Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Prep 15 mins
Cook 8 mins
Add'l 2 mins
Total 25 mins
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

These low calorie Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa are a delicious, healthy appetizer recipe that everyone will love. The fresh tomato salsa is so good, you’ll want to put it on everything!

If you love tuna as much as I do, try these Mexican Tuna Salad Stuffed Avocados next time!

I Wish I Could Eat These Tuna Cakes Everyday

Thanks to Tuna Casserole and Tuna Surprise in school cafeterias in the 90’s, nobody likes Tuna anymore. I get that those lunches were scary…but it wasn’t the Tuna’s fault! It was probably fear of the woman serving it…with her drawn on sharpie eyebrows and missing fingers  –or was that just my creepy lunch lady?!

In spite of all those bad tuna memories, I LOVE tuna. I could eat it everyday, if I wasn’t terrified of getting Mercury poisoning. I love tuna salad, tuna melts and this weird tuna casserole thing with bread that I found in an old Betty Crocker cookbook.

When I was dreaming up my Tuna Cakes, I was trying to figure out a way to give them some extra umph while keeping them ass friendly. I knew I could keep the Tuna Cake itself healthy, but a sauce on top was tricky. A cream sauce would be delicious…but cream is totally evil. Eventually I thought of a Fresh Tomato Salsa with a few good squeezes of lime…

Tuna Cakes Appetizer Recipe

You’ll Love This Delicious Low Calorie Appetizer Recipe 

And I am happy to say, the result was awesome! The combination is delicious…and the lime really helps balance out all the flavors.  Plus, not gonna lie, I love that I get to have one giant Tuna Cake with a ton of delicious fresh salsa on top for only 182 calories! I know Superbowl is traditionally filled with tons of stick to your bones kind of foods…but for anyone hoping to still fit in their jeans on Monday morning, this is your answer!

Try These Fun Tuna Cake Variations

1. Make them into sliders! Turn these babies into the perfect appetizer by making them mini tuna cakes and wrapping them with a whole wheat bun.

2. Serve them in a pita and toss the fresh salsa right into the pita pocket. I bet they would be awesome with a drizzle of some homemade Tzatziki too!

3. Make them like mini crabcake appetizers, but serve them in mini bowls with the salsa piled on top.

4. Serve them as full out burgers. Best part about these, you can make them a day ahead and store them in the fridge. Or if you need even more time…you can make them and freeze them! Just thaw them out the day before the party in the fridge. Once people get hungry, a quick turn in the sauté pan will give you gorgeous healthy burgers before halftime is over!

Yield: 4 Large Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Tuna Cakes Appetizer Recipe

Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa are a delicious, healthy appetizer recipe that everyone will love. The fresh tomato salsa is so good, you'll want to put it on everything!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3 5oz cans Albacore Tuna (in water), drained and fluffed
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup crushed Wasa Light Rye crackers (appx 4 crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Jalapeno Tabasco (the green one), or to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste


For the Tuna Cakes:

In a large bowl, mix together tuna, onion, crushed Wasa crackers, parsley, garlic, lime juice, mustard, and jalapeno Tabasco. Then add a little salt and pepper, stirring, and taste testing. Once you have reached your desired seasonings, stir in the egg.

Pat tuna mixture into patties, using 1/2 cup packed tuna for each patty. Set on wax paper.

To Freeze: Flash freeze Tuna Cakes, for 30 minutes, on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Then wrap each cake individually with plastic wrap and place in a ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 1 month (which is as long as I have tried, but I think they would be fine for up to 3 months). To thaw, place Tuna Cakes in fridge a day before you plan to use them. Once thawed, follow the instructions below.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan, over medium heat. Add two Tuna Cakes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and set on a paper towel covered plate to drain off any excess oil. Repeat entire process (including adding a second tablespoon of olive oil) to cook the remaining to Tuna Cakes.

For the Fresh Tomato Salsa:

Toss together tomatoes, yellow onion, green onions, parsley, lime juice, garlic salt and pepper. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours before eating. This allows the flavors to develop, but of course you can eat it immediately if in a rush!

Top Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa and serve immediately!


Make your Fresh Tomato Salsa a couple hours ahead of the Tuna Cakes to allow time for the flavors to develop.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 761mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 29g



This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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135 Responses
  1. Kayla

    This was really not good, not sure exactly what went wrong. The cakes fell apart in the pan and it became more of a tuna bowl with pico de Gallo, which was the dishes saving grace considering the tuna cakes had no flavour.

  2. Felix Back

    I was trying to find comments on the recipe… after the first quarter I gave up, so much unrelated, boring stuff.

  3. Luisa Adelia

    Tuan cake? never had tried this. Tuna cake with tomato salsa. I loved tomato salsa. Your recipe seems to be very interesting. I can’t wait to make this recipe. Thanks, for sharing such a delicious recipe.

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  7. partytent

    I would have definitely renamed myself Clarissa! I absolutely loved the show Clarissa Explains it All and for some reason thought her fashion sense was the best in the world

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  11. Ally

    That looks oh so good. Fresh and healthy too. I’ll just have to get the ingredients from the market so I can try it out this weekend.

  12. Jen @ BeantownBaker.com

    I love tuna too! I almost always go for a tuna melt if it’s on the menu. I got burnt out on those tuna packs after eating them for months for lunch every day.

  13. TeenyLittleSuperChef

    I know I’m too late for the giveaway (bummer) but I just wanted to let you know I made these tuna cakes for me and the hubby the other night and oh.my.goodness! They were awesome! And definitely a** friendly :) I didn’t have any Wasa crackers so I used crushed pita chips instead and they turned out great. I think I’ll try the Wasa next time though, just to compare. Thanks for the great recipe. The salsa was really great too and we ended up eating the rest of it with the leftover pita chips. Yummmmm

  14. Ben, Wild Planet Foods


    A) You’re hilarious, “ass-friendly” made me laugh out loud and I got some crazy looks in the office.

    B) Everything on your blog looks delicious and I will be coming back. I got here because I love tuna as well.

    C) I’d consider it a favor if you’d give Wild Planet Tuna a try. We have more Omega 3 than the national brands and low mercury because our tuna is troll-caught from the North Pacific. Hope you say hi sometime http://wildplanetfoods.com


  15. Tarheelntx

    I wanted to be Stephanie. Actually, at about age 13, my mom told me I could legally change the actual spelling of my name from Ashley to Ashleigh. I’m so glad I didn’t!

  16. Chris

    Not entering…but love this tuna cake! You’re so right about the lunch ladies of yesterday. It took me a loooong time to be able to eat tuna again. Great choice for Wasa!

    My 13 y.o. self would be named Mary, after the main character in my favorite book. Oh to have time to read for pleasure again….those were the days. :)

  17. jacquie

    i don’t think it even occurred to me that it was possible to change ones name at 13. i should would now though……

  18. Erin

    I wanted to be Kelly… from Saved by the Bell (not the other 90’s Kelly from Beverly Hills 90210 – ha!).

  19. Laura

    Ahh, Neve Campbell’s character in Scream…Sidney. Loved it! In fact, it was the chosen name for my internet alter-ego. Ahh, the fun I had on AOL in those days!

  20. Becky Knows It All

    ahhh I love this comment idea! I remember wishing my name was Tiffany. Most likely after Tiffany Amber Thiessen who played Kelly on Saved By the Bell! GREAT recipe – def trying this within the week. Annnnd serving some Wasa crackers along side!

  21. Kimiko

    At age 13, I just wanted something normal. Vanessa was one..or Jessica. I was just tired of the many ways my name would be mispronounced, so I wanted something common and unmistakable! Now, 11 year later, I like my name. :)

  22. Glory E.

    I would have renamed myself anything easier. When I was a kid I hated being so different. So something like Amanda or Melissa would have been nice. Now I love my name because it’s different :)

  23. Terri

    Punky Brewster – who didn’t want to be like punky brewster back in the day?!?! Love the tuna cake recipe, made them tonight, yum!

  24. Joanne

    I would have been Blossom. Absolutely hands down. WOAH.

    I don’t really know why I stopped eating tuna…cause I DO like it. These would make for hte best lunches!

  25. Laura

    hmmm . . . .

    supercalifragilousticexpealidocious was definitely my dream name when I was 13.

    the longest names are always the coolest. can’t you tell? :)

  26. dana

    i actually always liked my name even though when i lived in australia nobody could pronounce it (dana is said like dayna, not donna!)

  27. Lindsay

    Ginger, no no Sporty… how bout Posh?? … I was obsessed with the Spice girls, I would have taken any of their names :)

  28. Erin R.

    Oddly enough, I just tasted Wasa crackers for the first time this week! Yummy! Okay, I hate to admit to being so unimaginative, but the most absolutely beautiful name I could think of when I was that age was Vanessa. That’s it. Why couldn’t I have picked something more exotic? Why?

  29. Anna

    Love the fact that these can be frozen! I was called a shortened version of my middle name, but I wanted to be called by my first name, Anna. So when I left home I started introducing myself as Anna. My mother refuses to call me that which is kind of silly since she named me that…

    PS, I liked Wasa on FB

  30. Veronica @ Café con Leche

    hahah i’d definitely go by Phoebe but topanga is surely a great one! looooove those tuna cakes!!!

  31. Kristin

    My best friend and I used to go around in the summer telling boys our fake names…mine was McKenzie. Weird.

  32. Becky

    Hahaha – Topanga is a great choice! I would’ve picked Jennifer – I remember always liking that name :)

  33. Catie

    Haha Topanga! I loved that show (and her) when I was younger. For me, I probably would have picked Courtney – I LOVED Kurt Cobain, and he loved Courtney Love!

  34. Robyn

    i don’t want the swag, i just feel the need to share that if you saw the state of the roma tomatoes in the grocery stores here (toronto), you would cry. they’re no where near what you have in the photos above, so i hope you appreciate it!!! i soooo miss fresh summer tomatoes :(

  35. heather

    So you had a crush on Cory, eh? Classic show. If I had my way, my name definitely would’ve been changed to Kayla — no idea why, but I was obsessed with it. As for WASA, I LOVE it! Those crispbreads kept me going through grad school. I’d love to relive those awesome snacks!



  36. Elizabeth

    At the age of 13, I would have loved to be named Alyssa. I used to watch a lot of “Who’s the Boss”. =D

  37. Jill

    I wanted to be called Samantha. So then people could give me a nickname and call me Sam. There aren’t many nicknames coming out of Jill!

  38. nat@thesweetslife

    i also fall in the ‘love tuna’ camp, so i will definitely be giving these a try soon!

    as for names, I definitely would have gone for Stacy–my favorite in the babysitter’s club ;)

  39. tina @ mylifeasamrs

    my parents told me that they almost named me Rebecca – and since I was obsessed with Full House and thought Becky was so pretty… i secretly wish they had named me that! haha

    PS- These Tuna cakes look flipping awesome!!!!!!!!!

  40. DessertForTwo

    I looooove WASA!! :)

    13-year old Christina would have renamed herself Journeigh. Like Journey, but spelled wrong. Wow that is so embarrassing.

  41. Athena R

    Though I love my real name now, I did not like it so much when I was younger so I probably would have called myself Marissa..lol

  42. Meaghan

    My middle name is Elizabeth, and I like it better when I was younger. But only if I was Elizabeth, no nicknames allowed.

    side note, by BF and I are in the process of watching all the seasons of Boy Meets World in order, currently on 4 or 7. Great show!

  43. Felicity

    I just wanted to take an “i” out of my name, I know that sounds silly but at the time I hated having two “i”s in my name.

    Felicity just doens’t look right with one “i” now though!

  44. Jamie Phipps

    I would have definitely renamed myself Clarissa! I absolutely loved the show Clarissa Explains it All and for some reason thought her fashion sense was the best in the world. Looking back…not so much. :-P

  45. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups

    Yay! I love Wasa! When I was younger, for some reason, everything was named Kendall. I don’t even know where I got that name from. My look-alike American Girl was Kendall, any barbies, etc.

  46. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Oh these look amazing. Can’t wait to try them. I’ve never tried Wasa before. I know, travesty right?

    At 13 I would’ve renamed myself Morgan Ariana. It was the name I swore I’d name my first born before I realized I’d end up having a daughter just like me and my nerves couldn’t take it. Still liked the name though but would insist on not shortening it by calling me morg!

  47. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    I probably would have called myself Punky Brewster or something similar; whatever show I was obsessed with at the time. Maybe Marcia Brady :)

  48. Jessica F

    Hmm…I have always liked my name. I think by 13 I had grown out of this stage but before that I enjoyed having pretend names, usually when playing with friends. Vanessa was one I was a fan of…

    Love wasa! (But you can buy double packs for so much less in Norway. I miss those prices…)


I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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