Keto Southwest Tuna Cakes Recipe + Video – a low carb crispy tuna cake packed with veggies and fresh herbs, topped with a southwest sauce. Paleo, Whole30, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free, clean eating, real food.

keto southwest tuna cakes topped with sauce on a white plate and background with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice

Keto Southwest Tuna Cakes

Tuna cakes are a great back pocket recipe to have because it uses mainly pantry staples. It’s a super fast lunch or dinner I can throw together when I didn’t thaw any meat from the freezer. This recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes!

By adding in lots of veggies and fresh herbs, it adds brightness and lightness. Even more delicious when you add on my southwest sauce (just 3 ingredients I’m sure you have in your fridge right now!)

You would never guess these keto southwest tuna cakes were made from canned tuna!

batter for keto southwest tuna cakes || keto southwest tuna cakes cooking a cast iron skillet


The base of these tuna cakes is canned tuna. I love using tuna packed in water, but any tuna would work. (You could also substitute canned salmon or canned chicken! I also have this recipe for salmon cakes which is such a favorite!)

To add lots of freshness and brightness so it doesn’t feel like you’re just eating canned tuna (ha!), I love adding in tons of veggies and fresh herbs. I sauté bell pepper and celery until crisp tender, then add in parsley and green onions.

The tuna cakes are held together using almond flour and egg. (If you need these egg free or almond free I have substitution options in the Recipe Notes below!)

keto southwest tuna cakes topped with sauce on a white plate and background with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice

Tuna Cakes Sauce

After making the tuna cake batter, I scoop them out and cook them in a cast iron skillet until crispy and golden brown.

They’re even tastier topped with my keto southwest dipping sauce, which is just 3 ingredients and so delicious! It adds in even better fat macros too!

Watch Keto Southwest Tuna Cakes Recipe Demo

If you make these keto southwest tuna cakes be sure to leave a comment and give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you all and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to share and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

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keto southwest tuna cakes topped with sauce on a white plate and background with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice

Keto Southwest Tuna Cakes

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x



Keto Tuna Cakes

  • 1/2 a bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • three 6-ounce cans wild tuna, drained and moisture squeezed out in a paper towel (see Notes)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (to cook the tuna cakes in)

Keto Southwest Sauce

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons keto friendly ketchup or sriracha (True Made Foods makes my favorite for both!)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


  1. Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. When the skillet is hot, add in the 1 tablespoon avocado oil, the chopped bell pepper and chopped celery. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened. About 5 minutes.
  3. While the bell pepper and celery are cooking, prepare the tuna cake batter. In a large bowl, add the tuna, almond flour, mayonnaise, eggs, parsley, green onions, salt, and then add the cooked bell pepper and celery when they are done cooking. Use a fork to fully combine the batter.
  4. In the same cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the 1/4 of avocado oil. Heat it for 1 minute.
  5. Use a medium size cookie scoop (or measure out 1.5 tablespoons) to scoop out the tuna cake batter. Gently form them into patties with your hands.
  6. Cook the tuna cakes about 5 minutes per side until crispy and golden brown. You will need to work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  7. When the tuna cakes are done cooking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. This will keep them crispy and avoid soggy bottoms.
  8. While the tuna cakes are cooking, make the southwest sauce. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup or sriracha, and parsley. Stir to combine.
  9. Serve the tuna cakes warm topped with 2 tablespoons of the southwest sauce.
  10. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container refrigerated for at least 5 days, or frozen for at least 6 months.
  11. See the Recipe Notes below for more tips, FAQs and substitution info!


Tuna: I love using tuna packed in water, but any tuna would work. You could also substitute canned salmon or canned chicken. Same quantity for both substitutions.

Bell Pepper: Any color of bell pepper would work! I love using orange or red for a great pop of color.

Almond Free: If you need this to be almond free, you could substitute pork panko for almond flour. If you don’t need these to be keto, you could also substitute bread crumbs or panko (use gluten free versions if necessary for your diet!). Same quantities for all substitutions.

Egg Free: I’ve never tried it, but you *should* be able to use a flax egg or chia egg in place of the egg to keep this egg free. You’ll need 1 tablespoon flax seed meal or chia seeds soaked in 2.5 tablespoons water for 5 minutes.

Herbs: I love parsley in this, but cilantro would be delicious too! Same quantity. I always prefer fresh herbs, but you could use dried herbs if it’s all you have. Same quantity.

Cooking Oil: Avocado is my favorite to use since it has such a neutral flavor and high smoke point. You could also use coconut oil!

Tuna Cake Size: I love the slider size of these tuna cakes that you get from a medium size cookie scoop. They have the best “crispy edge” to “batter” ratio for me. You could make larger patties by dividing the batter into 4ths! They would need to cook for closer to 8ish minutes per side.

Nutrition Facts: The nutritional information is calculated based on the exact ingredients and quantities listed in the Ingredients above. It is for 1/4th of the tuna cake batter and 2 tablespoons of the sauce. It does not include sides. It is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary, especially if you make recipe substitutions. Always best to go off your own calculations based on the ingredients and measurements you use.

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