Mexican tuna cakes, also known as tortitas de atun are quick, easy, and delicious. These tasty tuna patties are made with canned tuna, veggies, and flavourful spices, then breaded and pan-fried. They are warm and soft on the inside, with a crispy crunch on the outside. Dip them into a creamy aioli or just plain mayo, and you’ve got the perfect snack. The best part about these tuna croquettes? They come together in about 20 minutes. It's the perfect dish to make on busy weeknights or any day of the week.
Why You’ll Love Mexican Tuna Cakes (Tortitas De Atun)
- Canned tuna is a staple. Canned fish is a pantry staple, an easy ingredient to keep on hand, and it’s even easier to cook with. If you’re someone who avoids cooking fish because you’ve never done it before, this is the perfect recipe to introduce you to cooking with seafood.
- The thick, crispy, Parmesan breading. Fried foods hit differently, and these Mexican tuna cakes deliver the decadent textures and flavors you want when eating fried food, but without the deep-frying. The breading on these tuna cakes are so crispy, thick, and delicious that you’ll be craving tortitas de atun when you least expect it.
- Packed with nutrient-rich flavor. As if using a lean protein like tuna wasn't enough, these Mexican tuna cakes also include fresh carrots, onions, and cilantro. These veggies add flavor and nutrients to your tortitas de atun.
To make these delicious Mexican tuna cakes, you will need the following ingredients:
- canned tuna
- fresh cilantro
- lemon juice
- seasoning - garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- breading - made with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. You can also use an egg to make a thicker coating.
- vegetable oil - for pan-frying.
- for serving - you can serve with mayonnaise, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.
How to Make the Best Mexican Tuna Cakes (Tortitas de Atun)
- Make the tuna patties. In a large mixing bowl, add canned tuna, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, cilantro, carrots, lemon juice, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir well until evenly combined. Take ¼ cup of the tuna mixture at a time and firmly roll into patties, about 8-9 patties. Set aside.
- Coat the patties with breading. In a shallow plate, make the breading by whisking together breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese until combined. Dip both sides of each patty into the breadcrumb mixture to coat and gently press breadcrumbs into the patties to adhere as much as possible. (If you want a thicker breading, prepare a shallow plate for beaten egg and dip patties in the egg and evenly coat, and then coat completely with the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs).
- Pan fry the tuna cakes. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until the hot oil sizzles. Gently add the breaded tuna cakes in the skillet and pan fry until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes on each side. You can likely fit 4-5 tuna cakes at a time. Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining tuna cakes.
- Serve. Serve with a side of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, and lime wedges, if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Tortitas de atun are best served hot and fresh. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Let them cool completely before placing them in the container to avoid condensation and soggy tuna cakes.
- How to reheat: Mexican tuna cakes are best reheated in the oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes until warmed all the way through. You can also reheat them in the microwave in 20 second increments until warmed through.
- How to make your own aioli: These Mexican tuna cakes taste best when served with mayonnaise or aioli (a mix of mayonnaise and other ingredients). You can easily make your own aioli by mixing in your favorite sauce, like barbecue, ketchup, or hot sauce, with some mayo!
More Mexican Recipes
- 30 Best Mexican Recipes
- Shrimp Avocado Tostadas
- Mexican Ground Beef Tacos
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Fish Tacos with Lime Crema
- Beef Taco Salad
- Shrimp Tacos with Lime Crema Slaw
- Vegan Chickpea Tacos
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.