Recipes

White Tuna Is Mellow and Compliments Recipes

White albacore tuna, also known as white tuna, is perfect if you want a milder fish flavor. The color of its meat looks white to pink when raw. Mellow in flavor and firm in texture, white tuna is versatile and can be incorporated in various recipes from salads to sandwiches without overwhelming other ingredients.


White tuna is packed with nutrients as well. Compared to light tuna, it has a higher fat content, and contains more omega-3 fatty acids. However, white tuna generally contains more mercury

Light Tuna Is Flavorful and Tender

Light Tuna Is Flavorful and Tender

For those who love a powerful, flavorful taste, light tuna might be a better choice for you! There are many types of fish that can be categorized as light tuna, including skipjack, tongol, yellowfin, and more. Its raw meat has a pinkish, dark color and it has a more intense flavor than white tuna. 


Light tuna is quite tender and has a texture similar to chicken thighs. When it comes to nutritional value, light tuna is a bit lower in fat, but also has a lower omega-3 content. Light tuna also tends to have lower levels of mercury. 

Pick a Canning Liquid Based on Nutrition and Texture

Canned tuna can come in water, oil, or just by itself with nothing added. Each type will give your tuna a different texture, flavor, and also nutritional value. 

Water-Packed Tuna Retains All Omega-3s

Water-Packed Tuna Retains All Omega-3s

Compared to the oil-packed type, water-packed tuna contains fewer calories and has more omega-3s. When you drain the oil from your oil-packed tuna, a certain amount of omega-3 fatty acids also go with it. But since water and oil don't mix, draining water from the tuna won't reduce the omega-3 content.


In terms of taste and texture, water-packed tuna might be a bit dry, but it's easy to flake and absorbs flavor fairly well. So you can combine water-packed tuna with seasonings and condiments like mayonnaise to enhance the flavor. Some canned tuna is packaged with vegetable broth; this is used to to season the tuna and supplement a mild taste. 


Commonly, there are two types of water used for canned tuna: spring water and brine. Brine is essentially salt water, and will add a bit of saltiness to your tuna. Meanwhile, spring water contains no extra sodium and is more suitable for those who try to regulate their sodium intake.

Oil-Packed Tuna Is Moist With a Strong Taste

Oil-Packed Tuna Is Moist With a Strong Taste

Oil-packed tuna has a rich flavor and moist consistency. It might be higher in fat and calorie count, but contains a higher amount of minerals and vitamins such as selenium, vitamin D, and more. It tastes great straight out of the can, and you don't have to flavor it with too many extra ingredients.


With oil-packed tuna, you should pay attention to the type of oil used. Usually, you'll find products that come with olive oil, vegetable oil, or soybean oil.


Vegetable and soybean oil are milder in flavor and won't alter the taste of your tuna that much. Meanwhile, olive oil has a pungent, pepper-like taste that will add some kick to your tuna. When it comes to nutritional value, olive oil also stands out as the healthier option.

Tuna Without Water or Oil Doesn't Need Draining

Tuna Without Water or Oil Doesn't Need Draining

Some canned tuna is prepared just by itself, occasionally with some salt for preservation. This type of tuna does not need to be drained or mixed, and one advantage is being able to easily eat it straight from the can.  


Because it does not need to be drained, you don't need to worry about losing flavor or omega-3 fatty acids that can bind to water and oil respectively. By not adding any additional ingredients, the tuna can keep a firm texture, especially if it's solid tuna loin. 

Choose Solid, Chunked, Flaked, or Grated Tuna

Choose Solid, Chunked, Flaked, or Grated Tuna

Canned tuna comes in a variety of forms. Solid refers to large fillets of tuna; this type is more common for white tuna because it is created from one type of fish. Solid white tuna is a firm fillet of tuna loin and can be enjoyed as it is. Due to the quality of the fillet, it is generally the most expensive. 


Chunked refers to smaller pieces of tuna fish and is available for white or light tuna. Chunked light is generally composed of small pieces of loin from several types of tuna and has a stronger flavor; therefore, it is best for dishes where tuna is the star and the texture won't be as noticeable, such as tuna salad. 


Flaked and grated tuna are even smaller pieces of fish that are left over from canning the loin. This makes them the cheapest option. These are best for dishes where tuna plays a complimentary role and the texture is not as important, such as casseroles. 

Make Sure the Tuna Is Mercury-Tested

Make Sure the Tuna Is Mercury-Tested

All fish contain a certain amount of methylmercury, a type of mercury that can cause damage to our central nervous system if eaten in excess. And one of the major sources of mercury in our diet is canned tuna. Tuna accumulates a high amount of mercury over time; therefore, it is important to consume it in moderation. 


Since young children are highly susceptible to the impacts of mercury, they, along with women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should consume no more than 12 ounces of canned light tuna per week. They should eat even less albacore tuna due to its higher mercury level. Meanwhile, the acceptable amount for other adults is 14.5 ounces of light tuna or around five ounces of white tuna per week.


Keep in mind that this recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency has been facing a lot of criticism, as many experts think that the limit is still too high. For balance, diversify your diet and consume low-mercury fish and not just tuna. You can also purchase tuna products that have been mercury-tested and proven to contain low mercury levels.

Consider a Sustainable Catching Method

Consider a Sustainable Catching Method

In general, the best methods are pole and line fishing as well as trolling. With pole and line fishing, only one tuna will be caught at a time. Meanwhile, trolling involves a boat with a few fishing lines. Both methods ensure that no other marine species get caught together with the tuna.


While browsing through various products, you'll find those labeled as "wild-caught" or "dolphin-safe." These are buzzwords to appeal to buyers. The "wild-caught" label just signifies that the tuna is not farmed, which is often not the case with canned tuna.

Consider a Sustainable Catching Method

Meanwhile, the term "dolphin-safe" indicates that the catching method doesn't kill or injure dolphins. But many manufacturers just label their products as "dolphin-safe" and don't include information about their catching method or whether it harms the ecosystem; these products are not guaranteed to protect marine life because there are various standards for the label, some more strict than others.


If you're unsure about which canned tuna is actually sustainable, look for the MSC-certified seal. MSC stands for the Marine Stewardship Council, which is a reputable non-profit organization that appraises the sustainability of catching methods. Only products that have been thoroughly inspected and proven to be sustainable can bear the seal.

Look for Pull-Tab, BPA-Free Cans

Look for Pull-Tab, BPA-Free Cans

Packaging seems like a trivial matter, but it can make your life much easier, especially if you're on the go. You'll definitely appreciate a can designed with a pull-top lid since you can simply pull the lid off without a can opener.


Another factor to keep in mind is the material of the can. You'll want to avoid cans whose lining contains BPA, a chemical substance that has been linked to various health issues including cardiovascular and hormonal problems.

10 Best Canned Tunas

On our list, there are 10 products that are well-loved by reviewers. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast.

Image
Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna 1

Wild Planet

Bumble Bee Prime Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water Low Sodium 1

Bumble Bee Prime

Safe Catch Ahi Wild Yellowfin Tuna 6 Pack 1

Safe Catch

Portofino Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12 Pack 1

Portofino

Crown Prince Tongol Tuna in Spring Water 1

Crown Prince

Natural Catch Tuna Filets 12 Pack 1

Natural Catch

StarKist Selects Solid Yellowfin Tuna With Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1

StarKist Selects

Genova Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil 1

Genova

Raincoast Trading Wild Albacore Tuna 1

Raincoast Trading

Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water 1

Chicken of the Sea

Name

Albacore Wild Tuna

Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water Low Sodium

Ahi Wild Yellowfin Tuna 6 Pack

Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12 Pack

Tongol Tuna in Spring Water

Tuna Filets 12 Pack

Solid Yellowfin Tuna With Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil

Wild Albacore Tuna

Chunk Light Tuna in Water

Features

Best to Eat by Itself

Best Low-Sodium Gourmet Tuna

Best for Those Conscious of Mercury

Best for Healthy Fats

Best for Simple Ingredients

Best as the Star of the Meal

Best Compliment to Other Dishes

Best White Tuna in Olive Oil

Best North American Tuna

Best Addition to Complex Dishes

Price$3.29$2.48$19.00$24.06$3.99$48.00$1.87$2.52$5.85$1.22
TypeAlbacore tunaSolid white Albacore tunaSolid yellowfin tunaSolid yellowfin tunaChunk light tongol tunaYellowfin tuna filetsSolid yellowfin tunaWhite Albacore tunaAlbacore tunaChunk light tuna
Packed inSea saltWaterSea saltExtra virgin olive oil, sea saltSpring waterExtra virgin olive oil, water, vegetable broth, sea saltExtra virgin olive oil, dehydrated vegetables, dill weed, lemon peelOlive oil, saltSea saltWater, vegetable broth, salt
Amount5 oz.5 oz. 5 oz. per can4.5 oz. each5 oz.4.4 oz.4.5 oz.5 oz.5.3 oz. 5 oz.
PackagingBPA-free pull tab cansNot providedPull tabPull tabPull tabPull tabPull tabPull tabBPA-free pull tab cansRegular can
FeaturesMercury-tested, sustainably line caughtTraceable sourcingMercury-tested, sustainably caught--Mercury-tested, line caught-Sustainably sourced (self-certified)Mercury-tested, line-caughtSustainably-sourced and traceable
Link
TypeAlbacore tuna
Packed inSea salt
Amount5 oz.
PackagingBPA-free pull tab cans
FeaturesMercury-tested, sustainably line caught

Bumble Bee PrimeSolid White Albacore Tuna in Water Low Sodium

$2.48

TypeSolid white Albacore tuna
Packed inWater
Amount5 oz.
PackagingNot provided
FeaturesTraceable sourcing
TypeSolid yellowfin tuna
Packed inSea salt
Amount5 oz. per can
PackagingPull tab
FeaturesMercury-tested, sustainably caught

PortofinoSolid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 12 Pack

$24.06

TypeSolid yellowfin tuna
Packed inExtra virgin olive oil, sea salt
Amount4.5 oz. each
PackagingPull tab
Features-
TypeChunk light tongol tuna
Packed inSpring water
Amount5 oz.
PackagingPull tab
Features-

Natural CatchTuna Filets 12 Pack

$48.00

TypeYellowfin tuna filets
Packed inExtra virgin olive oil, water, vegetable broth, sea salt
Amount4.4 oz.
PackagingPull tab
FeaturesMercury-tested, line caught

StarKist SelectsSolid Yellowfin Tuna With Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

$1.87

TypeSolid yellowfin tuna
Packed inExtra virgin olive oil, dehydrated vegetables, dill weed, lemon peel
Amount4.5 oz.
PackagingPull tab
Features-

GenovaAlbacore Tuna in Olive Oil

$2.52

TypeWhite Albacore tuna
Packed inOlive oil, salt
Amount5 oz.
PackagingPull tab
FeaturesSustainably sourced (self-certified)

Raincoast TradingWild Albacore Tuna

$5.85

TypeAlbacore tuna
Packed inSea salt
Amount5.3 oz.
PackagingBPA-free pull tab cans
FeaturesMercury-tested, line-caught

Chicken of the SeaChunk Light Tuna in Water

$1.22

TypeChunk light tuna
Packed inWater, vegetable broth, salt
Amount5 oz.
PackagingRegular can
FeaturesSustainably-sourced and traceable

More Quick Foods for Busy Lifestyles

Preoccupied with school or work and don't really have time to spare cooking meals? Don't worry, as we've got some delicious food options that can quickly get your energy level up! Check these recommended products for more details.

Amazon's Best Selling Canned Tuna

If you'd still like to browse more items for product information or purchase options, check out Amazon's best selling list of canned tuna. 

Buying Guide Reviewed by Executive R&D Chef Jim Quast

Jim Quast
Executive R&D Chef
Jim Quast

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Thuy Nguyen

Updated by: Andrew Simmons, 4/25/2022


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