BBQ Tuna (Tastes Like Pork--Really)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins

The mind boggled when I saw this recipe in a CHURCH cookbook... I thought "revolting" so why was I compelled to try it and why am I posting it here? For privacy reasons I will generalize to keep the church & location confidential but think in terms of the area in which you live. Imagine the oldest church in YOUR area having this recipe in its cookbook which was prepared under the guidance of 15 women in the church: all with prominent names in social and political circles spanning generations. WOULD these women include a terrible recipe? Would any of them LIE to you about its being worthy of making? HMMMMM... suffice it for me to say I'm not sure I'd declare it really tastes like pork! However, I will say that IF anyone served this BBQ does NOT know it has tuna in it, I suspect most will not guess tuna as the first guess. In fact, this IS fairly tasty IF you can get past the fact that TUNA is the basic ingredient! Are you brave enough to try? It is low cal, low fat, high protein, and diabetic friendly! (The book was old enough that I did have to tweak the ingredients because tuna is no longer in 6+ ounce cans.)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Open tuna cans, cutting fully around, and expel as much liquid as possible while pressing down upon lid very hard! (Necessary IF you want to improve odds that tuna will not be suspected.).
  2. Combine ALL ingredients in a small saucepan and stir well to blend completely.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring; then immedialely reduce to a low simmer for a few minutes. Keep stirring to prevent scorching!
  4. Remove from heat and allow to rest a few minutes to assure onions rehydrate before serving.
  5. Makes enough moist, not wet, BBQ for 3-4 sandwiches; serve on buns as any other BBQ.
  6. I recommend using additional Carolina Style Mustard BBQ Sauce to moisten the Tuna BBQ to a preferred consistency more moist than this basic recipe. I'm partial to my own Caroline Style Mustard BBQ Sauce(Recipe #446238) -- a take off of Mike Mills' Mustard BBQ Sauce.
Most Helpful

I made this and I double the recipe. I fooled my daughter she ate it. That was great because she is a picky eater. I did, however put hickory BBQ sauce in it because I didn't like that it was still not dark enough. I didn't however fool my husband, but he kept asking what kind of meat is this. I would only say BBQ, because of my daughter was all ears. I think it was good. I don't think it quite taste like BBQ. My daughter loved it that is what counts. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Chef#220151

dakotah January 25, 2011

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical. I have a hard time imagining tuna and bbq sauce being compatible, but I fully enjoyed my sandwich. Obviously the texture could never be the same as pork or chicken and won't fool anyone that way, but the flavor might. I wish I hadn't added as much water, the mixture was pretty wet. I thought it might ooze out of the sandwich as I ate it, but I let it sit on the bun a couple minutes and it stayed put. Thanks for sharing this fun and lighter version of a bbq sandwich, I would make it again.

Lucky in Bayview August 05, 2014

This was originally a Weight Watchers recipe, and I used to fix it all the time about 25-30 years ago. It was originally printed on those yellow recipe cards WW handed out, that had three or four recipes to the page....I always liked it because it really hid the tuna flavor, and had a good flavored BBQ sauce with it! Thank you for posting it--I've been looking for it.

Cook4theFamily January 12, 2014