Tuna spread is basically a creamy mixture of canned fish with various flavorings added to it. The recipes and possible ingredients for this popular tuna fish sandwich filling or cracker spread can vary widely depending on personal taste. Typically, a tuna spread will have either cream cheese or mayonnaise to bind the flakes or chunks of canned fish together into a spreadable consistency.
The larger chunks or flakes of the canned tuna used in the spread should be broken down with the tines of a fork or with a spoon. After mayonnaise or cream cheese is added gradually and stirred in to achieve the desired texture, seasonings, condiments and sliced vegetables or fruits may be added. Some people prefer a very basic tuna spread with just a little pepper added, while others like to combine many different ingredients into the mixture.
Hot pepper sauce is a popular addition to add a little zing to the spread. Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice are other commonly added tuna spread flavorings. While some people like a little relish or chopped pickle in a tuna fish spread, others may prefer diced apple and/or thinly sliced celery. Chopped green onion or parsley can add color to the spread, while adding minced cucumber can make a more refreshing tuna fish spread option. For an unexpected sprinkling of color, grated carrot may be stirred into the spread.
Tuna spread may be used as a sandwich filling, perhaps with some lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes added. A cheese and tuna spread sandwich can also be delicious. When cheese is melted on top of the fish mixture spread onto bread, a basic dish called a "tuna melt" results. In this way, tuna fish spread may be enjoyed hot instead of the usual cold.
When a tuna fish spread is placed onto crackers, it can make a satisfying snack. Some people like to serve this snack along with some sliced apples or pears. For making tuna spread look more attractive as an appetizer for a party, fresh parsley sprigs may be added to the cracker tops. Some cooks like to use cream cheese when preparing a tuna fish spread so that the consistency is thick enough to allow the result to be formed into a ball shape to serve with cocktail knives and crackers so that guests may help themselves.