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Jamie's storecupboard spaghetti with mackerel balls recipe

Jamie's storecupboard spaghetti with mackerel balls recipe

9 ratings

Jamie says: ‘These Italian-style fish balls are brilliant for getting fish into kids’ diets. They’re really fun to put together, and little ones will love getting involved. This simple recipe heroes leftover bread and storecupboard staples for a quick midweek family meal that ticks all the boxes.’ See method

  • Serves 4
  • 25 mins to prepare and 10 mins to cook
  • 672 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free


  • 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 200g sliced white bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 x 125g tins mackerel in sunflower oil
  • 300g dried spaghetti
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 80g bag watercress, spinach and rocket

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    21g 30%
  • Saturates

    4g 19%
  • Sugars

    8g 8%
  • Salt

    0.9g 16%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 86.8g Protein 29.3g Fibre 8.8g


Jamie BB headshot 155x255

  1. In a large bowl, drain and mash the cannellini beans with a fork. Briefly wet the bread with cold water and mash into the beans. Finely grate in the lemon zest, drain and add the tinned fish, then season. Use clean hands to combine well and form into 24 balls.
  2. Cook the spaghetti to pack instructions. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil into a large frying pan on a medium heat and cook the mackerel balls for 5-10 mins, gently turning until evenly golden.
  3. Peel and slice the garlic. Remove the mackerel balls to a plate while you make a quick tomato sauce. Add the garlic to the pan with the remaining ½ tbsp oil. Fry for a few secs until lightly golden, then scrunch in the tinned tomatoes with clean hands; season. Simmer for a few mins until thickened.
  4. Once the spaghetti is cooked, reserve a mugful of pasta water, then drain. Add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce, tossing gently, adding splashes of pasta water until the spaghetti is well coated. Divide between dishes, pop the mackerel balls on top and serve alongside the salad leaves dressed with lemon juice, a little olive oil and pepper.

See more Jamie Oliver recipes

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze the mackerel balls only. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

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