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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 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

  • 4 (3-oz.) pouches Blue Harbor Albacore Tuna (or drained canned tuna)*
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or your preferred oil)

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 breadcrumbs, 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 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 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!

Did you make this recipe?
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If you like these tuna patties, you might also like these other canned tuna recipes:

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Peggy

Friday 12th of June 2020

Made these tonight for dinner. Absolutely delicious, served them with cole slaw. I felt like I was out for a fish fry. Thanks for the recipe.

Tara Kuczykowski

Saturday 13th of June 2020

So glad you enjoyed them, Peggy!

Sarah

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

These were delicious!! I'll definitely make them again. But mine fell apart in the pan, how do I fix that?

Tara Kuczykowski

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

I'm so happy you loved them, Sarah! Tuna patties are pretty delicate, which is why I recommend picking up a fish turner because 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 can 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.

Cheryl

Thursday 7th of February 2019

The mayo tip was genius!! Thanks for the recipe

Emily

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

I don't usually love tuna but I would totally try these. They look delish!

Valentina

Wednesday 6th of February 2019

I'm looking at this at just the right moment! Was trying to figure out quick dinner for the family and don't have any protein in the fridge, but I do have a few cans of tuna in the pantry. I have all of the other ingredients and everyone will love this. Thank you!

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