Mini meat balls

Meat balls are ideal for a family meal or for lunch boxes. The grated baby marrow adds texture and is a wonderful way to hide veggies from fussy eaters. They are also great to freeze for later.

Ready in

45 mins

Serving size

Serves 4


  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chutney
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato sauce
  • 2 baby marrows, grated
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) uncooked oats
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
  • lemon juice and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sunflower or canola oil for frying


  1. Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a mixing bowl and mix with your hands until well combined. Season with lemon juice and pepper.
  2. Shape the mince mixture into small balls using about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of mince per ball.
  3. Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry half of the meat balls until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for a few minutes or until cooked. Spoon out and repeat with remaining meat balls and oil.
  5. Allow meat balls to cool and pack in a lunch box with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce or plain low-fat yoghurt. Alternatively serve warm with salad ingredients as a light lunch.


  1. When buying sauces like chutney and tomato sauce, make sure you choose a good quality option that is lower in sugar and salt.
  2. The meat balls can also be served with fresh fruit or leftover cooked veggies like sweet potato, butternut or even corn on the cob. Baby potatoes in the skin also work well. The meat balls are delicious as a filling for pitas with salad ingredients.
  3. This recipe makes about 12-15 small meat balls.

Mini meat balls video

Mini meat balls

Meat balls are so versatile. Enjoy them in many different ways. On a a platter or picnic with veggies and a dip. In a tomato and cheese bake. Or packed in a lunch box with fresh fruit and veggies.

Mini meat balls infographic

Build your own burger

Turn this delicious Mini meat balls recipe into a yummy homemade burger patty. Enjoy on a wholewheat roll with fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, cucumber, smashed avocado (when in season) and white cheddar cheese.

Build your own burger

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 2nd edition: Breakfast, Lunch and snacks

Download the recipe book

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