Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
You can't beat a comforting bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, and this version is superhealthy too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal303
  • fat17g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs14g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein25g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 450g pork mince
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated



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

  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

  • 250g spaghetti, to serve

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 3 roasted red peppers (from a jar), roughly chopped


  1. Put the pork mince in a bowl and stir in the apple, garlic, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 16 balls, cover and chill for 10 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 mins, until softened, then tip in the tomatoes and half a can of water. Stir in the peppers along with some salt and pepper. Partially cover and simmer for 15 mins.

  3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the meatballs. Cook for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally until they are browned all over. Set aside and keep warm.

  4. Using a hand-held blender, whizz the tomato sauce until smooth. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 mins, until cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, drain, then divide between serving plates. Top with the meatballs and sauce.

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Comments (26)

cshobbs's picture

My meatballs fell apart on cooking. However both the meatballs and the sauce were very tasty.

cshobbs's picture

My meatballs fell apart on cooking. However both the meatballs and the sauce were very tasty.

deedeeandme's picture

Just picked up this recipe (just for the red pepper sauce only) as my teenager daughter is also a hater of any veg except red peppers. After seeing other peeps comments, decided to add garlic, paprika & extra herbs plus a chicken stock cube. Works out no problem. My girl wolfed down the sauce with chicken added into her spaghetti!! Plenty enough sauce to freeze for a quick meal when needed.

jybay1's picture

Very nice and the sauce would work well on pasta, even without the meatballs.
I made the sauce with vegetable stock in place of water and added a chilli, some parsley, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, an extra pepper and a dash of mushroom ketchup. Yum.

kathrynv's picture

Good, hearty midweek family meal. I added some sage to the meatballs and a little garlic and smoked paprika to the sauce. Everyone enjoyed it - and blitzing the sauce meant that my veg-phobic 10 year old ate it all!

scd32's picture

Great basic recipe which can be - as earlier comments suggest - jazzed up with very little effort. Fresh chillies, chilli flakes, more peppers in the sauce, more garlic, paprika... whatever.

blackbird17's picture

Very easy. I didn't find the sauce bland as some others did, but I did think that the meatballs needed a little jazzing up. I'll make it again but spice up the meatballs a bit.

blackbird17's picture

Lovely sauce but I found the meatballs a bit bland. Will make this again but spice up the meatballs a bit.
Very easy.

fareham1's picture

I agree that the sauce was bland and also too sweet. It needs chilli/paprika to liven it up.

lindah736's picture

Okay but agree with other comments that sauce is bland so I jazzed it up with Italian seasoning for the kids and chilli for the adults. I think I'll do my normal one next time.

thecherub's picture

This was good but in need of a few changes. I would use more peppers next time. I also added sage to the meatballs for a bit more flavour. It wasnt obvious the apple was there but they were nice and moist. I halved the meat balls as there were just 2 of us but cooked the same amount of sauce and it worked well. Also I did not blitz it all at the end as I liked it chunky (and I was too lazy/hungry!)

felicitycornish's picture

I just made the sauce to go with some leftover meatballs I had. It was delicious. I used a fresh pepper which I blackened under the grill to get rid of the skin. I also used chicken stock instead of water, and added garlic. I then added some oregano and fresh basil. Very nice - we will definitely be having it again!

vanesa's picture

Made some changes. I used fresh peppers not from the jar (they contain too much sugar and there are many fresh peppers in the summer), which I blackened in the over for 30 minutes. I added a chicken stock cube, one finely grated carrot in the sauce and some parmesan at the end. I used two small grated apples for the mince balls, they add lots of lovely sweetness. I had it with rice not spaghetti. My baby and I loved it! Lots of vegetables/fruits, simple and healthy, definitely a favourite.

tydrawirafon's picture

I added a few chilli flakes and plenty black pepper to the sauce which made it really yummy. There was plenty sauce (although mine served 3 hungry adults not 4) and the apple in the meatballs seemed to keep them moist - didn't add to the taste. Have already made it twice and it will now become a regular midweek supper dish.

astill's picture

I really liked this and the sauce was great; however, I couldn't really taste the apple in the meatballs so would either leave it out next time or add more.

etouzanne's picture

Ok recipe but result is a bit boring, the sauce was quite bland. Must be the first recipe from BBC Good Food that I wont remake!

juliemcw1974's picture

Added chilli to the sauce - tasty mid week meal

popadum's picture

A lovely low budget filling meal. Although the peppadew peppers I used were quite spicy, the kids loved it.

centauri93's picture

Fine, nothing special but an easy midweek meal. Sauce is quite bland.

marguerite_caunt's picture

Lovely recipe - quick, healthy and very tasty. I added garlic, chopped chilli, and a splash of white wine and I used fresh tomatoes - shame to use canned in the summer when there are gorgeous tomatoes around. I served it with rice which makes it even lighter than pasta.


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Tips (1)

missyelliott's picture

Third time I've made this and would do so again.
I made a few adjustments, 2 sweet apples and paprika to the mince. for the sauce I replaced the water for vegetable stock and served with Bronze Die Gourmet Tagliatelle from Aldi .