Baked instead of fried, this recipe for Tuna Patties is lower in fat, yet every bit as delicious and crispy as the classic fried version.
Tuna patties are an easy and budget-friendly recipe that is filled with flavor. Pair them with homemade tartar sauce for an easy irresistible entree or appetizer.
Tuna fish is one of the most affordable pantry staples to keep on hand as a source of lean protein and a base for fast, economical meals. I love featuring tuna in recipes like Avocado Tuna Salad, Instant Pot Tuna Noodle Casserole, and these Tuna Patties.
why you'll love this recipe
- Classic Flavors. These tuna patties are made with mayonnaise, to keep the tuna cakes moist, breadcrumbs to bind the patties together, and lemon juice to add brightness and acidity to the recipe.
- Baked not Fried. Instead of being fried, these Tuna Patties are baked. This results in a lighter, healthier version of a classic recipe. But don't worry these tuna patties still get ridiculously crispy.
- Affordable. The star ingredients in this recipe for tuna patties are inexpensive pantry staples. By adding in fresh lemon juice and green onions, the flavor in these otherwise simple ingredients is elevated without having to break the bank.
Notes on Ingredients
- Tuna: Use canned tuna or tuna in a pouch that has been packed in water, not oil. I strongly recommend wild albacore tuna, if possible.
- Lemons: Be sure to use FRESH lemons and zest your lemon before juicing. You will only need 1 lemon for the patties, but it is best to serve the tuna cakes with additional wedges of fresh lemon.
- Seasoned Salt: If you don't have homemade seasoned salt on hand, replace it with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon paprika.
- Mayonnaise: The mayonnaise adds creaminess and richness to the tuna cakes. Feel free to replace it with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are best for this recipe. They keep the tuna patties light and crisp up beautifully. Feel free to use regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
- Green Onions: I love the mild onion flavor that green onions add to these tuna patties. They don't overwhelm the patties, as a yellow onion may.
How to Make Tuna Patties
- Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the green onion and saute for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Mix together eggs, panko bread crumbs, green onions, seasoned salt, and the zest and juice of the lemon together.
- Add the tuna to the mixture and stir to just combine.
- Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, form the tuna mixture into a patty--sort of like a tuna burger. Each patty should be made with about ⅓ cup and be even in size.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully flip and bake for another 10 minutes or until browned and crispy.
- Allow to cool slightly and then serve immediately for best results.
Tuna Cakes are best served immediately after preparation. They can be served as an appetizer, a hearty lunch, or a light dinner. Serve the tuna cakes with lemon wedges, hot sauce, and Homemade Tartar Sauce.
More Delicious Seafood Recipes
- Easy Fish Tacos
- Tilapia Veracruz
- Pan-Seared Tilapia
- Homemade Fish Sticks
- Crab Cakes
- Salmon Patties from Self-Proclaimed Foodie
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
Baked Tuna Patties
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ cup minced green onions
- 10 ounces flaked albacore tuna drained well
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add the green onion and saute for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat, until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, seasoned salt, mayonnaise, and the juice and zest of the lemon together.
- Add in tuna and mix gently until just combined.
- Form into 8 patties--about ⅓ cup each with your hands or ice cream scoop. If your tuna patties start falling apart around the edges, add up to ¼ cup more binder a little at a time before reshaping.
- Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, and hot sauce, as desired.
Kid approved. What more can one ask for.
A great healthier option that's easy to throw together! We love it around here!
These crispy baked tuna patties turned out so delicious! We loved having them for lunch.
This was a great, easy, yummy recipe. However, I thought the onions could've used a bit of frying/sauteing first, and the patties definitely tasted baked and not fried. Also, there might have been 8 patties made from this recipe, but it was maybe enough for 2-3 people.
Thanks for your feedback! You certainly can saute the green onions first, I find I personally don't need to. If you would like to pan-fry the patties, you can follow my instructions for cooking Crab Cakes--as they are fried.
chris lynne parrish
Is it best to use Albacore or light tuna? Want to make these!
Hi Chris! I have used both with good results. I prefer Albacore myself.
This looks so amazing. I made it and am happy to report that it was yummy! I will make again!
Thanks so much April 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed this!
These look super yummy! What step is the mayo added? Did I miss something in my excitement?! Thank you for sharing your recipes!
Hi Stephanie, the mayo is added with the breadcrumbs and lemon juice. Enjoy!
Homemade tuna cakes are a fav in this house! Can't wait to try your recipe 😀
Thanks Chrisy--the southwest flavors add a lot.