Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers



You know, I was feeling pretty darn proud o’ myself for not having burnt my house down yet. I mean, think about the amount of time I spend cooking and baking and reheating and reheating and cooking and lamenting that I don’t have a blow torch for things like crème brulee and scaring Daniel.

I was smitten with myself.

Until I almost burnt the house down two days ago.




Funny story, really.

I was just pulling a big pot of freshly boiled pasta from 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 second degree burns with steam over the hot colander. Burns and open facial pores, I say.




As I’m lifting the colander, draining every last drippety drop of water from those slippery noodles, I smelled smoke. I turned to the stove, saw the pot holder face down on the electric burner, puffing away with grey, billowy haze. I dropped the pasta, immediately picked up the smoking holder, saw three rose-red embers juuuuust flirting with flaming, and screeched to Daniel (seated calmly on the couch),


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 the time to be knee deep in Xbox games, you know?

Alarmed, Daniel says sternly, “No, Andrea, put 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” (code for waiting for Daniel to wash it), 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 storied apartment?

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, I mean really, worry me that you thought throwing the 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. He would also like me to mention that I instead cried and told him to make dinner for himself….And me.]

Moral of the story: We [read: I] will not be using the stove top for quite some time.

The end.



Tuna Burgers Cost Breakdown:

2, 6 oz cans tuna fish, drained and flaked 1.98
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 0.30
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions 0.20
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 0.20
2 cloves garlic, minced  0.10
1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper  0.02
juice of half a lemon 0.35
3 tablespoons sour cream 0.30
1 egg 0.15
4 English muffins 1.25
4 leaves romaine 0.50
1 small tomato, sliced 0.99
Total: $6.34, or $1.59 per burger


Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers

Yield: 4 Servings

Serving Size: 1 Tuna Patty

Calories per serving: 175

Fat per serving: 4g

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





  1. says

    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. says

    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. says

    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. says

    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. says

    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. says

    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?

    • says

      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. says

    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. says

    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. :)

  9. says

    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 says

    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?

    • says

      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. says

    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. says

    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!

    • says

      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. says

    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 :)

  14. Kelli says

    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!

  15. Martha says

    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!

  16. Tina says

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

  17. says

    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.

  18. Jess says

    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 😉

  19. says

    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!

  20. says

    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!

  21. Linda K says

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

  22. Mary says

    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!

  23. TracyDK says

    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. 😀

  24. Emily says

    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!

  25. Jennifer says

    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.

  26. says

    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.

  27. HR says

    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!).

  28. McButter says

    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!

  29. Casey says

    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!

  30. Sara says

    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.

    • says

      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 :)

  31. Isobel says

    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

  32. says

    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 😉

  33. Nancy says

    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.

  34. marissa says

    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 =).

  35. mariana, costa rica says

    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!

  36. Kelsey says

    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!!

  37. Mel K says

    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!

  38. Shahira says

    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.

  39. Rebecca says

    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.

  40. says

    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!

  41. Christine says

    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!

  42. says

    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. 😉

  43. Stefanie says

    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!

  44. says

    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 :)

  45. Pamela says

    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!

  46. Rachel says

    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.

  47. Alicia says

    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.

  48. Jessica Siegal says

    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!

  49. Brittany says

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

  50. Michele Gouveia Allen says

    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!

  51. Kelsey says

    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 :)

  52. Mekayla says

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

    • says

      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.


  53. Lance Alexander says

    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!

  54. Rachel says

    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!

  55. Jamela says

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

  56. Sydney Murphy says

    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!

  57. Robbie Jane says

    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!


  1. […] As I mentioned in a previous post I dislike eating something unhealthy after a workout, but am too exhausted to really cook anything. Well I think I may have found my go-to for my uninspired workout day dinner blues. The Tuna Burger. It’s simple, tasty, and versatile. It came from CanYouStayForDinner.com. […]

  2. […] As I mentioned in a previous post I dislike eating something unhealthy after a workout, but am too exhausted to really cook anything. Well I think I may have found my go-to for my uninspired workout day dinner blues. The Tuna Burger. It’s simple, tasty, and versatile. It came from CanYouStayForDinner.com. […]

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