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an overhead shot of two tuna cakes on a small grey plate with half of a whole lemon. two additional plates with more tuna cakes are on the table above it. one of them has a small bowl of aioli on it.

tuna cakes (patties) with lemon-dill aioli

This retro recipe for bread crumb coated tuna cakes is the perfect way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. They’re so easy to make you’ll have more than enough time to make a lemon-dill aioli dip from scratch. Not feeling the aioli? They also go great with gravy.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 patties



tuna cakes

  • 12 oz tuna, drained (one 12 oz can or two 5 oz cans)
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • 12 oz russet potatoes (2 medium russet potatoes, or ~2 cups mashed potatoes)
  • ¼ cup milk (optional, to make the potatoes easier to mash)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (chopped)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

lemon dill aioli

  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (just a squeeze)
  • ¼ tsp salt (to taste)
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • ½ tsp dill weed (minced, fresh or dried)
  • freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Wash and dry potatoes. Use a fork to piece each side of the potatoes 5 times. Place in microwave safe bowl filled with approximately ½-¾ cup water. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Flip potatoes over. Microwave an additional 5 minutes. Remove from bowl, let cool 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel with your hands.
  • Mash potatoes in a medium-sized bowl. If they’re lumpy, add up to ¼ cup milk to help smooth them out. It’s okay if some lumps still remain.
  • Mash tuna in a separate bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice. Then, add tuna to the mashed potatoes along with the paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, and grated onion. Mix well to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Add the eggs and mix well to combine.
  • Pour bread crumbs into a wide, shallow bowl or Tupperware container. Use a large spoon to scoop tennis-ball sized amounts of the tuna mixture into your hands, and shape them into balls. Roll each ball in the bread crumbs to coat.
    Place the balls in a greased casserole dish, then gently flatten into discs approximately ½″ high.
  • Bake tuna cakes at 400°F for 45-50 minutes, flipping halfway through.

lemon-dill aioli

  • Combine egg yolk, salt, dry mustard, and lemon juice in a wide-mouth jar or in the container attachment of your immersion blender. Insert the immersion blender and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Very slowly, drizzle in ¼ cup of the olive oil while the immersion blender is running. Once the emulsion has formed, pour in the remaining ¼ cup olive oil, again with the immersion blender running. You can add it faster than you did the first time, but don’t dump it in all at once.
  • Add dill, garlic, and pepper, and pulse to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.


  • If your tuna mixture is too wet to shape into balls, you can sprinkle bread crumbs directly into the casserole dish in 4″ dots, spoon the mixture on top of the bread crumbs, then sprinkle more bread crumbs overtop the discs.
  • If you don’t want to make mayo from scratch or don’t have an immersion blender simply omit the egg yolk and olive oil from the aioli recipe and use 1/2 cup mayo instead. Whisk well.
  • To reheat, place on a sheet tray in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.
Love this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know!