Turn a couple cans of tuna into these tasty little Tuna Patties. They're a great project to cook with kids or make a quick and easy weeknight family dinner - on the table in less than 20 minutes! Whip up the 3-ingredient tartar sauce and you'll have loads of delicious dipping fun.
Adding more fish to your diet is as easy as opening a couple cans of tuna. Mix it up with a few ingredients and you've got a batch of savoury tuna patties that will please any age and fill bellies in a nutritious (and economical) way. The flavour of the tuna becomes mild and mellow, with the easy tartar sauce adding just the right amount of 'zing'.
You can entice your little sous chefs into helping with this fun project with the promise of tasting the finished result. Older kids can make these on thier own. And if there are no kids in your household, you'll please any adults with them, too. This is a great dinner to get on the table when you get home late and need to feed the family quickly - just keep a couple cans of tuna in the pantry and you're ready to go!
The Ingredients You'll Need for Tasty Tuna Patties
Cooking with Kids
Tuna patties are fun to make, and pretty quick and easy, too. First you need to get all that tuna out of the can, then break up the big chunks with a fork.
Break in an egg - that's the fun part.
Then add in the other ingredients and mix, mix, mix.
Now you shape the tuna mixture into little patties (chicken nugget size). They can be round, oval, or even fish-shaped. Caleb shows the shapes he's made. Fry them in a little oil until they are golden brown and crispy on the outsides. This only takes a few minutes for each side.
Then make the Quick Tartar Sauce - just stir together the 3 ingredients and voilà!
Time to taste. This little guy ate almost half of all the patties! I'd say they easily passed the 3-year-old taste test!
And that Tartar Sauce? It was a lick-the-plate-clean kind of sauce!
Tips & Substitutions
- Any kind of tuna will work for this recipe, but chunk tuna packed in oil will provide the maximum flavour.
- If you don't have the smaller-flaked quick-oats, you can use regular oats whizzed quickly in a blender, or substitute with bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary).
- For gluten-free, use sweet rice flour or any other gluten-free flour (chickpea flour works well and adds protein).
- dried dillweed or parsely will work fine, too - just use 1 teaspoon dried instead of 1 tablespoon fresh.
- If you don't have horseradish for the Tartar Sauce, you could subsitute with 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles, or 2 teaspoons dijon mustard.
- You will probably have extra tartar sauce - it keeps in the fridge for several weeks, and is great on sandwiches.
Some Other Easy Ideas for Cooking with Kids
Here are some great ideas for quick and easy weeknight meals to cook with kids (or for kids, big and little!)
- Meatballs with 3 Dipping Sauces (also makes a great appetizer for parties)
- Number One Chili (super easy recipe - just 1 cup of everything)
- Lentil Sloppy Joes (a fantastic meatless meal)
- Marinara Sauce with Spaghetti Spiders (as fun and delicious as it sounds!)
- Lemon Chicken Soup with Egg Strands (simple, tasty, and comforting)
- Sweet Potato Nachos (everybody loves nachos, and these are a winner)
- Pasta & Sausage Skillet Supper (make it all in one pan)
Or check out more of this great variety of fun and easy 'Cooking with Kids' recipes. You'll find tasty treats for all kinds of sweet and savoury dishes that your budding sous chefs will love helping you to make (and eat!)
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Tuna Patties with Quick Tartar Sauce
for the Tuna Patties:
- 2 cans (198gms/7oz) tuna preferably oil-packed
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup quick oats (small-flake rolled oats) gluten-free, if necessary
- 2 tablespoons flour (use sweet rice flour for gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons milk any kind
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill or parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- dash of hot pepper sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons oil, for frying
for the Quick Tartar Sauce:
- ⅓ cup (75gms) good quality mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon prepared (or creamed) horseradish
To make the Tuna Patties:
- Drain the liquid from the cans of tuna.
- Mix together the drained tuna, eggs, oats, flour, milk, herbs, pepper, and hot sauce with your hands until all the tuna chunks are broken up.
- Using 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time, roll it into a ball, then flatten the ball slightly into an oval patty. If desired, you can form the patties into little fish shapes. Makes 16 patties.
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the patties until golden brown on each side (about 2 minutes per side). Fry them in batches if your pan is small, using a bit more oil if needed.
To make the Quick Tartar Sauce:
- Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
We tried these last night. Had everything on hand. It was Quick and Delicious!
Thanks so much for the feedback, Joan😊. I love having those quick pantry dinners ready for busy nights (or lazy nights!)