• Leigh

Cheap and Good Fancy Dinner: Italian-Style Tuna Cakes

I frequently make tuna cakes, and this is one of many variations. The recipe is easy, quick to mix up, and the tuna cakes cook in about 20 minutes in the air fryer. The tuna cakes are moist, tender, and full of flavor thanks to a combination of ricotta and Parmesan cheese. Using the air fryer gives the tuna cakes a slightly crispy, crunchy outside. You can serve the tuna cakes "as is," or try them with the Italian/Mediterranean vegetable mix recipe I'm posting below. The vegetables cook on the stove in about 30 minutes and, with a little crusty bread, make a great meal alongside the tuna cakes. Enjoy!


Cheap and Good Fancy Dinner:  Italian-Style Tuna Cakes
Cheap and Good Fancy Dinner: Italian-Style Tuna Cakes

Italian-Style Tuna Cakes -- Makes 4


12-ounce can of tuna, drained (the cheap chunk light is fine)

1 large egg

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons of chopped fresh oregano (or use 3/4 teaspoon of dried)

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

1/4 cup of ricotta cheese (part-skim is fine)

1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of Italian-style dried bread crumbs, divided

Mediterranean vegetable mix (optional)

Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)


Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to fit in and about two inches up the sides of your air fryer basket. Fit the foil in the air fryer basket and spritz the foil with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together well the tuna, egg, lemon juice, oregano, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle on the Parmesan and one tablespoon of the bread crumbs and mix them in. Form four equal patties and place them next to each other on the aluminum foil in your air fryer basket. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the tuna cakes and press the crumbs into the cakes a bit with your hand. Spritz the crumbs with a little non-stick cooking spray. Put the filled air fryer basket in the air fryer and air fry the tuna cakes at 320 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until deep brown. Serve the tuna cakes with the Mediterranean vegetable mix and a little shaved Parmesan cheese on top, if you'd like.


Mediterranean Vegetable Mix


1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

6-8 cups of cleaned, chopped leeks

1/2 cup of chopped onion

5-6 cloves of minced garlic

14-16-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 6-8 sprigs of fresh)

1 teaspoon of dried oregano (or 6-8 big sprigs of fresh)

5-6 olives, chopped or sliced, plus 2-3 tablespoons of brine (I use kalamata olives)

Parsley, chopped or torn to garnish


Heat the oil in a large skillet or chef's pan over medium-high heat until hot and then add the chopped leeks and onions. Saute the leeks and onions for about 10 minutes or until they soften. Add the garlic and saute it with the other vegetables for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper and mix them in. Partially cover the vegetables, turn the heat down to medium low, and let the vegetables cook for another 10-15 minutes or until soft. You can add a little water if the mixture seems dry. Add the olives and brine to the mixture and then sprinkle on the parsley. Serve the veggies with the tuna cakes and a little shaved Parmesan cheese on top.


Cheap and Good Fancy Dinner:  Italian-Style Tuna Cakes with Mediterranean Vegetables
Mediterranean Vegetables for Cheap and Good Fancy Dinner: Italian-Style Tuna Cakes




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