Save Money Tonight with these Cheap and Tasty Tuna Patties

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Enjoy fish cheaply with these easy, healthy tuna patties.

Easy Tuna patties

These tuna patties are a family favourite of ours. The kids like to eat them, which is always a win! And because I hide a bunch of vegetables in them, I’m happy they are getting enough veggies.

A tin of tuna is very cheap, making these meals quite inexpensive – less than $5 for the meal.

Even if you pay top dollar for ethically fished tuna – which is always a good idea if you can afford it – this meal will still come in at under $10. 

Alternatively, you can use salmon instead of tuna.

Any breadcrumbs are good, in fact, you can make your own. But if you can pick up Panko breadcrumbs on special, they give a nice crunchy texture. Almond meal makes a great gluten-free substitute. 

To cook the tuna patties, try macadamia nut oil, which has a lovely nutty flavour and a high smoke point. It’s good for frying and it’s also super healthy.

Can You Freeze Tuna Patties?

I love making tuna patties because you can double batch the recipe and freeze half for later. Just divide the mix in half before rolling into the patties and freeze the mix in a container.

All you have to do then is defrost the mix, shape into patties and roll the mix in breadcrumbs. If the defrosted mix is too wet, add a little more breadcrumbs to help the tuna patties hold their shape.

If you want to freeze the patties already formed but uncooked, freeze on a tray first, and then pack in a container once frozen. Spray with oil and place in a hot oven still frozen and bake until cooked through and golden.

How to Serve

I generally serve these with a side salad or a side of vegetables. With the ‘hidden’ vegetables in the patties, that’s double the veg!

Alternatively, my husband likes to turn these patties into tuna burgers with lettuces, cheese, tomato, beetroot and mayo on a burger bun.

To transform these patties into something special and adult, add a few chopped capers and serve with a dollop of aioli

How Long Do Tuna Patties Last in the Fridge?

Like most leftovers, you can leave tuna patties in the fridge for 3 days. Make sure to reheat all the way through.

Yield: 10

Tuna Patties with Hidden Vegetables

Easy Healthy Tuna patties

These tuna patties are bulked up with grated vegetables, giving them a health boost.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 440g tin of tuna
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice (swap with 1 cup of mashed potato or sweet potato for extra veg)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil for frying


  1. Cook rice until tender. Drain. (Make this recipe even easier by using up leftover rice). Alternatively, steam and mash enough potato or sweet potato to make 1 cup.
  2. Combine the tuna, rice, onion, vegetables, parsley and egg in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice from 1/2 a lemon and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir well to combine, breaking up the tuna chunks. Use your hands to mix it really well, smushing it all together.
  4. If the mixture is too wet, add some breadcrumbs to get a consistency that holds together. Roll golf ball size amounts into patties or rissoles, press lightly to flatten.
  5. Roll the rissoles in breadcrumbs until well coated. Place the rissoles in the fridge for 1/2 hour to firm up.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan to moderately high heat and cook rissoles until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  7. Serve salad or vegetables and mayonnaise or aioli.


  • Use brown rice rather than white for extra fibre. The brown rice will need longer to cook.
  • Instead of rice, try mash potato or mash sweet potato - about three small potatoes or one medium sweet potato.
  • Substitute salmon for the tuna or some gently steamed white fish.
  • For a more lemony flavour, add more juice or grate some lemon rind into the mix.
  • Add other types of vegetables such as corn kernels to the mix to bulk it up and make it go further.
  • For an adult flavour, add some chopped capers and serve with garlic aioli.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 16g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Makayla Wedgwood says:

    What a mouth watering recipe ! Being a foodey I enjoy tuna a lot and always in a hunt of great deals of meals. Sites like, really help me a lot to get what I look for.

  2. I can’t wait to try out this recipe!
    Could you freeze these before cooking, or would it be best to freeze after they are cooked?

    1. Melissa Goodwin says:

      I freeze them before cooking. If you wanted to freeze them after cooking, you would need to heat them in the oven from their frozen state, so they avoid defrosting into a soggy mush.