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
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  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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


  8. 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!

  9. 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. :)

  10. 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……

  11. Erin

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

  12. 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!

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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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