This recipe is probably as old as lazy people. Or working people. Or busy people. They are a tasty weeknight treat that can be as fast as you need them to be. My easy peasy baked meatballs are such a winner. Lately with varying types of mince and spices we have had them for four different meals. One of them being a family gathering when I used a combination of chicken and turkey mince to make almost 2kg of meatballs.

The best part about this recipe is that it will work with turkey, chicken, pork, beef or pretty much any mince you’d like to use. The cooking time can be varied and the sauce can be as complicated as you want to make it. We like to keep it simple so I’ve shared that version here. After the recipe I’ve added a few notes about changes.

baked meatballs recipe clean eating-3

baked meatballs recipe clean eating-4

Now. Let’s cook!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 500gm {or multiples} of the mincemeat of your choice
  • 1 x large egg
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs or plain flour
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh herbs! I use basil and parsley mostly. Dried is okay too, just don’t use as many.
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x large tin, crushed tomatoes {600g+}
  • 1 x medium onion
  • 1 x tbsp tomato paste
  • Garlic {lots}
  • Salt & Pepper

DO THIS:

  1. Making the meatballs! 
    1.  Combine the mince, the egg, breadcrumbs or flour, a good handful or two of herbs {less if using dried herbs, way less}, a tbsp or two of garlic, salt and pepper.
    2. Heat a fry pan or ovenproof saucepan, add a swirl of olive oil
    3. Roll mince into balls and place into pan as you go to brown them off
    4. Brown all meatballs turning once.
    5. Remove from heat once turned
      {if transferring to a different pan, cook for a short time on other side before transferring to the oven pan}
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees {fan forced ovens}.
  3. Making the sauce!
    1. Chop the onions and herbs.
    2. Combine the crushed tomatoes, a handful or two of herbs {less if dried! WAY less}, upwards of 2 tbsp of garlic and the onion.
  4. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in their ovenproof dish, cover the meatballs in sauce or add more tomato.
  5. Add lid {or create on from tin foil} and put in oven for 3o minutes.
  6. For the final 15-20 minutes in the oven remove the lid on the oven tray.   

MORE TIPS:

If you need them done fast for those quick weeknight dinners? Brown the meatballs off for longer and turn up the oven during the baking time. 20-30 minutes will be all it takes if you cook the meatballs on both side before baking.

Want to prepare them ahead of time? Turn the oven down to 140-150 degrees and let them simmer away for longer. The longer the better with these guys. I had my 2kg of meatballs in for almost 3 hours the other night. Sooooo good.

If you want to develop the flavour of the sauce you can fry off the onion and the garlic before combining with the other sauce ingredients and adding to the dish. This gives a deeper flavour but takes more time, it’s a trade off.

So there you go folks, my fool proof, throw together meatballs. Enjoy!