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Easy Pesto Tuna Cakes

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Easy Pesto Tuna Cakes are an inexpensive dish to prepare using leftover mashed potatoes and pesto for a quick weeknight meal.

I know this time of year we are all looking for ways to eat a little healthier, or at least make meal time a little easier. So here’s a new one for you. I’ll admit that tuna isn’t usually at the top of my favorite foods list. I’ve never been a big fan of tuna sandwiches and it often feels like a boring protein. But tuna is super convenient, it’s got great shelf life, and is packed with all sorts of good for you vitamins and what not (super technical, I know).

Pesto Tuna Cakes on a bed of purple cabbage

So I’ve tried to come up with some dishes that my family and I can all like that uses that good for you tuna and also helps me bust some leftovers that always seem to languish in the fridge. And those leftovers are mashed potatoes. My son doesn’t like them, they are not my hubby’s favorite, and I can only eat so much of them all by my lonesome! For this particular recipe I used leftover Pesto Mashed Potatoes which turned out fabulously! It was a fun twist with great flavor!

I prefer to fry them up in a cast iron skillet. It keeps it’s heat better than a traditional pan and is well suited to doing some frying. I’ve actually tossed all of my non stick pans but one and mainly use cast iron skillets. If you do decide to get a cast iron skillet make sure to snag one of these silicon handle holders! I love mine and it makes it much nicer to cook with rather than trying to constantly hold a hot pad.

These Easy Pesto Tuna Cakes help to use up those pesky leftovers and make for a great easy dinner that doesn’t take a lot of work! I like to pair these up with Honey Lime Fruit Salad and Parmesan Garlic Green Beans for a really refreshing meal.

Easy Pesto Tuna Cakes

Easy Pesto Tuna Cakes

An easy 30 minute main dish that makes use of leftover mashed potatoes and pantry staples.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jade Jones


  • 1 can tuna drained
  • 1 1/2 cups Pesto Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • canola oil for frying


  • In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Flake tuna and gently combine with Pesto Mashed Potatoes.  Alternately, you could use 1 1/2 cups plain mashed potatoes with 1/4 cup pesto.  
  • Gently form mixture into 16 patties.  Lightly press into the flour mixture on each side, shaking off excess.
  • Heat about a 1/4 inch of canola oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat.  Fry tuna cakes in batches.  Cook on both sides for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.
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This was originally written for It’s A Keeper but I’ve recently updated the recipe and directions.

One Comment

  1. Hey Jade, my mom use to make these with crackers! I love the potato in them. I will definitely be trying them out! Thanks for sharing!

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