These golden brown healthy tuna patties are easy to make and perfect for sandwiches, salads, or to eat on their own!
Hello, friends! I’ve been wanting to share these beautiful and delicious healthy tuna patties for a while now, so glad I’m finally getting the chance! I feel like my productivity level in the last couple of months has been super low. I get about half of what I intend to do done, thanks to pregnancy aches and pains, and low motivation. But, I know it’s temporary and will all be worth it when we finally get to be Hungry Baby #2!
I’ve been on a bit of a tuna kick this pregnancy. (It’s safe to eat tuna in pregnancy no more than 2-3x a week, and usually, I stick with skipjack, which has low levels of mercury.) Surprisingly it was one of those things that always sounded good, and thanks to Costco, my pantry is always full of cans of tuna ready to be used! I’ve had a fair amount of healthy tuna casserole, tuna melts on English muffins, healthy tuna melts, tuna melt quesadillas, and taco tuna cakes in the last few months, but I think these patties might win for my favorite tuna recipe ever!
The patties are big enough to be considered tuna “burgers,” but still juicy and incredibly flavorful. They take less than 10 minutes to make, could absolutely be frozen (although I didn’t try it because they went too fast), and work for meal prep for a healthy protein source for the week. Win! Win! Win!
So, I have TWO pet peeves about tuna patties/burgers. My first pet peeve is if they are too fishy. I’m looking at you Costco Mahi Mahi burgers, soooooo fishy. I like fish, but I don’t want to be drinking the sea while eating, ya know? The second is if they are too dry. That’s a description of food I learned from my husband. Most of my food growing up was fast food or cooked to a burnt crisp, which is how my grandmother cooked intentionally (born in the great depression, all food must be cooked well) and how my mother cooks unintentionally (impatiently cooked everything on the highest heat possible.) So, needless to say, dry didn’t describe some of my food. It described most if not all of it. So dry, wasn’t in my vocab to describe food because that’s just how it was.
Then I met my husband, the sauce king, and his complaints about “dry” food were intriguing. I started to realize the texture and moisture of food did differ significantly. While nine times out of ten, I could still care less if food is dry (by his standards anyway), I still probably wouldn’t even notice. I do now care when it comes to fish. Dry fish taste like leathery sandpaper soaked in the ocean. And not the good kind of salty leather like my grandma’s pork chops, either. So, when I describe these burgers as flavorful and juicy with Mr. Hungry’s stamp of approval, you know I’m talking about the real deal here!
How to Make Healthy Tuna Patties
Start by mixing up all your ingredients except for avocado oil; we will use that to fry our fish patties later. Let the mixture sit for 5 or so minutes to let the oats absorb any excess liquid and start to act as a binder. Now, this mixture will feel too wet to be turned into a burger, but I promise you it will work out just fine! (I made these a bajillion times and never had an issue with them sticking together.)
I used a measuring cup to plop down about 1/3 of a cup into the skillet and then used a spoon to spread out the mixture to become a patty, repeat four times for four patties. (Divide up any remaining tuna mixture among the patties.) I kept my heat level around medium-ish, no higher than medium-high, cooking for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown on each side and fully set.
Also, a quick note here, I used two Costco size 7-ounce cans of tuna. If you don’t have the giant cans from Costco, you can use 3 regular-sized (5-ounce) cans of tuna instead.
Healthy Tuna Patties
- Combine all ingredients except avocado oil in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for five minutes to allow the oat flour time to absorb excess liquid. The batter will be slightly runnier than you would expect for a burger recipe, but that's okay!
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high with avocado oil in it. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, add batter into skillet and spread out to form patties. The batter will make four patties, as shown in the process photos above.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and fully set in the center. Serve immediately or save for up to 3 days.