These Spicy Tuna Cakes are BIG on flavor and low in calories. Combining canned tuna with finely chopped jalapeño, green onions, and cilantro, along with breadcrumbs and Greek yogurt, make these a must-make dinner. Top them with some Chipotle Ranch Dressing for even more flavor!
Make my Salmon Burgers next!
Cast Iron Tuna Patties
Lately, I’ve been making all the tuna recipes. We grew up eating a lot of it, and while I know that fresh fish is healthier, I secretly LOVE the canned stuff. I’ve even been known to eat leftover tuna melts for breakfast, with LOTS of pickles.
Reasons to love this recipe:
- Soft on the inside, and slightly crunchy on the outside.
- Full of a variety of textures – from the crunchy veggies and and the dense tuna.
- Spicy, but not too spicy. Using half of the seeds from the jalapeño adds the perfect amount of spice for me, but if you are adverse to spice, just use the outside of the jalapeño or maybe even a portion of it.
Ingredients needed to make Jalapeño Tuna Cakes:
- Tuna – I use Albacore (Chunk) Tuna in water.
- Jalapeño – I used one large jalapeño, half with seeds, half without. Chop it very finely.
- Onions – Green onions give great crunch and flavor, but you could use red onion as well.
- Cilantro – Finely chopped cilantro adds amazing flavor.
- Egg – One egg needed.
- Yogurt – Just a bit of plain Greek yogurt helps bind everything together.
- Breadcrumbs – I went with Panko breadcrumbs, but you could use any breadcrumbs here.
- Seasonings – Garlic powder, ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Olive Oil – Use olive oil to sauté the tuna cakes.
How to make Spicy Tuna Cakes:
Prep tuna. Strain the tuna in a colander, and chop up the chunks with a fork. Pour it into a mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients. To the bowl, add the finely chopped veggies (jalapeño, green onions, and cilantro), the egg, plain yogurt, breadcrumbs, and seasonings (garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper). Mix well.
Form patties. Use your hands to form about six large tuna patties. You can also make smaller ones, if desired. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so to help them stay together.
Sauté tuna cakes. Heat up a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, and a bit of olive oil. Place about three tuna cakes on skillet at a time, and cook until the both sides are nice and golden brown. This will take a few minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining tuna cakes.
Note: These tuna cakes can fall apart easily, so make sure they are well patted together. Be very gentle when flipping!
Make Chipotle Ranch Dressing. I recommend making a half batch of this dressing for these tuna cakes.
- You can make these gluten-free by using almond flour instead of bread crumbs.
- If you want to cut down on the spiciness, you can omit the seeds of the jalapeño. (Or if you are like me, use them all!)
- Be careful when flipping because they are tender!
- You can add a couple tablespoons of flour to help keep the patties together, but we like them without.
- I recommend doubling these and packing for lunches for the week.
- These tuna cakes can be frozen after cooking. Just thaw out and sauté to reheat.
What to serve with Spicy Tuna Cakes:
All of these tuna recipes use the canned Albacore version. Really delicious and wild-caught too!
Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)
Spicy Tuna Cakes
- 18 oz. canned tuna – drained of liquid (undrained weight is 24 oz.)
- 1 medium jalapeño – diced (half the seeds included)
- 1/3 cup green onions – finely chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro – dinely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil – for frying
- Strain the tuna, and chop up the chunks with a fork. Add to a mixing bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients – the finely chopped jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro – and the egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, and seasonings (garlic powder, cumin, salt, and papper).
- Using your hands, form about six patties from the tuna mixture. Place on a platter, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil and saute about three patties at a time, flipping to make sure both sides are nice and golden brown. Be careful so that the patties don't break apart. They are a bit fragile.
- Serve with a spoonful of Chipotle Ranch Dressing, if desired. Recipe is on the blog.