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Creamed Tuna on Toast

In this post I am sharing the old school recipe for Creamed Tuna on Toast.

This recipe came from the great depression era where times were tough and folks didn’t have a lot of money. Stretching those dollars as far as possible to feed your family was a necessity.

Just because the recipe is cheap doesn’t mean that it isn’t tasty. In fact, many folks still enjoy this meal and consider it a comfort food. 

I decided to prepare and share this recipe with y’all because one of the comments that I see every time my Creamed Chipped Beef recipe is shared is about creamed tuna. This tuna, white sauce and peas combination is also called tuna gravy by some.

Have you ever had creamed tuna on toast?

Hard Times Creamed Tuna

Depression era Creamed Tuna on Toast recipe on a vintage platter

Do you have to eat creamed tuna on toast? No. Creamed tuna can also be served over mashed potatoes, biscuits, cooked rice or pasta.

What type of canned tuna do you use for creamed tuna? I happen to be using StarKist but any canned tuna will work fine as long as it is packed in water (not oil).

Old Fashioned Tuna Gravy

Texas Toast with Creamed Tuna and peas

Since we’re talking about tuna, have you tried my recipes for the Best tuna salad or tuna noodle salad? They’re delicious so check them out!

Awesome creamed tuna recipe

In the printable recipe card below you’ll get the step by step directions for how to prepare this creamed tuna.

Yield: Creamed Tuna for Four

Creamed Tuna on Toast

Best Ever Creamed Tuna Gravy Recipe

Old school creamed tuna on toast, a budget friendly meal. This popular comfort food meal has stood the test of time. It was especially favored when going through hard times and money was tight.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 4 tbs Butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/3 c All Purpose Flour
  • 3 c Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz Canned Tuna, drained
  • 1/2 c Frozen Green Peas
  • Toasted Bread, for serving


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Next, add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add the milk.
  3. Season the white sauce and simmer until thickened then add the tuna and frozen peas and gently stir to combine.
  4. Serve over toasted bread, potatoes, rice or noodles if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 793mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 15g
Old fashioned creamed tuna on toast recipe. An easy budget friendly meal.

More tips for making this recipe:

Use a quality canned tuna that you enjoy eating and be sure to drain it very well before adding it to the white sauce.

The combination of flour and melted butter is known as a roux. When milk is added and it thickens it becomes a white sauce, the base for many sauce recipes.

Cheap meals to feed a family

You might also like these meal ideas from my friend, Julie, at Back to My Southern Roots for 6 Meals to Cook When You’re Broke.

See this recipe shared at Meal Plan Monday & Weekend Potluck.

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

Sharing is Caring


Thursday 20th of May 2021

World War II, food rationing and tight money. So my mother made a can of tuna feed the four of us and we ate it at least once a week. No peas in our creamed tuna, but chopped sweet onion on top and some shredded Cheddar. I don't know if canned tuna is processed better now or not, but the dish tastes so much better to me when I make it. Still the same old recipe, though. I like the little additions some have mentioned here.

Julia Jordan

Friday 21st of May 2021

Those creamy sauces really made almost anything way more filling. Thank you for stopping by to share your memory with me.


Saturday 27th of February 2021

Creamed tuna on toast is comfort food.

If you really want to shake things up, swap out the peas with diced green chiles (7 oz can at a minimum) and add enough paprika to turn the gravy a faint "salmon" color (at least a teaspoon). It is delicious like this.

Julia Jordan

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Sounds delicious! Thanks for the suggestion. ~Julia


Sunday 16th of August 2020

Loved this as a go to easy meal when we were kids..still do. Mom used to add chopped hard boiled eggs to the sauce and we had it over crumbled saltine crackers...

Heather G

Monday 20th of January 2020

Ahh, grew up on this stuff. Still love it. Lots of butter on the toast, and we add a splash of Worcestershire and onion powder to the white sauce.

Julia Jordan

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

That sounds delicious, Heather! You can never go wrong with extra butter.

Roz Pack

Monday 20th of January 2020

This was my mother’s go to staple. She was unusual in the late 1950s and early 1960s as a working Mom. She taught nursing at a local university, and often didn’t get home until after 5, so having something she could get on the table in 20 minutes flat was a blessing. She served it in a way I’ve not seen before or since. She served it on crunchy chow mein noodles that she heated on a sheet pan in the oven, and instead of frozen peas, she served it with Leseur brand tiny peas. She always served it with a lettuce cup, with pineapple slices or chunks, a dollop of mayo and a marichino cherry on top. Way before I could read, when I saw that silver can (that was distinctive to LeSeur brand peas...still is) I knew my favorite supper was coming. My husband didn’t like tuna, and I had two growing boys, so I switched to the large can of chicken, and doubled the White sauce, but my kids still grew up with the silver can. Now that I cook mostly for myself, I’m back to using tuna, and often use frozen peas, since i can adjust the amount, but it’s still the meal I turn to when I need something quick and comforting! Thanks for letting me meander down memory lane!

Julia Jordan

Monday 20th of January 2020

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful family memories with us! Food is such a comfort and takes us back to wonderful times.

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