These Meatballs Better Not Fall On The Floor!

Submitted by Recipe Rain

These Meatballs Better Not Fall On The Floor!

No matter what I did, I tried for years to get my kids to eat meat. I would make hamburgers, meatloaf, chicken, pork chops, and whatever else I could think of.

They wouldn’t touch the stuff. I would be able to talk them into eating a hot dog or some chicken nuggets once in a while, but that was the extent of it. One day, I had an idea to have them help me in the kitchen. But what could they help me make? Meatballs are the first thing that came to my mind. I remembered making meatballs as a kid, and I always thought it was so much fun. Not so much the same as an adult, but that’s another story.

There’s something about squishing around in the meat the kids just get a kick out of. As I predicted, they loved making these meatballs. The best part was, they loved eating them even more! They enjoyed them so much, we ran out!

Now, when I think I need to have some protein in my life, or my kids’ lives, this is a recipe that I will make for them. Well it’s a recipe that they make for us. They still love digging around in there and making the tasty meat balls.


These Meatballs Better Not Fall On The Floor!


  • 400g dried penne pasta
  • For the meatballs:
  • 250g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 250g lean pork mince (5% fat or less)
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • Half a teaspoon dried sage
  • Half a teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Low calorie Pam cooking spray
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Hunt’s tomato puree
  • 1 tsp Heinz white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp dried oregano
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • Half a red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 120g baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 100g baby leaf spinach


  1. First make the meatballs. Mix together the mince, onion, garlic, sage, paprika and seasoning with your hands. Form the mixture into 24 equal-sized balls.
  2. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs until browned and set aside (don't worry if they're not cooked through at this stage).
  3. To make the sauce, spray the frying pan with a little more low-calorie cooking spray, turn the heat to medium and fry the onion for 10 minutes, adding a little water if it starts to stick.
  4. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients (except the tomatoes and spinach), add 350ml of boiling water and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
  6. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and piping hot.
  7. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
  8. Drain the pasta and mix through the meatballs and sauce, checking the seasoning before serving.