These Tuna Cakes (Tuna Burgers) are delicious, flavourful and a life-savior weeknight dinner – they’re also gluten-free. They are made out of pantry staples and are also perfect for meal prep!
The first time I made this tuna cakes recipe was a random night when literally I had nothing in the fridge but eggs (you’d hardly ever find me without any). I had to improvise with what I had in my pantry and a version of these Tuna Burgers happened. We liked them so much that I added it into my repertoire of quick-pantry staple meals, and yeap I refined it and measured everything the second and third time so I could share it with you
Tuna Cakes (Tuna Burgers) Ingredients
- Canned tuna: I prefer to use canned tuna in olive oil, but you can use canned tuna in sunflower oil or canned tuna in water. If using the latter, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the patties mixture so it doesn’t feel too dry.
- Onion: Any onion type would work for this recipe. Use what you have on hand. However, I find that red onion adds a nice crunch touch and a pop of colour that makes them more appealing.
- Garlic: it adds flavour, but you can leave it out or substitute with garlic powder if you don’t like raw garlic. If using raw garlic, remove the garlic germ.
- Egg: it acts as a binder.
- Dijon mustard: it adds flavour depth.
- Salt: to enhance the flavours.
- Black Pepper: another flavour layer.
- Chili flakes or cayenne pepper: I like a spicy touch, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
- Fresh parsley: it not only adds a nice fresh touch, but also colour.
What to Serve these Tuna Cakes with
- Green Salads. They are perfect on top of salads. You can easily swap my crispy chicken in this delicious salad recipe.
- Wraps. These cakes are perfect wrapped in a flatbread like this Bazlama (Turkish flatbread) or in a pita.
- Burger bun. They make a great meat burger alternative.
- Roasted veggies. Roast some seasonal vegetables in the oven at 200ºC with some olive oil and serve them with these tuna cakes. Roasted vegetables are also a great meal prep idea.
Dips and Sauces that are a Match Made in Heaven
Besides all the options above, a sauce to accompany them is key. I love to serve them with homemade mayo reusing the oil leftover of the canned tuna (let’s avoid food waste as much as we can).
If you are not into mayo though, or you want to vary a bit, my avocado cream would also be a great idea.
Can You Freeze Tuna Cakes?
Absolutely! You can freeze them either before or after pan-sautéing.
If uncooked, I suggest you first freeze them on a tray in one layer. Once they are solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe container.
If cooked, allow them to cool to room temperature first. You can freeze them as explained above or you can directly freeze them in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper in between layers.
Use within 3 months.
Tips For The Best Tuna Cakes
- Consistency. They can feel a bit crumbly when flipped, since the recipe doesn’t call for breadcrumbs or flour, which keeps them lighter. Feel free to add 2-4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, almond flour or plain flour to bind them tighter. Also, if after the time in the fridge you see some liquid at the bottom, discard it.
- Onion type. For a colourful touch, I generally use red onion (this works pretty well with children). However, you can really use any onion you have on hand. Just make sure you chop it very finely.
- Canned tuna. My favourite is canned tuna in olive oil, but you can use canned tuna in sunflower oil or canned tuna in water. If using the latter, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the patties mixture so it doesn’t feel too dry.
More Easy Meal Ideas
If you make this Tuna Cakes (Tuna Burgers) recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Tuna Cakes (Tuna Burgers)
- 200 g canned tuna - drained weight (save the oil), see notes
- 65 g onion - finely chopped (about 1/2 medium onion). See notes
- 1 garlic clove - minced
- 1 L egg
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt - the tuna can already be quite salty, start with just a pinch and adjust to taste.
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp chili flakes or cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley - plus extra for serving
- 50 ml Mayo - for serving
- Mix the tuna, onion, garlic, egg, dijon mustard, seasoning and parsley in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 20min.
- Heat some of the reserved tuna oil in a pan over medium heat. Get one quarter of the tuna mix, shape it into a patty and place onto the pan. Repeat with the rest of the mix. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side (see notes).
- Serve with a side of mayo (see notes) and some parsley.
- I prefer to use canned tuna in olive oil, but you can use canned tuna in sunflower oil or canned tuna in water. If using the latter, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the patties mixture so it doesn’t feel too dry.
- Any onion type would work for this recipe. Use what you have on hand.
- The cakes can feel a bit crumbly when flipped since there are no breadcrumbs or flour involved, which makes this a light recipe. Feel free to add 2-4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, almond flour or plain flour to bind them tighter. Also, if after the time in the fridge you see some liquid at the bottom, discard it.
- You can make homemade mayo with the oil from the canned tuna.
- Make ahead: these are perfect for meal prep. Double or triple the quantities and save any extra cakes in an air-tight container. They last well for up to a week in the fridge or 2-3 months in the freezer.