Avocado Tuna Cakes

Every January, I set ambitious goals for myself. I chase them in earnest for a few weeks. Then, before I even realize what’s happened, it’s March and many of my good intentions have evaporated beneath the pressures of everyday day life. This year, I’m trying a new tactic. At the end of each month, I’m taking five minutes to ask myself what worked, what didn’t, and what I’d like to stop, start, or continue doing the next month. On the list for what worked in January and will continue as long as I need to get dinner on the table: Avocado Tuna Cakes.

Baked Avocado Tuna Cakes. Quick, easy, and healthy. The best thing you can do with canned tuna! Budget-friendly, simple, and great for fast dinners and lunches. High protein, low carb recipe. wellplated.com | @wellplated

This post is sponsored by Chicken of the Sea.

Goals I set for myself in the kitchen this year include cutting down on our monthly grocery bill, going meatless twice per week, and eating seafood two to three times per week.

The meatless meal part has been easy—if you need some suggestions, you can check out the vegetarian section of my recipe index—but seafood portion has been harder, especially since I live in landlocked Wisconsin. Good-quality, fresh seafood, while it’s certainly available, is fairly expensive, and it still feels like more of a splurge versus something to be enjoyed several nights a week.

Easy Baked Avocado Tuna Cakes. Quick, healthy, and delicious! This simple, budget-friendly recipe is a family favorite. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Then I remembered an important ingredient that was a staple in my pantry my first few years out of college—canned tuna.

I know what you are thinking: canned tuna? This is a food blog, and she is suggesting canned tuna? And the answer is yes. Yes, I absolutely am. Canned tuna is an incredibly easy, healthy, and budget-friendly way to enjoy seafood. It’s low in fat, high in protein, and, thanks to recipes like these Avocado Tuna Cakes, it’s delicious too!

Now, I will say that not all canned tuna is created equal. You want to look for tuna that’s meaty, comes in good-sized chunks, and that (despite being from a can) tastes relatively fresh. I’ve tried a few different brands, and I keep coming back to Chicken of the Sea. The tuna is good quality and affordable, and the brand even provides customers the ability to go online and trace the source and processing method of every can of tuna they buy.

Easy Baked Avocado Tuna Cakes. Healthy, high-protein, and budget friendly! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

If you feel hesitant about canned tuna, Avocado Tuna Cakes are a great place to start. They’re crispy on the outside, moist and creamy on the inside, and include plenty of fresh ingredients to keep them bright and light. Honestly, if I hadn’t told Ben that I’d used canned tuna in the recipe, I don’t think he even would have known.

And if you already regularly rely on canned tuna as a fast, healthy way to get your protein? You are going to love these baked tuna cakes too!

The combo of avocado and tuna provides double the source of Omega-3s (which are part of the reason the U.S. 2016 Dietary Guidelines advise Americans to eat two to three servings of seafood per week), and it makes the tuna cakes extra filling and juicy too. A splash of lime, handful of cilantro, and dash of hot sauce give the patties a zippy Southwest flare. Finally, because the tuna patties are baked, there is very little clean-up, AND the entire recipe can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. We have a keeper!

Easy Baked Avocado Tuna Cakes. Healthy, low carb, and DELICIOUS! Creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside. A simple, yummy, budget-friendly meal. This is the best recipe with canned tuna! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Ben had his tuna cakes burger-style on a pretzel bun topped with Greek yogurt and more avocado and salsa, while I preferred mine on top of greens. I warmed up the leftovers the next day with cheese. No matter how you enjoy them, these easy Avocado Tuna Cakes are a simple, tasty way to introduce more seafood into your diet—and to land a healthy meal on the table more quickly tonight.

Two things:

  1. A shout-out to my Nourished Planner, which gave me the idea to reflect on what should stop, start, or continue each month. I never knew I could be this much of a planner super fan, but here I am.
  2. Enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card from Chicken of the Sea. Details below the recipe. Good luck!

 

For a step-by-step of how to make this Avocado Tuna Cakes recipe, watch this short video:


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Avocado Tuna Cakes

Baked Avocado Tuna Cakes. Quick, easy, and healthy! Fresh-tasting, high protein, and budget-friendly. Serve them on buns or atop greens for a low-carb option.

Yield: 6 cakes (1/3-cup size each)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Avocado Tuna Cakes:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans Chicken of the Sea EZ-Open Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (plus additional to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg

Optional, for Serving:

  • Whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted whole wheat bread, or a bed of mixed greens
  • Sliced avocado, cheese, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, salsa

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly mash the avocado. Add the tuna, bread crumbs, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and egg. Mix until the ingredients are fairly well combined. (It’s ok if the mixture is a little clumpy.)
  3. Form into 6 patties, then arrange the patties on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, then continue baking until the outsides are lightly crisp and the cakes are cooked through, about 10 additional minutes. Enjoy warm.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat.
  • If you’d like to make the recipe gluten free, use gluten-free bread crumbs. You could also swap ground gluten-free rolled oats. (I haven’t tried either, but I think both would work nicely.)
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 tuna cake

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 102 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 33mg
  • Sodium: 269mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 10g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Bonus: Win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

From now until March 15, Chicken of the Sea is giving away ten $100 Visa gift cards every single week! They’ll be sharing virtual cards with healthy tips and tricks, plus recipe suggestions on their social media. For a chance to win, join the conversation by sharing your own ideas, tips, and inspiration. You can enter the contest via digital form on Chicken of the Sea’s website or Facebook page, or use the hashtag #EatMoreSeafood on Twitter or Instagram. Your suggestions will be used to make future cards and the grand prize winners will receive Chicken of the Sea seafood for a year. You can find more details here.

I am an official ambassador for Chicken of the Sea. Chicken of the Sea provided me with EZ-Open cans for the purpose of this post, as well as compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

56 comments

  1. Love how healthy and full of flavor these are, they would disappear in seconds here!

  2. I put tuna and avocado on my salad for lunch every day. I can’t believe I never thought about combining the two! Love the video too!

  3. I used to make tuna cakes for lunch all the time years ago after seeing a recipe in Cooking Light and for some reason I stopped – thanks for the reminder!!!

  4. I notice that these tuna cakes don’t last for very long in the fridge – only up to 2 days. Would they do okay in the freezer?

    • Hi Annie, I haven’t tried this, but I think that would be fine! You should thaw them in the fridge or microwave and then reheat on the stovetop or in the oven. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  5. Chicken of the Sea is the BETS! LOVE these tuna cakes!

  6. These look and sound delicious! Canned tuna, sardines, and salmon are my go-to pantry staples to help provide Matt and myself with more seafood in our weekly meal plans. I already have gluten free breadcrumbs to use too. :)

  7. That sounds really good! Will be trying these for sure!

  8. also curious if these could be frozen?

    • Hi Amanda, I haven’t tried freezing them, but I think that would be fine! You should thaw them in the fridge or microwave and then reheat on the stovetop or in the oven. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      • Rebekah Moughon Reply

        These look incredible! I will have to try making them fresh, but I’m interested in freezing because I need to have a lot of low-prep meals available over the next couple of months. Would you recommend cooking before freezing or freezing the patties and cooking after thawing?

        Thanks!

        • Hi Rebekah, I haven’t tried freezing them myself, but if you would like to try, I’d recommend cooking them first and then freezing. Then thaw in the microwave or fridge and reheat on the stovetop or in the oven! I hope you enjoy!

  9. Now THIS is what I call a college-approved dinner!  I got tons of canned tuna in my apartment along with some avocados that need to be used up.  SCORE!

  10. hey girl -these look really good! Very creative! Yummy!

  11. Tuna and avocado is such a bomb combo! I love Chicken Of The Sea, so I love this!

  12. Beautiful! I love a good fish cake (:

  13. It is summer here in Nth Qld Australia. These will be a light and tasty meal which wont be a chore to cook up in our hot hot hot weather. Also..my avocado tree is full of fruit so these will be popular. We don’t have that brand of tuna so will use  John West or Saffcol Thankyou so much..just love your recipes😍

    • Thank you so much, Lynda! I am so glad you enjoy my recipes, and it means a lot to me that you would take the time to leave this wonderful comment. 😊 (Also, I’m jealous that you have an avocado tree!)

  14. Just made them with a few modifications because I didn’t have coriander so used parsley and replaced red onion with white and lime juice with lemon. Delicious! The nutrition info you put is way out though. 6 grams of protein only per cake and 80 something calories. I checked and it’s more like 18 grams protein and 211 calories per cake. Thanks for the recipe, it’s a good one to play around with and tuna is definitely an awesome source of protein and omega3s

    Rating: 5
    • Hi! Although some variation is normal, that is definitely a big swing! Were you using My Fitness Pal for your calculation? I doubled checked, and in this case, My Fitness Pal was only pulling 1 can of tuna instead of 2, which definitely throws things off! I updated the nutrition info to the correct 102 calories and 10g of protein per cake. Often, if you just plug in the recipe link, the ingredients that the program uses to calculate the nutrition facts by default are incorrect. I usually try to eyeball them to make sure that they are close and make a substitution if they’re not. This is why it’s important to remember that nutrition information is meant to be a guide versus 100% accurate (you can read more about this in my FAQs).

      Regardless, I’m so happy that you love the recipe! Thanks for trying it out and letting me know.

      • I used caloriecount.com. Funny thing is I’m not even a calorie counter but just wanted to check because I thought 6 grams protein per cake was such a small amount t for something like tuna which is rich in protein. Thanks again

  15. What can I use to swap the avocado with ? I’m allergic to it and your recipe sounds so good !

    • Hi Aline, you’d be experimenting since I’ve never made the recipe without avocado, and it does bind the cakes somewhat, but I think you could just leave it out and have a smaller yield. If the mixture is too dry and not holding together, you could add an egg white or a few tablespoons of milk or water. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    • I would try with an egg mixed in. I make tuna patties regularly and use egg and crushed crackers to bind it.

  16. Omg! These were sooooo yummy!!I am not a big fan of cilantro, but you don’t even taste it! (I did however only use half of what is called for;) I’ll be making these weekly! Super easy!

  17. Made these tonight with some leftover salmon instead of tuna and they were AWESOME!! Served them on top of slices of a lovely Heirloom tomato — Will definitely be making these again!!

    Rating: 5
    • Serving with tomato sounds absolutely delicious, Susan! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you for taking the time to leave this great review!

  18. Oh my!  So delicious!!  I left out the hot sauce and used quick oats instead of bread crumbs cause that’s what I had on hand.  These will absolutely be going into the rotation!

    Rating: 5
  19. My three-year old who loves burgers, didn’t bat an eye when I served him this burger (with cheese). He ate almost the whole thing and it’s a battle getting him to eat seafood of any kind. HUGE WIN! Thanks Erin :)

    • That’s DEFINITELY a huge win, Viki! Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try and leaving this great review. I’m so glad they were enjoyed.

  20. About how many ounces of tuna each are the cans used in this recipe?

  21. I loved this recipe! I look forward to any other recipes you post with canned tuna, since it is so affordable and is usually in my pantry :). In particular, I really appreciated this recipe today because I had a rough day and was TOTALLY considering just hitting the couch with some tortilla chips for “dinner”….but this recipe was so approachable and quick that I made this instead (and of course, feel way better all around for nourishing myself with good food). So it was a lesson in self-care AND a great weeknight recipe for the future….win win! Thanks so much :)

    • Hi Melissa, thank you so much for leaving this comment! It makes me so happy that this recipe was the perfect solution for your dinner. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  22. These look great and I’ve got them on the menu for lunch later this week, I just have a quick question. I already have Panko in my pantry, do you think that would work instead of the whole wheat bread crumbs if I just up the seasonings a bit?

  23. Love making this! I get super nervous trying new things! With the diet i have just began I’ve decided to go on the search for fun health recipes and this one was a great one to add! I’ve passed it a long to a few people as well! 

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Tiana, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for giving this a try and reporting back. I truly appreciate it!

  24. I did make these and the taste was very good but they didn’t  bake that well and they seemed too wet.
    Love this site. Thanks Bobby

    Rating: 2
    • Hi Bobby, I’m sorry to hear that the tuna cakes didn’t turn out as expected! It could be that the tuna was still a little too wet after draining. Thanks for giving the recipe a try, and I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor!

  25. My daughter was introduced to this recipe by a friend…she made them twice in one week! I loved them! I ate them once on top of a salad with hearty greens…fabulous!

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed these, Bonnie! How nice of your daughter and her friend to share the recipe love! :)

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