Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes are just like crab cakes with a less expensive price tag! Use your favorite canned tuna for this healthy, delicious dinner!

Of course we love treating ourselves to our Favorite Crab Cake Recipe, but for every day meals we love this Tuna Cake Recipe. Serve with crispy French Fries and/or a Caesar Salad for an easy dinner the whole family will love!

tuna cakes made with canned tuna stacked on a plate

Tuna Cake Recipe (AKA Tuna Patties)

Not only are these Tuna Cakes delicious, but they’re super budget friendly! We love serving this canned tuna recipe with a tossed salad or roasted vegetables, maybe some fries for the kids.

You can even serve these Tuna Cakes on a bun with lettuce, tartar sauce or sriracha mayo. However you end up serving these, we just know you’re going to love them. An easy, healthy dinner made with canned tuna and only a few ingredients!

How To Make Tuna Cakes

Simply add canned tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, cooked celery and shallots, lemon zest salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix to combine and form into 4 patties or cakes. Cook in a skillet with a little olive oil until crispy on both sides.

uncooked tuna cakes in skillet with oil

This is a shallow pan fry, you don ‘t want a lot of oil to cook these tuna cakes.  Just enough to get them a brown and crispy crust just like you see here.

Like I said, this canned tuna recipe only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish so it’s perfect for busy nights and for meal prepping for the week!

tuna cakes cooked in a skillet

What Can You Serve With Tuna Cakes?

Like we mentioned before, maybe french fries for the kids or a simple baked potato. A delicious side salad like our homemade caesar or just a simple arugula salad tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Here are some other tasty options for you to try!

tuna cakes on a plate with lemons

How Long Will Tuna Cakes Keep In The Refrigerator?

This recipe only makes four tuna cakes, so leftovers aren’t usually a problem! We do very often double the recipe though since it’s a great meal to have on hand. These will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, covered or in a container.

For Reheating: The microwave is an easy option, or you can reheat in a skillet with a little more olive oil to keep that crispy exterior.

Tuna cakes stacked on a white plate with parsley

What Kind Of Canned Tuna Is Best For Making Tuna Cakes?

For this recipe, use a canned tuna that’s packed in water, not oil. Oil packed tuna is delicious, but the oil will make the tuna mixture too loose and the cakes won’t hold together well.

A water packed, solid albacore tuna is our go to for these tuna cakes. Albacore tuna is a firmer tuna fish as opposed to a “chunk light” which has a looser texture.

So do try and spend a little more to get a good quality canned tuna fish for this recipe, at least you’re not paying twenty bucks a pound for lump crab meat…am I right???

Looking For More Tuna Fish Recipes?

tuna cakes made with canned tuna stacked on a plate

Tuna Cakes

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cakes 1x

These delicious tuna cakes are just as good as crab cakes without the price tag! This easy dinner recipe is on the table in just 15 minutes!



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 cans water packed albacore white tuna, drained (5 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (can also use regular)
  • Chopped, fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the shallot and celery for 4-5 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. Add the drained tuna to a bowl and flake with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, egg, lemon zest, mustard and breadcrumbs. Add the cooled shallots and celery and mix together to combine the ingredients.
  3. Form the mixture into 4 cakes and set on a plate. Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  4. Once the skillet is hot, carefully add the tuna cakes and let cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Turn the tuna cakes over and cook another 3-4 minutes on the other side.
  5. Season with fresh black pepper and kosher salt and serve with chopped parsley for garnish. (optional)
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlament, tuna cakes, tuna fish recipe, recipe with canned tuna, low carb recipes, healthy recipes, easy recipes

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9 Responses
  1. Timin Mils

    just bookmarked this recipe !!– im going to try this for sure on the weekend – if you dont mind me giving my 2 bit !! — i think some “Mrs. Dash spice blend” would be nice in this :) :) !!

    Super recipe over all — Cheers !! :)

  2. Marita

    This was delicious. Skipped shallots and celery (didn’t have any), doubled the recipe but not the mayo part because of my toddler. It was really good.

  3. Victoria

    These were easy to make and tasted great. Only problem is they fell apart a little bit in the pan, any solutions?

    1. Dan

      You do have to be gentle with these as there isn’t a lot of bread crumb filler. Once you get them in the pan, leave them to form a crust on the first side for a couple of minutes before turning. Then flip and push anything that came out back together with a spatula. Another tip is to refrigerate the tuna cakes for an hour before cooking to firm them up. Lastly, you can add more bread crumb to the tuna cakes to make them more firm, but we like these cakes as a low carb option so we usually use the first two methods.

  4. MelBell

    These were really good! We will probably tweak with some seasonings to suit our taste buds but as they were, they were tasty and satisfying. I added a little extra parmesan, made them a little smaller, and put them in the fridge before cooking and they stayed together very well in the pan. This is going to be a new staple. Thanks!

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