I love tuna. Love it in all its forms. And rice. Love that too.

So when it comes time to put together a weeknight meal that’s delicious and comforting? Tuna Rice is most definitely the answer.

This rice can be adapted to cook in many number of ways – cook the tuna and rice separately and mix them at the table, or sautee the tuna and raw rice and cook it all in one pot like a pilaff..anyway you dice it, it still turns out a good dinner. The way I usually cook it is the Persian style of cooking rice – because it’s worth the effort – and this recipe does double duty because it not only stretches your dollar by using pantry ingredients, but also makes a double batch, so that you can freeze half to defrost for an easy meal later!

Simple Tuna Rice

Tammi Kwok
This weeknight staple at my house is cheap to make and very conveniently serves 8, meaning that I can freeze half for another simple weeknight dinner later in the week! Gotta love 2 for 1s.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8


For the tuna

  • 1 400g can of tuna in spring water, drained
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic diced
  • 3 small chillies diced
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp tumeric

For the Rice

  • 2 cups raw basmati rice
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp butter

To serve

  • Greek yoghurt to serve
  • Frozen Spinach optional
  • 0.5 clove garlic optional
  • Dried dill or dried mint to serve


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  • Prepare the onion and garlic, and drain the tuna.
  • Boil the basmati rice till 3/4 cooked (about 10 min)
  • In a large pan, brown onion and garlic in some oil, and add chilli, tuna, 1 tsp turmeric, and dried dill.
  • Drain rice into a large sieve.
  • Melt butter and turmeric into the bottom of the pot, and layer parboiled rice and tuna mixture in three or four layers.
  • Add another 2 tbsp of water into the pot and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or so, till the rice has finished steaming and is toasted on the bottom.
  • While the rice is steaming, prepare the yoghurt. It can be as simple as greek yoghurt sprinkled with dried mint, or if you're feeling fancy, defrost 2 cubes of frozen spinach per 100g or so of yoghurt. Add salt to taste, and if you like, 1/4 -1/2 tsp of fresh garlic paste.
  • Because vampires.
  • Mix up the rice and serve with the yoghurt!
Do you have weeknight comforts that ticks all the boxes? Or maybe a favourite pantry recipe? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!

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