Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > How to Make Really GOOD Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs
All Recipes, Main Dishes / March 20, 2023

How to Make Really GOOD Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs

This Spanish-Style Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs is possibly one of the BEST pasta dishes ever. It´s filled with amazing flavors & textures, it´s easy to make and all done in a little over 30 minutes. Serve it next to a garden salad, crunchy baguette and a bottle of Spanish wine for a delicious meal.

Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs
To make the tuna meatballs I used canned tuna in olive oil. But you can always use canned tuna in water. Either way, make sure to drain any excess liquid from the tuna. This will help in shaping the meatballs so they hold their shape and not fall apart.

Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs
For this recipe I used spaghetti, as it works best with the sauce and meatballs. But you can use other types of pasta if you like. Such as linguine, fettuccine or even angel hair pasta.

Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: You can make the tuna meatballs ahead of time and add into the fridge. They will hold for up to 5 days. When making tuna meatballs, if you see your mixture is too wet to shape the meatballs, just add in more breadcrumbs.

Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make Spanish-Style Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs

Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs
5 from 1 vote

Spanish-Style Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 512 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork



  • 8 oz spaghetti 225 grams
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 45 ml
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 2.50 grams
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme .50 grams
  • 1 can tomato sauce 14.5 oz / 410 grams
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz / 410 grams
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 8 grams
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  • 2 cans tuna in olive oil 5 oz / 148 grams each
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs 40 grams
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion 8 grams
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 8 grams
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper



  1. Drain the cans of tuna into a fine sieve with a bowl underneath, flake the tuna, then add into a large bowl, crack in the eggs, add in the breadcrumbs, finely grate the clove of garlic and add in 2 tbsp chopped onion, then season with sea salt & black pepper and mix together until well mixed, once well mixed, push down on the mixture to make a paste-like texture, if your mixture is too wet, add in more breadcrumbs, then shape into meatballs, each one a little smaller than a golf ball


  1. Fill a stock pot a little over half ways with cold water, season generously with sea salt and heat with a high heat

  2. At the same time, heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in the extra virgin olive oil

  3. Once the oil is hot, add in the tuna meatballs, cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly golden fried all around, then remove from the fry pan and set aside

  4. Using the same pan with the same heat, add in 1 small onion finely chopped and 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped, mix together, after 3 to 4 minutes and the onion is translucent, add in the paprika and thyme, quickly mix together, then add in the canned tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes, chopped parsley and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together until well mixed, then add in the tuna meatballs, gently mix together so each meatball is coated in the sauce, then lower to a low-medium heat and simmer

  5. Once the water comes to a boil in the stock pot, add in the spaghetti, cook until al dente (check package instructions), then transfer the spaghetti directly from the stock pot into the pan with the sauce, shaking off any excess water

  6. Turn off the heat in the sauce and gently mix together until well mixed

  7. Transfer into shallow bowls and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Spanish Paprika I used to make this Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Spanish-Style Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 990mg43%
Potassium 919mg26%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 1287IU26%
Vitamin C 25mg30%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Spanish-Style Spaghetti with Tuna Meatballs – Tonfiskbullar och spaghetti på spanskt vis – Nyttig mat ska vara god

    […] i den här rätten från Spain on a Fork är annars såsen – så mycket härliga smaker. Tonfiskbullarna går […]

    04 . Apr . 2023
  2. Jillian

    5 stars
    This was so good and also a really nice change as we’d never tried anything like this before. Thanks for the recipe!

    23 . Mar . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      24 . Mar . 2023
  3. Ramya

    Cant wait to make this soon for me for the meatballs can i use mushrooms i never had spanish style spaghetti with tuna meatballs before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    20 . Mar . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great Ramya! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      21 . Mar . 2023

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