Family Recipes! It’s Time for Granny’s Cripsy and Easy Tuna Cakes!
Many of my recipes are inspired by meals I remember having at my grandmother’s house, that my Mom made or recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation through my husband’s family. I’m excited to bring you a new page and category called “Family Recipes.” You’ll find recipes like these easy, crispy four-ingredient tuna cakes, inspired by childhood memories, or family favorites, old and new!Jump to Recipe
If you follow me on Instagram you saw my post about some glass containers that I got from my grandmother. I LOVE shooting pics of my recipes with vintage glass. Since I’ve been thinking a lot about my vintage glass containers, I’m feeling nostalgic and this is the perfect post to include my Granny’s Tuna Cake recipe for you! (Or as close to the original recipe as I can remember.) She used to let me drain the tuna and make the patties when I was little.
I hope you’ll try these simple, tuna cakes. They are made with just a few ingredients, but you can add minced vegetables, garlic, sriracha, or other seasonings. This recipe is what I based my Salmon Cakes recipe on. Some may consider these tuna cakes a cheap quick meal, but I consider them a treat!
Granny’s Tuna Cakes (Quick & Easy 4 Ingredient Tuna Cakes)
- heavy bottomed skillet, non-stick foil-lined sheet pan or air fryer.
- medium-sized bowl
- 2 eggs If you don't have eggs add extra mayo!
- 2 tbsp Kraft mayonnaise with olive oil You can skip the mayo if you'd like. Gran used Miracle Whip.
- ½ cup saltines Crushed, roughly 1/2 cup. Ritz or butter crackers are amazing in this recipe!
- 12 oz tuna packed in water Strained. Cans or pouches.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil Coconut oil, or red palm oil works well, or use a little spray oil for air-frying. Gran used "bacon drippins'" or Crisco.
- 1 tsp parsley Dried or fresh, chopped.
- 1 tbsp onion Or scallions, very finely minced.
- ¼ tsp black pepper You could also add a sprinkle of garlic powder or lemon pepper.
- ½ cup Panko For extra crispy crunchiness, coat the patties in panko crumbs! Season with salt & pepper, or any seasoning blend you like!
- Add two eggs to a medium bowl and whisk with a fork.
- Add mayonnaise to the bowl and stir. Add optional ingredients like finely minced fresh onions, black pepper and/or parsley, or other seasonings. NOTE: If your crackers are good and salty, you won't need to add any salt.
- Crush saltine crackers to fill a ½ cup measuring cup, and add to the bowl. Don't pulverize them, leave them chunky. TIP: If you are short on tuna and need to stretch the recipe, leave them chunky and add an additional ¼ cup.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed or cast iron pan to medium-high. (Or prepare the air fryer or lightly oil a sheet pan to oven fry.)
- Strain the tuna very well and add to the bowl. Mix everything together gently. Don't over mix or they will become dense!
- Form the mixture into about 8-10 patties. If you like them super crispy form 10-12 small, thinner patties. They will be moist, you will have to handle carefully and quickly to keep them from falling apart. (If you have time, try coating them in Panko before frying like I do my Salmon Cakes.)
- Pan fry carefully in hot oil for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Be careful, they will spatter in the hot oil. If you press with your finger they should spring back. If your finger leaves an indent, they are not quite done.
- (If using an air fryer, spray the basket well and gently lay them in a single layer. Spray a little oil on their tops. Fry on high heat until browned on top, flip, spray a little oil on the second side, and air fry a minute or two until they brown. Not too long because they are also still cooking from the bottom in that hot air fryer!)
- (If oven frying, bake about five to ten minutes at 425°F or until browned on the bottom and flip, then bake a couple more minutes until browned on the second side.)
- Serve with lemon zest, a squeeze of fresh lemon, in a sandwich, or with a fancy mayo or spiced yogurt. I like to mix homemade yogurt with Sriracha!
- The calorie count posted is with 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil added. If you air fry or oven fry you will use much less! You can spray both sides with spray oil.
- If you haven’t tried the new Reynolds Wrap non-stick aluminum foil, it works amazingly well for these recipes when you oven fry!
- I’ve made these in my Instant Pot with my Mealthy Crisp Lid and they come out great! Especially if I roll them in Panko crumbs right before frying. If you don’t have one, check it out on Amazon! I love it, and it works great for two people. If I’m making a larger batch, I pan fry or oven fry.
- These also are wonderful with Ritz or butter crackers, or even plain bread crumbs, but the saltine crackers really make these awesome!
- When/if we have these leftovers, I make sandwiches with thin-sliced bread, these Heinz Sweet & Spicy Pickle Chips, and some mayo or homemade yogurt spiced up with Sriracha.
If you love this easy recipe, try my Salmon Cake recipe! I like to use red palm oil to fry them in for color.