Tuna Patties


5 from 87 votes
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Turn a humble can of tuna into crispy, juicy tuna patties in under 10 minutes. They’re the perfect healthy lunch or dinner and they’re so easy to make!

Need more easy canned tuna recipes? Try my healthy tuna salad, tuna casserole, smoked tuna dip, and tuna croquettes next. 

tuna patties.

Dinner on the table in less than 10 minutes? My tuna cakes are the answer. 

Now, don’t let the name fool you. These tuna cakes have no fishy aftertaste, and while they’re made with simple ingredients, the results are golden brown, savory tuna cakes fit for every occasion. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make tuna patties
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More healthy seafood favorites
  8. 10-Minute Tuna Patties (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Kid friendly. If you’ve ever been wary of how to get your kids to eat seafood, this is a fantastic recipe to start with.
  • Ready in 10 minutes. With minimal prep time, they’re ready before you know it. 
  • Affordable. Tuna is one of the cheapest and healthiest sources of protein, and this recipe transforms them into something extra special. 
  • Versatile. They’re great for lunch, as a snack, or a foolproof weeknight dinner. In fact, I usually keep a few in my freezer for those days I can’t be bothered to make an elaborate meal.

★★★★★ REVIEW 

“Best tuna recipe ever! Loved by the whole family.Even my picky eater. Thank you!”LaShawndra

tuna cakes.

Ingredients needed

  • Canned tuna. Look for unflavored tuna in water, not oil. If you have tuna in brine, omit the salt. I prefer albacore tuna. 
  • Salt and black pepper. To taste. 
  • Curry powder. My secret ingredient that gives these patties an incredible flavor. 
  • Panko bread crumbs. Helps bind the patties together.
  • Eggs. Keeps the cakes tender and juicy on the inside. As always, use room temperature eggs if possible. 
  • Mayonnaise. Use your favorite brand of mayo, or make my low-carb mayo!
  • Worcestershire sauce. Adds a savory pop of flavor that perfectly complements the tuna. 
  • Fresh parsley. Finely chopped. 
  • Butter. For frying.

Which canned tuna is best?

No canned tuna is created equal, and choosing the right kind makes all the difference in terms of taste and environmental impact. Here are our tips on choosing the best kind-

  • Choose water-packed tuna, which should only contain spring water and tuna. If you are eating tuna as is, you can choose tuna packed in olive oil. 
  • Tuna caught by pole and line fishing is sustainably caught and has the lowest levels of mercury. 
  • BPA-free cans or pouches are always best as they limit the metal leaching into the fish.

How to make tuna patties

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Mix the ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, garlic salt, pepper, and curry powder. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

tuna patty mixture.

Step 2- Shape. Using slightly wet hands, form the mixture into 12 patties and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

pan fried tuna cakes.

Step 3- Fry. Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook the patties for 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat the process until all the patties are cooked.

pan fried tuna patties.

What to eat with tuna patties

I prefer my tuna cakes with a little spicy mayo and lemon juice, but there’s no limit to what you can do with them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Save time. I like to make the tuna mixture in advance. That way, the patties can be quickly pan-fried right before I need them. 
  • Use a hot pan. If you add the patties to a pan that’s not fully hot, the patties will likely stick and make a mess. You’ll know the oil is hot when a few drops of water sizzle in the skillet. 
  • Press down on the cakes before flipping them to help them firm up and not fall apart. 
  • Transfer the cooked patties to a plate lined with paper towels to catch the excess oil.


  • Make them gluten-free. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or blanched almond flour.
  • Garnish the patties with fresh herbs, green onions, or chives for a pop of color. 
  • Experiment with add-ins, like Dijon mustard, lemon zest, or thinly sliced shallots.

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover tuna patties can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days.

To freeze: Place them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to six months.

Reheating: Reheat the patties in a non-stick pan or in the air fryer until hot and crispy.

stack of tuna patties with crumbled feta on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use fresh tuna?

If you want to use fresh tuna, you will need to cook it first and then flake it. Grill or bake the tuna for the quickest option.

More healthy seafood favorites

tuna patties recipe.

10-Minute Tuna Patties

5 from 87 votes
Turn a humble can of tuna into crispy, juicy tuna patties in under 10 minutes. They’re the perfect healthy lunch or dinner, and are so easy to make! Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • 15 ounces canned tuna in springwater
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder optional
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped


  • In a mixing bowl, add the tuna, garlic salt, pepper, and curry powder and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a thick batter remains.
  • Using slightly wet hands, form the mixture into 12 patties.
  • Add butter or oil in a non-stick pan. When hot, Cook for 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat the process until all the patties are cooked and are golden brown and crispy.


TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
TO FREEZE: Place them in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to six months.
TO REHEAT: Add patties in a non-stick pan or in the air fryer until hot and crispy.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 9gFat: 4gSodium: 253mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published November 2022, updated and republished June 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 87 votes (82 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Really, really good. Even hubby, who doesn’t usually care for tuna liked it. Not a big fan of curry, so I used paprika. One question – garlic was not listed in the ingredients, but was in the directions. Where does the garlic come in? I used 1/2 teaspoon each of sea salt, garlic powder and pepper. Really stepped up the flavor profile. BTW, I love your recipes. I have several on file since going gluten and dairy free.

  2. Hello, thank you for your recipe. I live at EU could you please tell me how much drained tuna you use in grams? Totally is it 425grams? Sorry but I got confused…

  3. 5 stars
    Hi, I want keto version but can’t eat pork! Would this work without any breadcrumbs? Or any other suggestions?
    Thank you

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