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Tuna and Potato Patties

Turn a can of tuna into easy Tuna and Potato Patties which have a crisp, crunchy exterior and a tender, flavoursome interior. This is a great budget dinner option that the whole family can enjoy. It is a tasty meal made with staples from the pantry. It is a meal which is quick to make and is easily put together after a busy day.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine International
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Fridge Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10 patties
Calories 193kcal
Author Alexandra


  • 200 g potato
  • 425 g can of tuna in oil, drained well See Note 1
  • 1 medium brown/yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped See Note 2
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste See Note 3
  • ½ cup finely ground cornmeal/polenta, for coating See Note 4
  • ¼ cup olive oil, for frying See Note 5


  • Peel the potato and cut into cubes.
  • Place the potato in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to just cover the potato. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water. Over high heat bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if they are cooked. It should easily slide into the potato.
  • Drain the potato when cooked. Return the potato to the empty saucepan for a minute or two to dry further in the residual heat.
  • Add the potato to a medium size bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Add the well-drained tuna and finely chopped onion and mix together.
  • Add the egg and parsley and mix well. The tuna pieces should have broken down to a fairly fine texture.
  • Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to one hour to allow the mixture to firm up.
  • Shape the mixture into small balls and then flatten into patties, shaping them firmly with your hands. I used an ice cream scoop to make even sized patties.
  • Place the polenta/cornmeal on a large plate. 
  • Coat the patties evenly in the cornmeal and then move to a separate plate.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan until it is hot but not smoking. Gently add the patties to the pan and cook about 3 minutes each side until the exterior is crisp and golden. Avoid moving the patties around, they are fragile. Leave them to cook and firm up. Turn only once if possible. 
  • Cook the Tuna Patties in batches if necessary. Place the first batch on a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven.
  • Serve the Tuna Patties with a wedge of lemon and a delicious salad.
    Alternatively, they make a great burger. Place them in a burger roll with mayonnaise, tomato slices and shredded lettuce. 



  1. I thoroughly drain the tuna by placing it into a fine sieve.
  2. If you prefer, you could use dill instead of parsley. To add a fresh flavour, you could try some lemon zest.
  3. I like spice so I sometimes add cayenne pepper or chilli flakes.
  4. I have used finely ground regular polenta, not the instant variety.
  5. You could use another oil, such as grapeseed or canola.
  6. The Australian tablespoon is 20ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15ml or 3 teaspoons. You may need to adjust the amount accordingly. 


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg