How To Make Tuna Taste Like Chicken? A Simple Step-By-Step Guide

Tuna and chicken are two of the most popular sources of protein around. While they each have their own distinct flavors, there are times when you might wish your tuna could have the same tasty flavor as juicy chicken. Well, wish no more! With just a few simple ingredients and techniques, you can easily transform your canned tuna into a dish that tastes just like chicken.

As a long-time tuna lover and amateur chef, I’ve experimented with different ways to make my tuna creations taste as close as possible to delicious chicken dishes. After plenty of trials and errors, I’ve nailed down a simple, fool-proof method for making tuna taste like chicken.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll share all my secrets for giving tuna the rich, savory flavor of chicken. From creative seasoning blends to cooking techniques, read on to learn how to make tuna taste like chicken!

Season It Up With Chicken-Inspired Spices and Herbs

The first step to making your tuna taste like chicken is to season it up with spices and herbs commonly used in chicken dishes. Here are some key ingredients to use:

  • Garlic powder – Adds a savory, garlicky flavor.

  • Onion powder – Provides a sweet aromatic flavor.

  • Paprika – Brings a subtle smokiness.

  • Thyme – Offers an earthy, herbal note.

  • Rosemary – Contributes a woodsy, pine-like taste.

  • Sage – Gives a soft, slightly minty accent.

  • Lemon pepper – Brings citrus zest and peppery spice.

I recommend starting with about 1 teaspoon of each seasoning for every 5 ounces of tuna. Mix the spices right into the tuna, making sure they coat evenly. Let it marinate for at least 10 minutes so the flavors infuse into the meat. These chicken-inspired herbs and spices will give your tuna the layered, complex taste of chicken.

Use Umami-Rich Ingredients For Depth of Flavor

Umami is considered the fifth basic taste, known for its savory, meaty, and deeply satisfying flavor. Chicken has naturally high levels of umami, which is why it tastes so rich and flavorful. To give your tuna that same intense, mouthwatering taste, incorporate umami-rich ingredients like:

  • Soy sauce – 1 to 2 teaspoons adds saltiness and umami.

  • Worchestershire sauce – 1 tablespoon brings tanginess and umami.

  • Mushrooms – Sautéed mushrooms add earthy, meaty flavor.

  • Parmesan cheese – Grated parmesan offers nutty, savory taste.

  • Anchovies – Minced anchovies provide salty, briny umami.

  • Tomato paste – 1 to 2 teaspoons contributes sweetness and savoriness.

By blending these umami-packed ingredients into your tuna, you can make it taste as rich, savory, and complex as chicken. They amplify the flavors and give tuna an extra boost of meaty deliciousness.

Cook It Like Chicken For The Best Texture

Part of what makes chicken taste so good is its texture when cooked. The outside gets crispy and brown, while the inside stays tender and juicy. Luckily, you can cook tuna the exact same ways to mimic the mouthfeel of chicken. Try one of these cooking methods:


  • Coat tuna filets with seasoning mixture.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Add tuna and cook 2-3 minutes per side until browned.

  • Finish with a knob of butter for richness.


  • Season tuna steaks and place on a baking sheet.

  • Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes until fish flakes easily.

  • Broil the last 1-2 minutes to crisp the edges.


  • Toss seasoned tuna chunks with oil.

  • Grill over direct heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

  • Move to indirect heat and grill 5 more minutes until done.

  • Charred bits add smoky flavor.

Cooked using these high-heat methods, your tuna will develop the same browned exterior and moist interior as perfectly cooked chicken. The textures will be practically identical!

Disguise It In Classic Chicken Dishes

One of the easiest ways to make tuna taste like chicken is to sneak it into recipes that typically use chicken. With the right blend of seasonings and complementary ingredients, you won’t even be able to tell the difference! Here are some classic chicken dishes to recreate using tuna:

  • Tuna salad sandwiches – Mix tuna with mayo, celery, onion, lemon juice, and spices.

  • Tuna casserole – Combine tuna with cheese, noodles, mushrooms, and creamy sauce.

  • Tuna wraps – Fill tortillas with seasoned tuna, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and ranch.

  • Tuna pasta salad – Toss tuna with pasta, vinaigrette, herbs, and diced veggies.

  • Tuna skewers – Alternate tuna chunks

Smells Like Tuna, Tastes Like Chicken!


Does canned tuna taste like canned chicken?

A lot of canned chicken is very dry and flavorless—there’s no chicken flavor. No chicken fat. Just meat that’s been sitting in briny water. Tuna still tastes like tuna after it’s been packaged that way; chicken, not so much.

How to make tuna not taste like tuna?

If you want to get real fancy, top the tuna with specialty items like chili oil, kimchi, or melted cheese. Tuna tastes even better when it’s sweeter. Mix in a couple drops of stevia for a splash of sweetness that will balance out any excess sodium.

Can tuna replace chicken?

As you can see, chicken is higher in calories, protein and fat (which includes saturated fat) than a can of tuna calories, but they’re still pretty comparable. The real differences lie in the rest of their nutrients.

Leave a Comment