Skip to Content

Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta

Change up your dinner routine with this meatless meal: Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta is perfect for busy nights. And the leftovers are great for lunches.

Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatballs

A friend of mine recently commented that readers of my newspaper column and this blog might be getting a skewed impression of me — one that I’m perfect and so are my kids.

Trust me, we aren’t. And I like to think that although I am pretty careful about what I say (I’d never want today’s stories to be something thrown in my kids’ faces when they are older), I present a pretty balanced idea of who we are. And that is to say that we’re perfectly imperfect.

Heck, I am the first to admit my imperfections. For instance, though I have a great organizational system for grocery shopping and meal planning, sometimes it all goes awry. I shop but don’t meal plan. I forget ingredients. And then I find myself hungry, tired and in my kitchen at 7 p.m. deciding where we’re going out to eat — because the time to cook has passed.

Or sometimes, I just whip something up on the fly. If I’m not tired or too hungry to wait, then sometimes I get creative with what we have. On those nights, when nothing is defrosted, having a grab and use protein like cans of tuna is a godsend.

Bumble Bee Tuna

Bumble Bee® Albacore products are great to have on hand. They’re an easy way to get lean protein, healthy fat and important vitamins and nutrients into a meal without too much effort.

Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta

Like this recipe: Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta

Canned tuna is mixed up with breadcrumbs, garlic and seasonings to make tasty little meatballs that are panfried. Add some roasted red peppers and whip up the light and easy lemon sauce, and mix it all with pasta for a light and tasty meal. Easy peasy, and ready in no time.

Follow Bumble Bee® on Twitter and Pinterest for more recipe inspiration.

Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta
Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta

Zesty Lemon Tuna Meatball Pasta

Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 5- oz cans Bumble Bee solid white tuna packed in water, , drained and flaked
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, , minced (use two if they are small cloves)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 lb pasta, , cooked and drained with 1 ladle of cooking water reserved


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. While the oil is heating, stir together the tuna, breadcrumbs, garlic, eggs, salt, pepper and onion powder until well combined. Form 1-inch tuna meatballs.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the tuna meatballs to the pan. Cook, turning, until golden all over. Add the chopped roasted red peppers to the pan and stir to combine.
  3. Add the lemon juice and zest and the wine to the pan. Stir well. Stir in the reserved ladle of pasta cooking water (about 1/2 cup). Remove from heat.
  4. Add the pasta to the pan and toss well. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet

Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

I share very little about personal stuff. I may say oh my kids or hubby likes something but I try to keep it about myself, which can sometimes be hard because I'm boring! :) We love, love love tuna and I am definitely trying out these meatballs!

Kim Beaulieu

Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

I tend to overshare like crazy which comes with it's own issues for sure. People think they really know me and don't always get that I'm being sarcastic. It gets lost in translation at times. I've had to be way more careful since one of my hooligans joined the military. Now I edit myself way more. Which is probably a good thing.

I love this pasta. It looks like pure comfort food at its finest. My mom made something similar so this has me going back in time a little bit. Which is always a nice treat.

Erin @ Texanerin Baking

Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

I imagine that must be hard when you have kids. My husband doesn't want me to share anything from our personal life (for privacy reasons), which is frustrating. I don't care that much so I don't protest but I can imagine things will change later. And what a great dish! What kind of pasta is that? I've read it twice so sorry if I'm missing it! I'm just curious. :)

Sarah Walker Caron

Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

It's actually just our store brand pasta -- and they call it ruffle pasta. Mueller also makes it, though I am not sure they have the rainbow version.

Cookin Canuck

Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

When we share little snippets of our lives, as we do as food bloggers, it's easy to portray just the "perfect" aspects. I can completely relate to those days of forgetting ingredients and feeling less than inspired to make dinner. This type of dish seems perfect for those times!

Martha @ A Family Feast

Tuesday 22nd of September 2015

Oh my goodness - the things people say! These meatballs look delicious! We've made a similar 'meatball' recipe but I love the lemon flavor in yours!

Skip to Recipe