Oven-Baked Tuna Cakes (Croquettes if You’re Fancy)

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Heather says:

Of all the recipes in all the world, never did I think the kids would like this one for tuna cakes. Crab is a bit on the spendy side for a herd of finicky kids, so I figured I’d give budget-friendly tuna a try. I expected turned up noses and arguing about at least giving it a try. I did not expect, “Mom are there any more?”

Now, when I ask what I should add to the menu for dinner, I can count on two answers, tuna cakes from the younger crowd and tacos from Ray. Other than that, I’m on my own with the decisions, for the most part.

Since Lent started yesterday, now is a good time to add a solid recipe for Fridays, when for many, meat is taboo. That’s not the only reason to give this budget-friendly recipe a try. If you are gluten-free, the 4C GF Breadcrumbs work perfectly. No alterations are needed as they are very similar in texture to panko-style bread crumbs.

I generally triple the recipe, quadrupling if all six of us are here.  (And that’s the real reason they are baked and not fried, it has very little to with health and everything to do with patience) If the mixture seems dry, add another egg. Use your judgment; it’s fairly forgiving.

oven baked tuna cakes recipe

  • 2  5 oz cans chunk light tuna in water, drained well
  • 1/2 small, yellow or white onion, diced finely
  • 1 generous TBSP dijon mustard (in other words, it’s okay if it’s heaping)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  freshly ground black pepper (to taste, if you like pepper, use a heavy hand)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cups

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a shallow dish, place 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the onion and then the tuna, finally fold in the remaining bread crumbs and just mix until barely combined.

Using clean hands, mold the mixture into cakes. (Roll into a ball and then pat flat, to about 1/2″ thick). If you want little appetizer style, you might get 6 to a can. If you’re envisioning restaurant-style, two for a meal, you’ll get 4 total.

As you roll your tuna cakes, dip them in the remaining bread crumbs and place them on a greased baking sheet. If you want your cakes to brown more than they would otherwise, brush them with olive oil before baking putting them in the oven. Flip after 12 – 13 minutes and cook for another 10 for small crab cakes and 13 – 15 for dinner size.

Serve with tartar sauce, balsamic reduction, or just dijon mustard.

We like our cakes served with jalapeño cheese grits and okra or sautéed greens.


Some more yummy tuna recipes:

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