Some of my best recipes have been what I like to call “pantry improvs”. These tuna fish patties are one of these winning recipes. Not only are they very tasty, but they come together in no time and are sure to become a regular part of your meal rotation.
Tuna is a good and inexpensive source of lean protein. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have many health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and lowering cholesterol levels.
You may have heard that tuna should be avoided due to its high mercury content and sustainability. According to the FDA, it is safe to eat up to 12 ounces of canned tuna per week. However, pregnant women should limit their consumption to 6 ounces per week as higher levels of mercury can harm the fetus. Look for BPA-free packaging, dolphin free guarantee, and certification for sustainable fishing practices (such as the MSC label).
Ingredients, tips and substitutions
All you need to make these most delicious tuna patties are a few pantry ingredients plus a few refrigerator staples that you should always keep around.
- Canned tuna: For the best quality canned tuna, I recommend buying wild caught albacore (solid or chunk) as it is higher in Omega 3’s and has a more pronounced flavor than other brands. This recipe is also delicious with canned salmon or even canned sardines.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: the secret flavor punch in this tuna cake recipe. I prefer varieties that are packed in olive oil as they remain moister than the dry-packed version.
- Parmesan cheese: adds a layer of salty umami. Pecorino Romano would be a good substitute; it has a similar sharp and salty flavor, but it is slightly milder in taste. Asiago, Grana Padano or feta would also be good options.
- Shallots: for a subtle and sweet onion flavor
- Green onions: also in the onion family, but with the visual appeal of being green!
- Parsley: flat or curly, you should always have some in your kitchen. It’s a great source of antioxidants.
- Whole wheat panko bread crumbs: they will provide binding and texture. Regular bread crumbs will work too.
- Eggs: the glue that keeps it all together.
- Olive oil: for cooking the patties. Extra-virgin olive oil has a high smoke point, so it can handle the heat of a hot skillet without burning or breaking down.
- Salt and pepper: to taste. If you are worried about the sodium content, skip the added salt.
The making of tuna fish patties
Making tuna fish patties is a breeze! All you have to do is combine the ingredients, shape the mixture into patties and pan-fry them. The whole process only takes minutes to complete – making it an ideal meal for busy weeknights. You can even involve your children to help!
How to serve tuna fish patties
Tuna fish patties pair well with a variety of sauces. A classic choice is tartar sauce, which provides a creamy and tangy flavor. Tartar sauce can actually be made healthy using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise as in this recipe from Healthy Recipes Blog.
Tzatziki is also a classic, however I find that it lacks a bit of zing. If you like spicy food as much as I do, try adding hot sauce to your tzatziki!
You can serve these on their own or as tuna burgers on whole wheat buns topped with lettuce and tomato. Transform them into bite-sized pieces and enjoy them as an appetizer, using different sauces for dipping. Or make a warm summer salad by serving the patties over a bed of greens, tomatoes and cucumbers drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil.
Visit the grocery store and pick up some tuna fish today – make a batch of patties for dinner tonight and enjoy the flavor! With their versatility, ease of preparation and health benefits, I hope you appreciate this dish as much as we do!
Other tasty recipes to try
Tuna Fish Patties
- 2 cans solid white albacore tuna 5 ounce cans
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup shallots chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Flake tuna into chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add sundried tomatoes, Parmesan, shallots, parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
- Mix with a fork until combined.
- Beat the eggs slightly, add them to the bowl and stir well.
- Form the mixture into 8 patties.
- Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon olive oil. Cook 3 minutes on each side.