This is a fairly simple tuna and zucchini rice bowl recipe that has become one of my all-time favorites over the years. It has a balanced complexity to it as well as some pretty powerful flavors. The slight, bitter spiciness of the zucchini is counteracted by the semi-sweet fishiness of the tuna mixture, all while being mellowed out by the filling rice. With this balance of flavors, you would expect to pay an arm and a leg or to spend all day preparing it, but it’s super quick and inexpensive enough to fit nicely within a college budget.

The ingredients list may look a little intimidating, but most of the ingredients listed are optional spices. With this recipe, you can customize the flavors to suit your taste. For a traditional Thai twist, replace the mayonnaise, garlic, and basil with lime, fresh cilantro, and green onions. If you don’t want the zucchini to be too spicy, switch out the cayenne and parsley for a Cajun seasoning and give your vegetables a burst of flavor!

One of the best parts is that while this recipe is flavorful and filling, it's also healthy. Rice is known to have benefits all its own, and no one can dispute the fact that vegetables are the epitome of health foods. Tuna also has its own health benefits, including being low in fat and calories while providing a good protein. If you’re looking for a great dish that won’t break the bank and will still taste delicious, this tuna and zucchini rice bowl is for you.

Tuna and Zucchini Rice Bowl

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can tuna
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
salad, vegetable
Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 1

    Add rice to a pot and add a little water until the rice is just covered. Mix the water and rice around a little bit so you can rinse off any impurities from the rice. The water should turn a milky white as you are rinsing the rice. Be sure to drain as much of this water from the rice as possible, leaving only the rice in the pot.

  • Step 2

    Add 1 cup water and 1 cup rice to a pot. You can add a little extra water if you think you’ll leave the rice on the stove a little too long.

    milk, coffee, cream, cappuccino, tea, espresso
    Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 3

    Heat the rice uncovered on high until just boiling. Then mix the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice simmer like this for about 20 minutes, or until the rice looks fluffy and has soaked up the water.

    milk, cream, coffee, dairy product, yogurt, sweet, pudding
    Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 4

    Remove the rice from heat and remove the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork so the rice can cool quickly and stop cooking.

    vegetable, courgette, zucchini
    Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 5

    Drain the canned tuna of the excess liquid and set in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, minced garlic, basil, salt, and pepper and mix well. Set aside. Cut the zucchini into inch-long quartered pieces. These will shrink while they’re cooking, so don’t worry about the size too much. You can do this step while you are waiting for the rice to save some time.

    meat, vegetable, pork, herb, beef
    Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 6

    Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. Add the zucchini and cook while moving occasionally until they are lightly browned on at least one side. Add cayenne pepper, parsley, salt, and pepper as desired and continue cooking until the zucchini is slightly translucent and sufficiently soft. I prefer it to be slightly firm, so I don’t cook it quite to this point.

    vegetable, meat
    Susanna Mostaghim
  • Step 7

    Top the rice with the tuna and zucchini in a bowl and enjoy. If you want, you can use the same bowl you used to mix the tuna to save yourself some dishes.

This recipe is one of my favorites because it is quick, simple, and easy to make while keeping my wallet's stomach equally full. This perfect combination of fish, vegetable, and rice makes me smile on a busy homework night and helps me get through to the other side of that dreaded next test. I can only hope that you all find this recipe as helpful as I do.