Tuna Patties

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

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


  • 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


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.

tuna-patties-method-2 tuna-patties-method-3

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

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  • Erin

    I made these the other day and they were great! I used panko breadcrumbs, and adjusted the amount to what I thought was necessary for the patties to hold together and none of them broke! I used what was listed, and maybe about a 1/4 cup more and they held together just fine. I froze the rest and they’re just as good as the day I made them. I highly suggest this recipe.


  • Jan

    I make salmon patties for than tuna patties, but I’ll give this recipe a try. I usually add finely chopped celery to mine or even grated carrot. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  • Esther

    Added a little soy sauce – these were delicious!


  • Kayla

    Amazing! I’ve been making these for over a year. Slightly tweaking the recipe to our own taste! Highly recommend! Will be making a triple batch to freeze.


  • Jay

    Very tasty, used dry herbs and no zest. The only problem was that they break apart too easily. Going to try running the tuna through the food processor and using panko. Maybe add a mild cheese?


    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Jay. Thanks for your comment. I can’t recommend highly enough the process of chilling patties like this, or veggie burgers for that matter–hopefully you didn’t skip that step! I would try adding more panko before I changed anything else in the recipe, such as putting the tuna in the food processor, and see if that helps you! I’m glad you liked it the taste, though! Please let us know how it goes if you make it again, with a tweak or two!

      • Jay

        Cooked them two at a time. First batch chilled, second batch frozen – no difference in texture. I also used a larger pan on the second batch, giving more room to flip them, reducing the chance of damage.

        I want to be clear on something; I used a broken up piece of bread in the first batch and intended to use Panko in the second to increase the surface area for the egg to bind the mixture together (hence why I wanted to break up the tuna). However, your comment to increase the Panko implied that bread/Panko would act as a binder as well – I would assume it’s the gluten.

        It doesn’t make much difference when served on a plate, but firmness matters when served on a toasted bun.

        I was also thinking of saving a little egg and using it to bind a Panko outer crust.

        • Carrie Havranek

          Hi Jay, thanks for writing back! I assume you’re draining the tuna, right? I don’t now why this is still giving you trouble. Hmm. Our recipes are tested by professionals. I’d try a little more panko, and I’d be reluctant to completely pulverize the tuna in the food processor. Both egg and panko will act as a binder. Alternately, if you want something more sturdy on a roll, try this recipe instead from my colleague Summer. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tuna_burgers_with_dill_olive_mayo/

          • Jay

            Well, I’ve gotten the texture to about 3/4 the firmness of a hamburger patty, which is sufficient. The difference was in both ingredients and procedure.

            First and probably most important, was substituting Panko for the bread crumbs. Second was the egg; I was using a medium size egg before and I switched to a large. Also, I picked up a fresh lemon for the zest and used the juice, which I doubt had anything to do with the firmness of the patty, but had a dramatic effect on the flavor.

            Then, when forming the patty, I used more pressure with my hands and finished by making sure both sides were completely flat (contact in the pan while cooking).

            Last, freezing the patties first does make a difference in the final texture.

          • Carrie Havranek

            Yeah, the egg size will DEFINITELY impact your result! Panko is great. I think it absorbs slightly differently than regular bread crumbs. Glad you got a good result!

  • evelyn

    I have been making these for a while but not with ur ingredients . tried this instead of making more expensive salmon cake too . love them thank
    Also, i have chronic fatigue syndrome and sometimes i just don’t feel like cooking love the page with all of the salads. Got some great new ideas, made the tuna with gabanzo beans, delicious. glad i stumble onto your site, thanks for taking the time to put it together


    • Angela

      Can you make this without the hot sauce

      • Summer Miller

        Hi, Angela! Great question, you don’t need the hot sauce. If milder flavors are more to your liking feel free to leave the hot sauce out.

  • Stephnie

    im not a big cook what can i use instead of bread.

  • Jason

    These were so easy and taste fantastic. I added some sweet corn and some fresh coriander


  • Xoxo

    Can I add an egg?

  • Kylie

    These tasted amazing! My 4 year old and 2 year old even enjoyed them. I plan on making them again and even freezing some for after baby #3 gets here in August!



    Delicious! I used red bells instead. I also had some leftover Cajun Coleslaw from Easter. So good!


  • Scott

    I had some tuna in the pantry that I wanted to use up and ran across this recipe and I’m very glad I did. Dad is not too fond of onions so I added finely diced celery and red bell pepper for some crunch and taste. I didn’t have any parsley but had some fresh cilantro on hand and added that as well and topped the patties with provolone slices. Someone suggested adding dill and as soon as my plants are ready to start harvesting I may try that also. Thank you for the recipe! Having been a professional cook for over 35 years, canned tuna is an item I generally won’t use (when I hear tuna I think sashimi or sushi). Both Dad and I were very pleased with the results.


  • Brooke

    I was wondering if you could substitute dry bread crumbs for the white bread? And if so would the measurements be the same?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Brooke, dry breadcrumbs tend to be much smaller and drier than freshly torn up bread. They really don’t work as well in patties like this. If I had to substitute I would use half as much breadcrumbs.

    • paul

      A great substitute to make this even better is to use a half cup of seasoned bread crumbs instead of the torn bread and use 2 teaspoons of Chile Garlic Sauce, (international market) instead of the tabasco. The patties are a lot firmer for cooking and has just the right amount of heat to wake it up

  • Bernice Klingler

    I made these, absolutely delicious!

  • Elaine jenkins

    This was a really good recipe…but I had a hard time keeping them together….any tips would help because they were delious

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Elaine! Try letting the mixture chill in the fridge for about an hour and then forming the patties (and then chilling again). That should give the bread a little more time to soak up moisture and work as a binder for the patties. Enjoy!

  • titania

    I made these and didn’t have bread crumbs and a few other ingredients. I use 4 cans of tuna , 1 egg, onion powder, parsley, lemon pepper seasoning a little lemon juice, flour and fish fry to substitute for the bread crumbs , two squirts if brown spicy mustard and made 8 patties in the deep fryer they were yummy and had it with string beans and cauliflower rice.

  • Rachel Henderson

    Anyone know the calorie count?! I made these for dinner and they were delicious!!!

  • Jennifer

    These were surprisingly delicious and quick to prepare! My two teens, who typically turn their noses up at tuna, loved them.


  • Katrina

    Sooooo good and easy! Made it without the lemon zest and chilling. I might use 2 eggs next time as per other reviews. Thanks for sharing!


  • Clarissa

    Love! My new go-to recipe when I want a quick meal. It makes a good ‘burger’ but I usually pair it with lettuce greens and a homemade lemon vinaigrette dressing.


  • Kimmy

    Amazingly tasty, I want to make a big batch and freeze them. If anyone has done this could you please tell me

    1) do I freeze the raw patty or the cooked patties?

    2) do I cook from frozen or thawed?

    3) what’s the maximum time I could freeze for?



    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kimmy, given that the tuna is already cooked, and the only worrisome raw ingredient is egg, I think you could go either way. Personally, I would probably cook them first, then freeze them. Then you can defrost them when you want, and reheat them. Usually frozen foods like this last about a month, properly wrapped to limit exposure to air, in the freezer.

    • Janet

      I freeze these wrapped in press and seal prior to cooking. I make double batches and they stay good for about 9 weeks. I take them out a few at a time, Then I put them on a rack and spray both sides with olive oil spray and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 min. They re crispy and delishous. One other thing I use Crushed cheese crackers (cheese its or generic white or yellow cheddar both work great and add an extra layer of flavor) instead of bread. And I use 2 eggs instead of 1. Canned chicken breast works just as well if you have a no fish eating family member.

      • Matraca

        Thank you for this… I was wanted to bake them and wasn’t sure of cook time or temp! This is my weekend project for meal prep!

  • Robb

    5 stars for not being the same old tuna fish sandwich or tuna casserole. I had to doctor mine up as I only had the tuna, water, egg, lemon juice and pepper on hand. I fried a slice of bacon, used parsley flakes, breadcrumbs, crushed red peppers and onion powder in the mix, then fried the patties in the bacon fat and put the bacon on the patty with some cheddar cheese. I’d use different herbs/spices next time, but just the fact it wasn’t the same old tuna fish sandwich I’ve been eating for 40 years made it delicious! Thanks for the idea!


  • Nancy

    What can I substitute the mustard for?

  • Anna

    What can i use instead of egg and butter due to allergies to dairy and egg.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Anna! You can just skip the butter — it’s there for flavor. For the egg: we haven’t tested this, so I can’t say with 100% confidence it will work, but you could try using a flax egg instead of a chicken egg. Here’s the method for how to make a flax egg. Let us know how it works out!

  • Paulette

    This was absolutely delicious and it looks fancy too.
    I used Italian breadcrumbs instead if bread, added corn to the mix and served over spring mix salad.


  • GetYourOwnName

    Yummy. I used panko instead of bread crumbs, as I always have it on hand.


  • Maja

    How do you freeze these, before frying? And do you fry them from frozen? Can I bake them in the oven?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Maja, I’ve never tried freezing them before frying so don’t know what to tell you.

    • Paulette

      Hi Maja,

      I wrapped leftover mix in saran wrap and freezes. Thawed two days later , fried and tasted even better.

  • Cecily

    Think I’ll try these but with no hot sauce and add some dill to them.

  • Emily

    Made this today and it was really good! I didnt even have lemon juice, zest, or hot sauce and it still tasted great! I did add an extra egg though because one of the comments said the mixture was too dry. I also used horseradish instead of tartar sauce and it was still really good. Thank you so much for the recipe!


  • Jasmine

    What can I use instead of bread? Since it’s low carb recipe.. bread isn’t low carb.. just wondering? Thx

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jasmine, we don’t have these tuna patties categorized as low carb, so I don’t know where you are seeing that. Some people I know use cooked quinoa in place of bread if they are trying to cut back on carbs, but I haven’t tried that with this recipe. Might work though, if you are looking for an alternative!

      • Paulette

        I also tried recipe with Quinoa…still delicious.

    • Hey

      Replace the white bread with corn meal or bread crumbs .

    • Shawna Garner

      I used crushed pork rinds. Worked well.

  • Tara Cooke

    Just discovered your site! LOVE IT! I was looking up how long to cook Eggs for Hard Boiled Eggs. I cook – but forgot how to do it Correctly. Your recipe was great! Then I stumbled on this recipe from the video. YES you have harkened back to my childhood days too. This and tuna gravy over toast were 2 fav’s my Mom made. I didn’t have the recipe for the Tuna Patties until now! YEA! LOVE these! I also made into tiny portions they are great for parties and for kids too. Your recipe is YUMMY and Easy! Thanks for posting it.

    • R

      What is the recipe for tuna gravy? My mom used to make for us growing up. Would love to have again.

  • janet grossman

    Sorry but I made these tonight per recipe and they were v dry. I think next time I would add an extra egg or something.


  • Lani

    Made this recipe for dinner tonight and it’s a keep. Thanks for sharing! YUM!


  • Liza

    Delicious! The lemon/zest & green onion gave it a nice fresh flavor. Dijon & hot sauce gave just the right oomph! The only adjustment I made was an accident. I accidentally added the olive oil to the mixture—-so of course they were wetter than called for. I fixed my mistake by adding some panko crumbs to the mix AND as a coating on each patty. Fried up beautifully. Love your recipe. It seems fool proof—-where home cooks can adjust based on what they have & it will still be great. Thank you Elise!


  • Jessica

    These were great! I made a few adjustments by what i had on hand. I used 15 crushed saltine crackers since we were low on bread, and used yellow mustard instead of dijon. I also added a tablespoon of parmesan cheese from the green can and a heaping 1/4th tsp of minced garlic. Along with the salt and pepper i added 1 tsp of old bay seasoing. These were so good and easy to put together that im making a big batch to freeze for later. I ate them with your tartar sauce recipe (also modified for what i had on hand) just as delecious after sitting in the fridge for a while.


  • Teresa Warren

    I make these every week for dinner! It’s a great simple recipe, I’ve changed mine to gluten free Panko crumbs and I also use lemon pepper and organic garlic powder. While I clean the kitchen, I place the patties in the fridge and fry in olive oil right before serving with tarter sauce.


  • Dawn Rae

    Yum!! I do similar with canned salmon. I don’t know why I never thought to use tuna. What a great idea! I can have “fish” patties more often now!

  • Octavia

    I think these were alright! They weren’t the biggest hit, but they certainly were not bad, either. I’m not sure if I’d revisit this, but I do not regret making them at all and trying them as I had never had a tuna patty before.


  • taylor

    I hated tuna as a child but was visiting a friend’s house for lunch and her mother served tuna patties. They were delicious but never had them again. At some point during a mid-life weight crisis, tuna became part of my diet but I did not mix it with anything. I eventually gave up the diet as a lost cause but started eating tuna sandwiches. I will not eat fish unless it is tinned tuna or salmon. Last night, around 9 pm I was looking for a recipe for lemon meringue pie and two very good things came from that search. When I saw the tuna patties recipe I immediately went to the kitchen and cooked up one heck of a delicious bedtime snack. I also found your wonderful recipe for lemon meringue pie. I wanted the pie for today for lunch so set my alarm for 3 a.m. and the pie is now cooling — it is now 6 a.m.. It looks wonderful and I can’t wait for my guests to arrive so I can greedily dig in. My lemon trees are so laden with fruit and am always looking for any recipe in which I can use them. I am in the tropics and fruit is seasonal so will freeze about 30 lemons for future recipes until next season. Thank you for two wonderful recipes and I will be a permanent visitor to your site.


  • Seasons01

    Can you tell me how many Tuna cakes a person is supposed to eat of these in one sitting? Assuming they are put into 4.

    • Seasons01

      They look the size of hamburger patties but I can’t tell. I just want to make sure I make enough for everyone.

  • Chelsea

    Hello! I’m confused what size can of tuna to use. You say to use 2 6oz cans, but they don’t make 6 oz cans and in the video the one you are using shows 5oz and the drained weight is 4oz. So the total amount of tuna for this recipe technically for 2 cans would only be 8 oz after draining? Or do I need a total weight of 12 oz of tuna after draining which is what the instructions make it seem like(2-6 oz cans)? Also is albacore tuna ok to use in this recipe or just the regular? Thank you!!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Chelsea, just use 5 ounce cans. I’ll make the adjustment in the recipe. When I first made the recipe years ago, I used 6 ounce cans. So, it sort of depends on the brand. 5 ounce cans will do fine.

  • Brenda

    I’m a college student that has to make food for myself at dinner time. I’m not really a good cook and barely know how. This recipe was so easy to follow, and these patties are super tasty!! I will definitely be making these again!


  • Laura

    My family and I love these! My 5-year old asks specifically for them when we put ‘burgers’ on the meal plan. :-) We skip the hot sauce and add dried paprika instead. They are delicious with melted cheese on top or with remoulade. I make a double or triple batch and freeze the formed patties uncooked.


  • Cindy Evans

    I’m a fan of salmon patties but I’d never thought about making tuna in any way except salad or casserole. These were very tasty. In my opinion, the lemon & zest was what made it.


  • Leah

    First off, I didn’t have some of the ingredients, like lemon zest and mustard. So instead I used ground mustard and a small amount of lemon pepper. I also didn’t use hot sauce since I’m not a fan. I’m honestly not the best cook so mine kind of fell apart but they were delicious none the less. I put the pieces between bread and it was great!


  • Michael Woodke

    I really appreciate that you you just specify canned tuna… not “Italian Tuna” or poached fresh tuna, both of which would probably work incredibly well, but which I suspect a lot of your readers, like me, don’t have in the day-to-day pantry. Thanks for making your site as so user friendly. It is rare to find a blogger who does so much to make a site so friendly. Kudos!

  • Laurie

    We were a whole lot poorer when my kids were younger. I just took cans of tuna, drained it (gave that to the cat) and added egg & crackers then fried it as patties. They loved them. Put Miracle Whip on and ate them with boiled potatoes and some can corn. Happy gang.

  • Tina

    One of my favorites!


  • Eileen B

    This is my family’s favorite recipe for tuna patties. We do this again and again (with perhaps a pinch more hot sauce and a dash more lemon).


  • Marie Czarnecki


  • Sue

    Hi Elise I love your site and have tried many of your posts. All very good. Have you ever considered posting nutrional facts for your recipes. Sue

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sue, indeed we have! It’s a lot of work to evaluate and code the over 2000 recipes we have on the site. We’ll likely get to it at some point, just not yet.

  • Marianne

    My mom makes something similar. She uses canned salmon, leftover mashed potatoes, green onions and pass it in flour before frying them. Delicious with bechamel sauce :)

  • Cassie

    I made these for supper tonight and served them on hamburger buns with tartar sauce and lettuce. I should mention that I hate seafood, but am trying to incorporate more fish into my family’s diet for the health benefits. This was a HUGE HIT with the whole family! Even I liked it, and most fish makes me gag! This is a fantastic recipe and a great way to change boring canned tuna into a flavorful dish with a great texture. I will be making this a regular meal at our house :)

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you liked it Cassie! I bet they were great in the buns with tartar sauce, love the idea!

  • Dawn Bush

    Hi, I’ve been using your recipe as a base for a year or two, and thought you might like to try my variation. I use red onion if I haven’t any spring onions, Jacobs sweet chili thins instead of bread, lime instead of lemon and Coriander/cilantro instead of parsley. It’s a family favourite, based on your original recipe.Thanks so much for posting it!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dawn, your variations sound wonderful, thanks for sharing!

  • Eve

    Tried the recipe today, and we love it! Thank you.


  • Mary

    We too grew up on tuna cakes. My mom made them with crushed saltines.

  • Mya

    Love these for breakfast or brunch. Served with grits and scrambled eggs. Sometimes I add crumbled, crisp lean bacon to the mix. Also have made breakfast sandwiches out of these. Put the tuna patty, an egg and a slice of bacon on a toasted english muffin with a sprinkle of hot sauce on top. Portable breakfast that fills you up enough to skip lunch!

  • GD

    I’m just wondering if these would freeze. I work nights and always searching for things my husband can cook easily. Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi GD, great question! I haven’t tried freezing them, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

      • Jeff

        Yes, they freeze very well. I usually quadruple the recipe & freeze them 2 at a time with my food saver. They make a great grab & go healthy snack.

  • Dave

    Recipe works like a charm. Draining the tuna is key. Take your time draining it.

  • Paulette parden

    I have been making this (tuna patties ) for about fifty four years . I do put a little flour to hold them together . Sometimes I fry in small amount of oil and sometimes I will bake them . One thing for sure it’s a healthy inexpensive meal for a family on a budget.

  • Debbie

    Made this recipe tonight for my family and they al loved it (kids included 10yr old, 5 yr old). I added bread crumbs and also some mayo.

  • Bri

    Just made these this evening, followed the recipe as is, except I used 2 eggs and didn’t chill in fridge. They were delicious! A new favorite!

  • marianne

    Tried this recipe TERRIBLE omit lemon juice and water and dredge in bread crumbs otherwise patties fall apart while frying and lots of splattering because of too
    much moisture in the mix going back to my original recipe by nick stellino

  • Christina

    My hubs and I love these! I mix together 3 tsp mayo and 1 tsp sriracha and drizzle on the patty. Delicious!

  • Dawn J. Miller

    Tasty and easy for snacks .I made this last night for my friends. I added capsicum and mixed spice to the mixture to add some extra flavor. Everyone enjoyed :D

  • frederick

    Made these today- I need to up the fish intake. Followed recipe…cast iron pan…flavor okay…seemed Soggy. If there is a next time, I would use more bread pieces and/or less liquid.

  • Lisa Pilar

    Needed something new to serve during lent , tried this recipe and my husband absolutely loved it! He even asked me to make them in-between Fridays which says alot with him being a dedicated carnivore! Love it!

  • Little Cooking Tips

    We’ll be trying out those patties today, adding some dill instead of parsley, as the young onion-dill combo is a staple for us here in Greece:)
    Wonderful recipe, congratulations!

  • Don

    I made these and used almond meal instead of bread crumbs and didn’t have a lemon so I used a lime. They turned out really nice. Loved the recipe, way too many options. Thanks.

  • Top cat 96

    Yummm! Made them per the recipe except used seasoned breadcrumbs instead of bread. Delicious!!

    • Sally

      How much bread crumbs?

  • Mercedes

    Any chance you could share how many calories per serving this is?

  • Maryann Wolcott

    I’ve been making , what I’ve been calling tuna burgers, that I learned how to make in Home Economics back in the late 1950’s. My family has always loved them. I’m so glad to see a new generation enjoying them and thinking it’s a new idea!!!

  • Marjorie Holste

    Great recipe Elise, made them tonight served them with a salad. Thx for sharing


  • Michelle

    Anyone know the nutrition details on this recipe?

  • Suzanne

    Can you use cooking spray instead of oil and the butter? I use the spray all the time for hamburgers and such. I always thought that the spray is healthier for you.

  • Hooper Holmes

    Thank you for this recipe. My boys and I enjoyed it. Excellent!

  • Rose Musgrave

    I’ve been making Tuna cakes for years, and I always add a cup of left over mashed potatoes to two cans of tuna to my recipe, which is similar to the one listed. I do use the bread crumbs too, along with the mashed potatoes.

    • Maryann Wolcott

      Thanks, never thought to use mashed potatoes. Will try it next week.

  • Betty Brantley

    I make salmon patties a lot but never thought of using any of these ingredients but I am going to try it. I only use salmon and juice with a large chopped onion, 2 eggs, and coarse ground cornmeal. My family loves them with baked beans and French fries.

  • Marcy

    can you bake the tuna or salmon cakes?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marcy, I haven’t tried baking them but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It would be harder to get the browning you want though.

  • Kandi

    What’s the best way to store and reheat these?

  • JIWA

    I love tuna patties; hadn’t thought about them in years. I grew up eating them. My Dad was the cook in our family. He used leftover mashed potatoes in place of the bread crumbs, otherwise the recipe is the same. Thanks for the memory. I’ll put them on my menu for this week. First time at this site. Great site, and well done. Thank you

    • Krissy

      JIWA, this is an amazing site. I’ve been making her recipes for years — another great one to check out is Parmesan Chicken. I hope you keep coming back!

  • Michael Cowart

    With the intention of making Salmon Patties, I mistakenly grabbed a can of tuna instead of the second can of salmon, and make a hybrid pattie. Not bad. To two small cans of salmon I normally add two slices stale bread, two eggs, half a sweet onion finely minced, and 1 tsp dried dill. Not sure if I’d use straight Tuna, but this result was acceptable.

  • Clifton Murphy

    We had these as well but we used canned Salmon, and it tastes much better than the tuna. Just my opinion. Tuna is good too, but the salmon really makes this croquet amazing.

  • Adriane

    Your story instantly transported me back to my childhood. We had these, too, with potato mixed in. Yummy! My Gramma had a particular habit of serving the sandwich with a thick slice of fried tomato. Had to have lots of mustard, and sliced onions. Mouth watering uncontrollably now.

  • Steve Voelker

    I’m trying to get my boys more interested in seafood- the fact that you enjoyed these as a child is encouraging to me. I’m making them this week when they come! I’ll report back…

    • Steve Voelker

      Update: Well _I_ liked them! One boy was “so-so” about them and the other wouldn’t touch it with a 3 meter cattle prod. Dang! They really liked the baked ziti found elsewhere on this site, though.

      Maybe I’ll try these again using canned salmon and serve on a bun…

  • Monica

    I also put one egg in the mixture ***

  • Monica

    I decided to look up tuna patties recipe online. Found this one. I changed and left out some stuff. I decided to use what i had. I drained two cans of tuna. Put breadcrumbs in. Diced red onion & parsley and put in the mixture. Cut one Lemon and drained the juice.put that juice inside. Salt & pepper. Mixed in well. Heated up the oil in the pan. Made patties with the mix and cooked the patties. Put it on hamburger wheat buns and put some tartar sauce and romaine lettuce. It was delicious. Thank for sharing

  • Katrina

    Delicious, I did without the bread and added an extra egg instead, you turned out great! Very yummy!

    • Jenny

      Wow this recipe was delish, I too decided to substitute the bread and instead used gluten free flour. I also added Bay seasoning. It was definitely a winner and this is coming from a family that hates tuna!Will be making again.

  • Dilip Bhende

    My mother used to make either Tuna or Pomp fret patties feeding 8 of us. The flavor was so inviting that we could smell the Patrice on the ground level while we stayed on the 1st floor. She used to put in a bit of yogurt & perhaps that was the trick. Among-st Indians salmon or pomp fret patty was a common dish for a good dinner

    • Cynthia

      Yes I think yogurt would be good in place of the olive oil & lemon juice! Also maybe a little melted butter mixed in? I don’t like mustard, so that might work for extra flavor.

  • faith

    These were fantastic! I left out the mustard and used panko. I will definitely make them again!

  • Sha Na Na

    Pick A Pepper sauce hits the spot when you pour a little bit on top of tuna patties. Also, for this, I usually add red pepper flakes instead of Tobasco.

  • Gayle Kline

    I have so much zucchini ! I’m going to try adding shredded zucchini to these tuna patties today.

  • Nikki

    I was just wondering if I could replace the egg with something else, or simply go without..

    • Elise Bauer

      The egg is a binder. You could use mayo, maybe 3 Tbsp which would also work as a binder.

    • valerie kelly

      i tried this with the Southwestern eggbeaters. yummy!

  • Nickey

    Any thoughts on throwing these puppies on the grill (charcoal)?

    • Elise Bauer

      Well I love grilled anything, so I would be game. If you try grilling them please let us know how it works out!

    • Steve Voelker

      My thought would be there is a risk of having the patties come apart and fall through the grill. I would recommend the cedar plank gambit with a slow fire, or better still a Treger that has no direct flame but lots of smoke for that outdoor flavor. With a Treger I would use something like a small cookie sheet (no sides to it) and alder pellets in the hopper, set to 350. I think that would work dandy.

  • Kristin P

    Fantastic recipe! EVEN my family members who aren’t fond of tuna like it. In a pinch, I save a step by using the Starkist lemon pepper tuna packs. Works like a charm!

    • Elise Bauer

      I’m so glad you like it Kristin! Love the idea of the lemon pepper tuna packs.

  • Landie Bradford

    Anybody have any idea of how these would turn out WITH OUT the bits of bread, and no alternatives/replacements? Or if anything, could I not just use cornstarch?

    • Donna Alexander

      I am on a grain free eating path and i used 1/2 C chickpea flour to use as a binder, it worked perfectly without the bread crumbs…i also made a sourcream sauce using 1/2 C sourcream, 1 t. mustard/4 t. ketchup/1/2t. old bay/1/2 t. garlic & onion powder with 1/8 t. hot pepper, they were very good! Hope this helps!

      • Cynthia

        I like the idea of using chickpea flour or mashed potato instead of bread as I too do not eat grains. Nobody should!
        Wondering if coconut flour would work, but might need an extra egg. Cheese on top would be good as well!

      • Steve Voelker

        I want to try that sauce. It sounds like a Louisiana remoulade with a twist!

    • Frank Klett

      I make the patties with left over mashed potatoes instead of bread…works great…maybe even easier.

    • Pat Cramer

      Use some cooked mashed potato for a lovely filler

    • Doreen

      Try almond flour. It’s really tasty

  • jill

    Some Old Bay seasoning would be good and could be a replacement for the hot sauce. As far as no mustard goes, I think you will find that this doesnt have a “mustardy” taste – it just gives it a little zip without making it spicy. You need something to work as binder and add moisture to the cakes; if you have mustard allergy or a huge aversion to mustard, maybe try mayo instead.

  • Heather

    Has anyone ever tried baking this in a loaf pan? Like a meatloaf? I love the recipe but just curious.

    • jill

      My mom always made a salmon loaf – one of my favorites. She’d lay a piece of bacon at the bottom of the loaf pan from one end of the pan to the other and put the “batter” on top. Looking at the recipe, I think you’d need to make it 2 eggs. I’d love to hear how this turns out. Salmon cakes are my favorite and I can’t wait to try this recipe with tuna!

  • Abby

    These were great! A new favorite. It was a lot of ingredients but it was so flavorful we didn’t need any sauce to dip them in. Putting them in the fridge definitely helped them hold together better(I did one batch and didn’t have time to put them in) and the second batch was much better. Took the leftovers for lunch the next day. Deelicious

  • Bob T

    I have had these all my life, but with potato that is cooked and mashed instead of bread crumbs. This may be an English style.

  • Sarah

    Hi. Im bit unsure if I’ll like these.
    Are they filling?

    What can i replace instead of using the mustard and hot sauce?

  • Angela

    This is now my comfort food!! So delicious. i prep my food for the week and this is by far the best recipe. It is so simple and quick.

  • Wendy

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but my mom, grandmother, and I have been making tuna patties for years. They are especially handy for Fridays during Lent. But, we just mix tuna, Italian breadcrumbs, and egg together to make them and don’t bother chilling them. They are fast, easy, and the kids love them…especially with Tater Tots.

    • Jeri

      Do you mix the mayo in there too or no?

  • Jack

    Tuna patties did not sound appealing to me at all…boy was I wrong. The wife convinced me to make this, and I have found a new favorite (and easy) recipe! Thank you for this one.

  • Dave

    These tuna patties are fabulous. I just finished eating them and they taste like crab melts without the cheese. Thank you sooo much for this recipe. The best use for canned tuna ever.


  • Norma Livesay

    Try using meal with a little flour instead of crackers and also salmon instead of tuna. I crush all the bones, etc in with the salmon and do not pick them out. Also use part of the juice which keeps them from being too dry. My mother made the salmon patties along with a skillet of corn bread then she made meal gravy (brown it real good) in the grease that the patties were fried in. Put the gravy over the cornbread and patties. Delicious!!!!

  • Dolly D

    I loved this recipe, I just used fresh lump crab meat instead of Tuna. The last time I would eat canned tuna was back in late 70’s when they had a product called “Tuna Twist”. Here’s the link to TV ad from 1976. { https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma16CwjIEm0 } It was a package of dried herbs, dried vegetables and healthy dose of MSG in a package that you “just added boiling water and mayonnaise”. It would make 6 sandwiches from one can rather than four. It was really good but was discontinued for it was giving dumb folks stomach problems around the country. Many Americans who are idiots do not or can’t read directions. The dried veggies swelled in their intestines cause they didn’t follow the directions. I never ate Tuna again. I can’t even fathom eating it hot. Probably a traumatic experience I had with Tuna Noodle Casserole in late 60’s.

  • Elaine

    My whole family loves these tuna patties! I like to use rye bread in place of white for additional flavor. Thanks Elise for another winning recipe!


  • Mary

    When we were growing our mom used saltine crackers in place of bread.

  • Kathy Kreiter

    I made these last night and they were fabulous. Love the lemon flavor. I used Panko and they turned out great. Thanks for all the amazing recipes Elise.


    • Elise Bauer

      You’re welcome Kathy. I’m so glad you like the tuna patties!

  • Madison

    Love the recipe, Elise!
    However, I don’t eat bread. What could I use instead?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Madison, try cooked quinoa.

    • Nana101

      Or, mashed potato. I use them in my cod fish cakes.

      • Elise Bauer

        Mashed potato, great idea!

        • Madison

          Thank you Elise & Nana101. I’m going to get A potato tomorrow – I don’t have/eat those either, but like that the idea, so off to the farmers market I go …. (LOL). Warm greeting from across the pond :)

          • Anne

            You could Los use rice .

        • Madison

          Just had a light-bulb moment; Could I use Panco or some kind of regular breadcrumbs? + Any experience with freezing the uncooked patties?

  • Rose

    Thank you for another yummy and simple recipe! We tried these the other night on Hawaiian rolls with Vegenaise (egg-free mayo) and they were delicious! Flavorful, easy to make and very budget friendly!

  • Jul

    Instead of the mustard sauce, I use horseradish sauce. Very nice!

  • Laura

    I just made these a few minutes ago and am eating them right now. They are delicious! I was out of white bread so used the bottom part of an onion roll, the type that is used for hamburgers. This recipe is so good! Will definitely make again!

  • Elly

    I suppose you can also put them in the fridge and the chilling will go much faster?

  • Jess

    Made these tonight…so simple and delicious!!! Thanks so much! The possibilities are endless for varying them from time to time. This is now added to our meal rotation!

  • weylin dickey

    Well folks substitute stuffing mix (stouffers) instead of torn bread or bread crumbs no need for spices mentioned in the recipe and flavored aioli for taste and moisture.

    • Lori

      What a great idea, thank you, I had some extra stuffing mix and used that. We ate them on garlic baguettes with balsamic vinegar reduction I had leftover.. Baked them like Margaret. Very tasty. Great ideas on this blog.

  • schrodie

    OMG, as a child growing up Catholic… these were a Friday night thing in our house! We kids never minded; tuna patties were one of our favorite treats. Sometimes, Mom would even serve them up on toasted buns, with lettuce and tomato, a slice of cheese once in a while, and sometimes even a little homemade tartar sauce. We used to call them Tuna Burgers, ha ha… with coleslaw and chips on the side, and of course a dill pickle spear. Occasionally we even saw them in the school cafeteria. Not bad, we ate them without complaining… but definitely not as good as Mom’s

  • Dale

    I use assorted fresh fish mix of tuna with yellowtail and or any rockfish in a food processor and it tastes like crab cakes with cocktail sauce.

  • ekaterin

    Thank you, I made them today at the office (with more bread and 2 eggs, because I needed to feed 4 people) and it was a big success.

  • Mary

    I am allergic to lemons and lime, can I use something else. In its place.

    • Elise Bauer

      Skip the lemon zest and use a tablespoon of white or cider vinegar in place of the lemon juice.

      • lynn

        Try sumac, it has a lemony flavor

  • Pattie Pitts

    Would this be a good recipe for salmon patties as well?? My mother use to cook them and she doesn’t remember anymore how she did it.

  • Margaret

    For those that were wondering if these can be made in the oven, I tried it last night and they turned out just as good as the pan fried. I smeared some olive oil on a baking sheet and baked them for 18 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping them over at about the ten minute point.

    • Erin

      Thanks for this info. With a two year old running around, baking them is much easier!

  • karen sheridan

    when I was a child it was salmon patties and the binder was crushed saltines instead of the herbs it was diced green pepper and green onion. always served with creamed peas . Yum! my grown son still remembers his grandmother making them.

  • l lang

    Is that 2 to 6 cans of tuna could i get a possible weight thanks

    • Elise Bauer

      It is 2 cans of tuna that are 6 ounces each. Can also use cans that are 5 ounces each.

  • Louise

    Such a great recipe using pantry and fridge staples! I did not have fresh parsley so I used about a teaspoon of dried tarragon and it really brightened up the flavor; also coated the patties with some panko to make sure that they don’t fall apart. These delicious patties will certainly be making regular appearances on my weeknight dinner table. Thank you Elise (and to your mom)!!

  • Tracey

    I made these today for family and friends they were great! I have a ton of flash frozen tuna I wanted to start to use so I used that instead of a can. I marinated the tuna in soy sauce and orange juice for 24 hours and seasoned it. I broiled the tuna 4-5 minutes each side and then put it in the fridge to cool down. I then made the cakes likes the recipe said and they were great. Just wanted to leave a comment for anyone who wanted to try that!

  • Cecile @ My Yellow Farmhouse

    A while ago I posted a recipe for Tuna Patties BUT I think I like your recipe even better!! I love that you add lemon juice and chives etc. What a great recipe!! (I found it on Pinterest and I ‘pinned’ it!!)

  • Melissa

    Tuna patties are an old school favorite of mine! Mom made them and I made them for my kids too. My variation is a bit different, using saltine crackers, beaten egg, finely minced onion and fried in a small amount of oil until crispy. Simple and delicious!

  • rose

    I cooked this recipe last nite and it was so good! I used panko instead of bread and the result was just as good as the original recipe. This will be my fav recipe for my canned tuna. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Linda

    My mother made salmon cakes with saltines but I cannot stand picking over canned salmon. And my significant other is not really fond of salmon. I think these sound really good. What type of tuna works best for this recipe? I usually buy albacore tuna but I am wonder if chunk light tuna might be better.

    • Cynthia

      For Linda
      Skipjack water packed tuna available at Trader Joe’s has the least amount of mercury because it’s a smaller fish. Much healthier choice than chunk light or albacore.

  • Robin

    Thank you!

    I’m also going to try flaxmeal instead of the bread to keep it low carb…way low carb.

  • Robin

    Any plans to include nutritional breakdown for those of us watching calories and carbs?

    It would be a great addition!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Robin, not at the moment! I know it would be useful for many people. I just don’t have time or the expertise to put it together. There are many online programs that can help you figure out that info. Also if you save the recipe in Yummly (button on the recipe), the Yummly program offers some nutritional info for the recipes.

  • Frances Comer

    I’ve made salmon patties all my life it seems. I live in a retirement community. I used to cook salmon cakes for the man down the hall from me. Passed now. He used to buy the salmon and offer me money to make them. Said they were the best he ever had. When he died his daughter asked if I was the one who made the salmon cakes. Good feeling when someone offered money to cook salmon cakes… That was couple years ago.

    • jill

      Frances, that’s a lovely story! I miss my mom’s salmon cakes and have never found any that compare. Would you share your recipe? I’d love to try them! If they are as good as you say, I’ll serve them from now on, calling them Francis’ Salmon Cakes. I understand if you prefer to keep the recipe a secret; in any case, I enjoyed your remembrance!

  • Karen

    I also use this recipe and have interchanged the meat with salmon, chicken, and oatmeal… yea, that’s right, oatmeal… no one ever knows they are oatmeal patties. I add walnuts and a little bit of zucchini (cut into tiny squares or grated)to the recipe and they taste great. It fools the kids into thinking they are getting meat patties.

    This is a great recipe to add whatever you want to it and have the best patties. They even grill good on the BBQ.

  • GAIL

    I don’t usually leave comments, but this time really wanted to. my mom made patties like this with many kinds of fish,tuna ,salmon,salted cod…… and we got to have fresh creamed peas over them. I still do the same today.


    I make salmon patties & tuna patties. I use oatmeal instead of bread or crackers. My neighbor gives me fresh salmon every year. It’s been real fishy tasting, so I just boil it, flake it & make into salmon patties. I fry them in a bit of olive oil, eat what I want then freeze the rest after frying. I can take one out of the freezer any time I want, & thaw & heat in microwave. YUM! Very good & so convenient.

  • Marina

    Instead of bread I use mashed potatoes, carrots and zuccini. I also add chopped garlic and parsley and enough egg to bind everything. I never chill before frying but I coat the mixture with semolina. They taste wonderful with a mixed tomato, lettuce, carrot, sweet peppers, cabbage, kohlrabi, onion salad.

  • Shrimp

    Mark Bittman has a recipe for crab cakes that used, instead of white bread, shrimp pulsed in a processor as a binder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GRyUdnEY7U Maybe work considering here, too.

  • Mia

    I just made these and they were wonderful!
    I didn’t have any bread in the house, so I used 1/2 tbsp flour to 1 can of tuna + 1 egg. They were lovely and intensely satisfactory for how easy they were. I can’t wait to make these for my boyfriend!

  • Fatima Abu Bakr

    Thank you for making tuna enjoyable…I tried yogurt n a little oil as a substitute for egg.. Grounded linseed oil with a little water till it gel is another…

  • Jackie

    50 or 60 years ago, my Southern MIL made “Fish Cakes” with canned mackerel…..2 cans mackerel w/juice, 3# chopped yellow onions, 2 loves bread dried out in the oven and a big bowl, adding a little more water until it stayed together to form patties. At the time, canned mackerel was $.27 and could feed a large farm family, breakfast, lunch or dinner :-) Sometimes she would a little bacon grease to the oil she fried them in and everyone added ketchup when eating.

    Thank you for the tuna recipe, it sounds must faster and easier but still a “fish cake” :-)

    • Genny

      I too grew up on mackerel patties. We were very poor so meat was scarce. We did not use salmon because it was too expensive. Canned mackerel was less expensive. I now make tuna and mackerel patties. Old habits are hard to break.

  • Kim M

    I apologize if this has been asked or discussed but I was searching for Paleo recipes on Pinterest and this recipe came up but I dont know how it can be with bread used in the recipe, what could I use instead of bread, crackers or mashed potatoes (which arent paleo)?
    Thanks so much

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kim, this recipe is not categorized paleo, and if someone has labeled it so on Pinterest, it’s their mistake. If you want to make it paleo, I’m guessing you could use mashed potatoes instead of the bread.

    • Carly

      Kim, try almond meal or almond flour. I use that as a paleo sub in my crab cakes recipe and it works well.

  • Stephanie

    Made this for dinner tonight. So good and easy. Everyone ate it happily and I think it’s going to become what we call a “repeat”. Thank you, Elise from your neighbors down the road in Davis!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Stephanie, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorite recipes. :-)

  • Savy

    I used chicken broth instead of water, SO GOOD\(^_^)/

  • Mar Flores

    I am newlywed and was looking easy and delicious recipes .
    I made this recipe today and my husband and I loved it! thank you very much
    best regards from mexico

  • Sally B

    My grandmother used to make these for my family alot when I was a younger child. All she would use was a tower of saltines, two eggs, a can of tuna and 1 small onion chopped up. After the ingredients was mixed together well, she would fry them up with butter in a hot pan. The trick to them was to flip them once while each side is golden brown and thoroughly cooked. I loved eating them with ketchup!

  • Linda Williams

    I made these Friday for supper. They were so good, even my daughter liked them. I added old bay seasoning to the mix. Yummy! I will definitely make these again. Thank you for the recipe!

  • erin zinsli

    These were wonderful! The only difference I made was using breadcrumbs in place of the bread pieces. I did not cool them before hand and they stayed together with no problems at all!! I REALLY enjoyed them :) definitely a keeper

  • Glenn

    Excellent! Add some Old Bay seasoning to the mixture and also while browning in the pan. Simply tasty.

  • Bob

    Hi Elise, I’ve been following your blog for years now and this is the first time I have posted a comment. So let me start off by saying I love your blog. I was looking for something for lunch and decided on tuna salad; …no celery. What else could I make… So here I came. I used panko bread crumbs. I had no white bread. Most everything else I had. Added some dill and a little ground fennel. I let the mix sit a few min. to allow the crumbs to absorb some of the liquid and I have to say these were wonderful. I served them on a bed of shredded greens with light balsamic and wedges of lemon. Huge hit for lunch. Thanks you so much.

  • Christina

    I’m making these and adding mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach to modernize it a bit. I used to love salmon patties growing up and have started experimenting by adding all kinds of savory foods. Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  • Chris

    First recipe I’ve made from this site. Husband and I loved it. Kids did not rave but they ate it. Good enough for me. I’ll definitely make again.

  • Jill

    I made these for myself for lunch today, they were sooo delicious, but I did have to improvise because I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand. I used panko instead of torn white bread, added a bit of dill and old bay seasoning, and used white onion instead of chives. I also did not have any lemon. I think if I had everything to make these they would have been even better. It’s definitely a keeper recipe!

  • Danielle

    This is the second dinner I prepared for my boyfriend, who has lots of cooking experience. It was quick, easy and absolutely delicious. He can’t wait until I make these again! Thanks!

  • Tess

    Better late than never….I finally got around to making these patties and they were delicious! From the first bite, I was hooked and the family loved them as well. I paired this with sliced tomatoes in Balsamic dressing. Try it…you’ll like it. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  • C

    My girlfriend and I had never heard of tuna patties, but we love crabcakes and canned tuna (plus the cost of living in DC is so high that cheap meals are always welcome), so I gave these a try.

    They were delicious! I used panko instead of breadcrumbs, and cilantro and red onion instead of the parsley and chives, because that’s what I had on hand. Also, I found that you could skip the oil and butter entirely by searing the patties in a seasoned cast iron skillet. I think I might like them even better than crab cakes.

  • Linda

    Do you have a favorite brand of canned tuna? I just made these for dinner from StarKist (only 5 oz cans, boo) packed in water and they were pretty tasty. Just wondering–thanks!

    I try to get Italian tuna packed in olive oil at our local specialty grocer. It just tastes better. I’ve also been happy with tuna from Trader Joe’s. ~Elise

  • Jen

    Do you know if these would keep well in the fridge for a few days after being cooked? These look like something I’d enjoy for lunch but my husband doesn’t like canned tuna so I’d be making them all for myself. They’d be great to make all in one day and have for lunch over the course of a week if they’d keep well.

    I would think they would be fine. Like a regular leftover, good for several days. Just reheat and eat. ~Elise

  • Jennifer

    I made these last night and they were delicious! thank you for the recipe.

  • Linda

    Thank you for this twist on tuna patties. I make them the way my mom always did, but I really prefer your way now. I love the hint of lemon and tabasco that is such a good balance to the tuna. As always, I appreciate your sharing of recipes and memories.


  • Mali From ATX

    I just made these for dinner tonite and they were a hit w/my husband. I wasn’t sure as I am the tuna lover in the fam. When I told him what we were having dinner, I started out by saying “You know crab cakes & salmon croquettes? Well it’s kinda like that.” I made an e-z homemade tartar sauce and he loved them. So it is definitely on the rotation from now on. Right up our budget conscious alley. Although, even when we are rolling in the chips, it will stay in the rota. Thank Elise!


  • Jim Price

    I used the canned skipjack and replaced bread crumbs with 1/2 cup mashed potatoes. Really Good!

  • Francheska

    mmm I like the korean version of these, Chamchijeon so delicious

  • Linda In Washington State


    Like the others, Thanks for the memories.

    My mother made fried fish cakes using left over homemade biscuits.
    Your Mom probably did use saltines like my husband’s mother did when he was growing up.
    I make tuna cakes for my family using 3 cans of tuna,12 crushed saltines,3 eggs, 1 tsp of salt free lemon pepper seasoning and 1/2 tsp of paprika and pan fry them in canola oil. I serve the tuna cakes with homemade mac and cheese and green peas or other veggie on the side.

  • David

    I made this for my family for dinner today.
    I mixed it together last night, pattied it on wax paper, covered it with more wax paper, and left it in the fridge until frying it up today.
    I had it with some asparagus that I cooked in a closed container w/ a little water in the microwave, some oven baked french fries, and a small locally grown pear for each person.
    It was very good, fast, and took very little effort.

    I did double the amounts and make a few changes to the recipe due to what I had available in my kitchen, and some personal preferences.

    -Used a lesser amount of yellow mustard because as I was out of Dijon, didn’t have any parsley, added some small diced celery because I like it with almost everything, left out the hot sauce, added some dill relish instead to give it some perk, left out the egg and added slightly more tuna water and more olive oil to hold the patties together.

    But other than that it was your recipe and it was very good.
    Thank you.

  • pat

    Anna posted a link for the best tuna. For us who don’t live in metropolitan areas, it makes it very hard to buy from recommendations. I don’t even know how far away a Whole Foods would be from where I live. There is nothing within 150 miles that would sell the choices that were offered.

    Give us a break and write articles, posts, etc. that helps mid-America follow recipes to a T.

    We aren’t hicks. We like to eat well (and healthy) also.

    Almost every ingredient posted on every recipe on this site is available online. Check out Amazon.com’s grocery area. ~Elise

  • lizette

    i made these last night and they were delicious! my husband said he used to have them a lot growing up but i had never even heard of them.

    i used cilantro instead of parsley, panko bread crumbs instead of bread, and more lemon juice & zest that suggested here. i served them with a lemon mayo (1 c. mayo + two chopped scallions + juice/zest of 1/2 lemon) – they were fantastic!

  • deb

    Made these tonight..with both tuna AND salmon!!(not together!) I didn’t have enough of either for the whole family, so I did two cans of tuna, and two of salmon. Both were outstanding! My husband, who insists he doesn’t like seafood, ate two tuna patties!
    Thanks, Elise!!

  • Christy

    These tasted good but didn’t stick together well when I went to flip them in the pan. Perhaps my bread crumbs were not fine enough or I needed more egg (I used liquid egg). Thanks for the recipe though. Served with salad and a home made roumalade sauce.

  • Adam Bomb

    Salmon patties were a regular meal when I was a child. Tuna only made an appearance in tuna noodle casserole. Strange fact: When I was young, salmon patties were always eaten with pancake syrup as a condiment. No joke, and it was delicious.

    • Cherice

      Absolutely delicious with syrup I’m making mackerel patties in the morning for breakfast with shrimp and grits, cheese eggs and biscuits

  • shorthand

    My grandma hated to cook, but she was good at it, and this brought to mind the salmon croquettes she made on meatless Fridays. She made them much like your patties, except she also put a bit of paprika because she put that in just about everything she made. Haha. She would serve them with green beans and homemade baked spaghetti and cheese. MMMMM. Thanks for the memories. Cheers!

  • Diana

    Oh my goodness! I have tuna patties on my meal plan for tomorrow night. My mom’s version is just tuna with egg, bisquick and tobasco. These look much tastier, will have to try some of your additions. Thanks Elise!

  • Tom Barr

    I dont use tuna I get fresh salmon pieces from the fish mongerrough chop them and mix with mashed potatoeand sometimes fresh mint or fresh basil. Just a few variations.Very nice keep up the good work

  • Paula

    Really?! Tuna shouldn’t be this complicated, should it? I think that I accidentally ended up on the Epicurious blog with all of the “fish snobbery”going on around here. All we need is a wine reccomendation!
    Anywhooo – great recipe and great memories from my childhood. I feed these to my four kids now and they love them.
    For Kristin who’s daughter is allergic to Dijon; try using grated parmasean instead of the mustard and use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the bread pieces,(I like progresso). BTW I have frozen these many times and it works great if you put them in flat layers with wax paper in between the layers and wrap it well.

  • Colleen

    I made this tonight for the kids (5 and 2 yo) since your post indicated that it was kid-friendly. I’ve really struggled lately cooking food that appeals to them. I had my doubts about this but they loved it – between the two of them they finished it! Thank you for the recipe!

  • S.

    My childhood memories don’t have these in them, but now I wish they did! I’ve been missing out! Never had tuna patties before even though I’ve heard of them. Had an extra can on the shelf I didn’t want to see go to waste so made these and they are awesome! I was expecting they might be dry, but they were actually a bit “delicate” and very moist! I love them! Thanks for the recipe. Another keeper and success :-)

  • Jodi

    Oh, these look wonderful. I love crab cakes. These will work fine for the folks in my house who are allergic or won’t eat shellfish. What a great idea. Thanks elise.


    In reading Anna’s post I was prompted to comment on Skipjack tuna. For the past several years I have been canning { in jars } our wild caught tuna. I have canned blue fin , skipjack, yellowfin, and blackfin tunas as well as mackerel {tuna is a mackerel after all }. It is generally agreed that the BEST tasting is blackfin with skipjack and yellowfin a close second and third. Blue fin is great, but tends to be a bit heavy and oily for some.
    I have discovered that processing in pint jars { which hold about 12 oz. of tuna } you should add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of coarse sea salt for a wonderful finished product. Anna is absolutely correct when she suggests to break up the tuna and let it reabsorb the natural juices. You will also discover that if you are making tuna salad, that this will allow you to use much less mayo. I do not recommend ” water pack” method as the product is not as nice and also for some reason the olive oil helps retain the natural {and desirable } fish oil.
    A final, and most important note, is that manymost fishermen on the East Coast, especially Florida where Skipjack are plentiful, consider them inedible trash fish. Convince these anglers otherwise, or suggest that you want them for your cats and dogs, and try canning them. It is EASY and economical and better than any canned tuna you can buy { even Anna’s I will bet }. You will discover new friends and neighbors and have wonderful eating and gifts for others as well.

  • Anna

    Tuna and salmon patties are a family favorite, usually served with a quick & easy sauce consisting of homemade mayo pimped up with a bit of fresh lemon juice, minced capers, and Herbes de Provence. I usually make a double batch of tuna patties so there are a few leftover for breakfast and lunches.

    I stopped consuming and serving tuna for a while, because over the years the common supermarket brands of chunk light tuna had devolved into nasty catfood-like tuna sawdust-in-a-can.

    Now my canned tuna of choice is Wild Planet’s kkipjack tuna, for many reasons. First, skipjack is a smaller tuna species, so it has much lower mercury and other toxin levels than larger albacore and yellowtail tuna species that are higher on the food chain. Secondly, many tuna species are overfished and/or not harvested responsibly – skipjack is overfished. Additionally, WP skipjack is pole-caught, which is a more environmentally responsible and sustainable method of harvesting tuna. I also choose Wild Planet because their can linings are BPA-free.

    As if that weren’t enough reasons, I love the way WP tuna is packed in only its own juices – no oil OR water is added, so no draining is needed. The tuna juices easily resorb into the tuna when flaked with a fork, so those healthy Omega-3 fatty acids can be consumed instead of discarded down the drain. The firm, chunky texture and taste is great (though my mom commented that she thinks the salted variety is a bit too salty, but there is a no-salt option, too).

    Wild Planet is somewhat pricy at my local stores, especially compared to bargain tuna, so I buy it at a lower per can price by the case (12 cans) either direct from the Wild Planet website, or more often, from Amazon.com (free shipping). I have no affiliation with Wild Planet, just a satisfied customer. :-)

    I also make my tuna patties gluten-free, either without breadcrumbs (which is also Low Carb) or with crumbs I make from stale GF bread. I’ve used oat bran in place of breadcrumbs, which works well, too. Flaked or granulated dried seaweed is another ingredient I sometimes add, as it’s a great source of iodine and other trace minerals. No one is the wiser, as it looks like parsley flakes or ground pepper.

    When cooking tuna patties, especially LCGF without breadcrumbs as a binder, it pays to not crowd the pan and be patient – the patties are delicate and break up if turned hastily before the bottom develops a crispy “skin” (more than one rushed panful has became tuna scramble in my kitchen). A flexible and very thin spatula is key to successfully turning a tuna patty after it has cooked enough to develop a golden crust that easily releases. Also, I prefer to cook tuna patties with ghee or clarified butter instead of regular butter, as the butter’s milk solids sometimes brown too much and taste burnt (especially if making a double batch). Butterfat is an excellent fat for pan-frying as its saturated bonds are stable and less prone to oxidative damage from heat compared to EVOO or vegetable oils, plus I prefer the buttery & nutty taste.

  • Susan Martin

    Our tuna patties were made by me, from the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Children.

    Talk about nostalgic! I had that cookbook too. ~Elise

    • Kathy S.

      Old, old post, but I’m reading for the first time. And…(smile, smile) I still have my Betty Crocker Cookbook for Children! Very very old. Falling apart. How I used that thing as an adolescent. The tuna patties were a big favorite.

  • Lani

    I JUST made these and they were wonderful! I cut down a little on the frying oil and they still browned up beautifully! So yummy, healthy, and very low Weight Watcher points!!

  • Natalie

    @JS We had something similar except that it was cooked in a covered dish (called tuna loaf, kind of like meatloaf). Same basic ingredients but microwaved. Quick and with out that oily (yummy) crust.

  • Jasmine

    You could use canned chili tuna and replace the bread with some boiled mashed potatoes. That’s what I do. You won’t need the tabasco or mustard then!

  • JS

    Could these be baked? If so, would you think 400 on an oiled sheet for 20 min would work?

    Your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  • Susan B.

    My mother made something similar, but she used canned salmon instead of tuna. She used mashed potatoes as the filler where you use bread. They were awesome. Time to go make me some.

  • Annie B

    Boy do these look familiar! Mom used to make something like these when we were kids. We didn’t have a lot to spend on meat, but Mom could whip up tuna patties or loaf and make it seem like a feast. Thanks for the recipe and for poking my memory!

  • Kathleen

    My mother also made wonderful tuna patties with left over mashed potatoes.

  • Nicole

    Excellent! My kids love salmon patties, as do I — will have to try the tuna variety. FWIW, I use leftover mashed potato as a binder in my salmon patties, and I bet that would work well here, too, in lieu of the bread/cracker crumbs.

    Brilliant. A good substitute for those on a gluten-free diet. ~Elise

  • Jinnie

    Will these freeze well?

    No idea. If you try the recipe and freeze them, please let us know how they turn out for you. ~Elise

    • Tricia

      I assembled my patties onto parchment paper and then popped them into the freezer. After a few hours, I moved them into a Ziploc bag for storage. I put them into the fridge the day before I am going to fry them and it turned out fine. I don’t think I would freeze the fried product, or else it would be really mushy. This kept it nice and crispy.

  • DebWS

    This made me remember my Mother Salmon Patties. She used saltines, not bread crumbs. I wish my kids liked Fish.

    • Bob Roush

      My kids thought they didn’t like fish also……I made these and told them it was chicken parties..(I know I know)….I was told these are the best chicken parties We have ever had dad

    • Glen Rice

      I made these for our children growing up and they were always enjoyed greatly… Perhaps what made them even more palatable was I shaped them like little “fish” with the two fins in back. Then I used a restaurant-type plastic bottle with the narrow tip, filled it with prepared salad mustard, and drew a smiling face with two eyes. I too used saltine crackers, smashed in a plastic ziploc bag. I added finely diced onions, celery and red bell peppers for more flavor and “color”.
      This same recipe can be used for crabcakes… just substitute the minced crab for the tune (just be sure to thoroughly pick out any bits of shell)..

  • karen

    Tuna patties appeared weekly at our house when I was a kid. I think my mom used saltines as a binder and included dill pickle relish. Fresh herbs were not part of our diet growing up.

    Saltines! I bet that’s what my mom used. We would also have had dill pickle relish in the house, so I imagine some of that may have gone in the patties too. ~Elise

  • Jules

    How far in advance can I make these and let them sit in the fridge? This seems like a great thing to be able to throw together early in the day and just cook at dinner time. Thanks!

    You can easily make these in the morning and cook them at night, just wrap in plastic-wrap and refrigerate well. ~Elise

  • The Starving Student

    I love it, they are like the poor man’s version of crab cakes! Top them with some homemade aoili and you are set. What a great Starving Student recipe, thanks!

  • Peggasus

    I always add about a cup or so of mashed garbanzo beans to mine, too (to bulk them up and get extra fiber in, kids never even knew!), as well as shredded cheese. They’re in regular rotation at our house.

    Great idea! ~Elise

  • Kristin Crane

    Do you have any suggestions for a substitution for the dijon mustard? My daughter is allergic to mustard and we find when we just leave it out of the recipe, it drastically changes the taste.

    Try a little prepared horseradish. Maybe half as much as is called for with the mustard. ~Elise

  • Samuel Hay Dighan

    Yes, you can use Panko. Using canned salmon is awesome too! I love this recipe.

  • Su

    Oh, I loved this recipe, just perfect. And you’re right, it’s easy and the ingredients are allways there.

  • Kristine

    Is it possible to use panko breadcrumbs instead of the bread?

    Possibly, though regular breadcrumbs would come closer. ~Elise

    • mom24boys

      We use soda crackers so really, it’s one of those things that is interchangeable. It does however give a different product in the end.

    • Jean

      Panko bread cumbs work best, they get a little crunchy on the outside. Just happens I am making these tonight. Yummy!

      • beth

        I am going to try the Panko bread crumbs. Are they less fatting then saltiens or regular white bread crumbs? Also, do you know if these can be baked?

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Beth, no idea on the panko question, but I’m guessing that the tuna patties can be baked.