Fish cakes (made with canned fish)

fish cakes on spinach with a toasted English muffin & sliced tomato
my kids like to eat them in sandwich form (here with kale)

This is one of our favourite ways to get the recommended weekly serving of oily fish. It a very flexible recipe that can be adapted according to your tastes or what you have on hand. This recipe was adapted from Easy Tuna Cakes at Eating Well.


Fish cakes

  • 1 c cooked white beans (canned is fine)
  • 3-4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 t spicy, seedy mustard (Dijon is fine, or use any mustard you have)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • some fresh or dried herbs (chives are my family’s favourite, but we’ve made this with basil, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, dill, etc.)
  • 2 cans of fish, broken into bite-sized pieces if very large (sardines, mackerel, tuna all work well; we usually use sardines because they have the most omega-3 for the least cost and environmental impact)
  • 1/4-1/2 c whole wheat breadcrumbs (cornmeal works fine if you don’t have breadcrumbs handy and want a bit of breadiness)
  • some minced or grated onion, any kind (optional)
  • about 30-50g grated cheese (optional)


  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t spicy, seedy mustard (Dijon is fine, or use any mustard you have)
  • 1-2 T olive oil (we like our dressing less oily, so we are aiming for a bit less than the lemon juice)
  • salt and pepper
  • minced herbs from the same herbs you used in the cakes (optional)


  • 1 T olive oil


  • toasted whole wheat English muffins
  • sliced tomatoes
  • some sturdy salad greens (spinach, kale, etc.)


Fish cakes

  • Mash beans a little with a fork or potato masher (fun for kids to do), then mix all ingredients together.


  • Put ingredients in a jar with a secure lid, shake well. (This is a great job for a kid who wants to help and is old enough not to drop the jar on the floor.)


  • Scoop out about 1/4 c of batter for each fish cake (we use a large cookie scoop for this and all other fritters.)
  • Place scoopfuls in a lightly-oiled skillet (or several) over medium heat. It takes several if you want to cook them all at once, but if you’re happy to cook in batches, you only need one. We usually get 13-16 cakes.
  • Press down lightly to flatten.
  • Flip when lightly browned on bottom and cook on the other side.


  • Serve fish cakes on greens, spoon some dressing over.
  • My kids like to assemble this into a fish burger on an English muffin with the tomato slices.


~13-16 fish cakes, which is usually enough for 4-5 people


Made with 3 eggs, 50g cheese and a red onion last time, this recipe made 16 cakes, with each one having 76 calories, 5.7 g CHO, 1.5 g fibre, 5.2 g protein, 3.6 g fat. The dressing used 2 T olive oil and made 8 T total, with each T having 35 calories, 1.6 g CHO, 0 g fibre, 0 g protein, 3.4 g fat. Exact nutrition will depend on your own choices, including how much of each ingredient you actually put in.

Fish cakes can be stored in fridge or frozen after cooking and reheated. Dressing keeps well and can also be used as a honey mustard salad dressing.

To have 1 cup of beans handy, we cook a large batch and freeze them in 1-cup quantities, then take them out of the freezer to thaw a night or two beforehand.

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