These flavorful tuna patties are made without any fillers. Cooked in olive oil, they are crispy and delicious.
Also called tuna cakes, they are easy, affordable, and delicious. And they're ready in just 30 minutes! Feel free to double the recipe - the leftovers are excellent.
These tuna patties are an excellent option on those nights when you don't feel like cooking an elaborate meal. I love making them because they are easy, affordable, and tasty. They are also substantial and filling.
We are a family of four. Two of us love fish, one of us tolerates them, and the Picky Eater won't touch them, with the exception of keto-fried fish -- and these tuna cakes. 🙂
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tuna patties. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Canned tuna: I typically use water-packed Skipjack tuna. I tried tuna canned in oil once, and it worked, so that's an option, too. Whether canned in water or oil, it needs to be well drained.
- Mayonnaise: I prefer mayonnaise made with avocado oil.
- Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier and thicker than yellow mustard.
- Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work, although in my experience, freshly minced tastes better.
- Eggs: I use large eggs in almost all of my recipes, this one included.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Chopped parsley: If you don't have fresh parsley, use cilantro instead. I like the peppery flavor it adds.
- Olive oil for frying: I love cooking with this delicious oil. Extra-virgin is best.
- If you're like my husband and enjoy spicy food, add a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Cooking these patties in butter is very tasty! Ghee is another delicious option that I tried and liked.
- Chopped scallions are a lovely addition - you can use just ¼ cup of parsley and add ¼ cup of finely chopped scallions.
- If you don't have fresh parsley or cilantro, use 1 teaspoon of dried parsley or ½ teaspoon of ground coriander.
- Instead of two teaspoons of minced fresh garlic, you can use ½ to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. It's not as good as fresh garlic, but it's an acceptable substitute.
Tuna Patties Instructions
The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps for making this recipe:
Drain the tuna well. Place it in a medium bowl and flake it with a fork. Mix in the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, eggs, kosher salt, black pepper, and parsley.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using a 4-tablespoon scoop or measuring cup, transfer four mounds of the tuna mixture to the hot oil. Gently flatten the mounds with the back of a fork.
Cook the patties until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Keep the cooked patties in a warm oven while you fry the second batch. Serve immediately.
You will use 4 tablespoons of oil for frying, but the tuna cakes will only absorb about half that amount. I use the extra oil because it promotes even browning. I tried cooking the patties in less oil, and they weren't as good, so I highly recommend using 4 tablespoons of oil.
Yes! Breadcrumbs are not necessary. The patties hold together just fine without them. In fact, you don't even need to add almond flour to the mixture. Just make sure the tuna is well-drained.
Perhaps your tuna wasn't well-drained, causing the mixture to be too wet. Or maybe you had relatively large chunks of tuna in the mixture.
It's also important to cook these patties in a nonstick skillet and ensure it is truly nonstick; these pans tend to become quite sticky after a year.
I like adding something creamy, such as mayo or sour cream, a flavorful ingredient like Dijon mustard, and aromatics/herbs like garlic and cilantro.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days or freeze them in freezer bags for up to three months. Reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power. They are surprisingly good when eaten cold, straight out of the fridge!
More Canned Tuna Recipes
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Easy Tuna Patties
- 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna in water I use skipjack tuna
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh garlic minced
- 2 eggs large, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of any other salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped (or cilantro)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin, for frying
- Preheat the oven to the "keep warm" setting (170°F).
- Drain the tuna well. Place it in a medium bowl and flake it with a fork.
- Mix in the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, eggs, kosher salt, black pepper, and parsley.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Using a 4-tablespoon scoop or measuring cup, transfer four mounds of the tuna mixture to the hot oil.
- Gently flatten the mounds with the back of a fork.
- Cook the patties until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Keep the cooked patties in the warm oven while you fry the second batch.
- Serve immediately.
- Add a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like spicy food.
- It's delicious to cook these patties in butter.
- Chopped scallions are an excellent addition - try using just ¼ cup of parsley and adding ¼ cup of finely chopped scallions.