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Spicy Tuna Croquette Sliders with Chunky Avocado Pesto

Two appetizers in one! Spicy tuna croquettes transformed into fun mini sliders, topped with melty cheese and homemade avocado pesto.

Serves ~24 sliders     adjust servings

Preparation 30 mins Cook Time 30 mins Total Time 1 hr


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, plus more for coating
  • 3 cans chunk light or albacore tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon serrano pepper, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, diced
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 24 mini slider rolls
  • 6 slices cheese (Havarti or other melty cheese), quartered
  • Olive oil, for sauteing

Chunky Avocado Pesto

  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Whisk the eggs and lime juice together in a large bowl, then stir in the bread crumbs to form a paste.
  2. Add tuna, onions, peppers, celery, garlic, cilantro, salt, and peppers bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Divide the mixture into 24 1-inch balls, setting them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Place the remaining bread crumbs into a shallow bowl. Coat each croquette in the panko, then refrigerate for 15 minutes. Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand.
  5. Heat ¼-inch of olive oil in the bottom of a 12-inch saute pan set over medium heat. Add the croquettes (I was able to cook ⅓ of them at once) and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove to baking sheet lined with paper towels, and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  8. Slice slider rolls horizontally, placing bottom halves on the foil-lined sheet and setting top halves to the side in their own square of foil.
  9. Set a croquette on each roll bottom, then top with a square of cheese. Place them in the oven, along with the tops, and bake for 4-6 minutes until buns are toasted and cheese is melted.
  10. Remove from oven, cool slightly, top each slider with about a teaspoon of Chunky Avocado Pesto, and replace bun tops. Serve with overly salted fries and enjoy!

Chunky Avocado Pesto

  1. In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine arugula, cilantro, avocado, garlic, lime juice, and half of the walnuts. Pulse until chopped and blended, then add the walnuts and pulse again, drizzling in olive oil to form a chunky paste. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


Recipe Notes

Refrigerate remaining pesto for up to 5 days by covering it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent browning.
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