Meatballs with pesto mash

Meatballs with pesto mash

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
A rustic Italian-style family dinner, with herby mashed potatoes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Egg-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal438
  • fat14g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre0g
  • protein31g
  • salt0.96g
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  • 400g lean beef mince



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • small bunch basil, most leaves roughly chopped, reserving few whole to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp 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…

  • half a 700g bottle passata with onions and garlic
  • 1kg potato, peeled and cut into small chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 150ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 2 tbsp fresh basil pesto



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.



  1. Mix the mince with half the chopped basil, the Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning, then use your hands to shape into 16 meatballs. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add the oil, then fry the meatballs, turning, for 5 mins until browned. Tip in the passata and remaining chopped basil. Simmer gently for 10 mins until the meatballs are cooked through.

  2. Meanwhile, boil potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain well, then return to the saucepan over a low heat and mash – leaving the heat on will help to dry out the potatoes for a fluffier mash. Stir in the milk, then marble through the pesto. Pile the mash onto 4 plates, spoon over meatballs and serve scattered with the reserved basil.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Dec, 2017
Comfort food mmmmm. This recipe is so easy and quick. I did think the meatballs could do with being a bit more “ tasty”.I will probably try another meatball recipe next time. Mash was delicious.
thecherub's picture
24th Mar, 2015
This recipe was ok but I won't rush to make it again, although using pesto was a good idea which I might use in other recipes. The meatballs were really heavy so next time I would use all or part sausage meat and breadcrumbs too. After making the meatballs I put them in the freezer for 15 mins before cooking so they held their shape a bit more.
29th Oct, 2014
I love this recipe, but substituted the beef mince for sausage meat which makes for much tastier meatballs that don't fall apart! The kids prefer it as well.
4th Jun, 2014
I oven baked the meatballs, and they held together no problem. A simple, tasty meal.
30th Mar, 2014
Unfortunately as a recipe for meatballs I found it useless (the meatballs fell apart even after reading the previous comments an adding an egg). BUT I added mushrooms to the mince mixture and it made a tasty bolognese, which was great with spaghetti and cheese! Based on my experience I'd look elsewhere if you want a good meatball recipe, but would recommend using the recipe for bolognese instead.
26th Oct, 2013
I'm not extremely fond of the recipe itself, although it isn't bad. However, I had never thought of adding pesto to mash before but now I do it regularly. Pesto mash is the best part of this recipe :)
steevegh's picture
31st Aug, 2013
Very good recipes but the meatball was a little too dry i will put an egg next time
maggiebleksley's picture
4th Jul, 2013
I put the mince in the food processor along with the basil. The extra mincing helps to bind it together and none of my meatballs came apart. I added some sliced mushrooms to the sauce and a little grated Gran Padano cheese to the pesto mash and served it with French beans. It all worked very well.
17th Jan, 2013
Very good! I added an egg and some potatoflour to the meatball mixture, as I always remember my granny did that whenever she made her infamous meat patties with onion. Mmmm! I served it with pesto pasta instead, and here is my result:
16th Jan, 2013
I came to this recipe via the gluten free page ... beware as I believe worcestershire sauce contains gluten ...


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maggiebleksley's picture
4th Jul, 2013
To prevent the meatballs from falling apart, grind up the mince a little more in a food processor or mincer. The finer it is, the better it sticks together.
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