Diabetic-Friendly, Low-Carb Tuna Cake Appetizer: Step-by-Step With Pictures

Updated on January 13, 2019

The star ingredient of this diabetic recipe has often been underestimated. Just because it is cheap and comes in a can doesn't mean it can't turn into something more refined. For the love of fish, give canned tuna a chance to prove its true potential! This tuna cake recipe might be a good way to do so. It is healthy and low in carbs, so diabetics and weight watchers can enjoy this appetizer guilt-free. For impatient chefs, there's no need to fuss. These tuna cakes can be prepared in just about 15 minutes.

Plus Points

  • Tuna is a healthy choice of protein. The omega-3 fatty acids in tuna can improve your insulin sensitivity and strengthen your heart health.
  • This tuna cake recipe doesn't require bread crumbs or flour. Instead, you'll be using ground whole-grain oats, a complex-carb food that gives you energy without jeopardizing your blood sugar. Oats are packed with magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including those involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion.
  • Bell peppers are not only rich in fiber and cancer-preventing antioxidants, but also all the vitamins and minerals that help protect your vision. Since eye problems are a common diabetes complication, adding some bell peppers to your diet might be a good way to protect your eyesight.

Diabetic Tuna Cakes - Ingredients (for about 4 - 6 tuna cakes)

  • 10 oz. water-pack canned tuna, drained
  • 1/3 cup ground whole-grain oats
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

How to Make Low Carb Tuna Cakes

  • Finely chop garlic and green onions. Cut bell peppers into thin rings. Grind oats in a spice mill. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine tuna, ground oats, egg, dried parsley, garlic, green onions, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Mix together well with a fork.

  • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Use a big spoon to scoop up a portion of the tuna mixture. Then use your hand to shape it into a small patty of about 2 inches in diameter. Drop the tuna patty into the hot oil.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the tuna mixture. It should yield about 4 - 6 tuna cakes.
  • Flip each tuna cake after about 2 minutes or the bottom side turns golden brown.
  • Continue to cook for about another 2 minutes.
  • Remove tuna cakes from the skillet and place them on white paper towel to get rid of excess oil.

  • Heat olive oil in another skillet over medium heat.
  • Add bell pepper rings and sautee until slightly tender.
  • Sprinkle a tiny dash of salt and pepper on them if you like.
  • Arrange bell pepper rings on one or two plates. Crown them with tuna cakes. Serve with your choice of sauce. Tartar sauce, chili lime sauce and dill dressing are some great options, or you can just enjoy these tuna cakes without adding any sauce. They're already quite tasty, and omitting the sauce will also cut down your total carb intake.

© 2011 Om Paramapoonya


Submit a Comment
  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    Thanks a lot for dropping by, RTalloni.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I'll bet tuna never tasted so good!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    @prasetio - Thanks for the read, comment, bookmark and vote, my awesome reader!

    @Eiddwen - Cool. I hope he'll like these tuna cakes.

  • Eiddwen profile image


    8 years ago from Wales

    Thank you for this one. My partner is a diabetic and this recipe will come in very handy.

    Thank you once more for sharing.

    Take care


  • prasetio30 profile image


    8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    You have healthy menu for diabetic and tuna is a good choice. I love fish and thanks for make this hub so informative and Yummy as well. I'll bookmars your recipes. Well done, brother. Vote up and useful!


  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    Hey, KoffeeKlatch! So good to see you. Thanks so much for your sweet comment. :)

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Om, your tuna cakes look and sound delicious. I can't wait to try them. Up and useful.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    @randomcreative - Yes! This recipe is good for everyone. Thanks for the read. :)

    @flagostomos - Cool! Hope you'll give it a try soon. :)

  • flagostomos profile image


    8 years ago from Washington, United States

    Hmm, sounds delicious. Will give this a try.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 

    8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    I love canned tuna! I make tuna salad with it pretty regularly. This sounds like a great recipe, whether or not you are diabetic. Thanks for all of the great photos!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile imageAUTHOR

    Om Paramapoonya 

    8 years ago

    @Peggy - Thanks, Peggy! Glad you'll give this recipe a try.

    @anglnwu - Yep! Here's a napkin. hehehe

    @Heuchera - Yep, any kinds of oats will work. You'll still have to grind them first, though.

    @rsusan - That's cool. Hope your family will enjoy them. Bon appetit!

  • rsusan profile image

    Rika Susan 

    8 years ago from South Africa

    These Tuna cakes sound delicious, Om! I have been wondering what I can serve tomorrow. I think these are worth a try. The family will love them.

  • Heuchera profile image


    8 years ago

    This looks fantastic! Do you think that this would work with rolled oats?

  • anglnwu profile image


    8 years ago

    See the drool? Your presentation has just done that. They almost look as good as crabcakes. Going to give this recipe a try. Rated up all the way.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    8 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hi Om,

    You made this look as appetizing as it sounds. Good job! Will be giving these a try! Thanks.


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