Meatballs with vine tomato sauce

Meatballs with vine tomato sauce

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(7 ratings)

Ready in 1¾ hours


Serve 4 children and 2 adults
Get the kids to help you make these simple meatballs, or make them up in advance - great for Hallowe'en

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (child)

  • kcal182
  • fat10g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein16g
  • salt0.22g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 eating apple, peeled and finely chopped (or grated)



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • leaves from 2 sprigs oregano or 1 tsp dried



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • plain flour for coating
  • olive oil, for frying

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the sauce

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 x 225g packs cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of soy sauce

    Soy sauce

    soy sor-s

    An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…

  • handful of fresh basil leaves


  1. Mash the meat in a bowl with a spoon, then tip in the onion, apple, red pepper and oregano (and seasoning if you want to). Mash again to mix everything together. Now mix well with your hands until the mixture is sticky and divide into 16 smallish balls. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce. You can make them up to this stage 2 days ahead, or freeze them.

  2. Make the sauce. Soften the onion in a medium saucepan with the oil. Tip in the tomatoes and simmer very gently, uncovered, for about 20 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients except the basil and slow cook for another 15-20 mins. Add the basil and a splash of water from the kettle. Tip the contents of the pan into the food processor and whizz until smooth.

  3. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Gently roll the meatballs in flour. Heat a spoonful of oil in an ovenproof non-stick frying pan, wipe out with kitchen paper, then add the meatballs and fry gently and slowly over a low heat for 10 mins, turning them over once with tongs. (You may need to do this in batches if your pan is not very big.) Drain off any excess fat, pour in the sauce and finish off cooking in the oven for 15 mins. Serve with pumpkin mash.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (9)

pinkkann's picture

I thought this recipe was absolutely lovely. I used a tin of cherry toms and 250ml of leftover passata and it worked out well. I seasoned to my taste (not salty) and used approx. 1tbsp of Italian herb mix for the meatballs and it wasn't bland at all. I also used only 2tsp of oil, 1 for the sauce and the other for the meatballs. I think the recipe suits 4 adults with whatever staple you prefer.

astri24's picture

I think dividing the mixture into 16 balls made the meatballs too large in size. I would make them smaller.

flirtinflight's picture

I'm sure they will be fine for the kids, but I didn't season enough so for me they were too bland.

laevans's picture

Ran out of time (new baby in the house!) so ended up browning mince and adding sauce - it was delicious with pasta. Will do recipe properly soon!

abigail's picture

I missed out the Pepper as I hadn't got any and it worked just as well. Made lots more than needed as it fed 4 adults and 2 kids with a good portion left over.
Will make again as it is so easy to do but very tasty.

tampea's picture

Munchy, wouldn't have thought of using spple but got a subtle hint of sweetness. Used double portions so some went in the freezer for next time.

abigail's picture

Easy to do, very nice.

jayne410's picture

This is a really easy recipe and it's delicious for kids and adults.

anneconnolly's picture

Great kiddy meal. Tasty but not too challenging flavours.

Questions (0)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (0)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…

Skills & know how

As well as helping you decide what to cook we can also help you to cook it. From tips on cookery techniques to facts and information about health and nutrition, we’ve a wealth of foodie know how for you to explore.

About BBC Good Food

We’re all about good recipes, and about quality home cooking that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for some healthy inspiration or learning how to cook a decadent dessert, we’ve trustworthy guidance for all your foodie needs.

Our recipes

All our recipes are tested thoroughly by us to make sure they’re suitable for your kitchen at home. We know many of you are concerned about healthy eating, so we send them to a qualified nutritionist for thorough analysis too.

Tell us what you think…

Love the new look or think we’ve missed the mark? We want to hear your thoughts – good and bad – to make sure we make the new website as useful as possible.


Subscribe to BBC Good Food magazine and get triple-tested recipes delivered to your door, every month.


Discover a BBC Good Food Show near you.


See your favourite chefs on Sky Channel 247, Virgin TV 260 and find their recipes at

Follow us

Join the BBC Good Food community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Plus.