Mighty Meatballs

There’s something American about meatballs which appeals to children. They never seen to pick though the ingredients as they may do with other meals, giving you a great opportunity to sneak in some goodness.

These are tasty, studded with sweet hits of fruit, then baked for speed and flavour. Add into a simple vegetable sauce and they’re wolfed down as a favourite post swim/match meal.

Feel free to double the quantities for the freezer.

Beef, Apricot and Herb Meatballs (Serves 4)


400g low fat beef mince

2 x banana shallots, finely diced

1Ā x clove of garlic, minced or finely chopped

100g finely chopped apricots or dates

handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, stalks and all


1 chopped onion

1 x clove garlic, chopped

1 x tbsp umami paste

1 x cup hot beef stock

1Ā x tin chopped tomatoes

Seasoning – sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Pasta :

400g of Pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine

Preheat the oven to 220/200 (fan)/Gas 7

Mix all of the meatball ingredients together and shape into 12/14 balls and arrange on a greased baking tray.

Pop them into the hot oven for approx 15 minutes and cooked through, showing some colour.

Meanwhile, sweat off the onion and garlic in a large frying pan and when transparent, throw in the remaining sauce ingredients, season well with salt and freshly ground pepper, stir and simmer gently for 10/15 minutes.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente – follow the pack for instructions and go for the lower end of the minutes they suggest for cooking.

When the meatballs are cooked through, add to the tomato sauce and plate into warmed bowls, ready for some fresh parmesan and appreciative noises from the table.

39 Comments Add yours

  1. Who doesn’t like a good meatball sub? Its a delicious morsel of meat, herbs and veggies.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a delicious take on the traditional meatball. Now you’ve got me wondering if my kids would like them – I’ll have to give them a try and see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Brandi – give them a try and experiment on different flavours such as herbs, smoked paprika, BBQ sauce in the veg sauce, etc., depending on their tastes so that it gives them an more familiar base to start with maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are talking my language. Nothing like a good meatball. My favorite item with your recipe is the apricot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Peter – let me know how you get on…… sometimes I add things like crushed walnuts and dates also. Any further ideas welcome!


  4. nlampert says:

    Meatballs were definitely one of my favourite dinners when I was a kid. I like the idea of incorporating apricots or dates, I’ll have to give that a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noms! perfect for making this weekend for potluck! thanks for the recipe!

    XOXO // Check out my latest post if you like šŸ˜‰
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    Liked by 1 person

  6. munakenny says:

    Sounds interesting! Reading the ingredients I can tell that the meatballs were tender and flavorful. You got me all curious, I have to try it myself šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amber says:

    Oh my gosh, yum. These meatballs sound amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beso Beauty says:

    I have never heard of putting fruit in meatballs, although it sounds good to me! I have only made my own barbecue sauce including blueberry jam to make sauce for them.


  9. This sounds delicious.Though I don’t eat beef,I will try this with chicken meatballs.Meatballs are one of my favourite foods!


  10. Meatballs are always a great choice for any meal! I will definitely have to try this recipe.


  11. beautyaddictmama says:

    The sauce sounds amazing and as I’ve just become vegetarian, I will try the sauce with some veggies.


  12. Molly says:

    Wow! What a delicious recipe that I will have to try with my family. I never expected Apricots in meatballs but I can see how the sweetness can really cut through the fat and provide a tender, juicy flavor. Well done!




  13. MadPawn says:

    Miam looks tasty šŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing


  14. I LOVE making meatballs. They seem to freeze so well so on busy nights, I’ll grab a portioned freezer bag of them, boil some noodles, pop some of my homemade canned pasta sauce and I’ve got an instant meal that taste like it took hours!


  15. Chloe says:

    I hadn’t heard of apricot in meatballs, but it sounds yummy! Alot of people put meatballs on their sandwhiches as well, such a good hearty meal to have.


  16. Elizabeth O. says:

    This recipe sounds like a hit for my kids! They sure love the classic favorite and it would be nice to make this for them one of these days!


  17. Ana De-Jesus says:

    Oooh I love the idea of adding apricot to the meatballs! I would love to make a veggie version using Quorn! xx


  18. AwesomeAliceCom says:

    I’m from Sweden and only eat the meatballs from Ikea šŸ˜‰ But these looks delicious, might have to try them anyways šŸ™‚


  19. Befitting Style says:

    I’m not a meat eater but back in the day, I would have been in love with this!


  20. We’re having meatballs tonight. I think I am going to tweak my meatball mix a bit and add some spices too. We always have pasta with meatballs and there is absolutely no left overs!


  21. Kathy Myers says:

    This looks good! I have never made meatballs, this would be fun to do with the grandsons!


  22. Apart from the recipe, you have a unique & attractive post layout. This recipe is share worthy!


  23. Ok I could eat this up right now. It sounds delicious.


  24. alisonrost says:

    Once a month we host Spaghetti Saturdays for all of the people in our lives we love. We have a standard Sicilian Meatballs and serve another as well. Next month I’m going to give these a try!


    1. Brilliant! Let me know how you get on with them – they tend to shift in larger quantities than regular meatballs as the texture is lighter. Send us a picture!


  25. ljdove23 says:

    Meatballs are one of my favourite dishes! I love a big plate of meatballs and pasta smothered in parmesan! These sound delicious!


  26. The apricot would add such an interesting flavor to the meatballs! I can taste it now with some pasta and vodka sauce, yum!


    1. Vodka sauce – interesting! What does that involve?


  27. Lindsey says:

    I love your recipes that are always so tasty and mouth-wateringly good. Meatballs is always a hot in my home, a tad skeptical on the apricot front, but your recipes are always a hit here.


  28. Oh ye of little faith! Try the apricots or swap for some dried dates or figs – they really work!


  29. This recipe seems to be the best i came across. Will definately give it try.


  30. raisingyourpetsnaturally says:

    What a unique recipe for meatballs. They sound really tasty. We are actually having meatballs next week, maybe I’ll get adventurous and try this out.


  31. lillystats says:

    Whenever I’ve made meatballs, they’ve just been kind of plain and boring. I love this twist on it and will definitely be adding it to my list of foods to try. Thank you!


  32. alisonrost says:

    We love meatballs at our house. In fact once a month we have something we call Spaghetti Saturdays. We invite our friends (whoever can come) and sit down to spaghetti and meatballs. They’re comfort food in every way!


  33. This sounds like something that my nephews and husband would love me for! I’d love to keep the recipe and make this for them when everyone comes over to visit!


  34. Tiina A says:

    It’s funny how you said that there’s something very American in meatballs šŸ™‚ I have always found them very Swedish and they have been my fav childhood food. This recipe with dried fruit sounds super delicious – have to try it!


  35. My kids love meatballs! Whenever we do spaghetti and I don’t add meatballs, one of my kids is genuinely upset over it. Lol. I love sneaking in healthy ingredients and I will have to try this meatball recipe.


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