Mini Tuna Balls

Want a new fun way to get your kids to eat their omega-3s? Look no further. These mini tuna balls are not only delicious but also nutritious! 

mini tuna ballsMy daughter has been loving her MOMables Tuna Salad sandwiches in her lunches, so I wanted to find a new fun way for her to enjoy this omega-3 and vitamin B6 food item!

Whether you have food allergies or not, this is a delicious recipe with only three ingredients! MOMables has tons of ideas that are simple and easy to make, just like this one. It makes packing a school lunch way easier and less complicated. So if that sounds good to you, then you can join us here!

mini tuna ballsThey can be eaten warm from the oven at dinner, cold on a salad, or at room temperature for lunch! They are perfect for school lunches!  Another twist? Add them to your favorite macaroni & cheese recipe.  My daughter calls them Tuna Flavored Chicken Nuggets!

We use homemade gluten-free bread crumbs so they’re allergy-friendly. They are also free from nuts, peanuts, and eggs.

Tips: They can be rolled any size; we prefer them mini (around 1 inch in diameter) so they are bite size. The minis will yield approximately 24 tuna balls. I also like to bake them in a mini muffin pan, so they each have their own place and won’t roll around on the baking sheet.

Mini Tuna Balls
Cuisine: Lunch
  • 5-6 ounces tuna, pouch or canned, drained
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1½ tablespoons sun-dried tomato dressing (or favorite Italian dressing)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease or line a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, work the tuna with a fork, breaking apart the chunks.
  3. Add the bread crumbs and dressing. Mix thoroughly until the tuna is moistened and smooth enough to roll.
  4. Using your hands, roll the tuna into 1-inch diameter balls, then place them on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes (Check for doneness around 15 minutes because oven temperatures vary.) Flip once in the middle, to keep one side from browning more than the other.
  6. Serve warm in a thermos with mac and cheese or at room temperature in a lunch container.



  1. Jodilea Kids says

    What a fantastic recipe for school lunches. I will definitely be giving this one a try. Thank you.

  2. Elena says

    They sound yummy! I wonder, why do you bake them, if they are egg free? Is it only to have them warm? (It’s hot here and my oven is off duty until about autumn :-) )

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear that Marla! My family loves them and I’ve had other great feedback on Instagram from other who’ve made them. How did you end up serving them? My daughter loves to eat them by themselves and also with her mac’n cheese. I love them on my salads!

  3. says

    I am really looking forward to making these, but I am trying to think of what to par them with as far as a noodle is concerned. My son loves noodles but hasn’t yet acquired a taste for mac and cheese. So how else can I prepare a dinner using these tuna balls?

    • says

      what about simple noodles with butter? I also make these ahead of time and “skewer” them for the little ones. they dont necessarily need to be paired with pasta.

  4. Marla says

    These sound great! I’m going to make them using my homemade Italian dressing, and Epicure Selections sundried tomato seasoning. I know they’ll be a big hit with my 8 year old son, and the rest of us all as well. Thanks for posting this!

  5. Shelly Willis says

    I arrived here at your blog because of a friend’s recommendation and because the name of the recipe intrigued me. After reading the recipe, I am a little disappointed. Calling it a three ingredient recipe but using ingredients which themselves have multiple ingredients is a little deceiving and really doesn’t feel like an allergy friendly recipe. Using tuna as the meat in your meatball is a great idea though. :)

    • says

      Shelly, the only ingredient with multiple ingredients is the dressing. I use Newman’s own brand. Because it’s such a small measurement, it was difficult to write out: 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/8tsp balsamic, dash of this and dash of that. I hope this doesn’t discourage you from trying out some of our other recipes. let us know how your family likes them!

    • says

      Hi Shelly! I never post recipes to be deceving in any way shape or form. My daughter has food allergies and intolerances, so it’s something I take very seriously. I’m terribly sorry you felt that way.
      Most “meatball” recipes, or other tuna ball recipes I’ve come across, have eight or more ingredients and also require the use of eggs. These do not.
      Plus they’re easily adaptable to be gluten-free. That’s how we make them for our house, since my daughter is not only allergic to peanuts but gluten intolerant. Being egg-free on top of that is great for those families facing multiple food allergies.
      I hope this helps explain the terminology used more clearly.
      Thank you for your comments and I hope you enjoy all the wonderful recipes MOMables has to offer!!! :)

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