Tuna Patties

VideoLentBudgetQuick and EasyCanned Tuna

Quick, easy, delicious tuna patties! Best thing you can make with canned tuna. Kid-friendly, Budget-friendly.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Tuna patties!

All you have to do is say these two words and I’m flooded with childhood memories. We kids are only a few feet high, have tiny feet, scabbed knees, and boundless energy.

In between chasing each other around the dining room table we are squealing to our mother, “We’re having tuna patties!”

We were enthusiastic about food, to say the least. And always hungry.

Video! How to Make Tuna Patties!

Tuna Patties: A Go-To Dish

Back then, this was one of my mother’s go-to dishes. No idea what her recipe was, and it’s been so long since she’s made them, it’s long forgotten.

This recipe is as close as I can come to what I remember, probably with a few added flourishes.

What I love about the recipe is that I almost always have the necessary ingredients in the pantry and fridge, the patties are incredibly easy and quick to make, and they’re budget friendly too. Oh yes, and they taste great! (At least to us. Big fans of canned tuna here.)

Tuna Patties

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Tuna Patties Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4 patties

Ingredients

  • 2 cans tuna (5 to 6 ounce cans)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white bread torn into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water (or liquid from the cans of tuna)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, green onions, or shallots
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A couple squirts of Crystal hot sauce or tabasco
  • 1 raw egg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter

Method

1 Drain tuna: Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. If you are using tuna packed in water, reserve a tablespoon of the tuna water, and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the tuna mixture in the next step.

2 Mix tuna with mustard, bread, zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, hot sauce, salt, pepper, egg: In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, mustard, torn white bread, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, and hot sauce. Sprinkle on salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste the mixture before adding the egg to see if it needs more seasoning to your taste. Mix in the egg.

3 Form into patties, chill: Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a patty. Place onto a wax paper lined tray and chill for an hour. (You can skip the chilling if you want, chilling just helps the patties stay together when you cook them.)

4 Sauté in skillet: Heat the olive oil and a little butter (for taste) in a cast iron or stick-free skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve with wedges of lemon. You can also serve with tartar sauce on slider buns for a tuna burger.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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369 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Christina

    Is it possible to make this without bread? (Gluten free)

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Harper Seventeen

    These we’re so delicious! Was never a fan of canned tuna till now.. I’ll cut down on the lemon slightly bcz the taste was a bit sharp. Added some garlic powder, cumin and coriander powder to the mix. Dint have an egg on hand so used a bit of milk to bind it. Don’t skip the chilling in the fridge bcz that held them together, without it they would have fallen apart when frying. Perfect with tartar sauce. Will make again and thanks for the recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. James Danielson

    Need to know can you freeze these tuna patties

    Show Replies (1)
  4. T

    best recipe for canned tuna – needed a recipe for snacks and this fit my pantry. everyone asked were i got them! thank you

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Acea

    Used oatmeal in place of bread. Horseradish mustard in place of dijon. Bottled lemon juice in place of the lemon juice + zest combo. Dried parsley and chives in place of fresh. Duck egg in place of chicken egg. Still came out great!! Thanks

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