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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.

Nicole

Monday 23rd of May 2022

These were awesome! I swapped some like for like: green onion, red hot sauce and dry parsley. They did fall apart just a little bit on some edges, but one. Quick, easy and tasty.. I made a simple sauce with Frank's Red Hot, mayo and olive oil.

Tara Kuczykowski

Monday 23rd of May 2022

So happy you loved them! There are tons of ways to customize this recipe with simple swaps like you used. I always love hearing what others have tried!

Wende slack

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Yummy..brought back memories when mom made them.This made 4 good sized patties.I put lemon pepper seasoning in them.

Chris Pannell

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

So easy and delicious definitely adding this as a go to recipe when I need something quick!

Archana Werner

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Delicious! Very easy and simple recipe! Have already made a few times.

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 3rd of April 2022

Thank you for letting me know how much you enjoy it, Archana!

Angie

Thursday 17th of February 2022

It was absolutely delicious ❤️

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 17th of February 2022

Yay, so happy you loved them! Thanks for sharing your feedback.

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