If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that I’ve been trying my darndest to eat Paleo ever since doing the Whole30 in January. At least- most of the time (goat cheese doesn’t count in my opinion- not if I want to live a meaningful existence).
But it is CHALLENGING. For one thing, it requires a lot of planning. For another- it requires a lot more money (grains and legumes are cheap, but alas, they are not allowed). And as a girl who works super hard to stick to a frugal budget, I’ve nearly fainted every time I check out at the grocery store lately.
Which is why I created this DELICIOUS paleo recipe. These Tuna Croquettes with Lemon Dill Aioli can be made in bulk to last you all week for lunch (or frozen for later) and are budget friendly. Hip hip, hooray!
Tuna and eggs are my go-tos for inexpensive Paleo protein. Plant-based proteins are usually found in legumes, and those are out. Protein is a big part of eating Paleo, and getting enough is key for full satiation. If I pack a lunch with too little protein, I definitely feel hangry by the time dinner rolls around and feel my energy start to dwindle. And while fat is also an important part of the Paleo diet, I don’t want to be eating the really fatty inexpensive cuts of meat (like pork shoulder, etc.) ALL the time. Furthermore, buying sustainable grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood is even more expensive, regardless of the cut.
Enter: Tuna Croquettes. Delicious, delicious patties with red bell pepper (that’s where they get their color), onion, and garlic, fried to golden perfection. When topped with the lemon dill aioli… oh my. Just amazing.
Making these croquettes couldn’t be easier, and they (and the aioli) can all be made in your food processor.
First, the croquettes. Simply combine the veggies in the food processor first, and turn on until finely chopped. You could theoretically cut them by hand, but the more finely chopped the ingredients, the more likely the patties are to stay together.
Then, add the tuna, an egg, salt and pepper, and some almond flour to bind it all together (bread crumbs are traditionally used here, but for this paleo version, I used almond flour).
Next, you’ll form small patties by hand and fry them in olive oil. I used my cast iron skillet, but you can use a dutch oven or other heavy pan. This is the tricky part- while the patties are warm, they will have a tendency to fall apart. Be careful when flipping them! Once they cool off a bit, they stay together marvelously.
While you are frying them, head back to the food processor for the aioli. Just a simple mixture of mayo, fresh dill, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for the World’s Greatest Sauce (seriously- I’m going to start putting this on everything!).
These are great on their own, atop salads, or on a bun (for you non-Paleo peeps). Freeze by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap for later. And if you like these, you’ll love these salmon croquettes and this classic tuna noodle casserole from scratch.
Recipe below. Enjoy!
Paleo Tuna Cakes with Lemon Dill Aoil
- Food Processor
- Heavy Skillet
For Tuna Croquettes:
- Add the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic to a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
- Add drained tuna, egg, almond flour (1/2 cup), salt, and pepper. Process until well combined.
- Heat olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a cast iron (or other heavy) skillet over medium-high heat.
- Form patties with approximately 1/4 cup of the tuna mixture and fry until golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes on each side), flipping carefully (as they will have a tendency to fall apart when they are warm).
- Place on plate to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, to make the aioli, add all ingredients to food processor and process until well combined.
- Serve tuna croquettes with aioli.