With some potatoes and a couple of store cupboard essentials, you can easily make these Tuna Fish Cakes for a simple week night meal on a budget. A great way to use up leftover mashed potato too - these homemade fish cakes are easy to adapt, sneak some vegetables in to and kids LOVE them. Some easy homemade tzatziki is a must to go with these too!
These tuna fish cakes are literally thrown together and they are fancy enough (or at least adaptable to be so) and kid friendly enough to suit the whole family. All you need is a tin of tuna and mashed tomato mixed with some herbs and then formed in to fish cakes and dipped in egg and breadcrumbs before baking. Simple!
Why you will love it
- Low in calories - There is less than 300 calories per fish cake and they are really filling too.
- Kids will love them - If you are looking for more ways to get fish in your kids diets then this is an easy way to do it.
- Uses store cupboard staples - There are no fancy ingredients here, making it a budget friendly recipe.
- Easy to adapt - We have given ways to adapt this fish cake recipe to suit all tastes.
- Potatoes - The great thing about this budget friendly recipe, is that you can use any potatoes you like. Floury potatoes like Maris Piper of King Edwards make the best mash though, so you might want to go with that.
- Milk - This helps to add a bit of creaminess to the mash. Go with full fat for extra flavour.
- Cheddar - Creamy cheesy mash is best for fish cakes. We used a mature cheddar, as the stronger flavour means you can use less.
- Tuna - The star of the fish cakes. We use tuna in spring water, as that is our personal preference. However, you can use tuna in oil instead. Fancy something a bit different? Use canned salmon instead.
- Parsley - This is the best fresh herb to go with fish. However, you could also use dill or chives, which also go well with fish.
- Lemon - This adds a lovely lightness to the fishcakes. Use zest as well if you want an extra lemon flavour.
- Egg - This helps the breadcrumbs to stick to the fish cakes.
- Breadcrumbs - You can use any breadcrumbs. We used wholemeal, but panko would add some extra crispiness.
How to make fish cakes - Step by step
One: Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes.
Two: Drain the potatoes and mash with the milk, cheese and salt and pepper.
Three: Add the tuna, parsley and lemon juice and mix well.
Four: Form the tuna and potato mixture into fish cakes.
Five: Beat the egg in a bowl and put the breadcrumbs in another bowl. One at a time, dip the fishcakes in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs until they are covered.
Six: Put the fish cakes on an oiled baking sheet. Place them in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 20 minutes, turning carefully half way through.
Kid friendly fishcakes
You can buy some great quality fish cakes in the supermarket now, but not only are they pretty expensive for what they are, they are really easy to make at home, and a good way to use leftovers and reduce food waste. I don't know about you, but I always make enough mashed potato for about 40 people. So, instead of eating it all (mmmm, carbs), we save some and make these with it.
These are really child friendly and we actually made mini versions of them when we are weaning our daughter. They were easy to hold, soft and the flavours are fairly mild. Even now she is older she still loves them and enjoys helping to make them too. Kids can mix everything together in a bowl and also get their hands messy forming them in the fish cakes.
The basic recipe here is really easy, however there are lots of ways you can adapt it to make it more exciting. Add a sprinkle of chilli flakes if you like your meals with some spice, or even a spoonful of Mexican spice blend. You can add some extra texture to these (as they are fairly soft), by mixing in some finely chopped spring onions.
Want a crispier fish cake? You could swap the standard breadcrumbs for panko breadcrumbs. You can also fry them rather than baking them which will make the coating a little crispier and they will cook quicker too.
This fish cake recipe is a great way to sneak some extra vegetables in to your whole families diet. Tuna and sweetcorn go really well together, so that's a great place to start. You could use a mixture of sweetcorn and peas.
If you wanted to go down a more leafy green route, then really finely chop with spinach and mix that in with the fish cakes. You could use cooked broccoli too.
What to have with fish cakes
These fish cakes need something to dip in to and we have just the thing for it - our Homemade Tartare Sauce. Our easy homemade tzatziki also goes really well with tuna. Kids might want to dip them in to ketchup, so why not try making some of our Homemade Healthier Ketchup?
These will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You certainly can, and we actually have about 10 of these in our freezer at the moment. We freeze them uncooked, as I find the texture nicer. Put the uncooked, but formed, fish cakes on a baking tray and put in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can stack them on top of each other with some baking paper between each one, and keep in a zip-lock bag. Defrost thoroughly and follow cooking instructions below.
Yes, they can. You can make these in advance and shape them and then keep them on a plate in the fridge until the next day when you are ready to cook them.
You need to make sure you don't overcook the potatoes and that they have been left to steam for a little when drained, this is so there isn't extra moisture in them.
Yes, you can fry them instead of baking them and this will make them crispier and it's also quicker to cook them.
• Add some vegetables to these by stirring in some sweetcorn, peas or finely chopped spinach.
• For some added freshness, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to the mixture.
• Parsley goes really well with tuna, but you could use chives or dill instead in this recipe.
• Be careful not to overcook the mashed potatoes for this fish cake recipe, otherwise they will retain moisture.
• Make these fish cakes even crispier by using Panko breadcrumbs.
• If you want to cook these quicker, and have them even crispier, then fry them. But we wanted to keep them as healthy as possible, so we baked them.
• For a little bit of crunch, add some chopped spring onions to the mixture.
More seafood recipes
- 600 g Potato - peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon Whole milk
- 30 g Mature cheddar - grated
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 Tuna - canned; drained
- 1 cup Fresh parsley - finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 Egg
- 100 g Breadcrumbs
- Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and then simmer for 25 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and then mash with the milk, cheese and salt and pepper.
- Add the tuna, parsley and lemon juice and mix well.
- Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and spray a baking tray with a little oil.
- Form the mixture in to fishcakes one at a time and then dip them in to the egg and then in to the breadcrumbs making sure they are fully covered.
- Put the fish cakes on an oiled baking sheet. Place them in a preheated oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 20 minutes, turning carefully half way through.
- Serve with tzatziki, vegetables and salad (all optional).
- Add some vegetables to these by stirring in some sweetcorn, peas or finely chopped spinach.
- For some added freshness, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to the mixture.
- Parsley goes really well with tuna, but you could use chives or dill instead in this recipe.
- Be careful not to overcook the mashed potatoes for this fish cake recipe, otherwise they will retain moisture.
- Make these fish cakes even crispier by using panko breadcrumbs.
- If you want to cook these quicker, and have them even crispier, then fry them. But we wanted to keep them as healthy as possible, so we baked them.
- For a little bit of crunch, add some chopped spring onions to the mixture.