Affordable, tasty recipes for breakfast, lunch and snacks – good for the whole family.

Mini meat balls

Serves 4

Ready in 45 minutes


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. Check the food labels and click here for more on reading food labels.
  2. The meat balls can also be served with fresh fruit or left-over 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.
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