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Apr 04

Tuna Cakes

Crispy Tuna Cakes

These easy Tuna Cakes are a tasty, low carb, and unique way to use canned tuna, and also a family favorite. If tuna fish is one of the pantry staples you have on hand, you’re in luck! I love the bright, lemony flavor and the crispy coating on the outside of these cakes. Similar to how you’d make crab cakes, these Tuna Cakes are made with breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and seasonings to enhance the delicious tuna flavor. My favorite way to serve these is straight up on their own with a side of roasted vegetables, but they’re also great on a salad or on a bun. I personally never use a sauce with mine, but feel free to serve them with the remoulade or aioli of your choosing if that’s your preference! Not only are these simple to make and super delicious, each tuna cake is just 123 calories, 4 grams of carbohydrates, or 3 WW Points. I can’t believe how decadent these crispy Tuna Cakes taste for such little calories or WW points, and I bet you’ll be surprised as well! To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!

Tuna Cakes on a plate

Looking for more tasty, lightened up comfort food recipes? Check out my Blackened Chicken Bites, One-Pot Cheesy Chili Mac, One-Pot Turkey and Veggie Spaghetti, Sheet Pan Meatloaves with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans, One-Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta, Swedish Turkey Meatballs, Chicken and Dumplings Casserole, Cream Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken, Baked Hot Barbecue Chicken Tenders, Bubble Up Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake, Stuffed Turkey Bundles with Gravy, One-Pot Spicy Dirty Rice with Chicken and Sausage, Crispy Cheddar Chicken with Cream Sauce, Barbecue Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders, Meat and Potatoes Bake, Chicken Pot Pasta, Lemon Chicken Orzo with Tomatoes and Asparagus, Baked Chicken Tenders, and many more in the Comfort Food category of my recipe index!

Crispy Tuna Cakes
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4.75 from 12 votes
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Tuna Cakes

These easy Tuna Cakes are a tasty, low carb, and unique way to use canned tuna!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 (5 oz each) cans of tuna, drained
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill


  • Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the olive oil into a large saute pan and bring over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and stir to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs (beaten), the vegetable mix from step one, the drained tuna, ¼ cup of the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley flakes, salt, pepper, and dill. Stir together until well combined.
  • On a clean surface (I used a cutting mat), scoop out 9 (1/4 cup each) portions of the tuna mixture and flatten/shape them into patties. Combine the remaining ¼ cup of breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese in a dish and stir together. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the patties on both sides and press it in to coat.
  • Wipe out the saute pan from step one to use again. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan and bring over medium heat. When the oil is hot, place half the patties (you’ll have to work in batches depending on the size of your pan, I did 5 the first batch and 4 the second) in the oil and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip the patties and cook for another 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer the cooked tuna cakes to a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and the remaining patties until all are cooked.


To view your current WW Points for this recipe and track it in the WW app or site, click here!
WW Points per tuna cake: 3 (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per tuna cake:
123 calories, 4 g carbs, 0 g sugars, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 13 g protein, 0 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
MYWW SMARTPOINTS PER tuna cake: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Green: 3 SmartPoints/ Blue: 2 SmartPoints/ Purple: 2 SmartPoints
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
3 per tuna cake (PP calculated using a Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator and the nutrition info below)
Adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet

59 comments on “Tuna Cakes”

  1. Good morning Emily..these look delicious !! Have you ever used canned salmon rather than cans of tuna ?? If so did you need to make any adaptations to the original recipe ?? Also have you ever baked rather than fry these ?? IF so at what temp and for how long ?? Thanks for posting this !! Doris

    • Hi Doris! I don’t like salmon, so I’ve never made them that way! I don’t think you would need to make any other changes though.

      I’ve also never baked them, but I’m sure you can. They just won’t have that delicious crispy crust on the outside!

    • I baked them at 425 for about 15/20 minutes and it worked wonderfully. You’d have to either grease the pan or use parchment to keep it from sticking, though.5 stars

    • Did you end up doing it? I had a can of salmon and opened it up yesterday in prep for making this tonight. The canned salmon honestly grosses me out a bit. The skin and bone? *shudder* Anyway I flaked the meat (got out as much bone as I could), rinsed, and drained it. It was close to 8 oz of fish. The dry weight of a standard can of tuna is 4 oz so I am using my can of salmon plus one can of tuna. I will report back!

  2. Do you think if I used Solid white albacore Tuna they would be too dry?  That is all I usually buy.  

  3. Do you think theses would work in the air fryer.  Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes you share with us.  And, especially for having the WW point values.  Thanks again. 

  4. I haven’t made this exact recipe but have used something similar. I have subbed canned salmon using the same exact ingredients and have baked them successfully on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. One way to get them crisp is to pan brown them very briefly, then finish in the oven, another is to spray the patties well with olive oil spray before baking.

  5. Hi Emily can I make this with pouch tuna I like pouch tuna better

  6. Can I make this recipe with tuna pouches 

  7. Hello, do you think this would work with saltines or croutons or toasted bread? I don’t have panko bread crumbs and in quarantine. :-/ Thank you! 

    • Totally, Im sure you could just throw some saltines in a food processor and it would likely work just fine. Panko is what I had a lot of, but any breadcrumb should work.

  8. Hi Emily! What a great recipe for these difficult times! It’s a wonderful  “use what we have in the pantry meal”. Thank you for all the delicious additions to my recipe collection. I have followed you for years, and I love that you make real food. Stay safe and healthy!

  9. Intriguing! I don’t eat seafood but I have a bunch of canned chicken. I may give that a try!

  10. Emily, you are truly a God send! My husband and I have been on WW for a little over a year, and we discovered your website a few months ago when we were starting to get tired of other stuff (perfect timing). Almost all the meals we make now are your recipes because they’re all so good. I’ve never tried one that I didn’t like. Thank you so much for your time and effort on this site! We love you!

  11. Any sauce recommendations for this? Am thinking about making these for work this week.

    • I ate them without sauce, but you could definitely make a remoulade or an aioli using mayo!

  12. These look great.  What can I sub for mayonnaise. And I only have vanilla yogurt  At this time 

  13. These are delicious and so easy! We have already made these twice! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂 

  14. These are truly delicious. My husband says they are in the top 5 of things I’ve made. This will be in our dinner rotation for sure. Thank you, Emily!

  15. These were delicious.

  16. Emily, these were great!!! I used solid white albacore tuna and made sure I mixed them very well; The only thing I added was a little Dijon mustard just because we like it. The best thing about these is there was nothing I needed to buy, had everything here and that’s a blessing these days!!! Thank you again for all your recipes.

  17. I did 385 for 12 mins and they came out great!

  18. I made them for the second time last night…so yum! This time, I let them cook longer before flipping, and they stayed together beautifully! I will be making more today for lunch during the week. Love this recipe!

  19. These were delicious.

  20. I love Korean food and this is a must have! Cant wait to make these tonight! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Hello! First time trying these. Any tips on having the patties stay together? I ended up with scrambled tuna:)

  22. With that hint of lemon and I added grated carrot adding Parmesan cheese overall very nice delicate flavour!

  23. Mmmmm these look soo good. I love fish cakes. i might just have to make these next week!!

  24. I am going to try this with canned crab meat, thanks for the recipe!

  25. my goodness, these were SO flavorful. i like tuna to an extent and worried this would be too tuna-y. not the case.. crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside. i think even those who don’t like tuna would enjoy this. anxious to see if my husband will enjoy it as he sits in the “no tuna” camp. a perfect pantry and budget friendly meal. was really thinking it would be missing something without a sauce but it’s delicious on its own. 5 stars

  26. Very yummy and I’m not a big canned tuna fan!  I followed directions to the letter and they came out perfectly. Thanks Emily!5 stars

  27. Tried these today and we were very impressed. They are delicious!  No fishiness at all. So easy to make too. These are so much more interesting than tuna salad!  Served with my fake remoulade – bottled light Russian dressing with sriracha.  Yum!  I will definitely be making these again

  28. Can these be frozen? If yes, would you freeze the mixture before cooking?

  29. These were terrible. Tasted like cardboard. 2 stars

  30. These are yummy, and surprisingly easy to make!5 stars

  31. I love these and so does my family! I don’t like salmon so I tried your WW friendly tuna cakes. They are delicious! Thanks for a flavorful recipe

  32. Hi Emily what size tuna cans do you use and is the tuna in oil? 

  33. Delicious! Definitely in the rotation!

  34. These are delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! I used the air fryer at 380, 6 minutes on each side, with a spray of Pam on each. And they kinda fell apart for me on the mat, so I just shaped in my hand before plopping them into the air fryer! Will make again! 5 stars

  35. This is an amazingly simple, quick and delicious recipe and so good we made it two nights in a row! This is definitely something we will be adding to our regular plan and is also campervan friendly! Thank you so much!5 stars

  36. What do you serve these with?

  37. Great recipe! My family really enjoyed it. Thank you!!5 stars

  38. I just made this with one can of salmon and one can of tuna. Once I cleaned the canned salmon (removing skin and bones) it weighed about the same as the “dry weight” of two cans of tuna. It tasted good to my family. But I won’t buy canned salmon again. I paired it with coconut ginger rice, shredded carrots, and quick pickled cucumbers for a sort of mash up of Bahn-MI bowl and poke bowl. It was a great way to use up some canned fish. I didn’t have Dill on hand so left it out. I also did a bit more panko and cheese as I’m not doing WW.5 stars

  39. Tuna is one of my favorite. I love it5 stars

  40. Can these be frozen and if so, do you freeze them before cooking?

  41. I just made these for dinner tonight and we loved them! I didn’t have celery, so I put celery salt in them and added onion powder and garlic powder. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. We squeezed lemon on top and WOW! Delicious! 5 stars

  42. Delicious! I can always judge how much my husband really likes something by if he needs to dip it in something to mask the the taste. I’m no dummy. Not a single condiment left the fridge and he was very complimentary! Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  43. Made these and they were amazing!!  Gluten free so used Chex cereal instead of Panko

  44. Can these be frozen? Should I freeze them before or after cooking? 

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