Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (2024)

Hey there! Let’s see a show of hands for everyone who likes tuna pizza! Come on, don’t be shy. Anyone? Anyone at all? Nobody??? Hmmm…well anyway, this week I was thinking about this recipe and laughing to myself, so I decided it would be a good idea to break this puppy out from the archives to re-run all its ketchup-tuna-and-biscuit goodness. This originally ran in July of 2011 as part of our “Sing A Tune To Tuna” contest. It ended up being the First Place Winner in the Worst category, but don’t let that influence you too much. If you are willing, feel free to give this recipe a test drive. And be sure to send us pictures!

There is a first time for everything, even here on the Mid-Century Menu! And this post has the honor of containing two firsts: The first time we have had the same exact same entry from two contestants AND the first time we have featured this:

Yes! *Enthusiastic head nodding* Check out this “handy new way” to make tuna pizza. Which begs the question: What was the old way?

But still, I was floored. Tuna and ketchup on pizza! Tuna!!!!! Ketchup!!! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. And I was really excited when I saw it.

And so were two other people.

Bob writes:

This is from the March 1958 issue of Family Circle comes Tuna Pizza! This recipe has so many mid-century things going for it:

1. It’s a “quick ‘n easy” recipe that looks like far too much trouble for the end result (that crust looks like a pain to make.)

2. There is at least one ingredient or step that is cringe-inducing (“Mix ½ cup Pet Evaporated Milk, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ teaspoon onion salt. Let stand to thicken.”)


3. The math just doesn’t work no matter how you try: Biscuits + Evaporated Milk + Ketchup + Tuna do not, I repeat do not equal Pizza.

4. Ketchup? On Pizza? Seriously?

5. Really, it seems like the kind of thing Mom would serve when she’s mad at the family.

And Sharon writes:

The final tuna tempter is the unique Tuna Pizza with a crust made from biscuits topped with a double layer of sauce – one made from evaporated milk! The recipe is the selling feature for Pet Evaporated Milk, and appeared in the March 1958 edition of Everywoman’s magazine. There is no blanket of nippy shredded cheese over the pizza, just beautiful, naked chunks of canned tuna to tingle your taste buds!

Thanks for running this great contest!

No, thank YOU Sharon and Bob, for sending me this…this masterpiece of…ridiculousness. Words seriously fail me. Seriously.

And you know what time it is when words fail me. Time to get cooking.

Because I can’t let a challenge like this go unanswered. You guys sent me Tuna Pizza make with biscuits and ketchup and, by God, you are going to get it!

This is the resulting sad approximation of some sort of pizza crust. I was proud that it was at least vaguely round in shape and somewhat thin. I honestly didn’t spend that much time fussing with it because…

…I figured I was just going to ruin it anyway. By pouring “thickened” evaporated milk and parmesan cheese on it and then…

…plopping on fat splats of ketchup.


That looks about right.

Then came the all important “adding of the tuna” layer. Which Tom got a great action shot of:

They’re watching me.

Always watching.


Lip-smacking-tastic. This almost doesn’t make me want to throw up.

It even got a little oozy in the oven.

Shhh…if you listen real close…you can almost hear the gagging.

Actually, this shot doesn’t make it look too bad. If you kind of squint, turn your head sideways and hold your hand over one eye you can sort of pretend it is a BBQ chicken pizza instead of tuna and ketchup.

Yeah…almost got it…

…now! All plated up and ready for the Bridge Club.

The Bridge Club in Hell.

Or just ready for poor, poor Tom.

“Do I really have to eat this?”

“Get too it, Buddy. People are waiting.”

I love that you can immediately see the look of concern.

And then it gets worse.

And worse.

Finally, it’s down.

“This is really, really bad. You should totally try it.”

The Verdict: Gross. I had one bite. One. That was it for me. Tuna, ketchup and parmesan are actually worse together than you could ever imagine. And then you slather it on a biscuit and you are heading straight to Insane-ville. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Thank you Bob and Sharon for a highly entertaining finalist! I wish I would have gotten a picture of Tom’s face when he saw the recipe. It was equal parts horror, terror and panic. Truly a moment for the ages!

*Note: And yes, some eagle-eyed readers will note that I DID forget the onion salt! Oops! Well, if it makes you feel better, nothing was going to save this one!

  1. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (20)

    Ashleyon February 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Makes you wonder if they ever tested those recipes out!

  2. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (21)

    Jenee Libbyon February 20, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    My husband and I are sitting here HOWLING at your poor husband’s reaction. Classic. The dark circles under his eyes speak volumes tee hee. Now my poor hubby is afraid I’m going to make him go through a similar torture test 😀

  3. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (22)

    sarah k @ the pajama chefon February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    wow, i can’t even IMAGINE! this is crazy. love these ridiculous recipes 🙂

  4. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (23)

    sookieon February 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    you also didn’t use the delicious, shelf-stable GRATED parmesan that the recipe calls for. ’cause that would’ve made it SO much better. gak.

  5. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (24)

    RetroRuthon February 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Ha! Yeah, we messed up on that one. 🙂

  6. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (25)

    Jennyon February 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I live in Japan, and tuna pizza is really popular here. There’s no ketchup, just regular sauce and cheese and tuna and corn on top. I love it! It reminds me of a tuna melt!

  7. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (26)

    Scotton March 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Odd… Tuna pizza is actually really popular in Tunisia, but they don’t make it with ketchup. They use a thin crust, some tomato paste, good hard cheese, some olives and capers. It’s really delicious. The problem with this recipe is a thick crust and the sticky-sweet ketchup.

  8. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (27)

    GenuineImitationon June 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    i just saw this post, so i’m a little late.. but we’ve had tuna pizza for years from the local pizza restaurant. Real Italian tuna pizza does NOT have anything to do with the above recipe, just in case you were worried about that. AND NEVER EVER CHEESE WITH FISH!

  9. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (28)

    Philon January 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

    I’m way late on this as well, but when I read, “Thanks for running this great contest!” I read it at first as “Thanks for ruining this great contest!”, which could be interpreted as a remark directed to the pizza recipe.

  10. Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (29)

    Dorene Casey Campon April 1, 2019 at 12:31 am

    So did the cats get the leftovers?

Submit a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tuna Pizza – A Retro Recipe Re-Run - Mid-Century Menu (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated:

Views: 6419

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.