Recipe: Lighter Tuna Patties

Good for a light lunch and for your belly
Tuna patty on grey plate with lemon wedge and dipping sauce in background.

Fish is not only delicious, but it’s also rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And eating fish, like tuna, on a regular basis can help reduce inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Try these for a light yet filling lunch!

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  • 2 cans water-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup 2% (low-fat) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat or light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard (preferably Dijon)
  • 3 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Form 4 patties. Place them in a nonstick pan or a pan lightly
  4. coated with cooking spray. Cook on medium heat until patties are slightly browned on both sides.
  5. Place patty in a whole-wheat English muffin or serve by itself.
  6. Garnish with tomato, spinach and onion, if desired.

Ingredient health benefits

  • Tuna: While its strong flavor may be divisive, the wealth of vitamins found in this saltwater fish is something we can all get behind. Tuna is one of the richest food sources of vitamin B6, which supports brain and heart health, and vitamin B12, which (among other things) helps your body make DNA and happy, healthy red blood cells.
  • Carrots: There’s more to these beloved taproots than meets the eye. Carotenoids, pigments that give many vegetables their delectable colors, are an important nutrient found in carrots — especially beta-carotene, which helps fight inflammation, preserve your vision and is chock full of antioxidants.
  • Celery: This stalky vegetable is packed with vitamin C and vitamin K, which can help heal wounds and build strong bones. It also has folate, or vitamin B9, which wears a lot of hats when it comes to maintaining your health, from improving your thinking and memory to supporting a healthy pregnancy.
  • Cheese: Dairy often gets a bad rap on the health foods scene, but things aren’t as black-and-white as they seem. Eating cheese is a good way to get some omega-3s and may help reduce your blood pressure, protect your teeth from cavities and keep your gut health in check.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 171
Protein: 21 g
Carbohydrate: 6 g
Dietary fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 1 g
Total fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sodium: 304 mg
Potassium: 209 mg
Calcium: 62 mg
Iron: 1 mg

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