Simple Baked Meatballs
The thing I love about these meatballs, apart from the fact that they taste delicious, is that you just pop them in the oven and leave them to cook away. No messing around trying to brown them in a pan and risking ending up with meatball mush.
I prefer to use almond meal, rather than breadcrumbs to keep the meatballs gluten-free but still retain the lovely soft texture you get with breadcrumbs. Of course if you’d prefer to use bread crumbs, you can, just soak them in a little milk to soften before using.
And the onion step is a pain, but it really adds to the meatball flavour. If you’re in a hurry, you could skip the onions and it won’t be the end of the world. I’m using a mixture of pork and veal mince I picked up from the butcher, but feel free to play around with the type of meat you use. Beef is lovely as is pork or veal on their own. Chicken would take the meatballs in another direction.
enough for 3-4
takes around 60 minutes
1 onion, finely diced (optional)
1 jar tomato passata, tomato puree, or canned tomatoes (700g / 24oz)
500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef or pork
50g (2oz) almond meal
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F). If using onion heat a small frying pan on a medium heat.
2. Add a glug of olive oil and the chopped onion to the frying pan and cook, stirring from time to time, until just soft and golden. About 5 minutes.
3. Place tomato in the base of an oven proof dish. And combine meat and almond in a bowl. Season.
4. Add the softened onions to the meat and mix to combine. Using your hands and a tablespoon, form the mixture into little meat balls no larger than a golf ball. Placing them on top of the tomato as you go.
5. Scatter pieces of butter over the meatballs and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until browned on top and cooked through.
vegetarian – lentil balls.
more summery – summer meatballs.
different meat – feel free to use any minced (ground) meat. I often use beef or lamb but you could use turkey, pork, chicken, buffalo or even kangaroo.
nut-free – replace almond meal with fresh breadcrumbs.
dairy-free – replace butter with extra virgin olive oil.
short on time – cook meatballs at 250C (480F) for 20-30 minutes.
carb lovers / more substantial – serve with spaghetti.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
tomato passata, tomato puree, or canned tomatoes – pantry.
pork & veal – freeze.
almond meal – pantry.
butter – keeps in the fridge for months.