5 from 1 vote

Easy Tuna Fishcakes with Potato (and Tinned Tuna!) 

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These homemade tuna fishcakes are delightfully crispy panko outside and creamy potato inside. Great as an appetizer or on salads for extra protein.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
£1.04
Makes: 4
mains
British
Freezable

These seared tuna fishcakes have a deliciously crispy outside and a savoury center made with potato, tinned tuna, and pickled jalapeños. These homemade fishcakes are an easy weeknight meal, as they only take about 20 minutes to create.

Golden browned fishcakes, piled on a plate with spirals of spring onion and a small bowl of dip and a container of sauce in partial view.

Why you’ll love this recipe

These tuna patties are pan-fried (aka no deep fryer), so they use less fat and still turn out tasty. They’re served with a delicious sauce made with mayo and sriracha, adding the perfect amount of creamy heat to the patties.

No deep frying – These yummy tuna fishcakes are pan-fried, not deep fried. That means, there’s less fat/oil used when making this tasty recipe than other similar tuna and potato recipes.

Sriracha mayonnaise – A creamy, spicy mayo is the perfect accompaniment to this tuna fish cakes recipe.

Quick and easy – These fish patties require only a few ingredients and steps, plus they’re ready in less than 30 minutes.

Cheap – This is one of the most budget-friendly recipes with tinned tuna, with less than £3.50 per serving.

Versatile – These tinned tuna fish cakes can be enjoyed as an appetizer, topping for a salad, or a main entrée alongside yummy sides like mashed potatoes.

If you love fishcakes or tuna, try my ; Easy Salmon Fishcakes (with tinned salmon!), o Easy Tomato Tuna Pasta Bake and Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad

How to keep tuna patties from falling apart

When making tuna fishcakes, you can prevent them from falling apart by ensuring the spicy tuna fish cakes are the right consistency before adding the breadcrumbs. They should not be overly wet from too much moisture in the canned tuna or too much egg. Another way to prevent them from falling apart is avoiding frying the patties when they’re too warm.

If your tuna fish cake recipe is falling apart, you can add another egg to the mixture. Or, if you notice the fishcakes are too wet, add extra breadcrumbs or a bit of flour to help bind the patties. You can also try a different type of tuna to fix the consistency of the cakes. Finally, try chilling the patties in the fridge before cooking them to help them solidify a bit.

Can you make tuna fish cakes in the air fryer?

If you want to cut down on the oil used for this recipe even more, you can use an air fryer to make these tuna fishcakes. I recommend cooking the tuna cakes for 15 minutes at 350°F (180°C). Be sure to use cooking spray to help the canned tuna patties crisp up and get golden brown.

Pair this recipe with some easy airfryer dishes ; Airfryer Hash Browns, Airfryer Frozen Fries and Air Fryer Green Beans

Ingredients

Ingredients to make the tuna fishcakes laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Tinned Tuna – These tuna fishcakes are primarily made with tinned tuna, which offers protein and flavour to the patties. Other tinned fish, like canned salmon, will also work.

Pickled Jalapeños – The jalapeños add a tangy, spicy flavour to the patties. You can also use regular chopped jalapeños if you prefer to skip the tangy taste. For those with a heat sensitivity, you can skip this ingredient altogether if necessary.

Panko Crumbs – The crispy outside of this tuna fishcake recipe is partly due to pan-frying but also from the panko crumbs. You can also use regular breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs if you prefer.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

Here are a few ways to easily adjust the tuna fishcakes to your preferences. Instead of panko crumbs, you can use crushed crackers or flour to make crispy tuna patties. To create a different flavour in these easy tuna fish cakes, consider adding fresh herbs or parmesan cheese.

For a higher amount of protein, use Greek yoghurt instead of mayo to create the dipping sauce. If you don’t like sriracha, feel free to use another hot sauce to create a creamy, spicy dipping sauce.

Here are some other tasty dishes to serve with the fishcakes; Crispy Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Chilli Mayo, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli and The Best Buttered Sauteed Leeks

How to make tuna fishcakes

  1. Add the potatoes to heavily salted boiling water. Set a timer for 15 minutes and cook the potatoes until they are fork tender (Image 1).

2. Then finely slice the spring onions (Image 2).

2 step by step photos, the first with peeled potatoes in water in a saucepan and the second with chopped spring onion on a chopping board with a knife.

3. For a fancy garnish, slice the greener end of the spring onion into thin strips and place in an ice bath, this will cause them to curl (Image 3).

4. Meanwhile, to a large mixing bowl, add the tuna, spring onion, egg, chilli flakes, dried coriander, jalapenos and a pinch of pepper (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with spring onion slices in iced water in a bowl and the second with a bowl of tuna, egg, and other ingredients.

5. Add the drained potatoes to a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer into the bowl with the tuna (Image 5).

6. Stir the mashed potatoes to combine, then stir the flour into the mix (Image 6). 

2 step by step photos, the first with mashed ptoatoes and tuna mix in a bowl and the second with the potato and tuna mixed then flour added.

7. Add a layer of panko breadcrumbs onto a baking tray (Image 7).

8. Make up 8 tuna fishcakes from the mixture, coating each with the panko breadcrumbs by placing onto the tray, flipping and patting the breadcrumbs to bind with the fishcakes (Image 8). 

2 step by step photos, the first with a baking tray with breadcrumbs and a hand holding a fishcake and the second the fishcakes made up on the baking tray.

9. Fry the fishcakes in a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes (Image 9).

10. Rotate the fishcakes once golden and crispy. Serve with a Sriracha/mayo mix and enjoy! (Image 10).

2 step by step photos, the first with 4 fishcakes in a frying pan and the second with the golden browned fish cakes rotated in the pan.

Satisfy any cravings for comforting meals and try my ; Southwest Ground Turkey and Rice Skillet, The Easiest Marmite Pasta (3 ingredients!) and BEST Fish Finger Sandwich in 15 minutes

A golden browned fishcake held in a hand over a plate of fishcakes with spirals of spring onion and a sauce container next to the plate.

Tips for the best result

Make sure you steam your potatoes after boiling to remove any remnant of water before adding to the fish cakes
Tuna fishcakes need to be a certain texture in order to not fall apart when you pan-fry them. I recommend following this step to ensure this tuna patties recipe is not too soft/wet.

Avoid using instant mashed potatoes
Unfortunately, instant mashed potatoes are too liquidy to work well with this recipe. Freshly made mashed potatoes will yield the best results. You can also use leftover mashed potato from earlier in the week.

Don’t use too many breadcrumbs
Just like you don’t want the patties to be overly wet, they should also not be too dry. Be sure to use just enough to coat the outsides of the patties.

Make ahead instructions

I recommend making these tuna fishcakes fresh when possible, as they’ll be the crispiest. However, you can make these tuna fish can patties ahead of time if needed. You can either make them partially by forming the patties with or without their panko crust, then keeping them in the fridge until you’re ready to fry.

Or, you can follow the recipe below and fully fry them, then allow them to cool. They will stay good in the fridge for a few days. When you’re ready to eat them, heat them up in the air fryer, microwave, or pan with a small bit of oil.

What to have with fish cakes

These tuna fishcakes are delicious with quite a few sides. I recommend enjoying them with soup, over salad or rice, or with vegetables like mushy peas. For a simpler flavour, serve them with a lemon wedge. You can also use tartar sauce or make my sriracha mayo for a boost of flavour.

Leftover storage and reheat instructions

Refrigerator: If you have leftover patties, allow them to cool fully after cooking. Then, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. They will stay good for up to three days.

Freezer: If you have doubled or tripled the batch, you can freeze extra tuna fishcakes to enjoy later. You can freeze the patties before or after they’re cooked. Whether you freeze them before or after cooking will determine how long to reheat them. I recommend reheating them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 25 minutes (uncooked) or 12 minutes (pre-cooked). You can also reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes.

Reheat: frozen or thawed? The best part about this recipe is that you can reheat the frozen patties without defrosting them. Follow the notes above to reheat them in the oven or air fryer. If you’re heating the patties from the fridge, they will take about 10 minutes to reheat in the oven. It should only take about five minutes to reheat them in the air fryer.

Here are some useful tips on reheating : How to Reheat Rotisserie Chicken, The Best Way To Reheat Salmon and The Best Way to Reheat Baked Ziti

Golden browned fishcakes, piled on a plate with spirals of spring onion and a small bowl of dip and a container of sauce and a bowl with water and spirals of spring onions.

FAQs

Can I use leftover mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can use mashed potatoes from earlier in the week to create these tuna fishcakes. Be sure to use mashed potatoes that are not too watery, as they can cause the patties to fall apart.

Could you use instant potatoes?

I do not recommend using instant potatoes for this recipe. They are too soft from the moisture and will not help keep the patties together.

Can I bake these instead of pan frying them?

You can bake these patties in the oven for 10 minutes at 350°F (180°C). First, add some cooking spray to the patties to help them crisp up.

Why are my tuna patties dry?

There are a few reasons why the patties may be dry. If you overmix the fishcakes, it can cause them to be dry. Adding too many breadcrumbs or using ingredients that are too large can also cause the fishcakes to be overly dry.

Should I rinse canned tuna before using it?

If you’re using canned tuna in water, there’s no need to rinse it. Simply drain the tuna, then follow the directions noted below.

If you tried this Tuna Fishcakes recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

Easy Tuna Fishcakes

Print
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
£1.04
mains
British
Freezable
Servings: 4
These homemade tuna fishcakes are delightfully crispy panko outside and creamy potato inside. Great as an appetizer or on salads for extra protein.

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes, approx 14 oz/ 400g, peeled and sliced in half (£0.35)
  • 300 g (2 cans) tuna in brine (£0.59x2)=(£1.18)
  • 1 egg (£1.50/6)=(£0.25)
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapenos, finely chopped (£1.70/4)=(£0.43)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped (£0.59)
  • 70 g panko (£1.10)
  • Optional lime wedges to serve

Cupboard Essentials

  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Add the potatoes to heavily salted boiling water. Set a timer for 15 minutes and cook the potatoes until they are fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, to a large mixing bowl, add the tuna, spring onion, egg, chilli flakes, dried coriander, jalapenos and a pinch of pepper.
  • Add the drained potatoes to a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer into the bowl with the tuna. Stir to combine, then stir the flour into the mix.
  • Add a layer of panko breadcrumbs onto a baking tray. Make up 8 tuna fishcakes from the mixture, coating each with the panko breadcrumbs by placing onto the tray, flipping and patting the breadcrumbs to bind with the fishcakes.
  • Fry in a pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, rotating once golden and crispy.
  • Serve with a Sriracha/mayo mix and enjoy!
  • Note: for a fancy garnish, slice the greener end of the spring onion into thin strips and place in an ice bath, this will cause them to curl.

Notes

  • Steam potatoes after boiling to remove excess water, ensuring the fishcakes maintain the right texture and don't fall apart during frying.
  • Use freshly made mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes instead of instant, which are too liquidy for this recipe.
  • Use a moderate amount of breadcrumbs to avoid making the patties too dry; just enough to coat the outsides.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 21g
Calories: 439kcal
Carbohydrates: 37g
Protein: 27g
 

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