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15-Minute Simple & Easy Crispy Fried Tuna Patties

This crispy tuna patties recipe is a super quick, easy, and healthy dinner idea! Adding a touch of mayo keeps these tuna cakes tender on the inside, yet crunchy and delicious on the outside… And did I mention they’re budget friendly?

tuna patties on parchment paper with fresh Italian parsley and lemon wedges
This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Blue Harbor Fish Co; all opinions and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

Tuna Patties For The Win!

Much like this beloved Parmesan-crusted chicken recipe, these crispy fried tuna patties were a weeknight regular when my husband and I were newlyweds.

Back then we were living on a first-year apprentice’s wages, and budget-friendly proteins (like pouch or canned tuna fish) were a necessity for maintaining our skimpy grocery budget.

While our grocery budget has increased over the years, budget-friendly, quick & easy dinners are still in high demand around here! You know, five kids + sports and all…

pouch or canned tuna patties

Blue Harbor Fish Co Albacore Tuna

It’s been ages since I’ve made them, but tuna patties were the first recipe that I thought of when I received a package of Blue Harbor Albacore Tuna pouches recently.

A quick survey of my pantry showed that I had all the necessary ingredients on hand. That’s what’s so great about a simple tuna cake recipe like this — you can almost always throw it together at a moment’s notice if you keep a well-stocked pantry.

After trying these tuna pouches, Blue Harbor will definitely be on my list to keep stocked. Blue Harbor is Marine Stewardship Council certified, which means it comes from fisheries dedicated to sustainable fishing.

Each pouch is filled with sustainably-caught, wild Albacore tuna that’s hand-selected and packed with only water or water and sea salt (no preservatives!), depending on the variety. The flavor is delicious, mild, and very clean!

how to make tuna patties with crackers or bread crumbs

How To Make Tuna Patties

Overall, this tuna patty recipe is very forgiving. Out of bread crumbs? Use an equal amount of crushed saltine or butter crackers instead.

Not a fan of Sriracha? Go ahead and skip it (although it really doesn’t add THAT much heat). Or try swapping the lemon and fresh parsley for lime and cilantro for a tasty change of pace.

The only ingredient I wouldn’t change is the mayo… Which is weird because the tuna patties recipe my mom made when I was growing up did not have mayonnaise in it. But after trying it a few years ago, I’ve never gone back!

Mayo is truly the secret ingredient in my crispy tuna patties recipe. It adds SO much flavor and keeps the inside of the tuna patties tender and juicy.

tuna cakes on a white plate with fresh parsley and lemon wedges

Crispy Yet Tender Tuna Cakes

I like these tuna patties served over fresh greens drizzled with a simple lemon aioli. But my husband prefers to turn them into tuna burgers on a bun with guacamole — they’re super versatile like that.

I love it when one recipe can please everyone… And when it’s quick and easy, too, you know you’ve got a real winner!

fried tuna patties on parchment paper with fresh Italian parsley and lemon wedges

15-Minute Crispy Fried Tuna Patties

Yield: 4 tuna patties
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This crispy fried tuna patties recipe is a super quick, easy, and healthy dinner idea! Adding a touch of mayo keeps these tuna cakes tender on the inside, yet crunchy and delicious on the outside…

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the tuna to a large bowl. Stir in the onions and fresh parsley.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, Sriracha, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the tuna mixture and stir together. Add the bread crumbs, and use your hands to combine and mix evenly.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, about 1/2 cup each. Shape into 4 patties, each about 1 inch thick.
  5. Heat the avocado oil (or your desired cooking oil) over medium heat. Using a fish turner, gently lay the tuna patties in the pan, and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Season with additional salt and pepper, as desired. Serve warm.

Notes

Substitutions

Out of bread crumbs? Use an equal amount of crushed saltine crackers or butter crackers instead.

Not a fan of Sriracha? Go ahead and skip it (although it really doesn't add much heat).

Tasty swap -- use lime and cilantro, instead of the lemon and parsley, for a change of pace.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1 tuna patty
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222.5Total Fat: 9.5gSaturated Fat: 1.9gCholesterol: 87.2mgSodium: 359.9mgCarbohydrates: 11.3gFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.9gProtein: 22.5g

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

Easy Side Dish Recipes + Fried Tuna Patties

Wondering what to serve with tuna patties? With a main dish as easy as this tuna cakes recipe, you’re going to want to keep your side dishes quick and easy, as well. Here are a few of our very favorites!

  • Italian Roasted Baby Potatoes — A favorite staple recipe that has rave reviews from family and friends, these oven roasted baby potatoes couldn’t be easier to prepare. Simply toss baby gold potatoes with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and then roast to perfection!
  • Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes — no more undercooked sweet potatoes, this one simple secret will produce a perfectly cooked Instant Pot sweet potato every time… Making sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot is a total game changer for meal prep or those doing a Whole30!
  • Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic — these sautéed green beans with garlic are a simple and easy side dish… Adding a little extra raw minced garlic at the end of cooking gives them an extra unexpected punch of flavor!
  • Loaded Guacamole Salad — dressed in a simple lime vinaigrette, this guacamole salad is a fantastic summer side dish… You’ll love the combination of creamy avocado, tangy lime, and spicy jalapeño, along with a good measure of sweet corn and black beans!
  • 3-Ingredient Roasted Sesame Asparagus — this simple 3-ingredient roasted sesame asparagus recipe is a quick and easy weeknight side dish, yet still impressive enough to serve at a more upscale gathering!

If you like these tuna patties, you might also enjoy these other canned tuna recipes:

Or you might like this chicken salad with grapes and pecans that’s made with canned chicken breast chunks!

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @unsophisticook on Instagram and hashtag it #unsophisticook.

Lily

Monday 23rd of January 2023

These were a hit with my husband! Loved this recipe they came out perfect. I used fresh cilantro instead of parsley and also saltines instead of bread crumbs. Came out super crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Will be making these more often. Thank you

Ivonne

Thursday 1st of December 2022

I tried these with lime, cilantro and no sriracha instead and fried with a green chili olive oil and omg, delicious! The only thing is they fell apart. I reduced the recipe to half so not sure if that’s where I went wrong that they fell apart. Any tips?

Thanks for this lovely recipe :D

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 3rd of December 2022

Ooh, great combination!! Tuna patties are pretty delicate, which is why I recommend picking up a fish turner -- it slides under and makes turning them easier. If you're using canned tuna, make sure to drain it very well. Adding a little more bread crumbs or crushed crackers will help bind them together if they seem too wet. Also, I’ve read that refrigerating them for a little while before cooking can help them hold together better.

Candi

Friday 11th of November 2022

I’m seriously not a Mayo person, so I used sour cream instead. Also used a different hot sauce since I didn’t have Sriracha on hand. This is a new favorite of mine! So glad I tried it because I’m typically not a tuna person, but this was DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing!

Tara Kuczykowski

Friday 11th of November 2022

Love to hear this, Candi!!

Carrie

Monday 7th of November 2022

I want to try these, but have a question. I know some recipes don't do well if you try to just double them, but if I remember correctly, you said you have 5 kids so this obviously isn't enough for all of you. Do you change the ratios of anything or just leave it all the same? Thanks!

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 7th of November 2022

Yes, you can definitely double this recipe -- or even triple it if you have a large enough bowl. Enjoy!

Caroline

Tuesday 12th of July 2022

These were a big hit with my husband and I. Didn't use onion (I have a hard time digesting) so did a dash of garlic powder instead. Also, don't usually have Sriracha on hand, but subbed Frank's like some other's did and they came together so nicely. Also, when one side was done, sprinkled with some shake parmesan before flipping. We will definitely be adding this to our regular dinner rotation and camping menu, too!! Thank you!

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Thanks, Caroline! Your swaps sound delicious. Gonna try the Parmesan next time I make them!

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