The Simple Upgrade For More Flavorful Tuna Patties

When making tuna patties from scratch, you could use a regular can of the fish combined with some herbs and spices. Or, you could cut down on the ingredient list and the time it takes to make the burgers by starting off with a flavored tuna pouch. These little packages still have the main ingredient you're looking for — canned tuna — but they also incorporate delicious flavor combinations that will make for an ideal tuna burger.

Case in point: Bumblebee offers regular white albacore tuna pouch where the fish is packed in water, but it also has packages in tasty flavors like Applewood Smoke, Mediterranean Herbs & Spices, and Teriyaki. Likewise, StarKist boasts flavored pouches like Tomato Basil, Lemon Pepper, and even craftier options like Honey BBQ, Bacon Ranch, Hot Buffalo, and Sriracha. 

But what do you actually get from these pouches? With StarKist's Hot Buffalo, "light tuna" is listed as the first ingredient. But you'll also get a coating of spicy Buffalo sauce made with aged cayenne peppers. The seasoned fish is meant to be used right out of the package (and it can even be consumed that way), but it can also be the perfect starring ingredient in a tuna patty, so feel free to put your seasonings back in the pantry.

How to make tuna patties with flavored pouches

The fun part about using tuna pouches for your patties is that you can easily think outside the box to come up with creative burger combinations. If you're using a teriyaki pouch, for instance, go all the way and match the fish to the burger's toppings by adding grilled pineapple, sesame seeds, red onion, and maybe even a little teriyaki sauce brushed on the buns. Or if you have Mediterranean-seasoned tuna, top off your patties with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and red onion. And for a honey barbecue-flavored package, try using cheese, tomatoes, crispy onions, and a slather of barbecue sauce. You can even experiment with adding a little complementary diced produce or herbs into your patties, such as cilantro in a chipotle-flavored pouch.

It couldn't be easier to replace your regular can of tuna with a flavored pouch. Simply sub it in for the amount of the plain fish that you would use in a typical recipe, and omit most (or all) of your regular seasonings. Continue mixing your tuna with breadcrumbs and eggs, then form patties and cook them like normal.