Italian Tuna Balls

  • 12 balls
  • A little work

These little balls contain tinned tuna blended with Italian ricotta cheese, basil and lemon zest and can be baked in the oven or fried in a grill pan

  • 200g can tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 115g 4oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 85g 3oz ricotta cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dusting

Quick tartare sauce

  • 6 medium gherkins, finely chopped
  • 225g (8oz) crème fraîche
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon


  • Step 1

    Tip the tuna in a bowl and mash with the ricotta cheese, lemon zest, basil and the egg. Season with a little black pepper.

  • Step 2

    Using floured hands take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll into walnut sized balls.

  • Step 3

    Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the balls in batches over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until golden and crisp. Alternatively these can be baked in the oven at 190C, gas mark 5 until golden

  • Step 4

    To make the tartare sauce simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

  • Step 5

    Serve the fish balls with the tartare sauce

  • Make them gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs
  • Nut-Free, Seed Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free
  • The fish balls can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Christine Bailey is an award winning nutritionist and chef and author of numerous health and recipe books including The Top 100 Finger Foods. Find out more at: