Quick Tuna Patties

Recipes you can make with ingredients you have on hand are a must for busy people. That’s one of the reasons I love this recipe for Quick Tuna Patties. With about ten minutes of prep, mixing, and clean up, these patties are shaped and ready to fry for a nice hot meal even on the most frantic weeknight. You can also make these ahead if you have spare time the night before or earlier in the day. Just store the patties in the fridge separated by wax paper in an airtight container and fry them up within a day of making them.

Canned Albacore Tuna.

We always keep tuna in the pantry. It’s a tasty, inexpensive protien source. I typically buy ten or twelve can cases from a bulk store to save even more money, although you can often find tuna on sale at the local supermarket as well. Cans always come with expiration dates printed on them, and they usually give you at least two years to get them used. Tuna has a long shelf-life, it’s packed with protein, it’s inexpensive, and it’s also tasty and versatile — if you’re not in the habit of keeping a couple of cans in the cupboard, it’s a good thing to consider doing.

Dry breadcrumbs are another ingredient I keep on hand. I like the large size canisters I find at bulk stores, but one nice thing about the smaller canisters from the grocery store is that I always get them finished before I begin to worry about them going stale. I really like the Italian flavored breadcrumbs. I think they add an earthy, herby note to any dish I use them in so I tend to use them for most dishes. That’s a personal preference, though, and if you prefer plain breadcrumbs with your own seasonings, this recipe certainly allows for that. Tuna works well with a variety of different seasonings from old bay to dill, so feel free to experiment to your own tastes with this recipe.

Quick Tuna Patties

3.7 from 184 votes


  • 3 5 oz. cans tuna

  • 2 eggs

  • 10 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs

  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons white or yellow onion, finely diced

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry parsley

  • 1 pinch black pepper


  • Drain tuna thoroughly after opening cans.
  • In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, lemon juice, garlic salt, and black pepper to make a well-combined paste. Mix in tuna, onion, and parsley. Shape into patties about 1 inch thick. Makes 8 patties.
  • In a skillet, heat oil at medium-low to medium heat. Pan-fry patties 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.


  • To substitute garlic salt, add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and two pinches of salt.
  • To substitute Italian breadcrumbs, use plain breadcrumbs and add 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning herb blend or 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and oregano.
  • To substitute Parmesan, use aged Asiago, Grana Padano, or Pecorino Romano.
  • Shallots make a great substitute for white or yellow onions.
  • Use your favorite variety of tuna, but we suggest using tuna packed in water, not tuna packed in oil.

These tuna patties can be used for a variety of meals. Whether you want to pop them in a hamburger bun or between two pieces of bread for a sandwich. They’re also great served as a patty beside a salad or any other vegetable side dish. If you have time, they’re also great with some veggies over a bowl of rice. No matter how we eat them, as sandwiches or as part of a plated meal, we always eat them with tartar sauce.

Homemade tartar sauce.

If you don’t keep tartar sauce on hand, you can make a simple one with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons finely diced dill pickle, 1 tablespoon dill pickle brine (from the pickle jar), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon dried dill.

16 thoughts on “Quick Tuna Patties”

  1. Ok i made my comment about This patty recipe. It types inall caps, then goes to loer case once it submitted. Pretty funny and explains why there are random cap in some words.

  2. Ive made this recipe many times and i love these! I make 2-3 batches and seal and freeze for when i want them. I ACTUALLY baked mine on the NONSTICK aluminum foil and it works out great. Ive also gave them to my girlfriend ald she and her husband loved them. She now makes them. They are delicIous!

  3. I always called them Tuna Croquettes and used flour & cornmeal for the binder. I do think the italian breadcrumbs will be good.


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