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Crispy tuna fishcakes withlemon, herb, and garlic with breadcrumbs
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5 from 5 votes

Crispy Tuna Patties

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!
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword fish cakes, fishcakes recipe, tuna cakes, tuna patties
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 360kcal
Author April Boller Wright


  • 1 5 oz tuna in water drained very well
  • 1 12 oz can of tuna in water drained very well
  • ¼ cup panko plus an additional 2 tbsp
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • ½ cup chopped red onions
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp celery seeds
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten

For the Patties

  • ¼-1/2 cups panko
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil add more as needed


  • Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.
  • Use a ¼ measuring cup to scoop the mixture. Shape into Patties.

For the patties

  • Add the ¼ 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 ⅛ 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.
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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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Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1043mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 2mg