Crunchy Healthy Tuna Patties

a pretty pattie

It’s Good Friday and I wanted to end Lent with a traditional Friday meal from years ago – Tuna Patties, also called Tuna Cakes. These could also be made with crab, but tuna is a more traditional Lenten ingredient. And if you’re not observing a “meatless day” you could try these with chunks of chicken.
My mother used to make these now and then, but I didn’t have her recipe. I played around with a few versions and came up with one that I hope you like.

First try was a bit dry

salsa was good, but they lacked texture

add oats

chop sundried tomatoes

But before I get to what worked, let me take you on the journey. Recipes I found online used heavy sauces or worse, canned soup.
In the first experiment, I used bread crumbs and patted the patties in flour before frying them. I loved the sun dried tomatoes, garlic and Dijon mustard, but felt they needed a few changes.
In the next batch, I skipped the flour and served them with salsa. They had loads of flavor, but the texture lacked crunch.
So I got out one of my old standby foods – oats. Instead of bread crumbs, I used oats. And instead of rolling them in flour, I rolled the patties in crushed whole wheat Ritz crackers. They were delicious with or without the salsa. Ken suggested a cheese sauce would also be very good. I agree that it would, but I was trying to keep the fat content down. So here’s the final version, which will serve 2-4 depending on your appetites. I discovered that these heat up easily in the microwave, so don’t worry about left overs.
• This recipe is easy to cut in half for one or two people.
• If you use the oats instead of bread crumbs, put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes or more if you have the time. The patties will handle better. If you cannot wait, they’ll be messy, but are doable. You could make these in the morning, put in the fridge and just fry them up for dinner.
• Drain the water from the tuna, but don’t squeeze every lovin’ drop out of the can. Gentle.

2 cans tuna packed in water, drained
2 eggs, whisked
½ cup oats (or bread crumbs)
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced (also optional)
1 cup crushed whole wheat Ritz crackers
1 TBS olive oil

crush crackers

fry in a bit of olive oil

Whisk eggs in a bowl and add the tuna.
Add oats, mustard and tomatoes and garlic, if using them.
If you can let this rest for 30 min, it will be easier to handle.
Put the crushed crackers in a shallow bowl.
Make four patties and dip them in the crackers on both sides.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Cook the patties 1-2 minutes on each side until browned. Don’t overcook, as the tuna is already cooked.
Serve with salsa or a cheese sauce.
The crackers really added that crunchy texture which was fabulous. I love tuna and the mustard and sundried tomatoes enhanced the flavor even more. “Try it, you’ll like it!” (And old advertising slogan – but I can’t remember the product. Anyone?)

add salsa

breakfast lunch or dinner

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