This Tuna Patties Recipe is made with tuna from a can, red onion, chives, mayonnaise, panko crumbs, oregano, red wine vinegar and air fried to perfection.
I made crab cakes last year that were absolutely perfect. About a week ago, I thought about them and wondered if I could alternate using tuna from a can. I love being able to use tuna in recipes when you forget to defrost meat in the fridge and you need to make something quick and easy.
This was such an easy and tasty alternative for lunch. You simply add the ingredients all together in a large bowl and mix it up. Then shape the patties with your hands and stick them in the air fryer. I love adding some lemon juice or aioli on top at the end.
What is a Tuna Patty?
Tuna patties are a type of fish cake made with canned tuna as the primary ingredient. The tuna is mixed with other ingredients such as bread crumbs, egg, onion, and seasoning, formed into patties, and then cooked in a pan or the oven. Tuna patties can be served as a main dish or as a protein-rich addition to salads, sandwiches, or wraps. They are a popular and easy-to-make option for those looking to incorporate more fish into their diet. Tuna patties can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for quick and convenient meals.
Tuna Cakes Ingredients
- Tuna Meat
- Red Onion
- Panko Crumbs
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Olive oil
See recipe card for quantities for this Tuna Patties Recipe.
How to make Tuna Patties Recipe
Combine the tuna meat, red onion, chives, mayonnaise, Panko crumbs, oregano, red wine vinegar, beaten eggs and olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon.
Divide the tuna mixture and shape into a ball, the size of a ping pong ball.
With your fingers, shape into discs. Place on a plate and repeat with the rest. Spray or brush top of patties with oil.
For Air Fryer: Air Fry at 360°F, 10 minutes, flipping half way. Spray the tops again after you flip the patties. Serve with your favorite aioli and lemon slices. For Oven: Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the patties, and then bake for 10 minutes more or until the tuna patties are light golden and cooked through!
Hint: Make sure to use eggs as they help the patties stick together.
What to Serve with Tuna Patties
Tuna patties are a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides and sauces. Here are some ideas for what to serve with tuna patties:
- Salad: Tuna patties pair well with a simple side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus make a delicious and healthy side dish for tuna patties.
- Coleslaw: A creamy coleslaw with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a tangy dressing is a great complement to the tuna patties.
- Sweet Potato Fries: Baked sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular fries and make a delicious side dish for tuna patties.
- Avocado Salsa: A fresh and zesty avocado salsa made with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice is a great topping for tuna patties.
- Tartar Sauce: A classic tartar sauce made with mayonnaise, pickle relish, lemon juice, and capers is a perfect condiment for tuna patties.
- Lemon Wedges: Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the tuna patties adds brightness and acidity to balance out the rich flavors of the fish.
Tuna: Tuna is essential for making this. If you would rather make crab cakes, use crab meat instead (same amount).
Onion: I used red onion, although white and yellow onion work as well.
Chives: You can use chives for this, but if you don’t have them, green onion or scllaions, finely diced will work too.
Mayonnaise: This mayonnaise gives the patties so much flavor, but you could opt to using sour cream or cream cheese instead.
Panko Crumbs: Panko crumbs I feel shape the patties perfectly. I wouldn’t use regular bread crumbs for this.
Oregano: The oregano gives the patties a great kick. You could use dried marjoram, thyme, or Italian seasoning instead.
Vinegar: Red wine vinegar is a perfect softer vinegar to use. You could use apple cider vinegar instead.
Oil: I love adding olive oil for this dish to help shape the patties.
Eggs: The eggs are super important to use to keep the patties intact so they wont crumble.
Tuna Patties Recipe Variations
Here are some variations of tuna patty recipes:
- Spicy Tuna Patties: Add some heat to your tuna patties by mixing in chopped jalapenos or red pepper flakes. Serve with a side of sriracha mayo or hot sauce.
- Mediterranean Tuna Patties: Mix in some chopped olives, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes to give your tuna patties a Mediterranean twist. Serve with a side of tzatziki sauce.
- Thai Tuna Patties: Mix in some chopped cilantro, grated ginger, and green onions, and add a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Serve with a side of peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce.
- Caprese Tuna Patties: Mix in some chopped basil and diced tomatoes, and top the patties with mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve with a side of mixed greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Ranch Tuna Patties: Mix in a packet of ranch seasoning mix and serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.
- Lemon Herb Tuna Patties: Mix in some chopped fresh parsley, dill, and lemon zest. Serve with a side of lemon aioli or tartar sauce.
- Curry Tuna Patties: Mix in some curry powder, chopped green onions, and shredded coconut. Serve with a side of mango chutney.
Check out this Salmon Rice Bowl if you love seafood like me.
- Mixing Bowl: A large mixing bowl to mix together the tuna, bread crumbs, egg, onion, and other ingredients.
- Baking Sheet: A baking sheet lined with parchment paper to place the tuna patties on while they bake in the oven. I love using my Caraway baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here.
- Food Processor (optional): If you want to finely chop your onion or other ingredients, a food processor can be helpful.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure out the ingredients.
- Oven: An oven to bake the tuna patties.
- Cooking Spray or oil: To lightly spray the parchment paper and tuna patties to prevent sticking.
How to Store Tuna Patties
To store tuna patties, you should first allow them to cool down to room temperature. Once they have cooled, you can follow these steps:
- Store in an airtight container: Place the tuna patties in an airtight container. This will help prevent them from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge.
- Refrigerate: Place the container of tuna patties in the refrigerator. They should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 3-4 days.
- Freeze (optional): If you have leftovers or want to make a big batch of tuna patties for later use, you can freeze them. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheat: To reheat the tuna patties, you can either bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes or until heated through, or you can microwave them for about 30-45 seconds, depending on the wattage of your microwave.
Tuna Patties Recipe Top tips
Here are some top tips for making baked tuna patties:
- Use good quality tuna: The quality of the tuna you use will impact the flavor of the patties. Choose a good quality canned tuna that is packed in water or oil.
- Drain the tuna well: Make sure to drain the tuna well before mixing it with the other ingredients. Excess liquid can make the patties too moist and difficult to handle.
- Use fresh ingredients: Use fresh ingredients like onions, parsley, and lemon juice to give the patties a fresh flavor.
- Add breadcrumbs: Adding breadcrumbs helps bind the patties together and give them a nice texture. You can use panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs.
- Let the mixture rest: After mixing the ingredients together, let the mixture rest for a few minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture.
- Use a cookie scoop: Use a cookie scoop to scoop out the tuna mixture and form it into patties. This helps ensure that each patty is the same size and cooks evenly.
- Lightly oil the baking sheet: To prevent the patties from sticking to the baking sheet, lightly oil it with cooking spray or a little bit of oil.
- Don't flip the patties too soon: When baking the patties, resist the temptation to flip them too soon. Let them cook for at least 5-7 minutes on one side before flipping them over.
- Serve with a sauce: Tuna patties are delicious on their own, but you can serve them with a dipping sauce like tartar sauce, aioli, or spicy mayo.
- Enjoy fresh: Tuna patties are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. If you have leftovers, store them properly and reheat them gently to avoid overcooking.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove