Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

Pork meatballs in red pepper sauce

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(28 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, questions and tips

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23rd Mar, 2020
It's absolutely lovely. It was the right proportion as of the ingredients, the grilled pepper made the sauce a bit sweeter and v it also have a nice texture to the sauce at the end. Tbh, I would have never thought that apple would work well with the pork meat but it truly did. It quickly became a favourite of all. Will definitely do it again.
14th Jan, 2019
A great meatball. I just made the meatballs, not the sauce (as have my own recipe I tend to use). They were delicious. The addition of apple was lovely. I just whizzed the apple up in the food processor after making the breadcrumbs. Also, I grilled them rather than frying, just to keep it a bit healthier. Overall this is a really tasty meatball recipe that I will repeat.
21st May, 2015
My meatballs fell apart on cooking. However both the meatballs and the sauce were very tasty.
21st May, 2015
My meatballs fell apart on cooking. However both the meatballs and the sauce were very tasty.
15th May, 2015
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.
17th Feb, 2014
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.
6th Jan, 2014
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!
29th Jul, 2013
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
15th Feb, 2012
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
7th Feb, 2012
Lovely sauce but I found the meatballs a bit bland. Will make this again but spice up the meatballs a bit. Very easy.


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6th Jun, 2015
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 .
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