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Tuna Meatball Sub - It's part tuna melt, part meatball <em data-lazy-src=

My husband Jack and I are always up for a challenge – especially when it comes to developing new delicious recipes! So we were delighted to join Albertsons Supermarkets’ “Twist That Dish” – where we took an everyday favorite ingredient and created a dish with a unique twist!

We were given 16 possible ingredients to choose from – everything from fresh fruits, vegetables and chicken, canned foods, as well as some popular Kraft brand packaged food items.

After a little brainstorming, we decided to use canned tuna fish as our chosen ingredient – and we came up with the most amazing Tuna Meatball Sub! It’s part tuna melt – part meatball sub – and it tastes incredible!

Tuna Meatball Sub - It's part tuna melt, part meatball sub! Super delicious 'meat' balls made with canned tuna!

These moist and delicious meatballs (or should we really be calling them fish balls?) are a super flavorful combination of canned tuna packed in oil combined with other ingredients such as lemon, bread crumbs, minced garlic and Parmesan cheese.

But there’s more! Some salty chopped prosciutto, herbes de Provence, and a pinch of red pepper flakes were also added, and these three unexpected ingredients really kick up the flavor in these tuna meatballs and make them something quite memorable!

Tuna Meatball Sub - It's part tuna melt, part meatball sub! Super delicious 'meat' balls made with canned tuna!

The cooked meatballs are firm but flaky, with a crispy outside, and they are full of flavor! We decided to serve them up as a Tuna Meatball Sub – stuffed with shredded lettuce, a generous smear of tartar sauce, and finally topped with melted American cheese.

You’re going to love these Tuna Meatball Subs – as well as all of the other Twist that Dish-inspired recipes!

All of the Albertsons Supermarket chains are participating in this fun program and you can get more recipe inspiration on each of their #PinThatTwist Pinterest pages:

Albertsons | Acme Markets | Jewel-Osco | Shaw’s | Star Market

And get in on the fun yourself by voting on your favorite Twist That Dish recipe! By voting you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card! Visit your local Albertsons Supermarket on Facebook:

Albertsons | Acme Markets | Jewel-Osco | Shaw’s | Star Market

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Tuna Meatball Sub {#PinThatTwist}

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 dozen meatballs (6+ subs)


  • 4 5-ounce cans tuna packed in oil and undrained (we used Bumble Bee Premium Filet Tonno in Olive Oil – a premium brand of tuna will give the best flavor)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup dried potato flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic (about one large clove)
  • ¼ pound prosciutto minced
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup light cream
  • ¼ cup bottled clam juice (or water if clam juice is not available)
  • Pinch of salt, as needed

To Make the Sub Sandwiches

  • Non-stick cooking spray to spray parchment lined sheet pan
  • 6 sub rolls
  • 6 slices American cheese
  • 1 cup tartar sauce (see our homemade recipe here)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce (we used Romaine but iceberg works just as well)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium to large mixing bowl add all meatball ingredients and lightly mix, trying not to break the tuna up too much. Make sure to include the oil from the tuna cans in the mix. Add pinch of salt if needed.
  3. Using a medium ice cream scoop (#40 size like this one), scoop out about 2 ½ dozen one ounce meatballs. Gently shape and roll each in your hands and place on prepared sheet pan. It helps to keep your hands wet while rolling.
  4. Spray the tops of the meatballs with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Leave oven on and cut each roll almost all the way through.
  6. Line the inside of each roll with tartar sauce, lettuce and meatballs (5-6 meat balls per roll). Then cut cheese into rectangles or triangles and lay cheese over meatballs. Place on clean sheet pan and heat just long enough to melt cheese.
  7. Serve hot with chips and a pickle.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Star Market. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  • claire @the realistic nutritionist wrote:

    What a unique recipe!

  • Catherine wrote:

    This looks absolutely delicious! xo, Catherine

  • Joy @ Joy Love Food wrote:

    I love tuna, this is such a great idea to use it in meatballs!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes wrote:

    Love how adventurous you are in the kitchen! You were brave to choose tuna as your ingredients. Nicely done!

  • Brandy M wrote:

    We have never been a fish family, but these look awesome! Maybe I can get the family (and myself) to eat seafood with these!

  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    This is such a brilliant idea! I never considered making meatballs with tuna, but I know my family would love this.

  • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden wrote:

    It breaks my heart, but my 5 year old is heading off to school next year and I’m at that point where I’m starting to think about what to pack for her lunch each day. This is totally going to be a homer for her. She love tuna, loves subs and loves meatballs. Maybe I can make these for dinner and then pack her lunch with it the next day (and pack my other childs lunch aka husband while I’m at it.) My 3 year old just loves tuna too!

    • Martha wrote:

      I think she’d love these Laura! Such a milestone – kingergarten – but my now 8-year-old loves school and I’m sure yours will too!

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