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.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keywords air fryer tuna patties, healthy tuna patties, tuna fish cakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill (optional) 30 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 387 kcal
Author Linda Warren


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


  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.