Dill Tuna Patties And Cucumber Cream Sauce Recipe

While fresh fish tastes great and is often loaded with nutrients, it can be quite expensive. What's more, if you don't cook it in time, it can go bad and leave you with a smelly, expensive mess in the refrigerator. Canned tuna, on the other hand, is affordable and shelf-stable, plus it's just as nutritious as fresh tuna – it's a total myth that the canned kind is of lower quality. A steady diet of tuna sandwiches can get old pretty quickly, though, so this recipe for tuna patties will allow you to turn the ingredient into something new and different. As recipe developer Michelle McGlinn tells us, "These tuna patties need to be on your menu," explaining "They're so easy to throw together and use mostly pantry staples."

As to the flavor, McGlinn describes the tuna patties as being "tasty and crispy like fish sticks," but says they "have a consistency more similar to a meatball on the inside." She also notes that they can be made in advance and frozen like fish sticks, too. As to how to serve them, she says that 2 patties should make for a decent meal along with a salad or some rice, but admits "My favorite way to serve [them] is actually Krabby Patty-style between buns."

Gather the ingredients for the dill tuna patties and cucumber cream sauce

To make the tuna patties, you'll start with a couple of cans of tuna. "You might like the moistness and flavor of olive oil better," McGlinn says, but adds "water packed works perfectly fine." The patties also call for eggs, shallots, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dill, and panko breadcrumbs. Additional ingredients you'll need for the creamy sauce include a cucumber, plain yogurt (McGlinn prefers Greek-style), garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Make the tuna patties

You'll make the patties first as they need some time to chill before frying. Mix the tuna with the eggs, shallot, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, 1 tablespoon dill, and ½ cup of the breadcrumbs. You may not need the rest of the breadcrumbs, as these are only added if your tuna mixture is to wet to form patties. As McGlinn notes, "All tuna is different and yours might be super dry or very moist."

Once you've achieved the proper texture, divide the mixture into 8 parts and form each one into a patty about ½-inch thick. Put the patties in the refrigerator while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce as the patties chill

"The cream sauce," McGlinn explains, "is essentially a tzatziki." While she enjoys the cucumber flavor, she does say, "You can always skip it for a kind of creamy lemon-dill sauce." Should you choose to use the grated cucumber, you'll first need to squeeze out all of the moisture. McGlinn suggests you do so using a paper towel or a piece of cheesecloth to absorb the water as it drips out. (Don't want to bother with this step? Ina Garten recommends hothouse cukes as being less watery.) Stir the cucumber together with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, remaining dill, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then taste the sauce and add any salt and pepper you feel it needs. If it looks thicker than you'd like, you can also thin it out with some water or additional oil.

Fry the tuna patties

Pour the remaining oil into a frying pan and heat it up. When it's nice and hot, fry a batch of patties for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Once they are crisp and golden brown all over, drain them on a wire rack or paper towel while you repeat the process with the rest of the patties. Blop the sauce on the patties before you eat them or serve it on the side for dipping. You can also dress up the patties with some extra dill if you like to decorate your food.

While McGlinn says that any uneaten patties can be refrigerated and then reheated in the microwave, in her opinion leftover patties are "really best baked or lightly pan fried" instead. She also suggests cooking them in an air fryer at 350 F for 10 minutes.

Dill Tuna Patties And Cucumber Cream Sauce Recipe
5 from 53 ratings
These dill tuna patties come with a refreshing and creamy cucumber sauce.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tuna patties on white plate
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill, divided
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated cucumber
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  1. Combine tuna, eggs, shallot, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, 1 tablespoon dill, and ½ cup breadcrumbs, adding the remaining breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet to hold together.
  2. Form the tuna mixture into 8 patties ½-inch thick, then put them in the refrigerator to chill.
  3. Squeeze all of the moisture out of the grated cucumber using a paper towel or cheesecloth.
  4. Mix the cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and remaining dill. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with additional oil or water.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and remove the tuna patties from the fridge.
  7. Fry the tuna patties for 3-4 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan.
  8. Drain the tuna patties on a wire rack or paper towel.
  9. Top the tuna patties with the sauce before eating, and garnish with dill if desired.
Calories per Serving 378
Total Fat 26.1 g
Saturated Fat 5.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 117.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 4.0 g
Sodium 525.3 mg
Protein 23.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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