Easy Air Fryer Tuna Patties

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.

Tuna Patties plated on white plate with greens and dinner plate in background.

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 of quick and easy recipes for y’all.

Cooked and plated air fried patties on bed of greens.

Now I know how to stock up for summer hurricanes since I’ve been through 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 a cheesy tuna melt 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.

Uncooked tuna fish cakes in front of air fryer and ready for crumbs.

These tuna croquettes are very similar to my 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 quick meal, I just mix them up the morning of or even the night before and presto, dinner on the table in 10 minutes!

This really is one of the best recipes for tuna patties! And it’s a great one to have for air fryer fish recipes.

Closeup of bite of crunchy tuna pattie.

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 a 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 Tuna Patties in an Air Fryer

First 6 steps to making tuna patties.

  1. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. (photo 1)
  2. Add onions, red bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes. (photo 2)
  3. Vegetables should be soft but not brown. (photo 3)
  4. Open tuna cans and drain well. Pour into a medium bowl. Sprinkle lime juice over tuna. (photo 4)
  5. Pour sautéed vegetables into the bowl. (photo 5)
  6. Add celery, parsley, and cheese. (photo 6)

Mixing ingredients and forming into tuna fish cakes.

  1. Sprinkle in oregano, salt, and pepper. (photo 7)
  2. Add that spicy touch of sriracha. (photo 8)
  3. Stir in panko crumbs. (photo 9)
  4. Add eggs to the mixture. (photo 10)
  5. 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)
  6. Form into 6 patties and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or even overnight. This step will make them easier to handle. (photo 12)

Covering patties with crumb cheese mixture.

  1. Coat each tuna pattie with a mixture of panko and parmesan cheese.
  2. Spray tops with nonstick spray.

Place tuna fish cakes in air fryer.

  1. Place in air fryer making sure not to overcrowd. They may have to be done in batches.

Overhead of plated patties on white plate with peach napkin underneath.
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. You can also use these to make tuna melt patties.

How about a sauce for tuna patties? Remoulade is a great choice. Check out my Cajun Shrimp Tacos for a great homemade remoulade recipe.

For gluten free tuna patties, use gluten-free panko crumbs. For low carb and keto tuna patties, sub in parmesan cheese or almond crumbs for the panko and coat with flax seeds or sesame seeds. Oh, and try my Air Fryer Pork Chops No Breading for another low carb and keto-friendly dinner.

Other Delicious Quick & Easy Seafood Dinners

One Pot Fish Stew with shrimp and scallops.

Baked Asian Salmon with a wonderful maple glaze.

Spicy Fish Fritters from Divalicious Recipes

Stovetop Shrimp Scampi is a quick and healthy meal with fresh ingredients.

Find more healthy air fryer recipes here on 2CM!

Love quick & easy recipes? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for all the latest recipe inspiration! Plus join my email list here and receive a free e-book.

Closeup of cooked tuna fish cakes on white plate.

Air Fryer Tuna Patties

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.
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Chill (optional): 30 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

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

Crumb Coating

  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Nonstick spray

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 460mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1557IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 4mg

This post has been updated and was first published on September 4, 2019.

Easy Air Fryer Tuna Patties
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