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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

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Park Avenue

Friday 19th of May 2023

My Mother always put a pinch of nutmeg in the sauce. White sauce, nutmeg is essential. I remember eating this quite often as a kid. Love Tuna & Toast!


Thursday 4th of May 2023

We ate this when I was growing up but we didn’t care for peas so Mom substituted drained corn and it was great! The corn added a little crunch. Still one of my favorites. I didn’t actually realize it was tuna until I was grown 🫣

Sherpa Dirka

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Thanks for your recipe. I didn't even know until today that this wasn't something my mother made up. I used to love it (my brother did NOT because of the peas). Today I used canned salmon and added celery salt and black garlic powder, I guess because I have it on hand, and why not? What a pleasant flashback to my youth, and wonderful comfort food on a day when leftovers just doesn't cut it! Thank you!

Julia Jordan

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Thank you for sharing your wonderful food memories. The salmon sounds like a delicious variation. Happy Holidays! ~Julia


Thursday 29th of September 2022

Grew up in Erie, PA. Most northwestern part of the state. Mom made this dinner during Lent. (Catholic Family) On Fridays when eating meat was a no go. First time remembering probably age 8-9. Now age 76 and still love to make it a few times during the year and remember the the times growing up sharing dinner with my family. In fact, have two cans of tuna ready to open and stuff myself with health food.

Julia Jordan

Friday 30th of September 2022

Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Thomas. I find the "creamed" dishes that have been used as a budget friendly way to feed a family are quite delicious. ~Julia


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.

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