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Bolinhas de atum

Tuna Bites


A winning recipe is the one that you keep cooking over and over again and these Tuna Bites have been the most repeated recipe here at home lately.

It’s a recipe I’ve been making for a long time now, but I made an upgrade because I wanted some crunchiness and extra texture.

But as I hate to cook fried food at home, this solution immediately seemed perfect for my favorite tuna bites!

Actually, I didn’t invent anything, I just looked at my pantry and remembered that I could do it the same way croquettes are made (which for those who don’t know, I LOVE!).

And what do you do? CRUMB! That’s how you say it? ahah I don’t even know…

Portanto, passei as minhas bolinhas de atum por farinha panko para ficarem super crocantes e levei ao forno.

A healthier way to eat a good batch of savoury pasteries.

After all, who said you can’t eat healthy savoury pasteries?


Another wonderful and super easy recipe? What about this naan bread that comes out well at the first try!


Bolinhas de atum de frente


How do you make these delicious Tuna Bites?

This answer is very easy!

Há um ingrediente indispensável: paciência! Mas para isso eu até tenho um truque que te vai ajudar. Conto-te mais abaixo.:)

I prepare these tuna bites with sweet potato, because it’s how I’ve always made them and I think they taste amazing, but the sweet potato also has a trick and I’ll tell you more below.

The other ingredient that makes this recipe wonderful is the onion. But it’s not just the onion, it’s the caramelized onion. mnhaaam

And besides, there are no spices or complications, just roll the tuna bites in the panko and take them to the oven.

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • Sweet potato
  • Tuna
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko or breadcrumbs

Quais os truques para que as bolinhas de atum fiquem deliciosas e crocantes?

Let’s talk tricks, which is always the part I like the most. ahah

Beyond patience, as I have already mentioned…

  • For the sweet potato, cut it in half and roast it in the oven until it gets soft, so you can mash it. It is not necessary to put oil or spices.
  • For patience, the trick is to use a scoop of ice cream because it will help you to get more or less the same amount of dough in each little ball and you don’t need to mold too much, because it will already have the round shape.
  • As for the caramelized onion, the great trick is to cook the onion in medium to low heat and when it starts cooking, add a little water. This way the onion will be very soft and caramelized.
  • The process of caramelizing the onion takes some time. Depending on the amount of onion used, but in my case it took about 20 min. As it is not necessary to stir constantly, take advantage of this time to crush the potatoes or to do other things.
  • For the crumb part, just roll the tuna bites through the flour (and shake them because we just want them not to get sticky), then roll then in the egg wash and finally in the panko.
  • It is important that the oven is very hot so that the tuna bites get crispy.

Bolinhas de atum com molho

Do you want to see the complete recipe? I wrote everything right below.

Bolinhas de atum com mão

Tuna Bites

This recipe is perfect for those days when we just feel like a salty pastery. They are much healthier than traditional salty pasteries and are super crispy and delicious. They are a great starter for a friends dinner or a tapas style dinner. Another alternative is to use them as a snack for the whole week.
Prep time:40 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total time:1 hour 5 minutes
Keywords: crunchy bites, healthy snack, no fried, oven food, Snacks, sweet potato, tuna, tuna bites
Portions: 25 balls


  • 4 batatas doce médias
  • 1 can can
  • 4 large onions
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese optional
  • flour to taste can be of wheat, oats, spelt, etc.
  • 1 beaten egg
  • panko to taste or breadcrumbs


  • Start by preheating the oven to 200º.
  • Wash the sweet potatoes well and cut them in half.
  • Place them on a tray, with the peel facing down and take them to the oven for 20 min or until they are soft inside.
  • Let them cool a little and remove the pulp with the help of a spoon.
  • Put it in a big bowl, together with the tuna and reserve it.
  • Heat a frying pan with olive oil and add the onion cut in half slices.
  • Let the onion start cooking and add the salt. Mix well.
  • In the middle of the process, add some water so that the onion is soft and caramelized.
  • As soon as the onion starts to get a brownish color, turn off the heat and add the onion to the sweet potato and tuna bowl.
  • Add the grated cheese.
  • Mix everything very well, crushing the ingredients.
  • Make little balls with the help of the ice cream scoop and crumble them by rolling the tuna bites into the flour, the egg wash and the panko (in this order).
  • Place all the tuna bites on a tray. If you want them to be even crunchier, pour a drizzle of olive oil on top.
  • Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until crispy.
  • Serve with a good mustard, a little ketchup or do as I do and serve with curry ketchup.


You can use white potato or pumpkin instead of sweet potato, using the same logic of baking them in the oven first, because if you boil them in water they'll get excess liquid.
Add spices and herbs, it tastes great! I didn't add them because I wanted this recipe to be very simple to prepare, but add oregano, coriander, basil or even mint. 
You can add grated carrots which also taste great or even grated zucchini (but remove excess water). 
Finally, you can fry the tuna bites, no problem. But remember that it is not so healthy.


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