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overhead view of tuna meatballs and linguine in a white bowl
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5 from 19 votes

Tuna Meatballs & Linguine with a Spicy Marinara Sauce

If you love pasta dishes but have been cutting back on red meat, my Tuna Meatballs is a delicious way to enjoy pasta and meatballs without the guilt! Add in a spicy marinara and you've got a restaurant worthy dish, made in your own kitchen.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian, Italian - American
Servings: 4
Calories: 611kcal


Tuna Meatballs

  • 2 4 oz Blue Harbor Albacore Tuna (4.6 oz undrained) well drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp grated Romano cheese
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs

Spicy Marinara Sauce

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic finely minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper more or less depending upon how spicy you want the sauce
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb spaghetti cooked per instructions on box


Tuna Meatballs

  • In the bowl of your food processor add the tuna, garlic, basil, breadcrumbs, egg and some seasoning.
  • Pulse the mixture until fully mixed and the tuna is shredded.
  • Once fully combined, roll the mixture into 8 meatballs shaped tuna balls
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sear the tuna balls for 3-4 minutes. When you have some color on the tuna meatballs transfer them onto a plate and refrigerate them until needed.

Spicy Marinara Sauce

  • In the same pan, add the olive and saute the onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and spices to the pan.
  • Bring the marinara to a light boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
    *If the sauce is thick, add a little water to the pan.
  • After simmering the sauce for 20 minutes, taste and re-season the sauce if needed.
  • Carefully place the tuna meatballs into the sauce, spooning some of the sauce over top of the meatballs.
    *Be careful not to stir the meatballs around, so they don't break up
  • When you put the sauce on simmer, start your pasta water.
    *Allow the sauce to continue simmering on low with the tuna meatballs in the sauce while the pasta cooks.
  • Begin cooking the pasta when you add the meatballs to the sauce.
  • Add a little of the sauce into the pasta and divide between four bowls. Place two tuna meatballs on each portion of pasta with additional sauce.
  • Serve with grated cheese and enjoy!


*Get some color on two sides of the tuna meatballs, don't try and sear the entire ball or it will break up.


Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 108g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 928mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 5mg