Tuna Croquettes

Tuna Croquettes

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Refrigerate Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 8 croquettes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
530 Calories
33g Fat
26g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 530
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 407mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 649mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Croquettes are a classic fried dish that can contain potatoes, meat, or seafood. This version is similar to a crab cake but is made with canned tuna, and fried in the recognizable croquette shape. You can swap the tuna for canned salmon if desired, just don't forget to remove any bones and drain the fish first.

These tuna croquettes can be mixed up ahead of time since they need to sit in the fridge for at least three hours before frying. Prep everything the night before or that morning and stick the mixture in the fridge. When it's time to eat, all you have to do is form the croquettes and fry them.

Double this recipe if you're feeding a crowd. Croquettes make a nice party food since they can be prepped ahead of time and fried before guests arrive. Just make sure the mixture has long enough in the refrigerator before forming and frying, since they'll fall apart in the frying pan if they aren't properly chilled. Serve with tartar sauce or another sauce, such as mustard, sour cream, or ketchup.

If you're serving these as a lunch or dinner main dish, serve with fresh peas and mashed potatoes or potato salad.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 (12-ounce) can light chunk tuna, drained

  • 2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

  • Tartar sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tuna Croquettes ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender.

    onions and garlic cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika and cook, stirring, until the mixture bubbles. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

    flour, salt, pepper, and paprika added to the onions in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Add the milk, and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sauce thickens and bubbles.

    milk added to the mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Add the drained tuna and mix gently but thoroughly with a spoon.

    add tuna to the mixture in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Put the tuna mixture into a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

    tuna mixture in a bowl covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. When you're ready to eat, moisten your hands with some water and shape the tuna mixture into 8 oval patties.

    tuna mixture shaped into tuna patties, on a plate

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. In a heavy, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil to 350 F.

    skillet with oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. In a shallow dish, add the breadcrumbs.

    breadcrumbs on a plate

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in another shallow dish.

    egg and water mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Coat a croquette with the dry breadcrumbs, then dip into the egg mixture.

    tuna patty dipped into the egg mixture

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  12. Place the croquette back in the breadcrumbs and coat again. Repeat with all of the croquettes.

    tuna patty dipped into the breadcrumbs

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  13. Gently place the croquettes into the hot oil using a spider or spatula and deep-fry for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

    tuna croquettes cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  14. Drain the tuna croquettes on paper towels for a couple of minutes.

    tuna croquettes draining on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  15. Serve hot with tartar sauce for dipping.

    Tuna Croquettes served with sauce and lemon wedges

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi


  • This recipe is easy to double or triple, depending on the amount you need.
  • Use canned salmon in place of the tuna.