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Meatballs in tomato and aubergine sauce

Ever find yourself with a trolley full of food but no ideas for meals? Try this healthy meatball recipe - plus it contains 4 of your 5-a-day!

Serves 4 (Plus 4 leftover servings of meatballs and tomato sauce)

Prep Time 15 min

Cooking Time 45 min


    For the meatballs

  • 60g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4tbsp skimmed milk
  • 1kg 5% fat beef mince
  • 1 large courgette, grated and squeezed to remove moisture
  • 4tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • For the tomato sauce

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large aubergine (about 450g), cut into 1cm cubes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 150g couscous
  • 320g each steamed green beans and broccoli, to serve


    1. To make the meatballs, put the breadcrumbs into a medium bowl, add the milk and leave to soak for 3 min.
    2. Add the mince, courgette and parsley to the breadcrumbs with a grind of black pepper and mix well. Wet your hands, then roll 1tbsp of the mince mixture into a ball. Repeat to make 48 meatballs.
    3. To make the tomato sauce, spray a large saucepan with oil and set over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring now and then, for 5 min or until soft. Add the aubergine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 min or until golden. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Add the tomato purée and cook for 1 min, then add the tinned tomatoes with 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 min. Set half the tomato sauce aside to cool (to use for the chicken, aubergine and pepper bake). Keep the rest warm over a low heat.
    4. Set a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and spray with oil. Cook the meatballs in batches for 6–8 min, turning, until browned all over and cooked through. Set half aside to cool (for the spiced pilaf).
    5. Add the warm sauce to the pan with the meatballs and simmer for another 5 min to heat through.
    6. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the pack instructions, then divide among 4 plates or bowls. Top with the meatballs and sauce, then serve with the steamed green beans and broccoli and a grind of black pepper.

Keep the leftovers
Put the cooled leftover sauce and meatballs in separate airtight containers, then chill or freeze. If freezing, thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

Nutrition per serving

Read more on how we calculate nutrition.
475kcal 40.8g 14.7g 5.7g 10.4g 11.1g 0.6g 153mg 47.7g 6.3mg

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