Did you ever have “tuna patties” growing up? We did. And we thought they were awful! My momma mashed together tuna fish and hand-torn bread, patted them together, coated them in flour, and pan fried them until they were solid.
Inexpensive? Yes. Tasty? Um…no.
In all fairness, my Dad loved them. That’s probably why she made them that way. He topped them with a slice of tomato and ate a whole plate full. (I coated mine in ketchup and hoped for the best!) But as a busy, working mom, the idea of tuna for a change of pace as well as something quick and healthy is appealing. So I found this Tuna Cake recipe from Kraft Foods and made some modifications to suit our family of 5–and these are not my momma’s tuna patties, let me tell ya!
They’re quick (30 minutes from start to dinner table!) and easy (my 8 year old does everything except the pan frying!) and use ingredients I always have on hand. Plus, they’re easy to modify for your individual tastes.
Quick and Simple Tuna Cakes
- 3 cans (5 oz each)tuna
- 6 oz bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon total dried herbs of choice
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (We’ve used pepper jack cheese too.)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (Or you can shred it on a grater as well. I just usually have leftover in the fridge from something else.)
- 1 large egg
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Refrigerate 10 minutes. (This step is important to the cakes holding together during cooking. You can leave in the fridge for up to an hour if you want to.)
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Press mixture firmly into an ice cream scoop or a 1/3 measuring cup, then add portion to skillet.
Spray spatula with oil or use a silicone spatula and flatten the tuna mixture into cakes/patties. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Be sure to grease the skillet between batches to avoid sticking.
That’s it! I usually serve quickly with steamed veggies and bread. 3 cans of tuna usually makes about 9 cakes, which leaves us enough for lunches the next day as well. I also read that you can broil or bake them in the oven and that’s on our list to try.
Jamie is a Christian wife and momma of 3 special blessings. She and her Mr. Fix-It live on a small livestock farm in Tidewater, Virginia, where you can find them laughing, praying, feeding chickens, building fences, and herding sheep with their two busy boys and the Ladybug. She writes about living, grieving, and believing, while shearing sheep and raising kids at her blog Walking in High Cotton.