Want a healthy, quick and easy dinner tonight? These Air Fryer Tuna Patties can be on your table in about 20 minutes! Just toss canned tuna fish with onion, red bell pepper and garlic, add in a little panko crumbs and eggs and air fry for 8 minutes. They’re deliciously soft and flavorful on the inside with a crunchy and slightly cheesy outside. And they can easily be adapted and enjoyed on gluten-free, low carb and paleo diets.
Easy Tuna Fish Cakes
What a fun weekend! No seriously, it wasn’t that at all. Waiting for a hurricane is enough to give anyone anxiety issues. However, I used being cooped up to my advantage and worked on a couple quick and easy recipes for y’all.
Now I know how to stock up for summer hurricanes since I’ve been though quite a few in my time in South Florida and one thing you have to have on hand is canned goods, like tuna fish. So out came my stock to turn into a yummy, comfort food dinner. Tuna fish is a staple in our house for cheesy tuna melts or Tuna Noodle Salad but this time I wanted something that was more along the lines of a dinner item. And, since it had to be quick and easy, I used my new favorite kitchen appliance, an air fryer, and made these delicious and super easy Tuna Patties.
These are very similar to my easy crab cakes but made with canned tuna instead of crab. They’re super healthy, low carb and can even be made gluten-free. There is hardly any filler in these babies, just a few panko crumbs, no mayo, and just enough egg to hold them all together. They take just 20 minutes total but I do like to chill mine for about 30 minutes to an hour to make them a little easier to handle. In order to make it a quickie meal, I just mix them up the morning of or even the night before and presto, dinner on the table in 10 minutes!
FAQs about Healthy Tuna Patties
How do you get tuna patties to stick together?
Mixing the tuna with panko or bread crumbs and adding an egg or two will help. Placing them in the refrigerator until they’re very cold will also make them easier to handle.
Why are my patties falling apart?
You may not have added enough eggs. Or you may need to add slightly more panko to give them a little more binding material.
Can uncooked tuna patties be frozen?
Absolutely! Place the on a cookie sheet until they are hard then wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in large Ziploc bag. They can remain in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Coat in panko crumbs and spray with nonstick spray or oil mister just before air frying.
How long will these patties keep in the refrigerator?
They will stay fresh for 1-2 days.
How do I cook these tuna fish cakes if I don’t have an air fryer?
These patties can also be pan fried in a lightly oiled skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned.
What can I use instead of sriracha for flavor?
You can sub in ¾ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or ¼ teaspoon dill.
How to Make Air Fryer Tuna Patties
- Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. (photo 1)
- Add onions, red bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes. (photo 2)
- Vegetables should be soft but not brown. (photo 3)
- Open tuna cans and drain well. Pour into a medium bowl. Sprinkle lime juice over tuna. (photo 4)
- Pour sautéed vegetables into bowl. (photo 5)
- Add celery, parsley and cheese. (photo 6)
- Sprinkle in oregano, salt and pepper. (photo 7)
- Add that spicy touch of sriracha. (photo 8)
- Stir in panko crumbs. (photo 9)
- Add eggs to mixture. (photo 10)
- Check to see that the mixture will form and hold a pattie shape. You can add an extra egg if needed but usually the tuna is moist enough that it’s not needed. (photo 11)
- Form into 6 patties and chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or even overnight. This step will make them easier to handle. (photo 12)
- Coat each tuna pattie with a mixture of panko and parmesan cheese.
- Spray tops with nonstick spray.
- Place in air fryer making sure not to overcrowd. They may have to be done in batches.
These tuna fish cakes come out crunchy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside. They’re perfect served with corn on the cob and coleslaw for a light but filling dinner. For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free panko crumbs and for low carb and keto diets sub in parmesan cheese or almond crumbs for the panko and coat with flax seeds or sesame seeds.
Other Delicious Quick & Easy Seafood Dinners
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Air Fryer Tuna Patties
- 1 Tablespoon EVOO
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 7- oz cans or 3 5-oz cans albacore tuna fish in water drained
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 3 Tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Nonstick spray
- Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, red bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
- Open tuna cans and drain well. Pour into a medium bowl. Sprinkle lime juice over tuna.
- Pour sautéed vegetables into bowl.
- Add celery, parsley and cheese.
- Sprinkle in oregano, salt and pepper.
- Add that spicy touch of sriracha.
- Stir in panko crumbs.
- Add eggs until the mixture will form into a nice pattie. You can add an extra egg if needed but usually the tuna is moist enough that it’s not needed.
- Form into 6 patties and chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or even overnight. This will make them easier to handle.
- Remove from refrigerator and coat with a mixture of panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.
- Place back on plate and spray tops with nonstick spray.
- Add to air fryer making sure not to overcrowd. I had to do mine in 2 batches.
- Air Fry on 390 degrees for 4 minutes. Carefully turn patties and spray tops with nonstick spray. Return to air fryer for 4 minutes more.
- Remove and garnish with chopped parsley.