Healthy and protein packed tuna cakes with lemon dill aioli – a delicious and budget friendly meal that you can make in a pinch!
After the holidays I did some brain-storming on where I want to take “Dash of Mandi” this upcoming year. I have so many ideas but I’m a big believer in the saying, “you can do anything, but not everything.”
So, I wrote down all of my ideas and tried to figure out what I wanted to have a niche in. Obviously, it’s easy week-night dinners, Trader Joe’s recipes, and healthy-ISH food. But, there’s another thing I wanted to add into the mix; budget friendly meals!
With that being said, I never thought of my recipes as expensive. However, I wanted to put together some really affordable meal ideas. So, I decided to put a “budget friendly” tab on my menu bar. These tuna cakes with lemon dill aioli are definitely easy on the budget. We get our canned tuna from Costco and you cannot beat the price! Also, it’s great quality. The rest of the ingredients are also cheap. Most of them are pantry/fridge staples. The fresh dill is really the only thing you might not have on you. You can always use dried dill. Fresh is better in my opinion, but either way this dish will be delicious!
Some of my other budget friendly meals:
Beef chili – makes great leftovers!
Cauliflower gnocchi recipes – it’s under $3 a bag!
I got the inspiration to make these tuna cakes from Gordon Ramsay. I watch his show “Gordon’s Ultimate Cookery Course” all the time. In one episode he makes Asian inspired tuna cakes. They look delicious and I thought it was genius to take canned tuna and make something elevated with it. So, I’ve been making them ever since for quick week-night dinners. I decided to add my own twist with these. You can make them a number of ways! You just need a delicious sauce/spread to go with them.
I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free rice crumbs in this recipe. I love using them as a breadcrumb substitute. However, you can also use breadcrumbs. Totally up to you!
I find the tuna cakes are best cooked in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. I’ve tried air frying them too! As much as I love my air fryer, I prefer the skillet method. However, I’ll list the air fryer method in the notes section of the recipe for your reference!Print
2 tbsp olive oil
2 ( 7 oz.) cans of tuna, drained
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s rice crumbs, breadcrumbs will also work
1 clove minced garlic
1 & 1/2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
salt to taste, omit if your canned tuna has added salt
pepper to taste
Lemon Dill Aioli
3/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp dijon
salt and pepper to taste
First make the lemon dill aioli by mixing together all the ingredients until they’re well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Add drained tuna to a mixing bowl and use a fork to separate and break it up.
Add rice crumbs, garlic, mayo, dill, eggs, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Take about 1/3 cup scoops and shape into balls then flatten them to make patties.
In a large skillet over medium high heat add olive oil and evenly coat skillet. When hot, gently add the tuna cakes and let them cook about 3-4 minutes per side or until they’re golden brown and heated through. Make sure the flip them carefully.
Serve with the lemon dill aioli and enjoy!
Air Fryer Method* Spray air fryer basket. Add tuna cakes in air fryer basket in a single layer without over crowding them (may have to work in batches) Brush on a little olive oil on each tuna cake. Air fry at 360 degrees F for 5 min, flip then cook another 3-4 minutes or until they’re golden brown and cooked through.