Orange Creole Tuna Cakes: Canned Tuna Gets a Fancy Pants Makeoverfeatured

I love Costco. There is just something really satisfying about buying in bulk. There is never a shortage of hungry mouths to feed around here, so things like a 4 pound can of tuna go into the cart without the blink of an eye.

Today I was looking at one of those nifty recipes companies sometimes print on their product labels. Usually they’re dubious at best, but this one piqued my interest. What saved a potentially horrendous recipe was some inspiration from a container of Orange Creole Compound Butter I had sitting in my fridge.

Compound butter is simply butter that has seasonings and usually some form of acid added to it. It’s often used in French cooking as a finishing sauce for meats.

David Stemmle, creator of Headstart Gourmet, has created a line of compound butters modeled after classic French sauces Beurre Blanc and Beurre Rouge, and a fun Orange Creole flavor with a nice kick to it.

Headstart Gourmet's Compound Butters

Headstart Gourmet’s Compound Butters

Each tub contains half a bottle of wine, resulting in an intensely rich flavor. In short, Headstart Gourmet just made life a little easier. Not only can these butters be melted into a quick sauce, they can also be used as a spread, or created into a concoction all your own…like Orange Creole Tuna Cakes!

To be honest, I wasn’t all that sure this experiment would end well. After all, I was working with plain old, cheap, canned tuna. No sushi grade ahi here. That is what makes this recipe so darn satisfying. It tastes like a fancy shmancy Asian Fusion crab cake with the hints of orange playing off the Creole heat, and a subtle crunch of peanuts. No joke.

Humble makings of Fanciness

Humble makings of Fanciness

Orange Creole Tuna Cakes

Yield: Serves 12


  • Costco-sized 66.5 oz. Chunk Light Tuna in Spring Water, drained
  • 4 oz. container of Orange Creole Compound Butter (Headstart Gourmet)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 ½ cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Bring compound butter to room temperature. Mix half of it into the tuna. Reserve remaining half to use as a finishing sauce.
  2. Sautee chopped onion in olive oil until soft and caramelized; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to the tuna mixture, and combine with the remaining ingredients. Form mixture into patties.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled pan or griddle. Cook the patties until browned on both sides, flipping once.
  4. Gently melt the remaining compound butter in a saucepan or microwave and drizzle over the finished tuna cakes.

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