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Tuna Empanada Filling Recipe

Versatile Tuna Empanada Filling

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Protein
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Spanish


Versatile and perfect for meal prep, this tuna empanada filling is made with sauteed onions and sweet peppers, tomatoes, garlic and canned tuna (can also be salmon). This filling can be used in an empanada pastry or a pie, as a stuffing for baked potatoes, in pasta sauce, salads, sandwiches, wraps, as a topping on tortilla chips, in nachos and more.



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup chopped red bell pepper/capsicum (about 1/2 to 2/3 of pepper)

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper/capsicum (about 1/2 pepper)

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 cloves of garlic, diced

1/3 serrano or jalapeno chilli (red or green), diced

1 roasted or grilled red pepper, diced (canned like these)

10 green olives, diced 

1.5 teaspoons paprika powder

1 cup tomato passata (chopped tinned tomatoes)

14 oz. / 400 g canned tuna (drained weight)

Garnish: sliced roasted red peppers, olives and green onions


  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, onions, red and green peppers and salt. Stir and cook for 12 minutes, stirring through a few times. Add the garlic and chilli halfway through. While these are cooking, prepare other ingredients.
  • The onion and peppers mix should be soft, golden and caramelised by now. Add the paprika powder, diced roasted pepper, olives and stir through. Add tomato passata and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Finally, drain the tuna through a sieve making sure to squeeze out excess liquid. Add the fish to the pan and stir through the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt if needed. Cook for 2 minutes, stir again and it’s done.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4-5 days. This tuna mix can be used cold or reheated (see some ideas above).


Roasted or grilled red peppers are often canned or pickled in juice and sold in a jar. You can buy them in most supermarkets and the leftovers can be used in salads, soups, dips and sauces.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup or so
  • Calories: 239
  • Sugar: 5.1 g
  • Sodium: 591 mg
  • Fat: 13.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 20.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 33.6 mg
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