How to make tuna patties homemade at home. Pan fried or air fryer tuna patties are a protein packed fish appetizer, dinner or side dish.
Love seafood but don’t always have fresh on hand? This is how to make thee as canned Albacore patties with the base ingredient found in your pantry. Amped up with tons of flavor and cooked quickly too. You can fry or make as one of our many easy air fryer recipes too. Either way they’re delicious. (affiliate links present)
Air Fryer Tuna Patties
I ate a lot of this growing up. Tuna fish sandwiches that is. When I was in college it was a cheap healthy food I could buy and keep me full for hours. Fast forward to adulthood and I’ll eat it as a snack with crackers, instead of chicken in these killer deviled eggs, and now we add tuna cakes to the list of faves!
Everyone has a stovetop and pan so we’ll go over directions for that, but if you have a Ninja Foodi or other brand to air fry I would suggest cooking it that way too. See which is your favorite.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- My Favorite Air Fryer is a Cosori or for a dual machine, the Foodi.
- You can find more easy air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
Let’s start with the star of the show shall we? Like I said, I ate this a lot as a child. My mom only bought the flake version though because it was the cheapest and most likely to be on sale. Cheap was the name of the game growing up so it wasn’t until I was older that I discovered the BIG difference between the two cans.
Fried Tuna Patties
Whether you decide to pan fry or otherwise let me tell you it is SO worth the extra dollar or so a can to buy solid white Albacore vs. the other. It has a lot more meat in the can itself, more flavor, and just doesn’t hold a candle to the pulverized bits you get to save a little bit.
The other choice is oil vs. water. You can find it both ways but I would rather save the calories and just go with the water. I think the other gives it kinda’ a slimy texture anyway so that is an easy decision on my end. Now that we have that covered and you’re going to follow my lead on this one 😉 let’s get to talking about the rest of this baby.
Starkist Tuna Patties Recipe
Yes you can adjust the other ingredients as you like. If you are totally opposed to onions entirely then just leave them out. Would rather have red onions vs. white or yellow, by all means go with that. I’m not a huge lover of bulbs but I will say that it does lend to added texture and doesn’t stay crunchy like you see here.
Fresh cilantro is always better than dried but that is another you can make a decision on. Instead of mayonnaise Greek yogurt is used. Some like the other but you can save a bit on fat and calories going this way and in the end it is mainly part of the binder so you wouldn’t really taste the difference if you ask me.
Tuna Fish Cakes
You could call them cakes instead of patties, potato patato my friends. To me fish cakes are sliced thin pink pieces of fish found in ramen at my favorite Japanese restaurant. This is not that for sure. Your Grandma maybe used this term so go with it friend if that brings back memories for you with this term. 😉
Easy Tuna Patties
Now it is literally just mixing all the items together and separating out into 1/3 cup of mixture per piece (about). Heat the oil first before adding to the pan if you’re cooking via. that method. In your Cosori I’d preheat it beforehand for 5 minutes so it cooks evenly and gets nice and golden brown all over.
- Best canned tuna
- Greek yogurt, plain
- Fresh cilantro diced up
- Diced onions
- Lemon juice (and even lemon zest could be good for extra zing)
- Salt and pepper of course
- Even parmesan cheese could be added inside if you wanted
- If you want to add heat dice up a jalapeno or two
Then you can make and serve it with some tartar sauce, homemade fry sauce, or aioli we have directions for below this. Want to make it a heartier meal? Slap one in between two slices of bread with a bit of cheese and you can follow our air fryer tuna melt recipe for that!!
How do you keep tuna patties from falling apart?
The egg and bread crumbs will work as a binder to help prevent this. Another way to keep them a bit firmer is to shape them, place on a piece of parchment paper on a plate or baking sheet and put into the fridge for 20 minutes. If you are deep frying them I would highly suggest this step.
Since ours aren’t moving around too much it isn’t as much of an issue. It won’t hurt anything though if you are nervous this might be the case. Keto tuna patties like these seem to have enough moisture to stick together so long as the binding ingredients are cold.
15 Minute Crispy Fried Tuna Patties
That is all it will take basically to make these. Quick right??
- In a bowl combine the chunk tuna, eggs, chopped cilantro, onions, plain yogurt, breadcrumbs and all other ingredients but not the olive oil.
- Break apart larger pieces with a fork and mix until well combined.
- Shape this tuna mixture into 6-8 equally sized balls and flatten slightly to make cakes.
Tuna Patties in a Skillet
If you’re making this tuna cake recipe in a skillet or pan over medium high heat add the oil and wait until it’s hot. Add patties and fry for about 4-5 minutes until browned on each side.
- If air frying preheat to 380 for 5 minutes. Spray the inner basket with olive oil, set patties inside without overlapping (will likely have to make in 2 batches).
- Spray top with olive oil lightly. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side (spray again after flipping) or until as browned as you’d like
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. Sriracha
- Squeeze half of a fresh lemon into mixture
- Stir together and serve with patties
Super quick and easy right?? Yep this tuna patties recipe is like everything else we make around here. Simple, with ingredients you probably already have at home. Nutritional information and saturated fat content accounting for the exact items listed below are listed too. Love these and want more? Try our air fryer tuna steaks recipe too.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
How to Make Tuna Patties
- In a bowl add the drained tuna, egg, cilantro, onion, yogurt, breadcrumbs and all other ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil. Break apart larger pieces with a fork and mix until well combined.
- Shape into 6-8 equal sized balls and flatten slightly to make cakes.
- If making in a skillet add oil and wait until hot. Add patties and fry for about 4-5 minutes until browned on each side. Enjoy with aioli sauce.
- If air frying preheat to 380 for 5 minutes. Spray basket with olive oil, set patties inside without overlapping (will likely have to make in 2 batches). Spray top with olive oil lightly. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side (spray again after flipping) or until as browned as you'd like.