I’ve been playing with Veg Loaded Meatballs recipes for a little while. Most have been rejected by my biggest critics, Logan and Kaia. “These are not your best Mummy” are words that cut me to the core. This recipe was devoured and seconds were requested – #winning!
When I make meatballs, I always serve a salad and garlic bread on the side. I’d say about 90% of the time only the meatballs and bread are eaten, which sends me into a “are they getting enough nutrients from this meal” frenzy. I’m not really sure why, one meal with no extra veggies isn’t the end of the world!
But now I’ve got a solution – Veg Loaded Meatballs!
This recipe is suitable for the whole family. Break up the meatballs for younger diners.
Makes 16 meatballs. There is a chance there will be none left for the next day. They keep once cooked and cooled for 3 days in the fridge.
Prep time: 1.5hrs
Cooking Time: 40mins
500g of beef mince
Tiny splash of oil
1/2 medium courgette, washed and grated
1 medium carrot, washed and grated
1 small red onion finely diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp each of dried thyme and oregano
Pinch of salt & pepper
Large handful of fresh basil washed and finely diced
For the sauce:
1.5 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Glug of red wine
3 cloves of garlic finely diced
1 low salt beef stock cube, crumbled
5 fresh basil leaves, washed and roughly torn
Splash of oil
Spaghetti for serving
Get a oven proof dish that’s big enough to fit all the meatballs in ready. In a paper towel squeeze all excess water from the carrot and courgette.
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Take a palm sized amount of the meat mix and roll into a ball and place in oven proof dish. Continue until all done.
Cover the meatballs and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Meanwhile in a large pot with a lid. Add some oil and over a low heat, gently fry the garlic until it becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes, using the tin add 1.5 tins of water (add more if you like more sauce) and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.
Bring to a boil. Let it boil for a minute, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30mins. Remove from heat.
Once the meatballs have set in the fridge, preheat the oven to 170c (fan). Cook the meatballs for 20-25mins or until cooked through. Keep an eye on them, over cooking them will make them dry.
Once cooked, gently add the meatballs to the sauce and pour the fat from the oven dish into the sauce. Stir carefully. Bring the sauce back to a simmer and cook for 5-10mins.
Serve with spaghetti cooked as per packet instructions.