Tuna Burgers with Dill Olive Mayo

BudgetQuick and EasyCanned Tuna

Tuna burgers to the rescue when you need dinner in a hurry and you're drawing a blank! Grab a can of tuna from the cupboard and you're mostly done. Some dill olive mayo takes it over the top!

Photography Credit: Leela Cyd Ross

As summer careens into fall, I watch my disposable income transfer to sports uniforms and school supplies, while the lazy days of summer transform into the after-work hustle of homework, dinner, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and swim lessons.

Dinner at the end of summer needs to be affordable, fast, and healthy. It also needs to refuel my entire family after long days of school and energize them for early season sports. Tuna burgers are my answer.


This tuna burger recipe is indeed fast, healthy, and filling. Canned tuna is inexpensive. I keep it stocked in the pantry so I can make this recipe on those days when I forget to plan dinner.

Along with the tuna, I toss in carrots, corn, and bell pepper to up the vegetable content and add a little color. Once formed into patties, I either fry them up on the stovetop or bake them in the oven. (They’re just too fragile for the grill.)

I usually eat tuna patties over a bed of lettuce a la crab cakes, while the rest of the family enjoys them on buns like hamburgers.

Canned Tuna Fish Burgers cook on the stovetop


Take the extra few minutes to make the dill olive mayo, which comes together with a quick stir. Dill adds a fresh flavor that balances the brininess of the olives.

Smear on the spread, then top the tuna burgers with a piece of lettuce and sliced red onion. Dinner is ready, and you didn’t even break a sweat.


Feel free to shape the patties up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

You can also reheat previously cooked patties by heating a teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the patties. Flip them once and cook until they are warmed through—about 5 minutes.


Tuna Burgers with Dill Olive Mayo Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 6 burgers

These tuna patties taste as good on a bed of lettuce as they do on a toasted hamburger bun.

For the spice mix, I use Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning, but you could use Old Bay Seasoning instead.


For the dill olive mayo:

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green olives, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning

For the tuna burgers:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna in water, drained
  • 3/4 cup unseasoned Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
  • 1/2 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (stove top method) or cooking spray to bake

For the topping:

  • Sliced red onion (optional)
  • Lettuce (optional)
  • Hamburger buns


1 Make the dill olive mayo: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, dill, olives, lemon juice, and Creole seasoning. Cover and place in refrigerator until the tuna burgers are ready to be served.

2 Make the tuna mix: In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the egg and mayonnaise. Add the tuna and stir to combine. In a separate, medium bowl combine panko, garlic, corn, carrot, red pepper, yellow onion, and Creole seasoning.

Add the mayonnaise and tuna mixture to the panko mixture. Stir until well combined.

Canned Tuna Burgers make the tuna mix

3 Shape the patties: Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to measure out a heaping scoop of tuna mixture and form into 6 patties.

How to Make Tuna Burgers form the burgers

4 Cook the patties in the oven or on the stovetop:

To make in the oven: Place a large cast iron skillet in your oven, then preheat the oven to 375°F. When it reaches the desired temperature, remove skillet from the oven with oven mitts. You want the skillet good and hot, which will help sear the burgers.

Spray the inside of the skillet and both sides of the tuna burgers with cooking spray; it helps mimic that crisp edge you get when you actually fry something. Add the burgers to the skillet and return it to the oven. Bake for about 7 minutes or until the bottoms of the burgers are golden brown and crispy.

Flip the burgers and cook until the other side is golden. This should take about 7 to 9 additional minutes.

To make this on the stovetop: Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the tuna burgers to the skillet and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the surface is golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Canned Tuna Fish Burgers cook on the stovetop

Serve on toasted hamburger buns with the dill olive mayonnaise, sliced red onion, and lettuce.

Make-ahead instructions: Feel free to shape the patties up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to use. Reheat previously cooked patties by heating a teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the patties. Flip them once and cook until they are warmed through—about 5 minutes.

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is an Associate Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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9 Comments / Reviews

No ImageTuna Burgers with Dill Olive Mayo

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Colleen

    As others have mentioned, these do not stick together well (even with adding some extra flour to dry out the mixture), but the taste is excellent. I made them more in the style of crab cakes served without a bun. Since some of mine fell apart when moving, I do not think they would function well as burgers. But I will definitely be making them again, because they are delicious!


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  2. Ann

    Just made and taste good, Thank you


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  3. Caren

    Awesome, do not stick together very well but the flavor is very good!


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  4. karen

    These would be fun to do in a waffle iron. I recently experimented with crab cakes that way – definitely a hit!!!

  5. John King

    Do you think that it is possible to freeze these?

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Canned Tuna BurgersTuna Burgers with Dill Olive Mayo