Italian tuna balls

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

  • Prep:15 mins
    Ready in 20 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 594
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 2g
  • carbs 92g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 35g
  • salt 1.42g


  • 2 160g cans of tuna in sunflower or olive oil, drained (reserve a little oil)
  • small handful of pine nuts
  • freshly grated zest 1 lemon
  • small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 400g spaghetti
  • 500g jar pasta sauce


Make it into burgers
Tex-Mex burgers: Tip the drained tuna, breadcrumbs and egg into a bowl with a handful sweetcorn kernels, a sprinkling Tex-Mex or fajita seasoning and a small handful chopped coriander. Mould the mix into 4 burgers, cook as above and serve in buns with your favourite burger toppings.


  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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