Italian tuna balls

Italian tuna balls

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(64 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Ready in 20 mins

Easy

Serves 4

A superhealthy twist on a family favourite that can be served with spaghetti or squashed flat and cooked as burgers

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal594
  • fat12g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs92g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein35g
  • salt1.42g
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Ingredients

  • 2 160g cans of tuna in sunflower or olive oil, drained (reserve a little oil)
    Tuna

    Tuna

    tune-ah

    A member of the mackerel family, tuna are mainly found in the world's warmer oceans. They…

  • small handful of pine nuts
  • freshly grated zest 1 lemon
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
    Parsley

    Parsley

    par-slee

    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 50g fresh breadcrumb
  • 1 egg, beaten
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 500g jar pasta sauce

Method

  1. Flake the tuna into a bowl, then tip in the pine nuts, lemon zest, parsley, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and mix together with your hands until completely combined. Roll the mix into 12 walnut-size balls. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil, then cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions.

  2. Heat a little of the tuna oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then fry the tuna balls for 5 mins, turning every minute or so until completely golden. Drain on kitchen paper. Heat the tomato sauce, then toss together with the pasta and tuna balls.

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Comments, questions and tips

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FizzH89
31st Jan, 2011
5.05
I love this recipe, I've done it a few times, and would offer the following advice to those who have had problems with collapsing meatballs........ leave them to get nice and brown before you attempt to turn them. I also prefer to squash each ball down into a little burger shape, making it much easier to cook evenly and turn. In my experience, this is a pretty reliable way of avoiding the frustrating collapse. I serve it with a home made tomato sauce, and it always goes down well, though I would agree that it may not serve 4 adults for a main meal.
stormyraincloud
22nd Jun, 2010
3.05
Very tasty. I didn't have pine nuts so didn't have them. I also didn't fry them, too time consuming for me. I just put them on an oiled baking tray and oven cooked them. Thought it might dry them out but they were lovely. Made a spicy tomato sauce, with basil, chilli flakes, tinned tomatoes, passata, and a spoonful of sugar. With wholewheat pasta. Very nice.
emmajmcc
21st Jun, 2010
4.05
Came home to
mommamia
7th Jun, 2010
This recipe was a great success, so much more tasty then i thought it would be.
catshevlane
15th Apr, 2010
5.05
mmmmmm scrumptious and easy to make!!
matinads
19th Nov, 2009
4.05
Really unusual, would never have thought to do this, but it really worked. A nice healthy alternative to mince. Will def make again for a week night tea
andrearuth
10th Aug, 2009
4.05
My two year old daughter tucked into this with gusto! A very nice meal with the added benefit of being super-easy to prepare. I refridgerated the tuna balls for an hour before cooking and they stayed together perfectly. I will definitely make this again soon.
annelisarkanen
30th Jun, 2009
4.05
Very tasty - took a little longer than the 20mins and a couple of the balls fell apart but nevertheless - excellent. Will deffo try again.
annie0176
22nd Apr, 2009
5.05
A great simple to prepare tasty meal - my family loved it, and I will make again.
mareid28
1st Apr, 2009
3.05
Very tasty but the balls are very hard to bind and fiddly to cook - making a delicous dinner but presentation wise wasn't great. All in all very filling and healthy. I used wholemeal pasta to make it that little more healthy to.

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