FRIDAY FISH: Tuna-Egg Muffin Marinara

Yes, you’re certainly right; this is an oddly named breakfast! Have another name? Let me know.

Welcome to FRIDAY FISH, 2023! I’ll take any of you along on my journey and be glad for the company. This is the 10th year I’ve created seven weeks of new fish and seafood recipes for FRIDAY FISH during Lent. If you’d like to see previous years’ recipes, click on “Friday Fish” or “Fish and Seafood” or a specific like “Salmon or “Tuna” in the subject cloud. Happy fishing!

LOOKING FOR FAT OR SHROVE TUESDAY DINNER? Nothing better than Red Beans and Rice.

We don’t typically think about fish for breakfast first off. Not too often, but there are moments. Bear with me. Consider…. Grilled trout over an open fire while on a fishing or camping trip. Roasted salmon on a creamy benedict along with a mimosa in a swanky restaurant with a view. And, if you read the Christian bible, didn’t Jesus cook fish for the disciples? (You could check John 21.) Even here on the blog, we’ve happily consumed Shrimp and Green Chile Quiche or Smoked Salmon Frittata with Horseradish Yogurt. And so, over the last several weeks as I’ve sussed out ways to increase my breakfast protein grams, I’ve more than once ran out to the garage pantry for a can of tuna, later falling in love with the fresh layered morning treat of a meal. Open-faced breakfast sandwiches like benedicts spell fat, calories, and cash but think about a similar dish where low-fat fish protein, fresh tomatoes, and eggs are the stars rather than hollandaise and smoked ham. Not that I don’t like hollandaise or ham (you know me), but it’s a once in a blue moon thing, right? Here, we go with a marinara plus a tish of Parmigiano-Reggiano to set off our tuna and I’m talking healthy enough for every day. You still get your egg(s); you for sure will have an English muffin. Do go for whole wheat or high fiber. This is happy enough to keep you totally full until lunchtime. Fast enough that you’re eating in five minutes. Maybe even feeding your best sous or partner, too. Keep your mind open. If I made this for you, you’d eat it. Honest engine.

Jump to Recipe

So what’s it like? First, it’s fast. Everything’s done in one small pan. Both the pan and the dish go in the dishwasher, even though folks will tell you not to machine dish wash a nonstick skillet. (Use the top rack.) The toaster doesn’t even make its way out of the cabinet. You heat the pan, add the merest pat of butter to the English muffin and grill it face down, then flip it face up to heat it through. Onto a plate it goes. Meanwhile, stir together the tuna with not much light mayo (you don’t need a lot or you could go plain tuna all the way) and some crunchy red onions. Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. Mound that on the muffin. Top the tuna with seasoned sliced tomatoes for pure freshness. A fried egg cooked in that same pan soon sits cheerfully on the tomatoes. A good spoonful of marinara with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano hops on top for the ride to the table. Two eggs are fine if you’re hungry. I always am at breakfast.

Hello, campari tomatoes. My good friends at breakfast.

So don’t eggs and tuna and tomato on toast kinda sound funny together? Nope. I want you to think about what you put in tuna salad; eggs, albeit boiled, are firmly included. Yes, onion, too. And how often is tuna salad stuffed in a big old juicy tomato or served on toast–a la old school card group or diner lunches? And what about Tuna Nicoise? The marinara (or go with salsa, if you’d rather) just melds the thing together since what’s more fun than saucy? Parmesan because Parmesan. Salty and nutty glamorous food. Eggs and tomatoes are a pair that goes way back; some folks still like ketchup on their eggs. Not me. Sriracha occasionally, but ketchup is a no. Some (lots?!) black pepper if you can. A little more salt than the usual bear eats. The whole thing just needs it. Eggs crave salt, especially the yolks.

Won’t you have some tuna leftover? Sure, but that’s for tomorrow’s breakfast. Or this afternoon’s snack. (You have Triscuits, don’t you?) Can I use canned salmon? Of course you can. Yum. I switch back and forth. A woman can only eat so much chicken when searching for low-fat, low calorie protein.

How to get an egg to be just as you like it if we’re talking fried? I, like you, want my eggs cooked in butter. But for everyday food, a heart-healthy olive oil mister or perhaps little olive oil is better. So heat the nonstick pan for minute or so over medium-high heat. (Should work even for a pan that’s not nonstick, though I’d want more oil in it) Pull the pan off the stove (avoid the smoke alarm or a burned arm today) and spray it in the sink or drizzle with oil. Replace on the burner for 10 seconds to get hot again, crack in the egg, add salt and pepper. Get your fingers barely wet and flick them into the pan. Cover it. Turn the heat to low. Cook that egg til you like it. The water trick insures a runny egg — if that’s your druthers — and a firm white. Cook it longer if you like done food. Even turn it over if you must.

And, before you can say, “Bab’s your aunt,” you’re sitting down and can try this:

Tuna Egg-Muffin Marinara

Canned tuna’s MO is nearly always a mayonnaise-y sandwich for lunch and don’t forget the potato chips and dill pickle. I love that any time, but this blog begs to differ. Enter “tuna” in the search box and see what comes up; there’s everything from soup to flatbread. Today’s offering adds to the list of meals this wondrous, inexpensive protein can produce and who thought it might be breakfast (brunch, lunch, or dinner, too)? Layer up a grilled English muffin half and top it up with tuna – mixed with only a very little mayo and onions or just plain – add sliced seasoned tomatoes and top with, what else: a fried egg. Or two. A scoop of marinara plus cheese and there you have a super healthy, high-protein meal to start your day in just minutes. Not a scoop of protein powder in sight. (Easy to make multiple servings.)
makes one serving


  • ½ whole wheat English muffin or whole wheat sandwich thin
  • ¼ teaspoon softened salted butter
  • 5- ounce can of tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 small slices red onion, cut in half
  • Small ripe tomato, sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Oil mister or Olive oil
  • Large egg
  • ¼ cup prepared marinara or seasoned tomato sauce (can sub salsa)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving — a teaspoon or so (can sub Cheddar)


  • Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for a minute or two. Meanwhile, spread the butter over the cut-side of the muffin. You don’t need much. Place the muffin cut side down in the hot skillet and cover for 2 minutes or until browned. Flip and grill another minute or two. Remove to a plate.
  • While the bread grills, stir together the tuna, mayo, onion, and a generous pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. (You can use the tuna plain instead, if you like, or add other ingredients later. You’ll have some left.) Spoon a generous 1/4 cup of the tuna mixture on top of the muffin and top with the tomato slices. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  • Spray the hot skillet with an oil mister (away from the flame or burner or you may have a fire) –or add a bit of olive oil — and crack in the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Get a little water on your fingers and flick them into the skillet. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook to your liking— no more than another couple of minutes for a runny egg.
  • Tip the egg carefully out of the skillet on top of the tomatoes. Let rest 30 seconds or so and spoon the marinara or tomato sauce over the egg. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and another grind or two of black pepper. Serve hot.


Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2023. All rights reserved.
Change it up:  See subs listed in recipe.  Despite sometimes tiring of it, this meal is nearly just as good with sliced, lean chicken breast or pork tenderloin and no sauce at all except maybe Tabasco if that's your druthers. Naturally it's lovely with only tomatoes for vegetarians.  

Another recipe name I considered and like:

Hungry? Cook up two eggs instead of just one.

If you liked this canned tuna meal, you might also like my:


or my



photo by David W. Morgan

I’m thinking today of my friend and longtime local More Time follower, Jan Moore. Jan always likes wildlife photos on the blog; this one’s for her. Bobcats are a common sight in our neighborhood — this is right in front of our house. But the odd thing is that these beautiful creatures typically sleep all day and only rise to hunt in the twilight and darkness. After a storm, this younger (female?) had to be really hungry to be out in the broad, as we say, daylight. There were drag markings in our yard. I have no idea what she found to eat, but my guess is a bunny or a squirrel. No carcass that I can see, though.

While spring feels close in some parts of the country, our big “winter” snows are yet to come — I hope. We surely need the moisture.

Need a salad? I’m an Ellie Krieger fan and made this salad (below) for date night last Friday. My changes were all minor, but there were a few. I added crushed red pepper to the vinaigrette and chopped salt and pepper pistachios as a garnish in place of the poppy seeds. I had eaten my blood oranges, so subbed tasty navels. Watercress is not found in our Colorado stores too often, but the spring mix I used was just fine. Many beet and citrus salads contain some sort of cheese; I like the fact that this one uses a smear of healthier plain yogurt on the bottom of the plate. Check the recipe out here. Beets; they’re good fer ya!

Thanks for visiting my kitchen. You’re always welcome. You keep me going!

Stay warm,


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