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Tuna Cakes Recipe

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally. Get the recipe on www.drugstoredivas.net.

I never liked really seafood. I would have fried clams at White Castle and tuna in a can. But when we moved to Coastal Carolina, where the seafood served is basically plucked out of the ocean to order, I had to find something to eat at seafood restaurants. So that something was crab cakes because crab tastes like tuna in a can. And then at home, we recreate that as Tuna Cakes.

Because crab is expensive.

And tuna is not.

When you order Crab Cakes at a restaurant, they are usually packed with breadcrumbs because restaurants have to charge a lot of money for crab cakes that are mostly crab. And no one wants to pay that. So they add a lot of breadcrumbs to make the patties look bigger, but to also keep the price down.

It’s a little bit like, what’s the point, right?

At home, you’d have to buy a lot of expensive crab meat to make crab cakes at home. So the budget-friendly way to do that is to use tuna in a can instead.

These Tuna Cakes are actually really amazing. The first time we had them, Pete and I were both surprised at how good they were. You don’t even think you’re eating tuna from a can when you’re eating them.

I always serve them over rice, topped with roasted vegetables. Zucchini is the perfect topper for these. And the zucchini is so flavorful that you don’t even need a sauce for these.

Tuna Cakes Recipe

Tuna Cakes Ingredients:

How To Make Tuna Cakes:

Mix the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs together.

Quick side note: If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use lime juice. I’ve done that too and it was fantastic. 

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally. Get the recipe on www.drugstoredivas.net.

Add the egg and mix it in to form a paste.

Add the tuna, onion, and onion powder. Mix together, making sure to break up any clumps of the breadcrumbs paste.

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally. Get the recipe on www.drugstoredivas.net.

Form the mixture into four equal patties.

When you’re forming the patties, be sure to pack them tightly into a ball, then flatten them into patty shape. If you leave them too loose, they’ll fall apart 

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Fry the tuna cakes for about five minutes until a crust starts to form on the bottom.

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally. Get the recipe on www.drugstoredivas.net.

Drizzle the tops with a little bit of olive oil. Then, carefully, flip the tuna cakes onto the other side. Fry them for another five minutes until a crust forms on the other side.

Tuna Cakes: Frequently Asked Questions

How can you serve Tuna Cakes?

I serve Tuna Cakes over rice with roasted vegetables on top of them. The vegetables are sliced thin, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and onion powder, then baked at 375 for about 30 minutes. Personally, I love zucchini this way, but you can also add in yellow squash too. Tomatoes would work as well, but you might need to take them out a little sooner.

If you want an alternative, you can serve them as a sandwich, like a crab cake sandwich. Get some nice buns, toast it with a little butter on the cut sides, and put the Tuna Cakes inside it. If you do it this way, a remoulade on both sides would be perfect. Spread it when the bread is still warm so the remoulade gets a little melty. Remoulade is so so good this way.

And, if you want, you can serve these just on the side of a salad or French fries. Or on top of a bed of salad greens. If you do serve the Tuna Cakes on top of a green salad, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over the Tuna Cakes would be perfect.

What kind of tuna should you use in Tuna Cakes?

I will be very honest with you here. I makes these Tuna Cakes with chunk light tuna in the can.

Shh. Don’t tell.

I know, I know. Chunk light tuna in the can is, like, the lowest of the tuna in a can options, depending on who you ask.

Me? I ask my wallet. And my wallet says chunk light tuna is a smart purchase.

I’m joking around a little, but I’m being honest. I make this with chunk light tuna in the can and it’s delicious. You wouldn’t know it’s cheap tuna. I would suggest you get the tuna in water, rather than the tuna in oil, because you want to completely drain these and it’s easier to drain water than oil. Plus, since you’re draining the tuna anyway, you don’t need to spend the extra money on oil.

If you want, you can make these with a tuna in a can at a higher price point, like albacore. But put a Tuna Cake made from each next to each other, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a difference.

So enjoy your budget friendly Tuna Cakes and none will be the wiser.

Could you make Tuna Crab Cakes?

Listen. I call these Tuna Cakes. But the Internet has been known to refer to them as the “poor man’s crab cakes.” Which like, why you gotta be so judgy, Internet? Why can’t people just save a buck?

These are perfect as is. But, if you want to, you could make tuna crab cakes, mixing together a can of drained tuna fish along with lump crab meat.

Try it with equal parts tuna and crab first, and then you can decide if one of the fish really overtook the other. If you think so, go with more of a 70:30 ratio.

Although honestly, my real advice is to just go with tuna-only Tuna Cakes first. While you’re eating it, decide if you’re missing any crab meat. My guess is that you won’t be missing it and you’ll just continue making these as the recipe was written.

Be the hero of your summer BBQ's with this Grilled Shrimp Kabobs from www.drugstoredivas.net. If you're doing Weight Watchers, these are only 1 Weight Watchers Freestyle Point.

Want more seafood recipes?

If you like this Tuna Cakes recipe and you’re looking to add more seafood recipes into your rotation, we have a few seafood meals that you’ll enjoy.

Yield: 4 Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally. Get the recipe on www.drugstoredivas.net.

Tuna Cakes are a crab cakes dupe that you can make at home easily and frugally.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 5 oz. cans tuna, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 pinch ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix the lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs together. Add the egg and mix it in to form a paste. Add the tuna, onion, and onion powder. Mix together. Form the mixture into four equal patties.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Fry the tuna cakes for about five minutes until a crust starts to form on the bottom. Drizzle the tops with a little bit of olive oil. Then, carefully, flip the tuna cakes onto the other side. Fry them for another five minutes until a crust forms on the other side.

Nutrition Information

Yield

2

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 341Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 164mgSodium 265mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 47g

Would you make these Tuna Cakes? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Aria H.

Friday 7th of February 2014

Sounds good! I am going to try this with the Ocean Naturals tuna I won.

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