Sicilian tuna meatballs

This meatball recipe from Justin McChesney’s blog Salt Pepper Skillet has bags of flavour and is a great way of feeding a crowd.

Working in three batches, place the tuna, pine nuts, parsley and onions in a food processor and pulse about 8 to 10 times to combine, but not puree.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the eggs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands to combine well.

Use an ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs. Form them with your hands and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. You should get about 20 to 25 meat balls, depending on the size of your scoop.

Dust the meatballs with the flower in a shallow dish, then place them back on the sheet pan.

Heat some oil in a frying pan. Fry 6-8 meatballs at a time until browned on each side and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain off any excess oil.

Heat the tomato sauce in a separate pan and stew the meatballs for about 5 minutes to warm through.

Serve with pasta and tomato sauce.

For more of Justin’s recipes, visit:

By Justin McChesney

Serves 8


  • 800g tuna, cut into ½” pieces
    70g pine nuts
    60g breadcrumbs
    2 eggs
    150g onion, finely minced
    15g parsley, chopped
    1 lemon, zested
    1 tbsp salt
    Freshly ground pepper
    Oil for frying
    Flour, for dusting
    Serve: Favourite tomato sauce, pasta

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