30 Minute Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties


Every month I have a food budget I try to stick to and these Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties fit perfectly as an inexpensive meal that the whole family loves. Canned tuna is a great source of protein that won’t break the bank and can make a tasty meal. In addition, my creamy Lemon Herb Aioli pairs perfect with the patties and brings out so many bright flavors.

Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

When I think about tuna patties, it brings me back so many childhood memories. My momma would make tuna or salmon patties and serve with them with peas, mashed potato and gravy, I can smell that meal as I type this. YUM! Oh yeah, those were the days when I had someone cooking for me.

Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

In honor of childhood meals, I put a spin on the regular tuna patty and created a version that is Paleo, Whole30, and Keto compliant. My mom would always add crumbled up Ritz crackers and butter to her version, so to make this healthy, I subbed tapioca flour to hold the patty together and ghee to get the brown crispy skin. It honestly tastes just as good as the version I ate 20 years ago.

Now that I have a family of my own, I want to make the same memories with my girls surrounding food. Hopefully, they will have the same feeling in 20 years when they eat or smell tuna patties.

Creamy Aioli

What can I sub for almond flour when cooking these Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties?

Coconut flour is a great substitute, but sometimes I find the flavor a little strong. To balance it I like to mix tapioca OR arrowroot flour to the coconut flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup almond flour, I will use 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup arrowroot OR tapioca flour

Tapioca Flour / Arrowroot Flour / Coconut Flour / Almond Flour


Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

Can I cook these Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties in the skillet or air fryer?

You can cook these pistachio crusted tuna patties in the oven, air fryer or skillet. I find the easiest way to cook would be the oven or air fryer because they hold their form easier. Through experience I have found that the tuna patties will fall apart from flipping and moving them.

  • To cook in the air fryer, cover the basket with cooking spray and place the patties in a single layer and cook on 400 F for around 10 minutes. Flip half way through to make sure it cooks even on each side.
  • To cook in the skillet simply add a couple of tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil to a skillet and cook on medium/high heat around 4 minutes on each side.

Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

What else can I use the Lemon & Herb Aioli for?

This sauce is so easy and yummy to make. If you decide to make a big batch on Sunday, it will lasts you the rest of the week in the fridge. You can add this to protein, veggies or on top of a salad. I even put this on my eggs some mornings and it adds so much flavor. Sometimes I can get so bored with the same chicken and veggie dish over and over again that it’s refreshing to add this sauce that adds a ton of flavor.

Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

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Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

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Pistachio Crusted Tuna Patties

  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


A crunchy pistachio crusted tuna patty served over fresh greens and drenched in lemon herb aioli that can be done in 30 minutes. This recipe is the perfect healthy meal for the whole family and is Whole30, Paleo and gluten-free.



Tuna Patties

  • 5 cans tuna ((5 oz cans))
  • 1 tbsp compliant mayo
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard ((Annie’s is my favorite compliant brand))
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/3 cup diced onions
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup ground pistachios
  • fresh parsley (,for garnish)

Lemon Herb Aioli

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 1 small garlic clove ((If you don’t like a garlic taste, cut the clove in half))


Tuna Patties

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F, Line a baking sheet with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add in 5 cans of tuna, drained, along with 1 egg, lemon juice, zest, chopped onions, Dijon mustard, seasonings, and almond flour.
  3. Mix together until completely combined.
  4. Form tuna into 1 1/2 inch thick patties (or desired size). This recipe will usually make 8 patties.
  5. Roll the tuna patties in the ground pistachios ( I grind mine in the food processor) Add the patties to baking sheet
  6. Add the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Add a tuna patty on top of greens, drizzle with Lemon Aioli and garnish with fresh parsley.

Lemon Dill Sauce

  1. Add 1 cup of compliant mayo to a bowl. My recipe for mayo: (1 cup of light olive oil, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp lemon juice) Add all your ingredients to a mason jar and use your immersion blender to mix together until thick and creamy.
  2. Mix in the seasonings along with the lemon juice and zest. Combine with a spoon.


If you don’t have an immersion blender, the sauce will work in a regular blender. Add everything in the blender except for the LIGHT olive oil. Turn on medium speed and slowly pour in the olive oil until it becomes thick.

  • Category: Appetizer, Main Dish

Comments (7)

  • These are so delicious! I will definitely be making them again!

    • So very happy to hear. Thank you

  • I love these they are very yummy. I struggled to get the crust to stay on so they didn’t look like the picture. But still tasted wonderful

    • Practice makes perfect…..they certainly don’t have to look good to tastes amazing…….Thanks Kristen

  • These are SO GOOD! I’ve made them before, but just realized that I have all of the ingredients to make them again today. Thanks for sharing such delicious things!

  • I made this recipe for meal prep last week (subbed canned salmon for tuna because that’s what I had on hand) and it was SO GOOD! The pistachios are such a good texture touch and I love the aioli! These patties with some greens left me feeling so satisfied and nourished after lunch!

    • HOMERUN!!!! Love this Emily……thanks for letting me know


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