Vegan ‘Tuna’ Patties made with cannellini beans, hinted with subtle seaweed flavours and light curry flair. Delicious! Crispy on the outside, moist tender interior, these spiced bean patties don’t fall apart and can be served in a number of ways — with a side salad, in a bun as bean burgers, or in a wrap. They are great for meal prepping and freeze well. Vegan bean patties are soy-free with gluten-free and oil-free options.
Bean patties are simply lifesavers for me. I tend to make a big batch every couple of weeks or so and freeze them. They make easy meals accompanied with either salad, a few condiments, or they can be used as burgers in a bun or wrap.
So, I like to find ways to tweak my bean patties with different flavours, spices, herbs and types of beans. The idea of tuna-flavoured patties has been tossing around my mind for a little while. I used to make potato and tuna patties back in the day so, replicating a plant-based version, similar in flavour and texture, sounded like a good idea.
Some of you might remember our Epic Vegan Tuna Mayonnaise recipe which was quite a close replica of the real thing. Many of you have attested this in the delicious photos that you’ve been tagging us on on Instagram.
At first, I was going to base the tuna patties off this recipe but I also wanted to try something different and soy-free. White beans or cannellini beans seemed great to start with as a base ingredient. Chickpeas will undoubtedly work just as well.
To hint the ‘fishy’ flavour profile, seaweeds like nori and rehydrated kombu are perfect. I tend to save my rehydrated pieces of kombu whenever I’m making kombu broth for soups or curry bases, like in the case of the Vegan Red Curry that I shared a little while ago. If you don’t have kombu, you can use an additional sheet of nori instead, or other types of seaweed like dulse.
A piece of finely chopped or minced preserved lemon adds a lot of flavour and that tantalising sour-umami taste that makes these patties extra tasty. You can get store-bought preserved lemons, although preserving lemons with salt and vinegar is a very easy process to make at home (scroll down, it’s the last recipe on the post). The pectin present in lemons also acts as a fat replacer and helps to lock in the moisture.
Potato flour acts as a binder to hold the patty together. These bean patties don’t fall apart and are perfect served as finger food too.
To make Vegan ‘Tuna’ Patties
Like most bean patties, these no-tuna patties are easy to make. I like to use dried cannellini beans that I soak overnight and then cook the next day.
Then, the beans are mashed and the rest of the ingredients are added in to form a mixture.
A small portion of the bean mixture is rolled into a ball, then tossed into panko or breadcrumbs for a crispy coating.
The ball is then flattened into a patty and kept aside.
When all the patties are ready, I like to pan-fry them for a few minutes first in a skillet. It gives them a nice golden exterior and the oil retains the moisture. The patties are then placed in the oven for the final cooking process.
For oil-free version, you can skip the pan-frying and bake them, in which case, you probably don’t need the breadcrumbs coating.
Plant-based ‘tuna’ patties can be served with a side salad as an easy lunch or weeknight dinner. They can go in a bun as bean burgers, or in a wrap for a delicious packed lunch. I love meal prepping a batch of them for the week. They can be kept frozen once breaded and then cooked directly from frozen following the same cooking instructions. To save time, I sometimes freeze them partially cooked, i.e. after lightly pan-frying or half-baking them, then they are easy to just reheat in the oven.
These vegan bean patties are very nutrient-dense — full of protein thanks to the cannellini beans. They also provide a good amount of fibre, are a source of iron, other trace elements and iodine — very filling and satisfying. Enjoy a burst of flavour with the amalgam of herbs, spices, kombu and preserved lemons, and great texture with a crispy exterior and tender moist centre.
Serve them with your favourite sauces or you could try them with our homemade vegan mayonnaise (which also uses cannellini beans).
I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe! If you try them out, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @veganlovlie #veganlovlie and I’ll most certainly share your creation in our stories.
Do you love this Vegan ‘Tuna’ Bean Patties recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later.
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- 200 g dried white beans, (1 cup), or 550 g (2¼ cups) cooked white beans
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 - 2 bay leaves
- 50 g frozen sweet corn, ⅓ cup
- 50 g cooked rice, ⅓ cup (I used basmati rice)
- 1-2 stems spring onions, finely chopped
- 8 - 10 sprigs fresh coriander, finely chopped, or substitute with dill herbs
- 1 wedge preserved lemon, about 1 heaped tablespoon, finely chopped or minced
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon allspice or old bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon curry powder or coriander powder
- 1 nori sheet, toasted and crumbled into tiny pieces
- 1 10-cm piece kombu, rehydrated and finely chopped, optional, see notes
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon chickpea flour (or use besan/gram flour)
- 1½ tablespoons potato starch (or tapioca starch)
- Pepper to taste
- Panko or regular breadcrumbs, as required for coating, about ¾ cup, use crushed rice crispies or corn flakes for gluten-free
- 4 - 5 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil for shallow frying
- The day before, place the dried cannellini beans in a bowl and cover with plenty of water. Leave to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Once soaked, drain all the water and rinse the beans. Place them in a heavy bottom saucepan, along with ½ teaspoon of salt, the bay leaf and about 750 ml of water
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, partially uncover the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes or until beans are tender and cooked through but not mushy.
- Once cooked, drain the water (or save it as aquafaba for other recipes) and discard the bay leaf.
- Mash the beans with a fork or potato mashed, or you can pulse it in a food processor. We’re looking to have a coarse mixture here so don’t blend it to a paste.
- While the beans are cooking, you can prepare the other ingredients - chopping the herbs, preserved lemon and kombu, and toasting/crumbling the nori.
- To toast the nori sheet, hover it over a very low flame on both sides. Make sure not to let it burn. It will start to crisp up and become brittle. It’s easy to crumble it afterward by just squashing the sheet between your hands.
- Place mashed beans and the rest of the ingredients, except panko/breadcrumbs, in a large bowl. Then mix to combine everything together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Place some panko or breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
- Take a small portion of the mixture (I like to use a ¼ measuring cup), and form a ball.
- Roll the ball into the panko to coat evenly. Flatten the ball into a patty. It’s easier to do this in your hands so that you can shape it and keep it into a tight patty. Adhere some additional panko to the patty as you flatten it. Keep aside and repeat for the rest of the mixture.
- To cook, heat some oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once hot, place the patties, a few at a time, in the skillet.
- Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. Then, remove from the pan and place in a preheated oven at 180C/350F to bake for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can continue to cook the patties in the pan by turning them occasionally on either side, for about 15 minutes.
- For oil-free version, skip the pan-frying and bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C/350F.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.
To rehydrate kombu, boil it for about 15 minutes until soft. You can keep the broth to make soup/stew or curry sauce base. If you can't find kombu, use an extra sheet of nori. You may also use other seaweed like dulse.
Link to Vegan 'Tuna' Patties recipe - https://veganlovlie.com/curried-vegan-tuna-patties/
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 6gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 679mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information is an estimate only. Values will vary based on different online calculators or ingredients that you use. Nutrition facts include 4 tablespoons of oil for shallow frying. If you are omitting the oil and just baking them, you'll need to recalculate the values using your preferred nutrition info calculator.