If you find canned tuna a bit dry and boring you are not alone. The good news is that you can transform it into a very tasty tuna pate in less than 15 minutes. Just blast the boring canned tuna in your food processor to get a finer consistency, mix in some cream cheese, crunchy scallions/spring onions, lemon juice and dill and enjoy spreading the fruit of your (brief) labour onto fresh crusty bread or crackers.
My husband went through a phase of eating tuna pate for breakfast every day. I started to wonder why I was buying it when I could not only make it, but probably make it better. So now I've made it and my husband has sampled it. He says it's definitely better than the store-bought tuna pate and fortunately, it's very quick and easy to make too. There will be no more tuna pate in my shopping trolley. I am a homemade-tuna-pate convert and I hope you will be too.
Key ingredients and possible alternatives
- Tuna - choose canned tuna in spring water. I have never made tuna pate with tuna stored in oil so suggest you wash it first and dry it with kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
- Cream cheese - I have tested the recipe with full-fat cream cheese, but you could swap this for a lower-fat alternative. It may make the consistency of the pate thinner, so you might want to add a little less than the amount stated in the recipe.
- Fresh dill - adds hints of citrusy freshness. You could swap the dill for the same amount of parsley, thyme or tarragon if you do not have dill. I have not tested the pate with these herbs but they have a similar flavour profile so they should be a good alternative.
- Spring onions/scallions - add a little crunch and tanginess to the texture of the pate. You could switch them for the same amount of chives or red onion. Just make sure you chop them very finely.
- Olive oil - adds richness and very subtle umami flavour to the pate.
- Lemon zest and juice - adds citrusy fresh taste.
- Tabasco sauce - this is optional but recommended if you want to add a little heat to the pate.
- Salt and pepper.
How to make tuna pate
1. Blitz the tuna
Drain the tuna, place it into your food processor and pulse until you see a fine consistency with a little texture remaining.
2. Mix all ingredients
Transfer the tuna to a mixing bowl, add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Then serve with crusty bread or crackers.
Tools and Equipment
- Food processor - enables you to get the tuna to a fine consistency, which will ensure the pate has smooth texture. If you don't have one use a knife to chop the tuna as finely as you can. If you prefer a chunkier pate you can reduce the processing or chopping or skip this step.
- Mixing bowl - choose a medium-sized mixing bowl that is large enough to hold and incorporate the pate ingredients.
- Jar or airtight container - for storing the finished pate in the refrigerator if you are not going to eat it straight away.
Top tips for perfect Tuna Pate
- Blitz the tuna in a food processor first - this will enable you to get a smooth pate-like consistency.
- Chop up the dill and spring onion/scallion very finely - the pieces should be 2mm in size. They should add a little texture to the pate but not disrupt its smoothness.
- Have a jar ready - this is the best way to store the tuna pate if you are not planning to eat it right away.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to three days in a jar or airtight container.
Yes it can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Spread it on crusty white bread and crackers or add a few dollops to a salad. It makes a great snack or light lunch.