Tuna Cakes

My mom is great when it comes to quick lunch and dinner ideas for me. One thing she used to make a lot for my brother and I were tuna cakes. Just like crab cakes but with tuna. They are quick, easy and delicious! We would have them with rice or in burger buns and just gobble them up. The best part about these is that they don’t require bread crumbs or flour of any kind! While my mom doesn’t have a recipe for them, I made one to share with you!

Tuna Cakes


  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna (Bumble Bee solid white albacore in water is the best)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or shallots
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A couple squirts of hot sauce or tabasco sauce (optional but I like a kick)
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon buttery spread (such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  1. Drain the liquid from the tuna cans.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, chopped onions, parsley, chives (or shallots), and hot sauce. Sprinkle on salt, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper. Taste the mixture before adding the egg to see if it needs more seasoning to your taste. Mix in the egg.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a little patty. Place onto a wax paper lined tray and chill for an hour. (You can skip the chilling if you want, chilling helps the cakes stay together when you cook them.)
  4. Heat the olive oil and a little buttery spread (for taste) in a pan or stick-free skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with wedges of lemon. You can also serve with tartar sauce on gluten free buns for a tuna burger. (Udi’s makes great gluten free buns). You can also serve with french fries or a baked potato or baked sweet potato.


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