These healthy tuna patties are made with Blue Harbor wild-caught canned albacore tuna, freshly grated apples and cheddar cheese – a simple recipe for a delicious lunch!

Canned tuna (and other canned fish too – I’m recently getting into the world of sardines and mackerel!) is something you will always find in my pantry.

It’s my go-to lunch protein when there’s nothing else in the house because I know I can make it into a quick and tasty meal with just a handful of things from my refrigerator (that are also always on hand).

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blue Harbor Fish Co.. All opinions are 100% mine.

These healthy tuna patties are made with wild-caught canned albacore tuna, freshly grated apples and cheddar cheese - a simple recipe for a delicious lunch!
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Canned tuna sustainability

I’ve talked a lot about seafood sustainability particularly when it comes to salmon before and the importance of selecting wild-caught varieties.

That doesn’t change when it comes to canned fish either.

These tuna patties I’m sharing today are made with Blue Harbor canned tuna.

Their seafood (tuna and salmon) are all wild-caught and Marine Stewardship Council certified.

When you see an MSC certification on seafood you can be sure the fish were caught according to environmentally friendly standards that allow fish populations and the ecosystems on which they depend to remain healthy and productive for the future. It also assures that from ocean to plate, the fish can be traced back to a certified sustainable source and fishing practice.

I’ve seen fish farms first hand and that visual is something that has kept me steadfast in buying only sustainable, wild-caught seafood to this day.

While that decision can definitely have an impact on your wallet, it’s one of the reasons I love keeping canned varieties at home all the time, they’re a much more affordable (as well as simple and quick!) way to enjoy the benefits of wild-caught, sustainable seafood.

An easy tuna patties recipe using wild canned tuna, apples, cheddar and dijon mustard.

I know we’ve all done our fair share of tuna salads or tuna melts for lunch but I wanted to take that idea, combine it with the concept of a burger and the end result is a delicious tuna patty (or tuna cake if you prefer).

I googled the difference in those terms and came up empty handed so I’m reserving the term “cake” for dessert.

How to make homemade tuna patties

For this easy tuna patty recipe the first step is to lightly sauté the diced onions with some olive oil in a skillet. If you love raw onions, you can skip this step but I prefer my onions to be cooked.

Next, all the ingredients get combined into a large bowl:

  • Blue Harbor wild albacore tuna
  • grated apple
  • cooked onions
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • dijon mustard/hummus
  • dried parsley
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

To get the mixture into a consistency that you can form into patties, use a fork to break up the tuna chunks and combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

Using your hands (it helps to wet them slightly) divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and form into a burger/patty shape then set aside on a plate.

Once the tuna patties are formed, heat a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium heat and place a thin layer of avocado oil on the bottom. Once hot, add the tuna patties and cook until browned on each side.

Place a slice of cheddar cheese if desired on top of the patties about 1 minute before they’re done cooking, cover with a lid to melt the cheese then remove from the heat.

Tuna patties topped with cheddar cheese and filled with apples and dijon mustard.

How to serve tuna patties

Just like these crispy salmon bites, you can enjoy these apple cheddar tuna patties/burgers/cakes on a pita bread or pita pocket like I did or, on top of a salad or traditional burger bun. 

You can even place them in a lettuce wrap or eat them as is for a lower-carb option.

Can I substitute the dijon mustard?

I know not everyone is a fan of mustard which is why I note in the recipe the hummus alternative.

I used half dijon mustard and half hummus as my “binder” for the tuna patties but you can use all mustard, all hummus or a mixture of the two.

I like the flavor of dijon mustard with the apples and cheddar in the tuna patties but a flavored hummus would work just as well or keep things simple and use plain hummus.

Enjoy these apple cheddar tuna patties in a pita pocket, on a salad or in a bun for an easy lunch.

Mine are sticking to the pan, what did I do wrong?

It’s important to keep a thin layer of oil in the pan.

You might have to add a bit more after flipping the tuna patties so they don’t stick. 

I don’t have avocado oil, what other oil can I use?

I like avocado oil because it has a high smoke point but extra virgin olive oil will also work if you’re keeping the heat around medium on the stove top.

Do these store well?

Yes, these tuna fish patties will keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3-5 days. They’re an easy way to meal prep your lunch at the beginning of the week and grab one each day.

Are tuna patties healthy?

I’d absolutely call these a healthy tuna patty!

They’re loaded with high quality lean protein and lower in carbohydrates letting you “accessorize” it as you wish for a well balanced meal. 

Learn how to make these easy and flavorful homemade tuna patties for a tasty spin to lunch or dinner.

Why I love these apple cheddar tuna patties

While normally, you’ll find tuna patties made with lots of lemon flavor (juice and zest), sometimes capers and fresh parsley or dill, I wanted this recipe to reflect fall as we move into the season.

The grated apple adds a nice tart flavor (I used a Granny Smith) while providing the moisture needed to help bind the patties together (like lemon juice otherwise would).

Hummus and/or dijon mustard are another nice flavor component that do the work of a raw egg so you don’t need to worry about any raw ingredients both from a mess and bacteria standpoint.

These patties technically don’t have to be “cooked” but more so warmed up since everything going into them is already cooked.

The result is a simple, quick and easy high-protein meal that tastes great, embraces the season and can be enjoyed in many different ways!

Cheddar topped tuna patties made in the skillet and filled with apples for a fall twist.

If you’re looking for a classic nostalgic tuna dish, try this dairy free tuna casserole that uses two cans of tuna.

Serious comfort food with a bunch of healthier twists to the original!

Love this recipe for tuna patties? Don’t miss these too:

Dijon Dill Salmon Salad
Turmeric Chicken Salad
Chickpea Pesto Sandwich
Creamy Dijon Egg Salad
Creamy Sriracha Avocado Egg Salad
Smoked Salmon BLT with Avocado

5 from 3 votes

Apple Cheddar Tuna Patties

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 23 minutes
skillet cooked apple cheddar tuna patties
These healthy tuna patties are made with wild-caught canned tuna, freshly grated apples and cheddar cheese – a simple recipe for a delicious lunch!


  • 8 ounces 2 cans Blue Harbor wild Albacore tuna, drained
  • 3/4 cup grated apple
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard, *see note
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hummus, *see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • avocado oil for cooking


  • Place a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions and saut́e for 2-3 minutes until softened. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredient to the bowl with the onions and stir with a fork or spatula to thoroughly combine.
  • Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 even sized patties.
  • Add enough avocado oil to lightly cover the bottom of the same pan used for the onions. Place skillet over medium heat.
  • Once hot, add the patties to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary to keep from sticking.
  • A minute before patties are done, lay a slice of cheddar on top of each one, cover the skillet with a lid until melted.
  • Serve patties in a pita pocket, on a bun or over top a salad.


*You can use all (3 tablespoons) dijon mustard, all hummus or a mixture of both as stated in the recipe. Adjust to your preference or what you have on hand. You will need a total of about 3 tablespoons though to hold/bind the tuna mixture together.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 21gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 677mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I took these to work for lunch and they were AMAZING! I am definitely going to be making these all the time now!