Pepita-Crusted Tuna Cakes

Who is in the mood for a super quick, super wholesome and super DELICIOUS perfect-for-a-weeknight recipe? These pepita-crusted tuna cakes are just that!

Overhead shot of pepita-crusted tuna cakes on a bed of spinach in a white plate.

Easy tuna cakes with a crushed pepita crust!

Tracking PixelIf you didn’t raise your hand, who are you even?  Just kidding, but also, seriously?!  Okay, well stick around and hopefully by the end, you will have changed your mind, because YUM. 

That’s really the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about these pepita-crusted tuna cakes.  Let me explain how amazing they are…

  • The main ingredient is wild caught canned tuna and when selecting canned tuna, look for three simple ingredients: wild caught tuna, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It will have a mellow taste and the absolute perfect texture for these lil cakes.
  • To give this tuna a bit of extra flavor, I added in fresh lemon, oregano, Dijon mustard and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. There is so much dynamic flavor going on, it’s hard to resist eating cake after cake.  For real.
  • These babes are crusted in crushed pepitas with a little salt for a super crunchy, crispy finish and of course that tender inside.

They are so perfect with a lightly dressed salad, or on a sandwich for something a bit heartier.  Again, the perfect weeknight meal.

That’s what makes these cakes the perfect weeknight meal.

Angle close-up of pepita-crusted tuna cakes on a white plate.

So, I guess what I’m saying is… it’s time to make more tuna cakes, and for you to give them a try. 

Can’t stop won’t stop with tuna recipes.


Pepita-Crusted Tuna Cakes

Tuna cakes with parsley, lemon, Dijon and oregano, dusted with a pepita crust and lightly pan fried.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 cakes 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American



Pepita Crust:

  • ⅓ cup pepitas
  • Pinch coarse salt

 Tuna Cakes:

  • 2 (4-ounce) cans albacore tuna
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • Zest and juice of ½ medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place pepitas in the bowl of a small food processor and process until crumbly. Transfer to a shallow dish and mix with a pinch of coarse salt.
  2. Place tuna cake ingredients, except olive oil, into a large bowl and mash with the back of a fork or a potato masher until it forms a chunky paste. Form mixture into 6 small equal-sized patties. Place cakes into the dish with the crushed pepitas and coat all sides.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add cakes and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned and crispy.
  4. Serve tuna cakes with a fresh spring mix salad.


Cooking Tip: You can also bake the tuna cakes. Preheat the oven to 375, place cakes on a greased baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until set.


  • Serving Size: 1 cake
  • Calories: 188
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 266mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg

Keywords: tuna cakes, cakes, salmon cakes, tuna, seafood, fish, high protein

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Overhead close-up shot of finished tuna cakes and spinach on a white plate.

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