Tuna Patties

Our favorite homemade Tuna Patties are crunchy, flavorful, and so easy to make! This inexpensive and quick dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for your hectic weeknights.

Easy Tuna Patties Recipe

It’s officially seafood season! I know that for a lot of us, seafood season is pretty much all year, but there’s something so summery about it at the same time. Maybe it’s the squeeze of fresh lemon or the desire to eat it by the beach, but to us, seafood always equates to SUMMER!

If you’re anything like us, then you also plan on indulging in plenty of seafood… on a reasonable budget. While lobster and king crab certainly both hit the spot, they’re not the most affordable fixtures in a weeknight dinner routine. Enter – easy tuna patties!

Made with canned tuna, and a medley of other ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, these quick and easy to make tuna patties are ideal for both weeknight family meals and for entertaining guests by the poolside! They’re freshly flavored, perfectly crunchy, and are sure to satisfy your seasonal seafood craving (without breaking the bank).

Ingredients in bowls on a marble countertop.

Ingredients Needed

  • Tuna: Drain a can of tuna for this quick, easy, and budget-friendly recipe! We prefer using albacore, but any tuna should work just fine. 
  • Egg: We like to use farm fresh organic eggs for the best results. 
  • Mayonnaise: While you can use a low fat mayo, we’ve found that a full fat mayo will yield the best consistency. 
  • Lemon Juice: It’s vital to use freshly squeezed lemon juice! The bottled stuff has artificial flavors and preservatives and doesn’t compliment the tuna the same way.
  • Cajun Seasoning: While you can get away with using a store-bought seasoning mix, our homemade Cajun Seasoning seriously can’t be beat.
  • Bread Crumbs: You’ll need two different bread crumbs for this recipe – both regular and panko bread crumbs are required for the best crunchy consistency. 
  • Olive Oil: Try to find a good quality extra virgin olive oil that will create the best flavor. 

How to Make Easy Tuna Patties

You’re going to love how quick and easy this dinner recipe really is!

Mix the ingredients: In a medium size bowl, add the drained tuna, egg, mayonnaise, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir until well combined. Add the regular (not panko) bread crumbs and mix it all together until it’s well blended.

Shape the patties: Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, about 1/3 cup each. Shape into 4 patties using your hands. 

Coat the patties: Place the Panko bread crumbs on a shallow plate and coat the outside of the tuna patties with the Panko crumbs.

Cook the patties: Using a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Carefully place all 4 tuna patties in the pan and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. 

Enjoy: Serve the freshly fried tuna patties immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges, as desired.

Tuna patties in a skillet with olive oil being cooked.

Helpful Tips For Perfect Tuna Patties

  • To reheat any leftovers, use an air fryer. They will crisp back up perfectly! I reheat them in the air fryer for about 3 minutes at 375°F, until warmed through. If you do not have an air fryer, you can also use the microwave but they will not be as crispy. 
  • Tuna patties can be prepped ahead of time. Form the patties, but don’t coat them in the Panko crumbs until you are ready to cook them. Store them wrapped air tight on a plate in the fridge until ready to cook.
  • Avoid salt and pepper. The addition of Cajun seasoning already has salt and pepper in it. However, if you don’t like Cajun seasoning or want to avoid spice, you can substitute it for flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Another great substitute for Cajun Seasoning is Old Bay seasoning or seafood seasoning.
  • Two types of bread crumbs. If you want these tuna patties to turn out perfect, make sure to use both types of bread crumbs: traditional and panko bread crumbs. The traditional smaller bread crumbs are perfect inside the tuna patties to help them hold their shape, but they do not fry up nice and crispy like the Panko Breadcrumbs do on the outside.

Serving Suggestions

From appetizer to main dish, these tuna patties can be served a lot of different ways:

  • Lemon Wedges: We always serve it with lemon wedges! A fresh twist of lemon juice makes these Tuna Patties shine!
  • Tartar Sauce: You simply can’t serve tuna patties without Homemade Tartar Sauce! Our homemade condiment is ten times better than the store-bought stuff and only takes a minute to whip up.
  • Sandwich: While you can eat these patties all on their own, they’re also great when served on a bun as a sandwich.
  • Salad: We really love to serve these tuna patties over a bed of leafy greens for a fresh salad. I will also sometimes grab a bagged mixed salad (like a Thai chopped salad) from the grocery store and throw one of these right on top for an extra easy, but filling, salad!

Storage Instructions

When properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these tuna patties will stay fresh for up to 3 days. If you’d like to freeze them, store them in individually and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To reheat tuna cakes, we like to pop them into the air fryer for a few minutes. It really helps to crisp them back up like they are freshly pan fried. Every air fryer is different, but we reheat ours at 375°F for about 3 to 4 minutes.

A bite of tuna cake on a fork with tartar sauce on it.
Yield: 4-6

Tuna Patties

Two tuna patties on a white plate.

Our favorite homemade Tuna Patties are crunchy, flavorful, and so easy to make! This inexpensive and quick dinner can be on the table in under 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for your hectic weeknights.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz can tuna, drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, optional for serving
  • Homemade tartar sauce, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium size bowl, add tuna, egg, mayonnaise and lemon juice, stir until well combined. Add regular (not panko) bread crumbs and mix together until well blended.
  2. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, about 1/3 cup each. Shape into 4 patties using your hands.
  3. Place the Panko bread crumbs on a shallow plate and coat the outside of the tuna patties with the Panko crumbs.
  4. Using a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Carefully place all 4 tuna patties in the pan and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.
  5. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges, as desired.

Notes

Storage: When properly stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, these tuna patties will stay fresh for up to 3 days. If you’d like to freeze them, store them in individually and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. We like to reheat leftover tuna patties in the air fryer, it makes them crispy again!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 624mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 25g

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