Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers

Easy Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers Recipe - made with canned tuna! These are a HIT!

These lemon garlic tuna burgers are going to become your new favorite recipe. I just want to put that out there. As the title states, they’re loaded with lemon, garlic, and scallions, and impossibly easy because I use canned tuna!

I was inspired to make them two days ago, when I swore I’d never use my stove ever again.

Easy Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers Recipe - made with canned tuna! These are a HIT!


It all started as I was pulling a big pot of boiled pasta off of the stove, carrying it to the sink with pot holders to drain. I tossed the oven mitt backward, over my shoulder as one might toss salt for good luck, or a bouquet of flowers at a wedding, and got to work giving myself some solid second-degree steam burns over the hot colander.

Easy Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers Recipe - made with canned tuna! These are a HIT!

As I’m lifting the colander, draining every last drop of water from those slippery noodles, I smell smoke. I turned to the stove, saw the pot holder face down on the electric burner, puffing away in a grey, billowy haze. I dropped the pasta, immediately picked up the smoking holder, saw three rose-red embers juuuuust flirting with flaming, and screeched, “DANIEL OPEN THE WINDOW!!”

At this point, I’m midway through our apartment, running toward the window with a green, smoking oven mitt, wondering why Daniel hasn’t yet thrown open even one of our nine-foot-tall windows. Not exactly the time to be knee deep in Xbox games, you know?

Alarmed, Daniel says, “No, Andie, throw it in the sink!”

“Wha-? It’s going to go on fire!!!” (I’m eloquent like that.)

Still holding the smoldering pot holder, I double back to the kitchen, toss it into a sudsy bowl I’d been “soaking” (waiting for Daniel to wash), and flip on the faucet. I watch as it smokes more, but settles, and eventually sinks in the soapy bowl.

And then it hits me.

What exactly did I think would happen to those flickering flames once they were out the window? Would the air extinguish them, would blowing on them with all my might, have helped? Better yet, would anything have been better had the fire occurred OUTSIDE on the narrow patio of my five story apartment building?

And just as I realized my own error, gave myself a stern mental talking to, breathed for the first time in nearly 4 minutes, and forgave myself for such immense stupidity, Daniel approached to reiterate it.

Daniel: “Monkey, you really, really, and I mean really, worry me that you thought throwing a smoking pot holder out the window would have been your solution to a fire crisis.”

Me: I know, I’m so sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. [For journalistic integrity, Daniel has insisted that I add that I did not, in fact, say this.]

Moral of the story: We [read: I] will not be using the stove for a little while.

Easy Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers Recipe - made with canned tuna! These are a HIT!

I’ll be using the oven.

Is that better? I hope so.

These tuna burgers will become a staple for you. For a recipe that’s made with a can of tuna, you won’t believe how truly delicious and fresh they taste–in large part to the brightness of the lemon and parsley. I like to make a batch and freeze them, then reheat in a pinch. They’re always a hit with everyone!

Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers

Makes: 4 Servings

Serving Size: Serving: 1 Tuna Patty

Calories per serving: 175

Fat per serving: 4g

Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers

Don't just make plain ol' tuna salad with your canned tuna, make ultra-flavorful tuna burgers!


  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna fish, drained and flaked
  • ½ cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, panko, scallions, parsley, garlic, lemon, sour cream, egg, salt, and pepper, and mix well with your hands. Form into 4 patties (they will be wet), place on the prepared baking sheet, and bake dry on the outside and slightly puffed, 16 to 20 minutes.
  3. Serve the burgers on toasted English muffins with lettuce and tomato.

Nutrition Information & Notes:

(not including bun): Calories 175, Fat 4g, Carb: 10g, Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 24g





155 thoughts on “Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers

  1. Ashlei

    Wow I’m glad you caught the fire in time! I’ve done that before, but luckily no flame – it was only on the edge of the burner.

    Love the idea of tuna burgers – I’ve only done salmon burgers/patties before, but I’ll need to give these a try soon.

  2. Janice Harper

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who turns into Lucy Ricardo when crises hit! As for a creme brulee torch, count your blessings. My daughter got me one for Christmas a couple of years back and I thought it was the best present ever. Forty creme brulees and twenty pounds later, I had to retire the torch before the Eskimos came to harvest me for blubber! Relieved to hear you’re safe.

  3. Jessica

    Traumatic, yet hilarious post :)
    I shudder to think what would happen if something caught fire while my husband was playing xbox.
    It would probably be curtains for us.

  4. Lisa @ Thrive Style

    Well—now you know what to do (and what not to do!). So, you’re covered for the future :)
    One time on thanksgiving, my mom opened the oven. Somehow the turkey was on fire and she threw the potholder she was holding in the oven and then shut the door. Obviously that didn’t help…. lesson learned!

  5. Stephanie @cookinfanatic

    Oh my goodness that is scary, I’m so glad that everything ended up okay!! I would have reacted the same way too haha, seriously, I can see it playing out now…

    These tuna burgers are intriguing me, I’m thinking I need to try them :)

  6. katie kortman

    these look delicious! I can’t wait to make them. but one question… I thought in the last post you mentioned there was brown rice in them? did you change that? Or was it accidentally left off?

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Hi Katie! Thanks! Yes, when I originally made them I used brown rice, because that was all I had on hand for the Hunger Challenge and didn’t want to break the rules, but I do think bread crumbs would be better. Do whichever you have though!

  7. cozydelicious

    I love that you tried to throw the fire out the window! Thank goodness for calm men… the last time (and yes, it has happened more than once) that I set the toaster on fire, my husband had to rescue me with the fire extinguisher. In my panic I just couldn;t figure out how to get the thing to work!

  8. On a Tangent

    I really need to get brave and try tuna. I have never, in my whole life, eaten tuna (except in kindergarten, when I tried it and promptly spit it out). I’ve had a taste aversion ever since, lol. :)

    1. Tricia Cotman

      I had the same issue. In 2nd grade, I gagged on a bite of my tuna fish sandwich. Didn’t try it again until a few years ago. Now, I love it! Give it a try. :)

  9. [email protected]

    I have actually done this before (with a pan…not a hot pad though)! In my defense I live on the lower level so the window is right by the sink. That way I can spray the fire with the sink’s hose without having flames near me. I love the conversational disclaimer! Great story!

  10. Tamar

    These look awesome! Quick question, though: you said the day before they had brown rice in them; did you leave it out the second time or is it a mistake it’s not in the recipe?

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Hey Tamar! Yes, when I first made them I used brown rice because that’s all I had in my Hunger Challenge grocery cart. But I’d recommend using breadcrumbs because I think they’d hold together better and have a better texture. That said, they still tasted great with rice!

  11. hungryhealthyhappy

    Hi Andrea! New reader here & I am already in love! Your conversation posts are too funny. :)

    Can’t wait to try out this recipe–as a single gal with a very limited budget, this is right up my alley!

  12. Sareen Akharjalian

    So sorry to hear about the fire! Hope it didn’t traumatize you :( I have a question about the recipe. What does the sour cream do and is it necessary? Can it be substituted for anything else? Thanks a lot!

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Hi Sareen! The sour cream gives it a creamy moisture and it also acts as a binder. But you could substitute yogurt, mayonnaise, etc. Try leaving it out if you’d like, I’m just thinking they’ll taste dry. Thanks for asking :)

  13. Pingback: Food Dancer | Hungry Healthy Happy

  14. Heather

    I made these the other night and my husband loved them so much that he called me on his way home from work the next night asking what he needed to pick up at the grocery store so I could make them again! Needless to say, we loved these, thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe :)

  15. Kelli

    These burgers are phenomenal! I didn’t think I was going to enjoy them as much as I did! They will definitely be part of our menu at least once a week. Thanks!

  16. Martha

    Normally, I’m not a huge fan of tuna but decided to give this recipe a shot. After all, I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried on here so far… and it was another success!!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Pingback: Tuna Burger

  18. Tina

    Making these right now :D
    In the oven cooking as I type :D (in Australia for those wondering why I am up cooking burgers at such a weird time!)

  19. Pingback: Top 10 Burger Recipes « The Frugal Flambe

  20. Audrey Ellen

    These look like they would freeze well, what do you think? I am always looking for recipes that I can store because I am a college student often cooking for one and it’s nice to be able to make something and not let the rest go to waste.

  21. Jess

    I made the Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers tonight and it was a hit with my boyfriend and I. We are going to make this more often. Thank you for posting this.. So Yummy!!

    R.I.P Little pot holder ;)

  22. Pingback: Upcoming Eats & Grocery List « Life as a Feast

  23. Pingback: Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers « Life as a Feast

  24. Pingback: What I want to eat this weekend « Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat

  25. Pingback: Inspiring Tuna Burgers | Starting Out Fit

  26. Melissa

    I just recently discovered your blog and I’ll definitely be back! The pictures look amazing and the stories behind them all are even better. I’ll be trying these tomorrow so wish me luck! Check out our fellow Pacific Northwest blog when you get a chance!

  27. Jackie

    oh my gosh I’m so glad i clicked on this to read for that STORY! This is something I would completely do, my husband worries daily about my ability to keep myself alive without intervention. whoops!

  28. Linda K

    Another winner! Made this recipe with a friend tonight and we both loved it. I’ll be back for more… :)

  29. Mary

    Made these today…omg.

    I spread some avocado on both buns, piled on spinach, added some pickles, and melted some dill havarti on top. Heavenly!

  30. TracyDK

    I made these tonight and they are SO good! I haven’t liked tuna made any other way than tuna salad and I thought I’d give these a shot since they looked so pretty. And I’m glad I did. :) I have 3 more of your recipes that I’ll be making throughout the week. I expect I’ll have the same type of success with them as well. :D

  31. Emily

    I love your site and as I was looking through some of your recipes and found this story about the pot holder and cracked up because it is my life exactly! From my bf’s name being daniel, to leaving bowls in sink to “soak” (code for waiting for him to clean them…), to a nickname my Daniel calls me (monkey). I thought it was very funny how much this story hit home for me and thought I’d share. Thanks for the recipe too, I can’t wait to try it!

  32. Pingback: Lemon Garlic Tuna Burger Recipes! Yummy

  33. Jennifer

    These are seriously SO good. I like them better without the english muffin though- because I think the bread hides their deliciousness. I’d serve them like a crab cake with a veggie side. Just discovered this website and can’t wait to try more recipes.

  34. Mallory

    Wow!!! I made these and my BF was EXTREMELY skeptical…So much that he warned me he would try them but was really not thinking he would like them..And then he ate three. I made some tartar sauce for his, because he doesn’t like mayo plain, but I had mine with a little mayo and lettuce:) YUM!! We had them on toasted sandwhich thins.

  35. HR

    I just want to congratulate you on being the first since 1990 to get me to actually finish something with fish in it. I know, I know, it’s so HEALTHY. I try it all the time in the hope that my taste buds will finally relent and quit rejecting it with such voracity– I just hate it. But something [odd] came over me yesterday and I just had to make these for dinner. And I liked them. I didn’t love them, but I liked them. And from a fish-hater, that’s pretty huge. Next time I think I’ll add more garlic (yes, next time!).

  36. McButter

    These were SO good! And super easy. Add some sliced avocado and a dab of chipotle ketchup (just add some chipotle chili powder to your ketchup) and viola! I will be making these again and I think the cooked burgers will freeze well too. Thanks!

  37. Casey

    Just made these tonight (ate one and froze the rest) – and SO delicious. I’ve been trying to watch what I’m eating and eat more fish, so these were right up my alley! I had mine on a whole wheat bun with some pesto mayonnaise and baby spinach :)
    I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  38. Pingback: 3 Best Canned Tuna Recipes | Can You Stay For Dinner?

  39. Pingback: Tuna Cakes with Scallions and Lemon | Can You Stay For Dinner?

  40. Pingback: tuna burgers « A Girl and Her Apron

  41. Pingback: Tuna Burgers - Attempts at Domestication

  42. Sara

    You said that these freeze well, but how do you recommend re-heating? Will these microwave well or do I need to re-bake? I would love to be able to freeze these and take them to work for lunch but don’t have an oven there.

    1. Andie

      Hi Sara,
      I usually throw them in the oven from their frozen state to recrisp them, but I know the microwave will work as well. They’ll be tougher and perhaps drier, but give them 1 minute on high and then assess how much longer you’ll need to heat them :)

  43. Isobel

    These burgers are fantastic!!
    My housemates and I jazzed them up a bit with whole-grain buns instead of english muffins, and chopped up sundried tomatoes in the patties too.
    Post and re-post – I love your blog! xo

  44. Allison

    I have been waiting to try one of your recipes and when I could not think of anything creative for tonight I thought of you immediately. My boyfriend swore he hated tuna but after taking one bite of this burger he reluctantly admitted he loved tuna and wants to have th once a week. Thank you so much for te delicious dinner and the win with my boyfriend ;)

  45. Nancy

    I made these tuna burgers tonight and they were delicious!. They were very easy to make. Just wanted to let you know what a good recipe you have.

  46. marissa

    Thank you. Thank you. My husband really struggles with weight and these recipes have been delicious and healthy. Plus my kids have loved them all! My husband says this is the best way to use tuna =).

  47. mariana, costa rica

    i made the tuna burgers last night for my kids. they turned out great. we loved them! using whole wheat muffins was excellent. i used a little mayo and dijon on the bread instead of sour cream.
    thank you!

  48. Kelsey

    Just finished making these burgers and took my first bite… OUTSTANDING! I used a whole wheat thin roll, toasted and some spinach instead of the lettuce (it was all I had) and I can’t tell you how much I love this. These are going to become a staple in my diet plan for sure! Thank you so much!!

  49. Pingback: Diet April 2012 Menu | OAMC from Once A Month Mom

  50. Mel K

    Just tweaked these into tuna cups…yummy! Used wonton wrappers and a regular muffin pan baked at 375 for 10-12 mins, until edges were crispy. Added some fresh parmesan cheese and a little mozzarella and subbed greek yogurt for sour cream and cilantro for parsley. Will definitely make them again. YUM!

  51. Shahira

    I love your tuna burgers and tweeked them with fresh mozzarella on the inside and sprinkle on top since my caloric intake is a little higher. It was heavenly. I made it once a month for the last two monthes and I loved it every time. This last batch I made it your way minus the cheese and it was awesome. Thanks so much for helping me decrease my take out/eat out habit.

  52. Rebecca

    I think you may have changed my mind on tuna, this looks so yummy and so easy to make, love that it’s not loaded with mayo and fried. Will be making these this week for a 6 year old and my husband. Glad you were safe.

  53. Arthur

    Andie – I just discovered your site and tried out your Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers. Fantastic! Made them exactly as you said but added some capers and hot sauce. Truly wonderful. Can’t wait to try your other recipes. Thanks!

  54. Christine

    I wanted to make something for dinner, so I came to your website, and found these!
    I made them, but I didn’t have muffins, so I made rice.
    I didn’t have Panko, so I crumb-ified some crackers,
    I didn’t have green onion, so I put in chopped Romaine lettuce.. I hate parsley, so I put in 1 1/2 tbs of oregano, 1/2 tbs of basil.. And I didn’t have sour cream, so I put in cream and extra lemon.
    Haha! Well, anyway! THEY WERE DELICIOUS. Thank you for opening my eyes to this idea!

  55. Kylie

    I tried your recipe for the tuna burgers with a little twist since I didn’t have all the ingredients. In place of the panko bread crumbs, I crushed up 5 multigrain Saltines, and I used 1/2 tsp of dried dill weed instead of the green onion. They were truly something to behold, so thanks so much for the base- that’s always the hardest part, flavor variations are easy. ;)

  56. Stefanie

    These look great, can’t wait to try them. Pinterest brought me here, and now I’m having a great time reading through your recipes and stories – you have a fantastic site. You have such a nice writing style!

  57. Pingback: Menu Planning « Working With What You Have

  58. Pingback: June 18 to July 1 Menu Plan « Working With What You Have

  59. Pingback: 6/18-6/24 Menu Recap + Next Week’s Plan « Working With What You Have

  60. Pingback: Tuna Burgers « Working With What You Have

  61. Chevy

    Love your style of writing – you’re really quite funny. Had me grinning ear to ear in the office today.

    Good looking recipe too – I look forward to trying it out myself :)

  62. Pingback: June 25th’s 7-day Food Rewind + Next Week’s Plan « Working With What You Have

  63. Pamela

    Made these tonight and <3 them! Even the hubby was impressed and he's a meat and potatoes man! I'm down 170 pounds after gastric bypass. Thanks for putting great recipes out there!

  64. Rachel

    years ago i once caught a pot holder on fire. my instinct was to beat the pot holder against the counter until the fire was out, which worked both well and quickly. after i’d gotten it out my entire family asked why i hadn’t put it in the sink that was full of water less than a foot away from me. the answer was that water hadn’t even occurred to me and quite frankly i’d forgotten the sink existed for a moment.

    and these burgers are QUITE delicious, i’m off to make some more right now, actually.

  65. Alicia

    Oh my! These were so delicious. My children devoured them and my husband ate two. I’m already excited about making them again. The best part? I saved so many calories that I was able to have REAL ice cream for desert. Yes, real.

  66. Pingback: A Weekend in Pictures and a Zucchini Recipe | Fland-Made

  67. Jessica Siegal

    OMG your story about the fire made me laugh hysterically!! I probably would have reacted the same way. I’m always yelling from the kitchen about stuff while my husband is playing Xbox and murmuring “uhhh huhh” and “be right there” meanwhile everything is out of control and I’ve burnt myself and the dinner!

  68. Pingback: Ready, set, diet!Keto. Fat. Carbs. | Keto. Fat. Carbs.

  69. Brittany

    Mine are in the oven ask I type. So excited! They’re not piddly little things either. I can’t wait to eat them.

  70. Pingback: tuna patties « life, loves & liz (me)

  71. Pingback: Top 10 Delicious Lunch Ideas | Mens Fitness News

  72. Pingback: Rejects | More Thyme Than Dough

  73. Pingback: Warm, Hot Tuna Fish Dinner Recipes - Warm Tuna Dishes for Dinner — ModernMami™.com

  74. Pingback: Tuna and vegetables | slittlebear

  75. Michele Gouveia Allen

    I have made these twice now and absolutely love them. Thanks for the great recipe. I enjoy finding new ways to make tuna and this one is just awesome. Thanks again!

  76. Pingback: Menu Planning #2 « The Life of a {New} Country Wife

  77. Pingback: Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers « raudette

  78. Kelsey

    Could plain Greek yogurt be used as a substitution for sour cream? I really want to try this, and I tend to go a little overboard with the calories sometimes :)

  79. Mekayla

    Do you think it would work to do these in the skillet instead and cook them for a few minutes on each side? Thanks!

    1. Andie Mitchell Post author

      Hey Mekayla,

      Yes, pan-cooking them would work well! Just add two teaspoons of oil to a large skillet set over medium heat and cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side.


  80. Pingback: 56 Healthier Burger Recipes for Summer | Complete Recipe

  81. Lance Alexander

    I’ve been using an old recipe from Men’s Health for a long time that incorporates a 1/4C oats instead. My version used 1/2C Breadcrumbs AND 1/2C oats with additions of choice, 2 eggs, then formed into patties and cooked. They’re very hearty and reasonably healthy, but I think i’ll try yours tonight since they’re very minimal and easy.
    I’m new to your food blog and will be browsing starting… now!

  82. Pingback: | recipe post one | | | jonelle orozco |

  83. Pingback: 16 Lunch Ideas to Inspire You - Stuff Parents Need

  84. Pingback: 50 Delicious Weight Watchers Dinners | Slender Kitchen

  85. Rachel

    I made these with a slight variation… Olive oil instead of sour cream and a flax egg. They turned out great with roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes!! Thank you for the great recipe!

  86. Pingback: AJC Grill Week: Recipes for healthier burgers | Atlanta Restaurant Scene with John Kessler

  87. Jamela

    These burgers turned out pretty good. I was expecting them to amazing. They were not amazing, but they were pretty good.

  88. Sydney Murphy

    I found this recipe and immediately tried it! I was a bit skeptical at first, because I thought the texture would be a bit off, but they turned out great!

  89. Pingback: Tuna Burgers | Life Lived

  90. Pingback: Menu Plan for Week 26 of 2012 | Life Lived

  91. Pingback: Menu Plan for Week 25 of 2012 | Life Lived

  92. Pingback: Our Favorite {healthy} Recipies | kayliraebartlett

  93. Pingback: Our Picks for Best Burgers

  94. Robbie Jane

    I have been making these for a couple of years now. It’s made it into our rotation because both our picky eaters (2.5 and 4.5 years) will eat them. Delicious! Thanks!

  95. Pingback: Salmon Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Mint | Can You Stay For Dinner?

  96. Pingback: 56 Healthier Burgers - Rally Health

  97. Katie Williams

    This is an awesome recipe! I did alter it quite a bit based on what I had on hand. I used Italian-spiced panko, chives instead of scallions, and I left out the parsley. I also added dried oregano and some chili powder. The English muffins were sourdough, and I used a little Dijon mustard on the finished burger. Really very good! This is definitely going in my recipe box.

  98. Pingback: What are some of your staples?

  99. Pingback: Salmon Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Mint - Andie Mitchell

  100. Pingback: Tuna Cakes with Scallions and Lemon - Andie Mitchell

  101. Pingback: Tuna Burgers My Kids Will Eat | Fefferfit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *