Tuna Helper Recipes: Quick and Easy Meal Solutions

If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s both filling and delicious, tuna helper might just be the answer. This classic American dish has been a staple in households for decades, offering a simple yet satisfying meal that can be whipped up in no time. Whether you’re a busy parent looking for a weeknight dinner solution or a college student on a budget, tuna pasta is a versatile meal that can be customized to your liking.

Tuna pasta typically consists of pasta, a can of tuna, and a seasoning packet. The pasta is boiled and then mixed with the tuna and seasoning to create a creamy, flavorful dish. While the classic version is certainly tasty, there are a variety of ways to customize the dish to suit your preferences. You can add vegetables like peas or carrots for a pop of color and nutrition, or switch up the type of pasta for a different texture. Some people even like to add cheese or breadcrumbs on top for an extra layer of flavor and crunch. With so many options, tuna helper is a meal that can be enjoyed by everyone.

1. History of Tuna Helper

General Mills introduced Tuna Helper in 1972 as a popular boxed food product to assist families in stretching their food budgets. It provides a quick and easy meal that can be prepared in just a few minutes, making it a favored choice for busy families.

The concept for Tuna pasta originated from a General Mills employee named Chuck Smith, who sought a way to utilize leftover pasta. He conceived the idea of incorporating a sauce mix into the pasta and mixing it with canned tuna, resulting in a straightforward and flavorful meal that could be prepared using ingredients most families commonly had available.

In the early days, Tuna pasta was available in just a few flavors, including Classic Tuna and Cheesy Tuna. Over time, the product line has expanded to include a wide variety of flavors, including Ranch Tuna, Creamy Broccoli Tuna, and Lemon Pepper Tuna.

Despite its popularity, Tuna pasta has faced some challenges over the years. In 2019, it was reported that the product was being discontinued due to low sales. However, General Mills later clarified that only a few flavors were being discontinued, and that the product as a whole was still available.

Today, Tuna Helper remains a popular choice for families looking for a quick and easy meal that is both delicious and affordable. Whether you prefer Classic Tuna or one of the newer flavors, there is sure to be a Tuna pasta variety that will satisfy your taste buds.

2. Ingredients and Nutritional Value

Tuna Helper is a popular boxed meal kit that is easy to prepare and can be a lifesaver for busy weeknights. The kit includes pasta and a sauce mix that you can add tuna to for a complete meal. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and nutritional value of Tuna pasta :


The ingredients in Tuna Helper vary depending on the flavor, but here are the common ingredients found in most Tuna pasta varieties:

  • Enriched Pasta (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Corn Starch
  • Wheat Flour
  • Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Sugar
  • Garlic Powder
  • Spices
  • Natural Flavor

Some varieties also include dehydrated vegetables like carrots, peas, and broccoli.

Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of Tuna pasta varies depending on the flavor and serving size. Here is the nutritional information for one serving (1/3 cup as packaged) of Tuna pasta Cheesy Pasta:

  • Calories: 120
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 530mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 4g

It’s important to note that the serving size of Tuna Helper is relatively small, so it’s easy to consume more calories, fat, and sodium than you may realize if you eat a larger portion.

Overall, Tuna Helper can be a quick and easy meal option, but it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and the nutritional content of the meal.

3. How to Prepare Tuna Helper

Required Tools

Before you start preparing Tuna pasta , you need to make sure that you have all the necessary tools and ingredients. Here are the tools that you will need:

  • Large skillet or pot
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Can opener
  • Cutting board and knife (if using fresh vegetables)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Now that you have all the tools and ingredients, it’s time to start preparing Tuna Helper. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make a delicious meal:

  1. Start by heating a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil or butter to the pan and let it melt.
  2. If you’re using fresh vegetables, chop them into small pieces and add them to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add the Tuna pasta mix to the pan and stir well. If you’re using canned tuna, drain the liquid and add the tuna to the pan.
  4. Pour in the water and milk (or cream) and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet or pot. Let the mixture simmer for 10-12 minutes until the pasta is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Remove the skillet or pot from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
  7. Serve the Tuna pasta hot and enjoy!

Preparing Tuna Helper is easy and quick, making it a great meal option for busy weeknights. With just a few simple ingredients and tools, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal for your family.

4. Varieties of Tuna Helper

Tuna Helper is a versatile and easy-to-make meal that can be customized to fit your taste preferences. Here are some of the varieties of Tuna pasta that you can enjoy:

Classic Tuna Helper

The classic Tuna pasta is a creamy pasta dish that is perfect for those who love the taste of tuna. It includes a sauce mix, pasta, and tuna. All you need to do is add hot water, milk, and butter to create a delicious meal in minutes.

Tuna Cheesy Pasta

If you love cheese, you will enjoy the Tuna Cheesy Pasta. This variety includes a sauce mix that is made with real cheese, pasta, and tuna. It is a creamy and cheesy dish that is perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

Tuna Creamy Broccoli

For those who want to add some vegetables to their meal, the Tuna Creamy Broccoli variety is a great choice. It includes a sauce mix, pasta, tuna, and broccoli. The sauce is creamy and has a hint of garlic, making it a flavorful and healthy meal.

Tuna Tetrazzini

Tuna Tetrazzini is a classic Italian dish that includes a creamy sauce mix, pasta, and tuna. It is a rich and flavorful meal that is perfect for a special occasion or a cozy night in.

Tuna Fettuccine Alfredo

If you love Alfredo sauce, you will enjoy the Tuna Fettuccine Alfredo variety. It includes a creamy sauce mix, pasta, and tuna.

No matter which variety of Tuna pasta you choose, you can be sure that you will enjoy a delicious and easy-to-make meal.

5. Health Benefits and Concerns

Tuna Helper is a quick and easy meal that can be prepared in minutes. While it is a convenient option for busy individuals, it is important to consider the health benefits and concerns of consuming this packaged meal.

Health Benefits

Tuna is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients for maintaining good health. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function, reducing inflammation, and supporting cardiovascular health. Tuna also contains vitamin D, which helps maintain levels of phosphorus and calcium, essential for strong bones.

Health Concerns

While tuna is a healthy food choice, Tuna Helper may not be the healthiest meal option due to its processed ingredients. Packaged meals like Tuna pasta often contain high levels of sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues. Additionally, Tuna pasta contains processed ingredients, including preservatives and additives, which may not be ideal for those seeking a more natural and whole-food-based diet.

It is important to read the nutrition label and ingredient list before consuming Tuna pasta. Opt for low-sodium options and try to limit your consumption of processed foods. If you are looking for a healthier alternative to Tuna pasta, consider making your own tuna salad with fresh ingredients or grilling a fresh tuna steak.

6. Storage and Shelf Life

When it comes to storing Tuna Helper, it’s important to keep it in a cool, dry place. This will help prevent moisture from getting into the packaging, which can cause the product to spoil. Ideally, you should store Tuna Helper in a pantry or cupboard away from heat sources, such as stoves and ovens.

If you have an unopened box of Tuna pasta , you can usually keep it for up to a year past the expiration date. However, it’s important to note that the “best by” date on the box is not an expiration date, and the quality of the product may deteriorate over time.

Once you open a box of Tuna pasta, it’s best to use it within three to five days. After that, the quality of the product may start to decline, and it may not taste as good.

If you’re looking to extend the shelf life of Tuna pasta, you can try freezing it. However, it’s important to note that freezing may affect the texture and taste of the product. To freeze Tuna pasta, simply place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and store it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and prepare it according to the instructions on the box.

Overall, Tuna Helper is a shelf-stable product that can last for quite some time if stored properly. By following these storage tips, you can help ensure that your Tuna Helper stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

7. Alternatives to Tuna Helper

If you’re looking for alternatives to Tuna Helper, there are plenty of options available. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Homemade Tuna Helper

Making your own Tuna Helper is a great way to customize the dish to your liking. You can use fresh ingredients and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Julie’s Cafe Bakery has a great recipe for homemade Tuna pasta that you can try. The recipe uses basic ingredients like pasta, milk, and butter, along with canned tuna and a few seasonings. The end result is a delicious and satisfying meal that you can make in under 30 minutes.

Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy the flavors of Tuna Helper by using plant-based alternatives. According to Tasting Table, you can replace the tuna with plant-based options like beans or mushrooms. You can also use vegan cheese and milk to make the dish completely vegan. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Chickpea Helper: Use chickpeas instead of tuna and add some curry powder for extra flavor.
  • Mushroom Helper: Sauté sliced mushrooms and onions and add them to the pasta with the sauce mix.
  • Vegan Cheese Helper: Use vegan cheese and milk to make a creamy and cheesy version of Tuna Helper.

With these alternatives, you can enjoy the comfort and convenience of Tuna Helper while still sticking to your dietary preferences.

8. Where to Buy Tuna Helper

Tuna Helper is a popular meal kit that is widely available in grocery stores and online retailers. Here are some places where you can buy Tuna Helper:

1. Amazon

Amazon is a convenient and reliable place to buy Tuna Helper. You can find a variety of Tuna Helper flavors and sizes on Amazon, including some that may be hard to find in your local grocery store. Plus, if you have Amazon Prime, you can get free two-day shipping on eligible items.

2. Walmart

Walmart is another great place to buy Tuna Helper. You can find Tuna Helper in the pasta and sauce aisle of most Walmart stores, and you can also order it online for home delivery or pickup at your local store. Walmart often offers competitive prices on Tuna Helper, so it’s a good place to check if you’re on a budget.

3. Hamburger Helper Website

The Hamburger Helper website is a great resource for finding Tuna pasta and other Helper products. You can use the product locator tool on the website to find stores near you that carry Tuna pasta , or you can order it directly from the website. Plus, the website offers a variety of Tuna pasta recipes and meal ideas to help you get the most out of your purchase.

4. Local Grocery Stores

Most grocery stores carry Tuna Helper, so you can check your local store to see if they have it in stock. Tuna Helper is typically located in the pasta and sauce aisle, near other pasta meal kits and canned tuna. If you can’t find Tuna Helper at your local store, ask a store employee for assistance or check with a different store in your area.

Overall, Tuna Helper is widely available and easy to find in most grocery stores and online retailers. Whether you prefer to shop in-store or online, you should have no trouble finding Tuna Helper to enjoy for your next meal.

9. Conclusion

Tuna Helper is a convenient and versatile dish that brings together the goodness of tuna with a variety of other ingredients. It is a type of pasta dish that typically includes tuna, pasta, and a flavorful sauce. While Tuna Helper can be a convenient and affordable meal option, it’s important to consider its nutritional value and potential risks.

One potential risk of Tuna Helper is the high sodium content. The sauce mix and canned tuna both contain high levels of sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. To reduce the sodium content, you can try using low-sodium canned tuna and choosing a sauce mix that is lower in sodium.

Another consideration is the nutritional value of Tuna Helper. While it does contain protein from the tuna, it may not provide enough vegetables or other nutrients that your body needs. To make Tuna Helper a more balanced meal, you can add vegetables like broccoli or carrots to the dish, or serve it with a side salad.

Ultimately, whether or not Tuna pasta is a healthy choice depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences. By exploring healthier alternatives and making informed choices, you can improve your overall well-being.

10. Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tuna Helper?

Tuna Helper is a popular boxed meal kit that typically includes pasta and a sauce mix. The kit is designed to be a quick and easy meal solution that can be prepared in just a few steps. The Tuna Helper kit also usually includes a can of tuna, which is added to the mix to create a complete meal.

What are the different types of Tuna Helper?

There are several different types of Tuna Helper available, each with its own unique flavor and ingredients. Some of the most popular varieties include Tuna pasta Cheesy Pasta, Tuna Helper Creamy Broccoli, and Tuna Helper Au Gratin. You can find Tuna pasta in most grocery stores in the pasta aisle.

Is Tuna Helper good with chicken?

While Tuna Helper is traditionally made with tuna, you can certainly experiment with other proteins like chicken. However, keep in mind that the flavor profile of the dish may change significantly depending on the protein you choose to use. If you’re looking for a chicken-based meal kit, you may want to consider trying one of the many Hamburger Helper varieties available instead.

How many calories are in Tuna Helper?

The number of calories in Tuna Helper can vary depending on the specific variety you choose and the serving size you consume. Generally speaking, a single serving of Tuna Helper contains between 200 and 300 calories. It’s important to note that Tuna pasta is not typically considered a low-calorie meal, so it’s important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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Tuna Helper

Tuna Helper

  • Author: Lina Murphy
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 4 1x


Discover Tuna Helper recipes for quick and easy meal solutions. Enjoy budget-friendly and tasty dinners with Tuna Helper.


  • 1 box Tuna Helper mix
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cans (5 oz each) tuna, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots


  1. In a large skillet, combine Tuna Helper mix, hot water, and milk.
  2. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the drained tuna and frozen peas and carrots.
  5. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.


Tuna Helper is a convenient and delicious meal option that’s perfect for busy evenings.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the prepared dish
  • Calories: 350
  • Sugar: 6
  • Sodium: 750
  • Fat: 9
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 36
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 26
  • Cholesterol: 35

Keywords: Tuna Helper, Tuna Helper Recipes, Quick and Easy Dinners

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