Potato-Overload Leftover Makeover: Tuna Veggie Patties

Tuna veggie patty on a white plate.

I don’t know about you, but I have a horrible time judging how many potatoes to cook, even for just two people. I always end up cooking too many, or find myself wishing I had cooked up more — though I tend to err on the side of caution and the old family motto of better to have too much rather than not enough!

This week, I found myself in this very predicament. I had two bags of mini white potatoes and thought, “I’ll just cook them all up!” Well, that’s about 2 lbs of potatoes. For two people, I really should have been thinking this through a little bit. We couldn’t possibly get through all those potatoes and still have the rest of the leftovers (chicken, veggies, etc.). So, yesterday, I found myself staring at about a pound or so of cooked potatoes and nothing to go with them, as the rest of the meal components had already been devoured.

What on earth was I going to do with these potatoes?

I had a revelation while at work: Mom used to make us salmon-potato patties for breakfasts on the weekends sometimes with canned salmon. Now, as I’ve likely said before, I’m not a seafood/fish fan, but I can eat canned tuna or canned salmon. I always have cans of low sodium tuna in the pantry. Salmon, not so much — I really get grossed out picking out all the icky bits in salmon, so I tend not to buy it. I’m very particular about salmon — it can’t have any of those little bits in it (you know the stuff). Anyway,  I digress. I got thinking: why not do the same thing but with tuna???

I also had some uncooked veggies in the crisper that were needing to get used up soon before they went bad, so I decided to put my own twist on these. Mom’s were always salmon and potato with salt and pepper for seasoning. She may have even added onion to hers, but I don’t really recall. That was a lonnnnng time ago! And seeing as I can’t eat onion right now, I was looking for other ways to spruce these patties up. So here’s what I did…


  • 1 to 1.5 lbs leftover potatoes (boiled, steamed, mashed, whatever)
  • (if the potatoes aren’t already mashed) 1/4 C skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Mrs Dash Table Blend seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt (to taste)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cans low sodium tuna, drained and flaked
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 ears-worth of corn niblets (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup — you could use a small can of corn or frozen corn; I just happened to have two cobs of corn in the fridge)
  • panko breadcrumbs (for coating)
  • olive oil (for frying)


  1. If your potatoes aren’t already mashed, combine the potatoes and milk and mash until soft. I left mine somewhat chunky. You’ll be mixing this up further with the other ingredients, so the potatoes will break down  further anyway. I don’t recommend making the potatoes too smooth, or the mixture might not stick together too well as patties (they might be too soft).
  2. Combine by hand the potatoes, seasonings, eggs, tuna, carrots, celery and corn in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Form into patties and set on a large plate in layers (I put five or six on the first layer, then place a sheet  of wax paper on top before adding the  next layer and so on). You should get somewhere between 16 and 20 patties, depending on how large you make them. I generally try to make them no larger than palm-sized in diameter.
  4. Cover the entire plate in plastic wrap (cover it really well and tight) and place in the fridge to set. The longer they set, the better they will hold their shape in the  pan when you fry them up. I’d say leave them in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, pour olive  oil into a pan, about half to a centimetre deep at most. Heat over  a medium heat.
  6. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a flat surface like a plate and coat all surfaces of each patty. When oil is hot, carefully place 4-6 patties in your pan, depending on the size of the pan. Cook up in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (or  they won’t crisp up).
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until  golden brown.
  8. Set onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain for a moment, then serve.

I made these up last night but didn’t cook them. They’ve been sitting in my fridge and will get cooked up for brunch tomorrow for hubby and I — but I just whipped one up for my breakfast as a taste-test this morning and I have to say, this might be one of my favourite ways of eating tuna and using leftover potatoes now! I hope you enjoy and remember: adjust seasonings to your tastes! You might like green onion or onion in yours, or dill and a splash of lemon, or some other  seasoning. The point to this is to make leftovers into something new and enjoyable.

Remember: just make it tasty! 🙂

EDIT: To make these a little more tasty, add some seasoned salt to the breadcrumbs.

Tuna veggie  patty partially eaten

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