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 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 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.

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

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!

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 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

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 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 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 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. 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

One Pot 30 Minute Seafood Stew from 2 Cookin Mamas
Spicy Fish Fritters from Divalicious Recipes
Healthy Shrimp Scampi from 2 Cookin Mamas

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.

 

5 from 2 votes
Closeup of cooked tuna fish cakes on white plate.
Air Fryer Tuna Patties
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Chill (optional)
30 mins
 

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.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keywords: air fryer tuna patties, healthy tuna patties, tuna fish cakes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 387 kcal
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
Directions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, red bell pepper and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Open tuna cans and drain well. Pour into a medium bowl. Sprinkle lime juice over tuna.
  4. Pour sautéed vegetables into bowl.
  5. Add celery, parsley and cheese.
  6. Sprinkle in oregano, salt and pepper.
  7. Add that spicy touch of sriracha.
  8. Stir in panko crumbs.
  9. 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.
  10. Form into 6 patties and chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or even overnight. This will make them easier to handle.
  11. Remove from refrigerator and coat with a mixture of panko crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  12. Place back on plate and spray tops with nonstick spray.
  13. Add to air fryer making sure not to overcrowd. I had to do mine in 2 batches.
  14. 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.
  15. Remove and garnish with chopped parsley.
Recipe 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 Facts
Air Fryer Tuna Patties
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 176mg59%
Sodium 1007mg42%
Potassium 460mg13%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 1557IU31%
Vitamin C 37mg45%
Calcium 257mg26%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Want a healthy, quick and easy dinner tonight? Air Fryer Tuna Patties can be on your table in about 20 minutes! Just toss canned tuna with veggies, add in panko crumbs and eggs then air fry for 8 minutes. They\'re deliciously soft and flavorful inside with a crunchy and slightly cheesy outside. They can easily be adapted for gluten-free, low carb and paleo diets. #tunafish #cannedtunafish #airfryer #dinner #easy #recipe #withbreadcrumbs #panko #nomayo #lowcarb #glutenfree #paleo #crispy #healthy

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz
    09/04/2019 at 4:18 pm

    5 stars
    I’m obsessed with my air fryer. My husband is skeptical but he loves tuna so I know these will change his mind! 😉

    • Reply
      Linda Warren
      09/25/2019 at 4:24 pm

      It sure sold us on the air fryer! Everything comes out so crispy and delicious, it’s hard not to love it.

  • Reply
    Shadi Hasanzadenemati
    09/04/2019 at 4:07 pm

    5 stars
    I made your recipe for a gathering the other day and everyone kept asking for the recipe. It was totally a hit!

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