Tuna Rice Balls

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These tuna rice balls have been a long-time favourite in my house, they have had a bit of a revival of late since my son's coeliac diagnosis. He loves them as an alternative to sandwiches in his lunchbox.

Goldem brown tuna rice balls on crinkled parchment paper scattered with chopped chives.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Deliciously savoury
  • Crispy and crunchy
  • Protein-packed snack, or light-meal
  • Enjoy warm or cold (great in lunch boxes)

Ingredients you will need

To make my tuna rice balls you will need the following:

  • Canned tuna
  • Cooked brown rice
  • Cottage cheese
  • Parmesan
  • Chives
  • Bread crumbs 
  • Olive oil
The ingredients to make tuna rice balls laid out on a bench top with text overlay.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

  • Tuna: I like to use tuna canned-in oil in this recipe.
  • Brown rice: You can of course use cooked white rice as an alternative.
  • Cottage cheese: Ricotta can be used. I sometimes use cottage cheese with chives to make this recipe even easier!
  • Bread crumbs: This recipe works well with gluten-free bread crumbs.

I am an ambassador for Countdown supermarket, they support my blog by providing ingredients for recipe creation and testing. I used steamed brown rice, cottage cheese and tuna from their range in this recipe.


Step-by-step instructions

Below are illustrated step-by-step instructions to make my *** Recipe, if you prefer just the written instructions then head straight to the printable recipe card below.

Prep: Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius (425F)

Drain the canned tuna

Step one: In a mixing bowl combine the tuna, brown rice, cottage cheese, chives and the first measure of parmesan cheese. Mix so that these ingredients are well combined. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands.

Brown rice, canned tuna, cottage cheese and chives in a glass mixing bowl.  Ready to be mixed.

Step two: In a second dish, combine the second measure of parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and olive oil. Mix so that bread crumbs are well coated with olive oil

Oiled bread crumbs in a small glass mixing bowl.

Step three: Using clean damp (damp hands stop the rice mixture from sticking to your hands) make golf ball-sized balls of the rice mixture, roll these balls in the bread crumbs then place them on a lined baking tray.

Golf ball sized scoops of rice mixture being rolled in bread crumbs.

Step four: Bake in your hot oven for 15-20 minutes until crunchy and golden brown.

16 golden brown rice balls on a lined baking tray.

Enjoy!


A golden brown rice ball being held up to the camera above a tray of rice balls.

Top Tips

Here is how you can make these tuna rice balls perfectly every time!

  • Damp hands! Damp hands, when you are mixing the rice ball mix and rolling the mix into balls will stop the rice balls from sticking to your hands.
  • Pre-cooked rice: If you are using precooked rice (like I did) be aware that the rice grains may not stick together as much as if you have cooked your own rice, the rice balls will still work, and will hold together well once baked but you do need to be gentle with the rice mix when you are forming the balls.
  • These rice balls are delicious warm or cold, my kids love them with a little aioli

Tuna rice balls packed into a small pink bento box with cookies and vegetables.

FAQs

Can I cook tuna rice balls in an air fryer?

Yes, tuna rice balls will be golden and crunchy after 10-15 minutes in an air fryer set to 200 degrees Celsius (400F)

How long do tuna rice balls last in the fridge

Leftover rice balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

A tuna rice ball being dipped into a small bowl of aioli.

More recipes you might like

  • Looking for another way to use canned tuna: My Tuna Pasta Bake is simple comfort food.
  • Or my one pot no boil method for salmon pasta bake is lovely too.
  • This gluten-free recipe for baked salmon nuggets is another tasty way to enjoy fish.
  • Zucchini tots are another savoury baked snack your kids will love.
Golden brown tuna rice balls on crinkeled parchment paper scattered with chopped chives.

If you made my Tuna Rice Ball Recipe  or any other recipes on the blog please :

  • leave me a comment and a star rating below to let me know how you got on, I love hearing from you.
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Golden brown tuna rice balls on crinkeled parchment paper scattered with chopped chives.

Tuna Rice Balls

These tuna rice balls are a deliciously savoury crispy and crunchy, protein-packed snack or light meal.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: Rice balls, tuna rice balls, brown rice balls
Diet: Egg Free, Gluten free
Servings: 16 balls
Calories: 81kcal

RATE THIS RECIPE

5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 185 grams canned tuna I use tuna canned in oil
  • 250 grams cooked brown rice 1 ½ cups
  • 250 grams cottage cheese 1 cup
  • 25 grams parmesan ¼ cup
  • 2 Tablespoons chives
  • 25 grams parmesan ¼ cup
  • 100g bread crumbs 1 cup (this recipe works well with gf breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius (425F)
  • Drain the tuna
  • In a mixing bowl combine the tuna, brown rice, cottage cheese, chives and the first measure of parmesan cheese. Mix so that these ingredients are well combined. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands.
  • In a second dish, combine the second measure of parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and olive oil. Mix so that bread crumbs are well coated with olive oil.
  • Using clean damp (damp hands stop the rice mixture from sticking to your hands) make golf ball-sized balls of the rice mixture, roll these balls in the bread crumbs then place them on a lined baking tray.
  • Bake in your hot oven for 15-20 minutes until crunchy and golden brown.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

    • Damp hands! Damp hands, when you are mixing the rice ball mix and rolling the mix into balls will stop the rice balls from sticking to your hands.
    • Pre-cooked rice: If you are using precooked rice (like I did) be aware that the rice grains may not stick together as much as if you have cooked your own rice, the rice balls will still work, and will hold together well once baked but you do need to be gentle with the rice mix when you are forming the balls.
    • These rice balls are delicious warm or cold, my kids love them with a little aioli
  • Leftover rice balls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Air fryer Option: The tuna rice balls will be golden and crunchy after 10-15 minutes in an air fryer set to 200 degrees Celsius (400F)
    • Tuna: I like to use tuna canned-in oil in this recipe.
    • Brown rice: You can of course use cooked white rice as an alternative.
    • Cottage cheese: Ricotta can be used. I sometimes use cottage cheese with chives to make this recipe even easier!
    • Bread crumbs: This recipe works well with gluten-free bread crumbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ball | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 69IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

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