These pepita-crusted crispy tuna cakes are super quick, wholesome and delicious!
They're tender on the inside yet crunchy and nutty on the outside and are packed with flavor.
I love pairing them with a bright, fresh green salad with a lemon olive oil dressing.
It makes for a light and yummy meal you can feel good about!
How to make pepita-crusted crispy tuna cakes
You likely have all of the ingredients on hand to make these tuna cakes.
Besides their deliciousness and ease of preparation, the fact that they're made with mainly pantry staples makes me love them even more.
- The main ingredient is wild caught canned tuna and when selecting canned tuna, look for three simple ingredients:
- Wild caught tuna, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
- It will have a mellow taste and the absolute perfect texture for these lil cakes.
- To give this tuna a bit of extra flavor, I added in fresh lemon, oregano, Dijon mustard and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat.
- There is so much dynamic flavor going on, it’s hard to resist eating cake after cake. For real.
- These babes are crusted in crushed pepitas with a little salt for a super crunchy, crispy finish and of course that tender inside.
They are so perfect with a lightly dressed salad, or on a sandwich for something a bit heartier.
Again, the perfect weeknight meal.
- Place pepitas in the bowl of a small food processor and process until crumbly.
- Transfer to a shallow dish and mix with a pinch of coarse salt.
- Place tuna cake ingredients, except olive oil, into a large bowl and mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher until it forms a chunky paste.
- Form mixture into 6 small equal-sized patties. Place cakes into the dish with the crushed pepitas and coat all sides.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium heat.
- Once hot, add cakes and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned and crispy.
- Serve tuna cakes with a fresh spring mix salad with lemon juice and olive oil.
Recipe Substitutions and Alterations
- Tuna: You could use cooked (canned or pouched) crab or salmon instead of tuna.
- Panko: If you don't have Panko, try this recipe with regular breadcrumbs.
- (I like Panko because they're light and fluffy).
- Parsley: You could use flat-leaf Italian or curly parsley, cilantro and/or dill for this recipe.
- Even a little tarragon would be delicious.
- Dijon: You could use whole grain mustard if that's what you have on hand.
- Bake them! Instead of pan-frying them, you can bake them in a 375 degree oven.
- Place cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until set.
- To make them gluten free: Use gluten free breadcrumbs.
- Be sure all other packaged ingredients are gluten free.
- To make them dairy free: This recipe is naturally dairy free!
- To make them nut free: Skip the pepita crust and simply sear the tuna cakes as directed without the crust.
Fabulous and easy tuna recipes:
- Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chips
- Tuna Cucumber Sushi Rolls
- Mediterranean Chickpea and Tuna Salad
Pepita-Crusted Crispy Tuna Cakes
Tuna cakes with parsley, lemon, Dijon and oregano, dusted with a pepita crust and lightly pan fried.
- Prep Time: 10-15 mins
- Cook Time: 10-15 mins
- Total Time: 20-30 mins
- Yield: 6 cakes 1x
- Category: Seafood
- Method: Stove-Top
- Cuisine: American
- ⅓ cup pepitas
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 8 ounces canned or pouched albacore tuna
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- Zest and juice of ½ medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place pepitas in the bowl of a small food processor and process until crumbly. Transfer to a shallow dish and mix with a pinch of coarse salt.
- Place tuna cake ingredients, except olive oil, into a large bowl and mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher until it forms a chunky paste. Form mixture into 6 small equal-sized patties. Place cakes into the dish with the crushed pepitas and coat all sides.
- Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add cakes and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned and crispy.
- Serve tuna cakes with a fresh spring mix salad.
Cooking Tip: You can also bake the tuna cakes. Preheat the oven to 375, place cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until set.
- Serving Size: 1 cake
- Calories: 188
- Sugar: 1g
- Sodium: 266mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 5g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 16g
- Cholesterol: 75mg
Keywords: tuna cakes, cakes, salmon cakes, tuna, seafood, fish, high protein