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

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.

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

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

About These Tasty Tuna Cakes

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 (just like canned salmon in Salmon Croquettes) 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.

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.

Just like this Shrimp Burger, they’re crispy on the outside, moist and creamy on the inside, and include plenty of fresh ingredients to keep them bright and light.

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!

Avocado Tuna Cakes—A Nutritional Powerhouse

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. (These Salmon Burgers are also a great source of omega-3s.)

A splash of lime, handful of cilantro, and dash of hot sauce give the patties a zippy Southwest flair.

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! (Not feeling tuna? Try this Salmon Patty Recipe!)

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

How to Serve These Tuna Cakes

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.

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

Avocado Tuna Cakes

4.65 from 17 votes
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.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

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

Ingredients
  

For the Avocado Tuna Cakes:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado peeled and pitted
  • 10 ounces solid white albacore tuna in water drained (look for wild caught)
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • 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.)
  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1tuna cakeCalories: 102kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 10gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 269mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1g

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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.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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89 Comments

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  1. 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 :)

    1. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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! 5 stars

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

  4. 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 Bobby2 stars

    1. 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!

  5. 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!5 stars

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

  6. Just tried these tonight, Etin..they’re awesome! At first I thought..tuna and avocado paired? – okaay. But it really works! I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been having a little trouble with my oven or what but mine did not look like yours in the picture. They steamed a lot but they didn’t get very crispy. So, I transferred them to a pan and crisped them up in a bit of olive oil. Voila!

    We served them on toasted buns and mixed sour cream and sriracha for the topping. Absolutely delish. Definitely one recipe we’ll be making again!4 stars

    1. Cat, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you so much for giving it a try and for taking the time to report back!

  7. I’m wondering if this could be made without the bread crumbs for a low carb recipe? Maybe with ground pork rinds instead?

    1. Hi Marianne, I have only tried pork rinds once or twice, but since they are pretty oily and not dry like bread crumbs, I’m not positive that would work, and I would imagine they’d change the final flavor too. If you want to experiment, I’d love to hear how it comes out!

  8. Thank you for your response! I ended up  putting two low carb pitas in the food processor and tried that instead! I also used canned salmon rather than tuna..I’ll let you know how they taste!

  9. I had to make a few adjustments just due to deciding to make it last-minute and not having a few ingredients but they turned out really well. It was a fast and easy tuna burger that I will definitely make again. 5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Tierney! Thank you so much for taking the time to make them and report back!

  10. This was AMAZING! No cilantro for me–I had to use a bit of Panko- and I also had to fry them slowly in a pan (oven is acting stupid)–I would have never thought of combining this together. Again, amazing! Thank you!!!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Darlene! I’m happy to hear the tuna cakes were a hit.

  11. These were delicious, and easy to make! My whole family loved them, they disappeared very quickly! Thank you very much for the recipe, I will definitely be making them again!5 stars

    1. Hi Perla, I have not experimented with a flax egg in this recipe, so I cannot say for certain. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes.

  12. These tuna cakes are very easy to make and packs in a lot of flavor! I have made these with/without avocado for my boyfriend who is allergic and both versions tasted great. I subbed an extra egg for the avocado-less version. I packed these babies for lunch at the beach one day and had my friends try them. They were so good that one of my friends had me make them for him. After learning to make it himself, he made these all week for his meal prep!5 stars

    1. Definitely Sasha! I’d cook them then freeze them. Let thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat them gently on the stove. I’m so glad you loved them!

  13. Found this recipe while looking for salmon patties. I decided to make these instead, since I had everything. While trying to make it a meal, I decided to serve them with sticky rice and a sunomomo salad, since we love sushi. I doubled the patties recipe, and my family fought over them .
    Will definitely make this again!4 stars

  14. Very very flavorful and easy to make. The combination of the lime juice and hot sauce was the perfect combo5 stars

  15. This is a great recipe! I used rolled oats instead of bread crumbs and they turned out really well. My whole family enjoyed it, including my 2 year old :)5 stars

  16. The flavors in this recipe were delicious. The problem I had was that the patties were too wet and didn’t crisp up or solidify when I baked them. I probably didn’t drain the tuna well enough? They kind of fell apart when I tried to flip them, so I ate them in deconstructed form. Still tasted great topped with some yogurt, lemon, and hot sauce. I’ll definitely be trying these again4 stars

    1. Hi Gwen! Definitely! I’d cook them then freeze them. Let thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat them gently on the stove. Hope you enjoy them!

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