Whether it’s for your weekly meal prep or a night with friends, this Italian Tuna Crostini is sophisticated, packed with flavor, high in protein and requires no cooking! Step up your tuna game with StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.
Today I’ve teamed up with the folks from StarKist to feature their insanely delicious StarKist Selects E.V.O.O. products. Guys, I could not be more elated about this recipe! I’m a huge tuna fan and have always loved StarKist but folks, when I tell you that they blew my expectations of tuna out of the water with this new product, believe me! It took everything that I loved about their traditional cans and pouches of tuna and completely sophisticated them – yes, I totally made that into a verb. Go with it!
Growing up, tuna was a must-have in our house. My brothers, all being athletes, *required* it to be readily available at all times as it’s super high in protein, packed with lots of nutrients and low in fat. It’s filling without making you feel bloated. And during Lent, tuna casserole was a mainstay. When I married Mr. Fantabulous, he was a body builder to the point if he had 4% body fat it was pushing it. He swore by the benefits of tuna, post-workout and part of his diet. I was pretty happy about this as I already loved tuna and loved that I could adapt it to so many recipes.
When StarKist created their new flavors, I was both intrigued and excited. Marrying into an Italian family I’m no stranger to “Italian tuna” dishes. It’s essentially tuna but instead of those in water it’s tuna in olive oil. Often, it’s used with pappardelle, chili flakes, olives and artichokes. While good, those imported cans of Italian tuna were heavy and almost ‘greasy’. However, this is where StarKist put on their thinking caps and created these 3 flavors that aren’t greasy, are light to eat, packed with protein and perfectly portioned controlled!
- StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna
- StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Pink Salmon
- StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato
For this recipe I went with a combo of the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna and the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato. With the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna pouches, yellowfin tuna is high in Omega-3s which is super healthy for us. Combine that amazing tuna with the light taste of extra virgin olive oil and you have one incredible pouch of tuna that can be added to any meal or eaten straight out of the pouch! Each of these pouches is a single serving (and trust me it’s a lot!) at 180 calories and 18 grams of protein! This is huge for me as part of my healthy lifestyle. It’s something that I keep in my gym bag as part of my post-workout refueling.
Also in this recipe I used the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato pouches for some additional zesty flavors. This, to me, is what Italy tastes like. You get the tender and flaky bits of yellowfin tuna, the sweet notes of extra virgin olive oil and those zesty flecks of sun dried tomatoes. It was the perfect addition to this recipe. These individual portion pouches come in at 150 calories and 14 grams of protein. Again, this beats any of those sugar-filled smoothies most folks get after a workout. Eat these, not those smoothies!
While I didn’t use it in this recipe I need to tell you about the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Wild-Caught Pink Salmon pouches. I actually used this in zucchini rolls ups. I mixed the salmon with some fat free cream cheese, chives, garlic and cheese then spread it out thin on a zucchini ribbon. A quick roll up and I had one awesome pinwheel that was healthy! This pouch is 190 calories and still high in protein at 14 grams.
All 3 of these pouches are packed in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.
When I thought about what type of recipe I wanted to create I wanted something that was definitely easy, could be used in a variety of ways and one that required no cooking. I had a vision of this bowl in my head but honestly wasn’t sure how it would turn out – would the flavors meld together as deliciously as I had envisioned them in my head? Like all clients I always eat the product as-is to get a sense of texture, mouth-feel, taste and then deduce how it would play with other ingredients.
A quick tear of the pouch and in went my fork. I was first met with such tender and juicy layers of tuna. The extra virgin olive oil made the tuna so incredibly tender that it practically melted in my mouth! Just one single bite and I knew that the recipe I had in my head would work out perfectly. Initially I was just going to go with this bowl of deliciousness and crostini but as I got more into the recipe (which took maybe 10 minutes at most to make and that’s only because I had to chop up the artichokes and peppers), I realized I needed something to keep the Italian Tuna on the crostini. Now you could totally go with chips that you could scoop this up with and forgo the whipped ricotta but honestly it just adds another depth of flavor and, in my opinion, finishes off the recipe perfectly.
This recipe, as you can see is really simple and, for me, didn’t require any special ingredients. I grabbed a jar of whole artichoke hearts in water, roasted red peppers, a can of white cannellini beans, 2 pouches each of the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna and the StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato , a jar of capers and fresh basil from my garden. The crostini you can even buy pre-made or make your own (just a simple brush of olive oil on each side of the bread and bake at 400F for about 10-15 minutes each side).
All I had to do in the big bowl was just gently mix and a bit of salt and black pepper to add to the already flavor-packed dish! This bowl itself would be PERFECT for your weekly meal prep meals!
The whipped ricotta is just that – ricotta cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano that is whipped together until light, fluffy, and creamy. Don’t have any ricotta on hand? No worry you could go with goat cheese, feta or even cream cheese (just thin it out with a few Tbsp. of milk). This dish, aside from making the homemade crostini, took under 10 minutes to make. You don’t have to chill it before eating, though if you do, the flavors will meld together and become better-rounded… but it’s totally not necessary!
As I was mixing up the bowl, Mr. Fantabulous came into the kitchen saying, “Wow, what are you cooking? It smells amazing! It smells like my Grandma’s kitchen growing up!” He could smell the basil, olive oil and Italian type foods. I just smiled as I knew I was on to something. As he peered over my shoulder he spied the dish and said how pretty it looked and then asked, “Is that for a shoot or can we eat it?” lol
All the food I make, whether for a shoot or not, he gets to eat. I quickly made him a couple of these as he sat at the kitchen island to snack on while I worked on the shoot. He was chatting on the phone with one of his friends when he asked, “Honey, how do I eat these? Do I just pick them up and bite or do they need a fork and knife?” I chuckled and said, “Think of it as loaded toast. It’s an Italian Tuna Crostini. Let me know what you think of it.” I went back to shooting the images and I heard that first crunch. I waited to hear his response. He is brutally honest when it comes to my recipes and will tell me if he doesn’t like something but then he’ll tell me why. He’ll also tell me it needs something or that I am not allowed to change the recipe one bit as I created perfection.
This recipe was perfection. He said to his friend on the phone, “OMG Steve you should taste what Lori just made. She made some fancy tuna thing on toast that is amazing! WOW! This is incredible! Hey, let me call you back in a bit. I want to eat this, k?” Though I had my back to him as I was taking pictures, he knew I had heard him as I was grinning from ear to ear. He said, “Wow honey those are awesome! Is that artichoke hearts too? And this is tuna? Really? Wow it’s so flaky and juicy! Are you done with your shoot yet?” That last question meant ‘hurry up honey as I want some more!’
But I had to chuckle at the fancy tuna thing on toast comment. I thought about naming the recipe just that but figured it didn’t sound as sophisticated as Italian Tuna Crostini. But in my house and among our friends it is known as the Fancy Tuna Thing on Toast. HAHA
He sat there patiently/impatiently waiting for me to finish up the shots and make up a few more of these. As I sat beside him and took one off his plate I did get the side-eye from him as he had no intention of sharing his food. While I had had several bites of it out of the bowl, I hadn’t had it all together with the whipped ricotta or the olive oil brushed crostini.
PURE HEAVEN! Seriously! This was even better than what I envisioned in my head! It is so well-balanced and round with flavor. You have your salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy and zesty flavors in each bite. And as you take another bite you get hints of capers or that tang of the artichoke hearts, the sweetness of the roasted red peppers or the brightness of the fresh basil.
But what sticks out the most for me in this recipe is that Yellowfin Tuna! Because it’s cold-pressed in extra virgin olive oil, the tuna is so rich and robust in flavor with an almost buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture. These StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna and StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato are truly the stars of this recipe!
Let StarKist Selects E.V.O.O inspire your next meal!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of StarKist Selects E.V.O.O. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!
- 1 package StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna
- 1 package StarKist Selects E.V.O.O.™ Yellowfin Tuna with Sun-dried Tomato
- 3 Tbl capers
- 1 can (15 ounce) Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, rough chopped
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 10 large basil leaves, chiffonade
- 8 ounces whole milk ricotta, drained
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- In a food processor add the ricotta, salt, pepper and oregano. Process for 15-20 seconds until whipped, light and smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add the tuna pouches (including the oil), beans, capers, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, salt, pepper and 3/4 of the basil chiffonade pieces. Gently mix to combine. Taste for seasoning.
- To assemble smear some whipped ricotta on the crostini, top with a spoon or two of the Italian tuna mixture and top with an additional chiffonade of basil.
- Store any leftovers, covered in the refrigerator.
This is great for a weekly meal prep or as a great appetizer for your guests!
Keywords: crostini, tuna, party foods, meal prep, weekly meal prep, italian tuna