Skip to Content

Easy Tuna Nuggets for Toddlers

Share this post:

Need high protein toddler meal ideas? Make these easy Tuna Nuggets! They are perfect for toddlers and kids, and super easy to make with kids!

tuna nugget in a snack container

Healthy protein for toddlers

So many parents worry about their toddler's and children's protein intake (in fact, I wrote a whole article about how much protein toddlers need). Well, this easy Tuna Nugget recipe is a great way for your kids to get more healthy protein in their diet!

Heck, even if your toddler eats just one of these tuna nuggets, they're getting a significant protein boost and healthy fish oils, which are essential for their brain development. Tuna is high in EPA and DHA essential fatty acids.

Tuna is also a great source of iron. See more high iron recipes for kids here.

Related recipe: 3 Ingredient Tuna Salad

Easy tuna nuggets

These tuna nuggets are SUPER easy to make and have just a few ingredients:

  • Canned tuna
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Mayonnaise (or use vegan mayo or spread for an egg-free option)
  • Dill
  • Lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • Garlic powder

As you can see, there are no raw ingredients in this tuna nugget recipe, making it a PERFECT recipe for cooking together with your toddler! (By the way, if you prefer that your kiddo eats more salmon, then these salmon potato patties are a great easy recipe for kids!)

The ingredients are totally taste-safe if your child decides to lick their hands or try the tuna mixture straight from the bowl.

collage of pictures how to make tuna nuggets

Related recipe: Air Fryer Carrot Fries

Egg-free tuna nuggets

My son has a mild allergy to eggs, so I made these tuna nuggets egg-free. I do use mayo because his egg allergy is mild, and the mayo helps bind the nuggets together so they don't fall apart while cooking. 

If your child or anyone in your family has an egg allergy, just use vegan mayonnaise or spread (get it here)!

Related recipe: Mashed Potato Nuggets

Recipe for picky eaters

I am a big proponent of cooking with your kids, especially if you have picky eater kids. Here are two articles about cooking with toddlers that might be helpful:

Even if your child doesn't typically like tuna or seafood, try getting them involved in making these nuggets. Seeing the ingredients, forming the nuggets, and making these nuggets might help your child decide to eat these. 

I've seen it happen with my son who refused to eat many foods until I got him involved in helping me cook those foods.

And of course, the small familiar nugget shape might convince some toddlers to give these tuna nuggets a try, when tuna salad or tuna casserole can look scary to them because they have no idea what to expect from the texture. 

tuna nuggets in a snack container

Related recipe: Air Fryer Carrot Fries

Variations for tuna nuggets

These easy nuggets can definitely be spruced up a bit, if you like. Feel free to add any of the following, if you prefer:

  • Finely diced celery
  • Finely diced bell pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • A teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • Red pepper flakes (if your child likes things spicy)
  • Minced fresh garlic instead of powdered garlic
  • Finely diced green onion or shallot

Serve these tuna nuggets with ketchup or tartar sauce. Serve them as a snack or as part of lunch or dinner. Serve them warm, or enjoy them chilled.

Related recipe: Cheetos Chicken Nuggets

However you decide to serve them, I hope you love them as much as we do!

Looking for more easy toddler recipe ideas?

Looking to add more veggies to your child's diet?

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

tuna nuggets pinterest graphic

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Tuna Nuggets Recipe

tuna nuggets in a snack container

Need high protein toddler meal ideas? Make these easy Tuna Nuggets! They are perfect for toddlers and kids and super easy to make with kids!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 (5-oz) cans tuna, drained
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (use egg-free vegan mayo or spread if allergic to eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill (or use finely chopped parsley or cilantro)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice, about ½ lime or lemon)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Optional: salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking (1-2 Tbsp)


  1. Thoroughly drain the canned tuna in a colander, and press down with a spoon to remove all the excess liquid.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tuna, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, chopped dill, lime juice, and garlic powder. Break up any large chunks of tuna with a fork and mix well. Taste to see if you need to season with salt and pepper.
  3. Use your hands to scoop out about 1-2 tablespoons of the tuna mixture and form nuggets (press firmly when making the nuggets so they don't fall apart).
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and cook the nuggets over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Use tongs to gently flip the tuna nuggets and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Serve warm with ketchup or tartar sauce for dipping.


You can use water-packed or oil-packed canned tuna, chunk lite or albacore.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 25g

The nutritional information provided is just an estimate and will vary based on the actual ingredients you use. If you are tracking nutrition for yourself or your child, check with a nutritionist, dietitian, or pediatrician about whether this recipe is right for you or your child.

Did you make this recipe?

Take a picture and tag me on Instagram! I love seeing your creations. Find me at @highchairchronicles

Share this post:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 16th of June 2022

Could these be baked? I cook for a daycare and only have an oven no stovetop.


Wednesday 13th of March 2024

@Missy, yes you can add parmesan cheese cream cheese basil to tuna make into round shapes n bake them


Thursday 19th of January 2023

@Kate, I added more mayo to mine and they bake fine! i doubled it


Friday 19th of August 2022

Hi Missy, I haven't tried but I am afraid they might fall apart a little if they were to be baked. If you want to bake, you can add an egg and some panko breadcrumbs to the mixture (to absorb excess liquid from the egg) and bake for at least 20 minutes so the egg cooks fully. The egg should help the tuna stay together.


Sunday 28th of November 2021

Hi! do you think they would freeze well? Thanks!


Wednesday 13th of March 2024

@Yesenia, yes i just did today


Wednesday 13th of March 2024

@Kate, yes they freeze well! also you can add chicpeas for better texture you simply have to fry before serving


Friday 3rd of December 2021

Hi, I don't think they would freeze well, unfortunately. I think they might fall apart, whether frozen before or after cooking.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe