Tuna Cakes

Stop searching – This is the best and last Tuna Cakes recipe you’ll ever need. Only 8 ingredients and 30 minutes neededGluten-Free. Paleo. Whole 30. Makes 12 healthy tuna patties.

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Ever wonder what you can do with a can of tuna? Well, look no further.

These healthy tuna fish cakes are so easy and delicious, that you’ll want to cook them again and again. It’s a perfect easy paleo and whole 30 lunch recipe.

It’s my favorite way to spruce up a plain can of tuna and transform a cheap, simple ingredient into a truly delicious, gourmet meal.

Our easy tuna patties are healthy because they contain no flour or breadcrumbs. The tuna cakes are bound with egg and sweet potato, which not only adds a delicious depth of flavor, but ensures that it is Paleo and Whole 30 compliant, as well as being gluten-free.

Ingredients to Make Tuna Cakes:

  • canned tuna
  • olive oil
  • sweet potato
  • red bell pepper
  • onion
  • garlic
  • fresh chives
  • lemon juice
  • egg
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley for garnish

How to Make Tuna Cakes:

  1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes and toss into a small pot. Cover with water and add about 1 tsp of salt. Boil until fork tender (Approximately 10 minutes).
  2. While waiting for the potatoes, sauté the onion and red bell pepper until soft.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and add it together will ALL the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix until well combined. I like to smash the mixture with a spoon until the potato is roughly mashed, but still a little chunky.
  5. Use 1/4 cup per tuna cake and form into patties.
  6. Add oil to a large skillet over a medium heat. Carefully add the fishcakes and let them cook for approximately 3 minutes per side. You want them to get a very good sear, a nice golden brown color. This is one way to help the tuna patties stay together.
  7. Serve immediately! with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce, or a dollop of mayonnaise. 


how do you keep fish cakes from falling apart?

The best way to keep them from falling apart is to prepare them ahead of time and keep them refrigerated until needed. You want them to be COLD when you place them in the pan. This will help them to keep their shape.

do fish cakes freeze well?

Yes. When formed into patties, thoroughly wrap the tuna cakes in plastic wrap and keep in an airtight container if possible. This can last approximately 3 months in the freezer.

can you reheat cooked tuna patties?

Yes. To reheat them, place them in a skillet with a little bit of oil over a medium high heat for approximately 10 minutes, turning them often to ensure they stay “crispy” on the outside. Reheating tuna cakes in the microwave will yield a softer cake.

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Tuna Cakes

Stop searching – This is the best and yummiest Tuna Cakes recipe you’ll ever find.  Only 8 ingredients and 30 minutes neededGluten-Free. Paleo. Whole 30. Makes 12 tuna patties.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 4 servings


  • 3 cans Tuna
  • Olive Oil (to taste)
  • 2 Sweet Potato (Approximately 2 Cups Chopped)
  • 1 Red Pepper (Finely Diced)
  • 1 Yellow Onion (Finely Diced)
  • 1 Garlic Clove (Minced)
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1/8 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt (I used course salt, so use less if you’re using fine table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Fresh Parsley (to taste, for garnish, optional)


  • Dice the sweet potato into smallish cubes and boil for 10 minutes in salted water. They should be fork tender.
  • While the sweet potato boils, sauté the diced red pepper and onion in a little bit of oil until the onion is soft.
  • Now mix everything together in a mixing bowl until well combined. I use a wooden spoon to smash the potato as I mix, leaving slightly chunky.
  • Form the mixture into fish cakes. I used 1/4 cup per cake and this yielded 12 cakes.
  • Heat up oil in skillet over a medium high heat. Once the pan is hot – carefully place the fish cakes in the pan and allow them to get a good golden brown sear on each side. Let them sit for at least 3 minutes per side.
  • Once cooked, serve immediately with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce or a dollop of mayonnaise.



  • I used 6oz water packed tuna cans. I drained the water. Although, it is not an exact science. Slightly smaller, or oil packed cans will work fine.
  • When draining the tuna, be sure to drain the tuna cans WELL, or the mixture might be too runny.
  • Mash the potato with the spoon while combining the ingredients. This help bind the ingredients together in order to form the cakes.
  • To help keep the Tuna Cakes from falling apart, prepare the patties well ahead and refrigerate until ready to cook. When the cakes are cold throughout before cooking, they tend to keep their shape better.

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  1. 5 stars
    These were absolutely delicious! I drizzled them with spicy mayo and served with a side of Asian-inspired sweet potato noodles. Has anyone made them without the egg though? My daughter’s allergic and I’m thinking I may try my vegan mayo as a binder. I tried an egg replacement previously and didn’t bind at all.

  2. 5 stars
    These were quick easy and turned out delicious! I used a Néw Jersey sweet potato and only one but still turned out fabulous! My second batch I cooked longer for a darker crust and it was definitely worth it

  3. 5 stars
    I’m an awful cook but these came out great, they’re so easy and addicting. No issues with them falling apart. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe was a life saver! I didn’t have red peppers or chives. But I did have left over sweet potatoes which was great because they were already cold, so my patties didn’t fall apart. So good, quick and easy to make. Thank you!

  5. Just made them and had no trouble with them sticking together. This is what I did:
    Instead of mashing the mixture with a fork, I used a potato masher and mashed everything together like I would potatoes. I used a quarter cup measuring cup, filled it to the brim with mixture, and packed it in. Then, turned the measuring cup upside down on a plate, gave it a good tap, and out the mixture came in a solid piece. I pushed it down slightly with the palm of my hand and it worked perfectly!

  6. 3 stars
    On the upside, the flavor of this mixture is excellent! I would not have thought of combining sweet potato with tuna. On the downside, there was no way this mixture could be formed into balls. They completely fell apart. We cooked it as tuna hash. I went back to look at the recipe, and nowhere does it say that I needed to mash the potato (or most of it anyway). Mashing is kind of mentioned in the blog, but not in the recipe, where it needs to be. I am making notes on my recipe so that next time I know to do that. So 3 stars for flavor; 2 stars subtracted for lack of clarity in the recipe.

    1. Hi Summer, I am so sorry that the recipe card wasn’t clear enough. It is a definite problem with our older recipes and we’ve been hard at work updating our recipe cards and blog posts with very clear steps, step by step photos and FAQs. We’re working down a list of most to least popular content, and this recipe‘s revision is coming up soon. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  7. We made these tonight with a pint of home canned, water packed tuna drained. They were very tasty and we will make them again. The only problem we had was the were very soft and difficult to flip in the pan. Next time we will try adding a bit of panko to stiffen them up a bit. Thanks!

    1. Hi David – glad you enjoyed the flavor of these tuna cakes. When we make them, they are definitely on the softer side as well, but we usually do not have issues with flipping them. If you are ok with panko in your diet, it will definitely help stiffen them up:)

  8. Hi, I loved these!!! So delicious and healthy! Mine did crumble a bit so next time I’d add another egg. The mixture was also quite watery before i made the cakes – I think it was maybe my potato – i might mash it next time or use the rind of the lime instead of the juice. I didn’t have paprika so I used 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper. I really appreciated you sharing this recipe. It was very pantry friendly, healthy and tasty!

  9. I followed your recipe to a tee. They fell apart. I didn’t like this recipe. Ended up adding almond flour to get it to bind.

    1. Hello Therese. I’m so sorry the recipe didn’t work for you! Since I wasn’t in the kitchen with you, it’s impossible to know what went wrong. This recipe is part of our personal lunch menu rotation, and they’ve never failed. I will add them to our menu for this week and recheck the quantities on my recipe card to be sure. Thanks for the feedback.

    1. I used 6oz cans, water packed and I drained it. It’s not an exact science though – I’ve used 5oz oil packed cans as well. Also, I’ve never NOT drained tuna cans, but I’ll be sure to add this information to the recipe card.

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