One of my most favorite shelf-stable foods during this season of corona-cooking is packaged tuna. Not only does it last forever, it’s such a versatile ingredient. Lately, I’ve been making these Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes on repeat. Only one out of three of my boys enjoys them, but I LOVE them and so does my husband. It’s important to remember that while we plan meals for our entire family, we prioritize foods that we, as adults enjoy. Our kids will benefit from the exposure!

Fish for the Entire Family: Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes

tuna cakes on a plate

Heart Health

Current guidelines recommend we eat 8 oz or more per week of seafood, including fish and shellfish, for reducing our risk of heart disease. (Currently, we eat around 2.7 oz/week).⁣⁣ The American Heart Association recommends 1000 milligrams of heart-healthy fats EPA+DHA/day for people with heart disease & two meals of oily fish/week for people without heart disease.⁣⁣

  • 3 oz. Albacore tuna ~500-1000 omega-3’s ⁣⁣
  • 3 oz. Light tuna ~300-500 omega-3’s⁣⁣

We used a mixture of both albacore and light tuna in our Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes.

Brain Health

Since our brains are 60% fat; eating more omega-3 fats found in fish help improve brain function. ⁣ Kids who eat fish at least 1x/week sleep better and have an IQ about 4.8 points who seldom or never eat fish. ⁣I’d say that is more important than ever now that I’M in charge of their schooling!

Stress & Immune Function

Children who consume more fish have less anxiety and better focus. Omega-3’s have been shown to reduce behavior problems and aggression in children.  Omega-3’s DHA fats improved children’s immune response & lowered the risk of some allergic disease & upper respiratory infections. ⁣
As you can see, canned or packaged tuna is a superfood when there is lack of access to fresh fresh. It’s an affordable superfood that supports both our mental and immune function during this season of stress. We hope you enjoy these Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes as much as we do. God speed, friends. Stay safe and at home.

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tuna cakes on a plate

Zesty Lemon Tuna Cakes

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cakes 1x


  • 1011 oz. canned or tuna in a pouch (I used 1/2 light tuna and 1/2 albacore tuna)
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. plain greek yogurt
  • 12 T. dried parsley (dill would be nice, too)
  • 1/31/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice (feel free to add the zest!)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1 T. olive oil


  1. Using a colander, drain any liquid from tuna.
  2. Next, mix tuna, mayo, yogurt, egg, and parsley.
  3. Fold in breadcrumbs, finely chopped onion, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and dried parsley – try not to over mix. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. In a medium-large sauté pan, warm olive oil over medium-heat.
  5. Form tuna into 6-8 patties and lightly press into the pre-heated sauté pan.
  6. Fry until nicely browned on each side. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes.


If your patties are too “mushy” and won’t stay in a patty, add additional panko bread crumbs.


  • Serving Size: Patties
  • Calories: 167
  • Sugar: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 374.9 mg
  • Fat: 5.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 15.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 52.6 mg