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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 meager 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…

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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 much heat). Swap 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! It adds great 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!

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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.

Recommended Products

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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

How much did you LOVE this recipe?

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Easy Side Dish Recipes + Fried Tuna Patties

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

  • 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 like these other canned tuna recipes:

Did you make this recipe?
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Jackie

Sunday 21st of March 2021

These are amazing! Thank you!! We will be having this on a weekly basis for sure!

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 21st of March 2021

So happy you loved it, Jackie!

Diane

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Made this recipe for lunch, exactly as written, and found it to be excellent. My grandma always made salmon cakes using a similar recipe, and I honestly never considered using tuna this way till reading your recipe. It’s lovely, lighter than the salmon, and tastes delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Tara Kuczykowski

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Cheaper than salmon, too! So glad you enjoyed them, Diane.

Constanza

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Just read the recipe! Can I use all purpose flour instead of bread crumbs? And if I can do I use the same amount?

Tara Kuczykowski

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Hi Costanza! I've honestly not made them with flour, so I can't provide any feedback on how they will turn out. Using crackers instead of breadcrumbs would be the simplest substitution.

Melanie

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Can I cook this in an air fryer?

Erin

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

@Melanie, I just tried it tonight. The flavours were the same, but it tasted a bit drier than pan frying.

If you are counting calories, I’d say air fry. If not, oil up and pan fry!

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

I've honestly never tried it, but I don't see why not!

Amanda

Thursday 29th of October 2020

I made these tonight and they were great. The lemon zest and juice really brightens them up. And they don’t take long at all to make. Easy and tasty.

Tara Kuczykowski

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Yay, so happy you loved them, Amanda! Thanks for coming back to let me know.

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