One-pan Tuna Meatballs in Green Chile Tomato Sauce

One-Pan Tuna Meatballs in Green Chile Tomato Sauce

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Fusion
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
Not your ordinary tuna meatballs packed with amazing flavors and textures and served in rustic green chile tomato sauce all in one pan.
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  • 3 cans Bella Portofino Tuna 4.5 oz each can
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves finely chopped

Green chili tomato sauce:

  • 1 small onion peeled, quartered
  • 14 oz Roma tomatoes quartered
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 large red bell peppers cored and diced
  • 3 large jalapeno peppers you can omit if prefer not spicy
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • Small bunch parsley leaves finely chopped


Make the meatballs:

  • Empty Bella Portofino Tuna into a mixing bowl along with the oil. Flake the meatballs with a fork. Add chopped macadamia nuts, breadcrumbs, eggs, and parsley leaves. Use a clean hand to mix and scrunch everything until you can form meatballs without them falling apart. If it's too dry, add a bit of oil. If it's too wet, add a bit more breadcrumbs

Shape the meatballs:

  • Prepare a bowl of clean water. Wet your hands and then shape the tuna mixture into about 3-inch meatballs. Your wet hands will help to keep the meatballs surface smooth. Let the meatballs rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator while preparing the sauce

Brown the meatballs:

  • Preheat a large pan with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Arrange the meatballs in the pan, try not to overcrowd the pan and cook them over medium heat. Do this in batches if necessary. Let them brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and set aside

Make the sauce:

  • Place tomato and onion in a food processor and chop them. In the same pan you brown the meatballs earlier, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Add bell peppers and jalapeno peppers (if using). Saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and tomatoes. Continue to let it simmer for the next 15 minutes or until everything is soft. Add apple cider vinegar and sugar. Season with salt to taste. If the sauce is too thick, you can add about 1/3 cup of water to thin it out a bit. The sauce should be savory with some hint of tangy, spicy, and sweet
  • While the sauce is gently simmering, add the meatballs back  to the green chili tomato sauce, cover and let them cook for another 5 minutes or until the meatballs cooked through


  • You can serve the meatballs straight in the pan or transfer them to serving platter. Garnish the meatballs with chopped parsley leaves. Serve immediately