If you have potatoes and canned tuna at home

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This is a simple and quick recipe that you’ll love cooking over and over again. These kid-friendly and protein-packed patties use only basic ingredients and are easily accessible to everyone. They are perfect for pleasing a crowd or just yourself, but, either way, they will disappear in minutes.

A photo showing a plate with fried potato and tuna patties served with tzatziki sauce.

Pan-fried to golden perfection, these savoury patties are made with potatoes, canned tuna, one egg, a small bunch of parsley, a dust of flour and parmesan. They make a perfect pair with a refreshing Tzatziki sauce made by mixing a dollop of yoghurt and grated cucumber.


VIDEO: Watch us make the recipe

Why this recipe works 

There is nothing that can beat these Simple Tuna Potato Fritters! Their pillowy texture is so delicious and comforting. This is the best recipe to use with the leftover mashed potatoes. It is surely one of my favourites, my daughters love them and it brings me so much satisfaction to see them happy.

Ingredients to make Tuna Potato Cakes

  • Potatoes – As the main ingredient, the potatoes have to be boiled and mashed before being used in the recipe. All varieties of potatoes are suitable for this dish, although when cooked, the white ones have a smoother texture and a delicious, buttery flavour.
  • Canned Tuna – I would advise using good quality tuna- I am using tuna from Rio Mare and it makes my recipes improve dramatically. I started using it whilst visiting Italy, and since then this has been my personal favourite.
  • Fresh Parsley – Herbs are always best when fresh- that’s why I tend to stock my freezer with bags of chopped parsley. This way the freshness always remains.
  • Egg – Free-range or organic eggs would be best.
  • Salt and pepper – I recommend freshly grated Himalayan salt, this way you’ll avoid having any other nasty things in your salt. Any type of pepper will work.
  • Grated Parmesan – It adds a rich umami flavour due to its savoury, salty, and nutty taste profile, enhancing the overall taste by adding depth.
  • Flour – Flour helps the mixture become denser and helps the ingredients stick together. All-purpose, plain or even bread flour would work in this recipe.
  • Sunflower Oil – This is my go-to frying oil, due to its neutral taste, which is often used in many kitchens.
  • Cucumber – This is used for making the Tzatziki sauce, a classic Greek sauce that perfectly complements these potato cakes. Cucumber brings a cool, refreshing crunch to the overall taste.
  • Natural yoghurt – The yoghurt provides a creamy base for the sauce- Greek or natural yoghurt would work for this recipe.


Most of the original ingredients are basic and should be very easy to obtain in case you run out of some of them. For most of my recipes, I include a list with ingredient substitutions and here’s a few for this one:

Potatoes – Replace regular potatoes with sweet potatoes or squash for a sweeter variation with a hint of earthiness. An additional tablespoon or two of flour will enhance the binding and consistency of the potato mixture, as sweet potato and squash lack the starchiness of the potato.

Canned Tuna – To substitute this ingredient, you can incorporate cooked bacon bits, diced ham, crab meat, or smoked salmon for various versions of potato cakes.

Fresh Parsley – Chives are great as well when added to this recipe, bringing a delightful onion-like flavour.

Parmesan – Consider these alternatives for parmesan: Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Asiago, Sharp Cheddar or Nutritional yeast, for a dairy-free option.

Flour – Cornstarch can be used as a gluten-free alternative to flour, use the same amount as instructed in the recipe.

Sunflower oil – Use flavoured oils, like garlic-infused or rosemary-infused oil for frying to impart an extra layer of taste. Corn, grapeseed or canola oil could be used to replace sunflower oil as these have the same neutral taste and are suitable for frying without imparting much flavour.

Natural Yogurt – You could use dairy-free alternatives like coconut or almond-based yoghurts, as they have the same consistency as Greek Yogurt.


Vegetable Blend – Mix in sautéed vegetables such as onions, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, or corn kernels for added texture and flavour.

Stuffed Potato Cakes – Feel free to add a mix of your preferred stuffings like mozzarella cubes for a gooey bite, a mixture of crispy bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped chives, a blend of wilted spinach or crumbled feta cheese, and a touch of garlic for a Mediterranean twist.

How to make this recipe

Prepare the potatoes: Peel your potatoes, dice them and add them to a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover them with water and boil them until soft. Drain the potatoes, and add them to a bowl with the egg and some salt.

A photo showing raw diced white potatoes in a pan of water, prepared for boiling.
Diced white potatoes in a bowl, accompanied by a raw egg for mashing.

Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or a hand blender until smooth.

Diced white potatoes in a bowl, accompanied by a raw egg for mashing.
Mashed potatoes in a bowl.

Make the potato mixture: Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix until all is well incorporated. Powder your hands with some flour, then take a small amount of this mixture, shape it into small balls and add them to a plate for later use.

Mashed potatoes, canned tuna, chopped parsley, grated parmesan in a bowl ready to be mixed.
Tuna Potato Cakes mixture shaped into bowls ready to be fried.

Fry the patties: Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a non-stick pan, add the potato cakes and fry them until golden brown. Gently turn them from one side to another as the mixture will soften a bit during frying.

Sunflower oil in a pan.
Golden-browned Fried Tuna Potato Cakes - crispy and delicious!

Make the tzatziki sauce: While the potato cakes are frying, you can easily start making the tzatziki sauce by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing them until smooth. Don’t forget to squeeze the excess liquid from the grated cucumber before adding it to the yoghurt.

Golden-browned potato cakes layered onto a plate.
Tzatziki sauce into a bowl.

Serve these simple tuna potato fritters with a dollop of homemade Tzatziki sauce, as a quick bite, a light lunch or dinner, as an appetizer or even as a movie snack. They are kid-friendly and perfect for any occasion– a savoury dish that you’ll make over and over again.

A photo showing a plate with fried potato and tuna patties served with tzatziki sauce.

A full list of ingredients and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Leftovers and storage

Refrigerate: Any potato fritter leftovers should be stored in an airtight container or on a plate or bowl tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days for optimal taste and safety.

Reheating: When reheating these patties, you have more options: you can choose to reheat them in the microwave for up to 1 minute on a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot, or in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Avoid reheating the potato cakes multiple times to ensure quality and safety.

Leftovers: Any leftovers would be a great addition to a sandwich. Add them between two slices of bread or buns with tomato, lettuce and a dollop of tzatziki or spicy mayo. They also go great in tacos or wraps with your favourite fillings and sauces.

Recipe FAQs

All varieties of potatoes are suitable for this dish, although when cooked the white ones have a smoother texture and a deliciously buttery flavor. So I would recommend Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, they are an excellent choice due to their high starch content.

If your potato patties tend to break when shaping them, they need a bit more flour, so the ingredients can form a thicker mixture. Let it rest for a few minutes after adding the flour, this way the moisture will be absorbed and ready to be shaped into patties.

Yes, you can bake them in a preheated oven at 200C for 15- 20 minutes or until golden brown, for a healthier alternative to frying.

Any type of canned tuna is suitable for this recipe, as long as you drain the excess liquid before adding it to the potatoes.

Yes, they’re kid-friendly and make a great snack or meal option.

They pair well with homemade Greek Tzatziki sauce, aioli or spicy mayo.

More Potato Recipes

Looking for more? Check out +20 Best Mains Easy Recipes

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Did you make this Potato Patty recipe? Share your experience by rating it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and dropping a comment below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and fuels my passion for creating recipes!


Golden-browned potato cakes layered onto a plate.

If you have potatoes and canned tuna at home

These savoury patties are a combination of mashed potatoes, tuna and flavourful spices. They are pan-fried to golden perfection to create a healthy snack or meal.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Movie Food, Snack
Cuisine American, European
Servings 4
Calories 699 kcal


  • 1 potato masher
  • 1 deep pot
  • 1 non-stick frying pan


  • 700 grams boiled potatoes
  • 1 canned tuna 160g
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 100 grams grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • sunflower oil to fry

Tzatziki Sauce

  • cucumber
  • 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 50 grams grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Start the recipe by peeling the potatoes, dicing them and adding them to a pot. Cover the potatoes with water and 1 teaspoon of salt and then boil them on medium heat until cooked through.
  • When ready, drain the water and leave them to cool off.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the potatoes to the egg and mash them until creamy.
  • Drain the tuna of the excess oil and add it to the mashed potatoes with the flour, 100 gr of grated parmesan and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper and, using a wooden spoon, mix well until combined.
  • On a floured surface, roll the mixture between your hands to form it into small patties.
  • Gently, place them in a pan sprinkled with vegetable oil and cook them until golden brown for around 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Once cooked, transfer the patties to a plate to cool down.
  • For the sauce, grate the cucumber, squeeze the excess moisture and add it to the yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper, add 50g of grated parmesan and mix well for a refreshing dip.
  • Serve the patties hot or cold with homemade Tzatziki sauce for a delicious snack or meal.


Step-by-Step Guide: You’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide to making this recipe on my blog. The photos make it easy to follow along.
Substitutions & Twists: I’ve listed some great substitutions and variations in the post above, so you can customize the dish to your liking.
Storage: These potato patties can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
Tip 1: Use the right type of potatoes – White potatoes like Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes have more starch in their composition and are the best for this recipe. 
Tip 2: Choose a quality Canned tuna  Having the best ingredients will help the recipe become tastier. In this case, a good quality canned tuna will add more flavour to the dish. 
Tip 3Sprinkle vegetable oil on the pan  – When frying the patties, use a small amount of vegetable oil in the pan. A non-stick frying pan will help the patties cook beautifully, so you won’t need a large amount of oil for this. 
Keyword homemade fish cakes, pan-fried tuna and potato, potato, potato patties, savoury tuna recipe, tasty seafood patties, tuna, tuna cakes

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These look amazing!!! I’m always looking for more tuna recipes for Lent (picky hubby will eat those)! But I may have to make these way before that!!!

  2. 5 stars
    The perfect use for leftover mashed potatoes! I don’t have any left over very often but when I do, I make tuna patties.