Crispy Lemon Parmesan, Garlic & Herb Tuna Patties (Tuna fish cake recipe)w/Video

These tuna patties aka tuna fish cakes, are a perfect way to use up cans of tuna. They’re simple, crispy and so good y’all!  You’ll be amazed at how cans of tuna fish can make such delicious patties!  This dish pairs well with my popular southern coleslaw recipe. Share this tuna cake recipe to your Pinterest board then check out the rave reviews!

Crispy tuna patties with garlic lemon and herbs on a plate

First time trying fish patties and let me tell you, these were EXCELLENT!!! My picky kids even enjoyed them! We’re adding this one to our favorite recipes! ~Janet P.

Tuna patties 

Have you ever tried tuna patties? Better yet, how do you use up a can of tuna?  I’m sure you’ve had tuna sandwiches. But what else have you made with a can of tuna?

Maybe you eat tuna wraps all the time. Or maybe egg salad with tuna. However, sometimes eating tuna, in the same way, can get boring. The good news is there are many ways that you can make and eat tuna.

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One of my favorite ways to eat tuna is to make tuna patties. My mom used to make them because they were delicious, cheap, and quick and easy as well. Now, I make them for my family and they love them.

If you’re looking for a new tuna recipe, so you aren’t bored with eating tuna in the same way over and over again then this recipe is just what you’re looking for.

What ingredients are needed to make tuna patties?

To make tuna patties, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Minced garlic
  • Chopped onions
  • Onion powder
  • Parsley
  • Red pepper
  • Dried dill
  • Pepper
  • Celery seeds
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Mayo
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest

Can I make tuna patties in advance?

If you’re like most people, you have so much to do and what seems like so little time. When dinner rolls around, you may be too exhausted to make dinner.

You may just want to toss something quickly in the microwave or oven and say it’s good enough. However, you don’t have to always eat something that’s just okay. You can be short on time and still make a great tasting meal. 

To help you out, make these patties in advance. Maybe when you have some extra time this weekend, you could make them to leave in the refrigerator for a couple days. You could make and serve it to your family one day next week.

How to make it in advance 

When you make tuna patties in advance, you can leave them in the refrigerator for up to two days without them going bad. Make sure they are wrapped up tightly or you can put them into an airtight container.

If you want them to last even longer, freeze them. I’ll show you how to freeze them in a bit. 

tuna fishcakes on a baking sheet

Can I freeze tuna patties?

Yes! You can freeze them.

Freeze uncooked patties in advance

To freeze them before you cook the patties, start by mixing all of the ingredients together.

Shape into patties. You can flash-freeze them on your baking sheets with parchment paper or freezer paper up to two hours. Store them in your freezer bags or a airtight freezer safe container to cook at a later date.

Freezing cooked p in advance

If you are going to cook your tuna patties before freezing them, you will just follow the instructions for making the tuna cakes.

Then, you will let your tuna cakes cool down all the way. Once they are cooled down, you will put them in one layer on your baking sheet. 

You can then freeze the patties for 2 to 3 hours. After you have frozen them all the way, take them off from your baking sheet and place them into a freezer safe zipper bag or a airtight freezer safe container. You should make sure the bag is airtight to prevent freezer burn.

Give the fish patties enough time to defrost before you cook them. Then place them in the refrigerator overnight then reheat or cook them. 

Frozen patties will last up to 2 months in the freezer. 

Reheating frozen tuna patties

To reheat, allow to to defrost overnight in a refrigerator, then place in a 350F oven until golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes or until fully warmed throughout.

How to make Tuna Patties?

You won’t believe how easy this tuna patty recipe is. This is what you need to do: 

  • Drain the canned tuna from the water very well. 
  • Combine tuna with garlic, dried parsley, dried dill, onion powder, onion, celery seeds, red pepper, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, mayo, eggs, and parmesan cheese and half of the panko into a bowl. 

A bowl with tuna patties ingredients

  • Mix the ingredients in the bowl well

  • Scoop our ¼ cup of the tuna mix and make it into a patty. Crispy uncooked tuna cakes being prepped on a baking sheet
  • Sprinkle both of the sides of your patties with the remaining panko
  • Heat vegetable oil over medium heat
  • Use a spatula to flatten the patties to about ⅛ inch thick Crispy tuna cakes with breadcrumbs, lemon garlic and herbs frying in a skillet
  • Fry your tuna patties until they are golden brown (takes about 3 to 4 minutes on each side)

Easy right? Now that you know how to make a tuna patties, add it to your weeknight meal plan.  

You may already have many of these ingredients. If so you need to make these now! 

Be sure to share this tuna patty recipe with your family and friends!

crispy tuna fishcakes withlemon, herb, and garlic with breadcrumbs

Crispy tuna fishcakes withlemon, herb, and garlic with breadcrumbs

Crispy Tuna Patties

April Boller Wright
These tuna patties aka tuna fish cakes, are a perfect way to use up cans of tuna. They're simple to make and just so good y'all!  You'll be amazed at how cans of tuna fish can make delicious patties!
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 5 people
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 5 oz tuna in water drained very well
  • 1 12 oz can of tuna in water drained very well
  • 1/4 cup panko plus an additional 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten

For the Patties

  • 1/4-1/2 cups panko
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil add more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the mixture. Shape into Patties.

For the patties

  • Add the 1/4 cup of panko to a shallow dish and lightly coast both sides with the panko. Add more panko if needed.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 tbsp of oil. Add more if needed. Add about 4-5 patties to the skillet. With the spatula fatten cakes about 1/8 inch thick. Cook on both about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown flipping carefully. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with the second batch.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
    Sharing is caring, so please share this recipe, so other people can enjoy it!

Video

Notes

Tips for cooking tuna patties:
Be very careful flipping the tuna patties over, They are very delicate. To help flip the patties over, it will be useful to use two spatulas. If you can, purchase a fish spatula. It's perfect for flipping delicate fish. Here's one that is similar to the one I used in the video https://amzn.to/3oelc80
Do not overcrowd the pan. I can fit about 3-4 tuna patties in the skillet. Feel free to add more oil if needed. 
If the oil becomes messy with brown bits etc, clean out the pan before you fry the rest of the patties. 

Can I freeze tuna cakes?

Yes! You can freeze them.

Freeze uncooked tuna fish patties in advance

If you're going to freeze them before you cook the patties, start by mixing all of the ingredients together. Shape into patties.
You can flash-freeze them on your baking sheets with parchment paper or freezer paper up to two hours. Then, you can store them in your freezer bags or a airtight freezer safe container to cook at a later date.

Freezing cooked tuna cakes in advance

If you are going to cook your tuna patties before freezing them, you will just follow the instructions for making the tuna cakes.
Then, you will let your tuna cakes cool down all the way. Once they are cooled down, you will put them in one layer on your baking sheet. 
You can then freeze the tuna patties for 2 to 3 hours. After you have frozen them all the way, take them off from your baking sheet and place them into a freezer safe zipper bag or a airtight freezer safe container. You should make sure the bag is airtight to prevent freezer burn.
Make sure you give the fish patties enough time to defrost before you cook them. You can place them in the refrigerator overnight then reheat or cook them. Frozen patties will last up to 2 months in the freezer. 

Reheating frozen fish cakes

To reheat cooked frozen fish cakes, allow to to defrost overnight in a refrigerator, then place in a 350F oven until golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes or until fully warmed throughout.
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Nutrition

Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 20gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 1043mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 271IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 162mgIron: 2mg
Keyword fish cakes, fishcakes recipe, tuna cakes, tuna patties
Like this? Leave a comment below!Let us know how it was!

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38 Comments

  1. Tammy Wynia says:

    So Yummy! Thank you!5 stars

  2. Angela Wilson says:

    This recipe is amazing! I used 27oz of tuna so I added extra ingredients to compensate. It made 8 large patties. I’ve made it 2x now and the second time was even better than the first! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! It sounds like you made some adjustments to the recipe to fit your preferences and it turned out even better the second time around. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, and I’m glad that the recipe was a success for you.

  3. These were delicious!!!! I used fresh yellowfin tuna. I also made 1/2 size patties and preferred the smaller size.
    I already had a request for the recipe!5 stars

  4. Excellent recipe! I especially like coating the patties in the breadcrumbs to give them a nice crunch. Will definitely make again!’5 stars

  5. The nice thing about this recipe is I had everything on hand to make it. Only thing I did different was sauté some onion, garlic and chopped celery in a little butter first. Other than that made as written. So easy and tasty. Thanks for sharing5 stars

  6. peter wald says:

    Can you use mashed chickpeas instead of tuna?

  7. These came out perfect!! Made exactly as written
    I will make again!! Thank you
    Tracy

  8. Janie Bourke says:

    Just to be clear, it’s a total of 17 ounces of tuna?

    1. Yes that’s correct. I used what I had when I made this recipe. If you have 4 5oz cans that will work too!

  9. Can’t wait to make these for dinner. What should I pair with them as sides?5 stars

    1. I think you’ll really enjoy them! There’s so many great sides. Rice, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, sweet potato fries, broccoli, Caesar salad. Salad is my favorite though!

  10. Fantastic and super easy. I made it for the first time today. I agree with another reviewer. This is not too fishy. Family loved it.5 stars

  11. Oh my these tuna patties are great. Not a huge tuna flavor. Perfect

    1. Perfect use of emergency food supply we bought that was almost expiring. .tasted great..although I did have to substitute a bit..I cheated and went w/ Mrs.Dash garlic & herb, & lemon pepper seasoning ( i love a lemon with fish) som more red peppers and regular Italian bread crumbs..can’t wait to try with panko!5 stars

  12. These are delicious, I used pork rings instead of Panko because of keto diet. We definitely will keep these on our list for meals. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  13. This recipe is excellent, the tuna patties are really tasty. This will be a go-to for me.5 stars

  14. These are delicious! I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite way to eat tuna! I loved the mix of seasonings, and how crisp they were. I will definitely make these again!5 stars

    1. We love them too! Thanks for the amazing feedback!

  15. Rhonda Mapp says:

    I saw this recipe online this morning. Decided to try for dinner tonight. EXCELLENT!! Followed the recipe exactly and was so happy I came across it. My picky husband even loved it and said it was a keeper! I served it with some red new parslied potatoes and a side salad. It made a lot for just the two of us so I will be making the remainder tomorrow night for dinner.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much Rhonda!The sides sound so delicious!

  16. I made these and they where awesome Will make again

    1. Thank you Sharon! They’re one of my favorites!

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