Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

Turkey meatballs in tomato & fennel sauce

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(46 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
This quick, tasty and economical supper is a healthy way of getting the family fed

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal216
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre2g
  • protein26g
  • salt0.46g
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  • 400g turkey mince
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 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, chopped



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

  • 1 carrot, diced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g spaghetti, cooked, to serve


  1. Put the mince in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs and half the garlic. Season and mix well to combine. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 balls, then chill for 10 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onion, carrot and remaining garlic. Cook for 5-6 mins until softened. Add the fennel seeds and cook for a few secs. Tip in the tomatoes with half a can of water, then stir in the tomato purée. Season and simmer for 15 mins until thickened. Using an electric hand blender, whizz until roughly smooth.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 8-10 mins until cooked through. Transfer to the sauce and simmer until piping hot. Serve with spaghetti.

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Comments (53)

angelica30's picture

I too absolutely adore this simple,tasty dish and so boes my 10year old son,i did however added garlic to the meatballs and half teaspoon of chilli powder to the source and a pinch of sugar and lastly a chicken oxo cube to the sauce,delicious,delicious,delicious,will make this time and time again,thanks g.f.

drfabio's picture

The meatballs were mediocre (despite following advice and adding parsley, extra garlic and smoked paprika) which was a shame. It really needed a lot of help from extra flavours. The tomato sauce was great though, so I'll be keeping this in my binder for that alone. I added a little sugar to it too - I usually add a bit to my tomato sauces.

hayleyjj's picture

This is excellent! I have made it many times now and it works just as well with pork. I usually add some garlic & parsley to the meatballs :)

kplant1's picture

Big hit in our house. I agree though the meatballs could do with something else but the sauce is great and regardless we really liked it!

frozenpixie's picture

These were delicious and easy to make. The meatballs were very tasty and went well with the sauce. I skipped out the puree and added some herbs to the meatballs and sauce - excellent mid-week dinner.

yummymummy31's picture

PS I made this with beef meatballs (20 for our family of five).

yummymummy31's picture

My hubby and I enjoyed this meal even the kids! (2,6 & 8) I added a little basil & oregano and left out the carrots and garlic. I also added some pieces of cheese for a few seconds until melted to make it a bit goo-ey :0) Will be keeping this recipe!

abbycallan's picture

i made this but with lean beef mince instead of turkey and no fennel. i blended the sauce rather then using a hand wisk and i think it turned out well! was very nice :)

yasinozyurt's picture

My city in Turkey-Izmir. Turkey meetballs for; onion(bulb), thyme, chili powder, black pepper and stale bread crumbs.

jnduggan1's picture

Fab fab fab! I added extra seasoning as I often do and these were great. Really tasty and good for you! Much better than using a jar sauce. Also makes a great base for lasagne with turkey mince.

dagmarl's picture

I have made the recipe a few times already and I think the combination of tomato and fennel is delicious. However, I think the meatballs need more seasoning so I add some chopped parsley, lots of pepper, salt, paprika and a finely chopped onion. I also add an egg, so that the meetballs do not fall apart so easily. If you like lots of sauce, it's worth doubling the ingredients for this part of the recipe.

joanne.webb's picture

Did not like this much, I think if you are going to have meatballs then you should just go the full hog and have beef & pork, but just have them as a treat. I agree with peacock comments they are pretty good for you but you compromise on taste. Probably won't do again.

faypeacock's picture

These were OK but certainly not as good as other meatball recipies I've tried - remember they are pretty good for you which quite often means less tasty!


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