Baked Tuna Meatballs


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Jump to RecipeJump to Video

Baked tuna meatballs are a healthy seafood spin on your average meatballs. They’re easy to make with a few cans of tuna fish and perfect for a low-carb snack or topped on zucchini noodles for a full meal.

Tuna meatballs on a plate with tzatziki sauce and micro greens.

Think of tuna meatballs as tuna patties in ball form. These savory bites are a blend of canned tuna fish, fresh vegetables, and savory herbs. They’re light in flavor (so perfect for picky eaters), but just as juicy, tender and filling as your typical meatball.

Better yet, did I mention they’re super easy to make? All you need to do is mix a few ingredients, roll them into balls, and bake in the oven until lightly golden. And since they’re bite-sized, they make for the perfect healthy snack or delicious addition to a salad or bed of greens.

Tuna Meatballs Recipe Video

Want to see how I make this recipe? Watch the video below!

Who Needs Beef When You Have Tuna?

There’s no doubt tuna gives beef a run for its money when it comes to meatballs. And with the addition of garlic, herbs, and spinach, the flavors in these are pretty irresistible. To break it down, you’ll need…

  • Olive Oil – Just a little to sauté some of the vegetables.
  • Garlic – A couple of minced garlic cloves for savory goodness.
  • Onion – We’ll sauté the onion so it’s mellow and not pungent.
  • Spinach – A few cups of sneaky spinach boost this recipe
  • Tuna – You can use canned tuna or fresh, cooked and cooled.
  • Almond Flour – Just a little helps to bind these meatballs together.
  • Eggs – Our liquid binder that works with the almond flour and other ingredients.
  • Mayonnaise – Just a tablespoon keeps these meatballs incredibly moist.
  • Lemon Juice – A splash of fresh lemon juice always pairs well with tuna.
  • Fresh Parsley & Dill – You can use a variety of chopped herbs, but these are my favorite.
  • Salt and Pepper – Because everything is better properly seasoned.

Tuna meatballs ingredients in a bowl and in balls on a baking sheet.

How To Bake Tuna Meatballs

Baking these meatballs keeps them healthy and low in oil. But before we start baking, we’ll need to quickly sauté the vegetables. Here’s the process:

  1. Sauté. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and give the diced onion and minced garlic a quick saute. Then add the chopped spinach and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until it’s slightly wilted.
  2. Let the spinach cool. Transfer the onion spinach mixture to a bowl to let it cool (this is important!). You can also pop it in the fridge for a bit.
  3. Prep. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Add ingredients. Drain your canned tuna and place it in a large bowl in with the cooled vegetables, almond flour, eggs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper. 
  5. Get mixing. Dig in with your hands and mix everything together while breaking up large chunks of tuna. Remember: the finer the mixture, the easier it will stick together.
  6. Make the balls. Use a medium-sized cookie scoop to scoop the mixture and mold it into a ball. Then, place the balls in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake. For about 20-25 minutes. Until they’re a beautiful golden brown.
  8. Serve. You can eat these right away or let them cool before storing away.

Tuna meatballs that have been cooked on a baking tray.

A Few Tips

Here’s a few tips to get the perfect meatballs.

  • If your balls are too soft. Depending on the brand of canned tuna you use, your tuna may be more moist (even after draining). If so, just add a couple tablespoons of almond flour or coconut flour (which is highly absorbent). Or reduce the lemon juice by 1/2 tablespoon in the future.
  • Want to cook on the stovetop? No problem. Place the first batch of meatballs in the pan with a little oil. Cook the meatballs for 2-3 minutes on one side, then rotate them, so that all sides are browned. This should take about 15 minutes. Then when the first batch is done, remove to a plate and start the next batch.

A plate of tuna meatballs garnished with tzatziki and micro greens with one half eaten .

The Perfect Meal Prep Recipe

For those who love to meal prep on a Sunday night, you’re in luck. These tuna meatballs are great for storing in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to eat, simply microwave them for a minute or so!

Fun Ways To Serve Tuna Meatballs

While these are the perfect bite sized snack or lunch idea, don’t stop there. Serve them as an appetizer or dress them up for a fancy dinner. Here’s a few fun ideas to get you started.

  • Appetizer: Serve these balls on a plate with a spread of homemade tzatziki, vegan tzatziki or marinara sauce.
  • Snack: Microwave a few for a quick high protein snack that will tide you over between meals.
  • Lunch: Make a salad and place a few on a bed of fresh greens or zucchini noodles.
  • Dinner: Serve these alongside roasted vegetables such as broccoli or sautéed greens like swiss chard and cabbage.

Close up photo of tuna meatballs on a plate, with one half eaten.

More Savory Bites

Need savory appetizers or quick snacks for the week? Here’s a few favorites that will work for just about anything.

Baked Tuna Meatballs

4.98 from 47 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Baked tuna meatballs are a healthy, seafood spin on meatballs! They're paleo, low-carb and keto-friendly as well. Watch the video above to see how I make them!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 5-ounce cans tuna, or one pound cooked tuna
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and saute for a minute. Then add the chopped baby spinach and saute for another 1-2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  • Transfer the onion spinach mixture to a bowl and let it cool. You can place the bowl in the fridge to speed this up.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Drain the cans of tuna and add the tuna to a mixing bowl along with the cooled vegetables, almond flour, eggs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, dill, salt and pepper.
  • Use your hands to dig in and mix everything together, breaking up any large chunks of tuna. The finer the mixture, the easier it will stick together.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out evenly sized amounts of mixture. Use your fingers to mold this into a ball, then place it on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Bake the tuna meatballs for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Lisa's Tips

  • The recipe makes 20 tuna meatballs.
  • For picky eaters when it comes to seafood, this recipe is more mild in flavor than my salmon patties, so give it a try!
  • If your meatballs are too soft you can add a little more almond flour or coconut flour (which is highly absorbent).
  • This is the cookie scoop I use and love.


Serving: 4meatballs | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1388IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked tuna meatballs, seafood meatballs, tuna meatballs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

You May Also Like

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I made these Tuna meatball’s and they are delicious. My husband could not stop talking about them. He said you need to follow more of her recipes. I love the way you are so organized and I enjoy your meal prep ideas. Please keep up the good work. I look forward to watching more of your videos.

  2. Made these last night and they were delicious!! Husband loved them. Will definitely make again. We didn’t have almond flour so substituted Italian bread crumbs. Also added extra garlic because we love it! Great recipe idea for quick dinner!5 stars

  3. Could these also be made with ground chicken?  I’ve made your Turkey Meatballs with Dijon Mustard and Maple Syrup which were fabulous, but also looking for a more savory recipe. 

  4. This is one of my favorite go-to recipes. I eat some for breakfast several days a week (I make them once a week, throwing in spinach plus whatever veggies I need to use up; today I added artichoke hearts). Thank you for sharing such a quick, easy, satisfying, delicious recipe. 5 stars

  5. This looks good and I’d like to try it, but I hate when recipes say salt and pepper to taste. How am I to taste it when it’s uncooked in an egg mixture?  

  6. Another absolutely delicious recipe! Thank you so much Lisa! The kids loved it too – so it’s going to go on the menu regularly!5 stars

  7. These were really good. Left the dill out since i didnt have any. Paired with your sweet potato toasts, My 2 year old ate them all and he’s one picky eater! Thank you for these lovely recipes! Im having your mug cake baking right now. :)5 stars

  8. can you substitue regular flour for the almond flour? Also, could you use greek yogurt instead of the mayo?

  9. JUst took them out of the oven and couldn’t res it’s true sating one….oh boy…yummy!  I want to try them when they’re cooler too.
    I used regular flour  and it worked perfectly.
    This is definitely a keeper!5 stars

  10. I am addicted to these, they are just so good!!! Please include this recipe in your forthcoming book, it’s a keeper!5 stars

    1. Hello… These look absolutely delicious and I’m planning on making them as a part of my meal prep this weekend. Was wondering if you think Substituting the almond flour with oat flour make them dry? If so do I do 1:1 ratio?

      1. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried that yet, but I think it’s worth a shot! Let me know how they turn out.

  11. This recipe is in my top 5 for a quick dinner that everyone in my family loves! A true protein powerhouse. My son is not a fan of “tuna” and he loves this dish.5 stars

  12. I’ve made this with canned tuna and salmon and they both turn out great! The seasoning is just perfect and mayonnaise definitely makes a difference in keeping the texture moist. 5 stars

  13. Made a batch of these this week; so versatile! I enjoyed them with roasted potato wedges, on a salad and in tacos. Even my husband who’s not much of a tuna fan, enjoyed them. Yummy!!5 stars

  14. These are so good!!  I’ve made them 4 or 5 times now and I need to put them away quickly or I could eat a whole batch to myself!!!
    Great hot or cold, a great snack to have on hand. 5 stars

  15. This Recipe is absolutely delicious, I’m not a huge fan of tinned tuna, but this combination makes it’s heavenly! I have this almost weekly :)5 stars

  16. Thank you Lisa for another wonderful recipe. We had these for lunch yesterday and they were very tasty and have a great texture. I took your tip and added extra coconut flour to hold the mix together as the tuna was still quite moist after draining (and squeezing in paper towels) and the balls did hold their shape beautifully. I’ll try them with your vegan tzatziki next time. Also, very easy to make. 😊5 stars

    1. Amazing! Glad this recipe turned out to be a success Danica :) Can’t wait for you to try it with tzatziki next time!

  17. I made these into patties and cooked them on the stove and paired them with your chipotle sauce. AMAZING! My family loved them.5 stars

  18. Thanks for this fantastic recipe, these are delicious, we had them with sautéd zoodles, might make a double batch next time and freeze them :)5 stars

  19. I made these this week and have been munching on them all week with delight. Will definitely be in regular rotation. Might add a little chilli next time. Thank you Lisa.5 stars

  20. Made these to try and they were delicious but on the dry side. Should I add more mayo next time to add moisture? Thank you and thank you for your YouTube channel and philosophy in the kitchen. You’re right up my alley with wanting to cook healthier, cleaner, and living simply. So, thank you.5 stars

  21. Hi Lisa, love your recipes, easy to make and healthy. The mealprep idea was new to me, but I try to integrate it more and more. I personally love the tuna balls with marinara sauce, they fit perfectly together 😉. Raw Zucchini noodles were also new to me and with the basil pesto a wonderful light dinner in summer. Thanks and much success with your next projects.5 stars

    1. Hi Claudia- I’m glad you loved these tuna meatballs with marinara! Haven’t tried that yet, but will do so :) Can’t wait to hear about more recipes you whip up this summer!

  22. SO GOOD! I discovered your blog about two weeks ago and it’s like the food blog I always dreamed about – healthy, but not vegan and full of really easy, creative recipies that actually work. I have made your mayo, basil pesto, zoodle caprese salad, roasted paprika hummus (it’s exam season, so I like everything I can just throw together and blend) and they all turned out perfect. The tuna balls are my favourite
    so far. They went really well with zucchini wedges! Thanks for all the inspiration and I’ll stick around :)5 stars

    1. Wow, that’s amazing! Thrilled to hear you’ve enjoyed so many of my recipes already, including these tuna meatballs :) Can’t wait to share tons more Downshiftology recipes in the coming year!

  23. I’m not going to lie…I was a little skeptical about a fish meatball. But these were tremendously easy to make with a lot of kitchen staples, and they turned out so good! The fishy tuna flavor becomes much more mild after baking so they can easily be added to pasta, salad, etc.5 stars

  24. Holy crap these are great. My husband is raving about these. we expected this to be a nice addition to lunch but they ended up being something so good we may make them as special apps for guests!!5 stars

    1. Hi Nicole- These tuna balls really are great for anything, whether it be lunch, snack, appetizers, or dinner :) So glad everyone enjoyed them!

  25. I made these last night and was pleasantly surprised at how good they are! I don’t know why I was surprised as we have thoroughly enjoyed all the recipes we have tried and they have become keepers. My only note is that it takes me longer to prep than you but I did enjoy making these; your recipes are not only good but fun!5 stars

    1. Hi Sharon- Happy to hear these turned out great! It was a recipe that I made on a whim, but after a few tests, I loved how delicious they came out.

  26. This is (another) keeper! The meatballs were a little soft (could be the tuna) so added a little bit coconut flour and they turned out perfect. 

    Love the recipe- thank you Lisa!5 stars

  27. These are going to be definitely a thing for me, as they turned out perfect and were delicious. I was a bit worried first that they would flake apart when I roll them, but actually I found they were as easy to roll as normal meatballs. 5 stars

    1. Hi Celine- Happy to hear you found these meatballs easy to make! Definitely another fun way to cook tuna :)

  28. You wll cringe at the aproach I used. I am 83 male live alone. My meals depend what is in my pantry. So, Popeye can spinach, corn meal flour, dried dill and parsley. Looks bad but is yummy. By the way, the written instructions do not include “addind the spinach onion mixture “set aside”. Good reciipe!!5 stars

    1. Hi Erich- Glad this turned out great with the things you had on hand. And thanks for the heads up! Just added that quick detail into the recipe card :)

  29. I am going to make these with all the fresh tuna we caught, after cooking it of course. Lisa, have you stopped including metric weights in your recipes? I really appreciate it so much. Please reconsider. Great recipes and great channel!! 

    1. Hi Tia- Thanks for noticing that! I’ve actually just added in the metric conversion so it should appear now :) Hope you enjoy these meatballs!

    1. Hi Brett- I’ve actually included stovetop instructions in the post! You’ll find it under the section: “A Few Tips”.

  30. Delicious!! Thank you for this recipe. It was perfect as is, and I served it with a cucumber tzarziki.5 stars

  31. Dear Lisa, I tried this recipe today and the tuna meatballs turned out amazing! They are so easy to make and so delicious. We ate these with sriracha-yoghurt dip. Thank you for the recipe xxx5 stars

  32. Is there anything else that can be substituted for the almond flour for the binder?  My husband is suppose to limit his intake of nuts, especially almonds due to kidney stones.