This One Pot Meatballs In Tomato Sauce recipe is cooked in a tomato sauce that's been slow cooked and gained lots of momentum in the flavor food department! This tomato sauce meatballs is definitely a family recipe and it simply never fails to impress in all of it's simplicity.
One Pot Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
These are family recipes taught to me but two of the greatest home cooks that ever lived, my mother and my mother-in-law (RIP). They left more than just a recipe, they left memories of families celebrating each other around large tables, families of different cuisines and cultures who were connected through food. This recipe is one of many tomato sauce recipes on this blog and to name but a few you can start here; Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe and Tomato Meat Sauce.
The best part about meatballs in tomato sauce is that they can very easily be made in advance. Make your sauce whenever you like beause it freezes well too, another bonus! On the day that you decide to make this recipe for dinner, all you have to do is the meatballs. Or if you prefer to buy the meatballs and add them into your own homemade sauce that's an option.
Why You Should Make Your Own Meatballs
Stovetop meatballs in tomato sauce are easy to make so making them as opposed to buying them contributes towards;
- Saving your money
- Getting more meatballs out of the recipe than you would pay for
- You are able to make them fresh so you can eat them when you want and not forced to eat 'by sell date'
- Most importantly: Ingredient control. What goes into the food we buy is a whole new post for another day!
The short answer is that you know what you are adding into meatballs and can control what goes in an how much. You simply never know what you are eating when you buy them and it doesnt matter where you buy them. I have bought meatballs once (and I mean once) if I bought them before then it was too long to remember, sorry 🙂 However, I've never been impressed and they don't taste the same they just taste like meat.
These meatballs taste juicy, flavorful and you will undoutedbly, remember them. That's the point of home-made.
How To Make One Pot Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce: Let's start with the sauce since you can do this days ahead and then either keep it in the fridge or freezer. Cook the onions and garlic, add spices and seasonings and the tomato ingredients. Cook until you have a thick toamto sauce. If you are cooking your sauce in 20 minutes then you might want to taste for the acidity in the tomatoes and add a little sugar to balance it out. We cook our tomato sauce for 30 to 40 minutes (if you have the time) and add a dash of red wine for more depth. This tomato sauce was slow cooked for 2 to 3 hours.
How To Make Meatballs
It's as easy as adding the ingredients into a bowl, mixing, scooping (or rolling by hand) shaping and cooking. It really could'nt be eaiser! The images below tell you exactly what the mixing method is but I do want to share with you some options.
We love meatballs in tomato sauce so have cooked them a number of ways. If this is your first making them you want to read the frequently asked questions below.
FAQ's in Making Meatballs
What meat to use for meatballs?
You can use beef mince, pork mince and for the best flavor Italian meatballs sauce and spaghetti recipe you can use a combination of beef and pork. The pork fat brings lots of flavor to the recipe.
Which breadcrumbs should I use?
There are many brands of breadcrumbs from panko and but finding the right one is a bit more challenging. Try and look for un-seasoned breadcrumbs because we are adding seasoning and spices to this recipe and you don't want it either over salted or over spiced! I have a breadcrumb recipe here if you have time to make your own or are making this recipe in advance. Again, check your spices and seasoning.
Why should I add breadcrumbs to meatballs?
They do two things, they prevent the meatballs from drying out and they absorb the flavor from the meat as it cooks. Also, I only use one egg in this recipe, so the breadcrumbs aid in binding the ingredients.
How do I know when the meatballs are cooked through?
When they are not pink on the inside. If you have an instand read thermometer is should read 71°C / 160°F.
Should I discard all the brown bits that are left in the pan after frying them before adding the sauce?
No. Once you have browned all the meatballs, return them to the pan with the brown bits and everything. Add the sauce and cook for roughly 5 minutes.
Can I add cheese to my meatballs?
Yes and yes! Cheese is delicious in meatballs! This is a very basic meatball recipe but we often add parmesan chees and mozzarella cheese. Take a look at the melting mozzarella meatballs!
What spices and seasoning do I add to meatballs?
You don't have to add any spices at all. You can add salt and pepper for seasoning and call it a day but, we all know that spices elevate the taste of food! We use a range of these spices and this olive oil so be sure to use your favorites.
How do you roll meatballs?
Use your hands and damp them under water if the meat sticks to them. You can also use a scoop if you like. A scoop gives them more of an even size which is not detrimental but it does aid in more of an even cook for all the meatballs.
There are many more questions that you might have so please simply leave a comment below the recipe and I will respond.
Recipes You Will Love!
- How To Make Breadcrumbs
- Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
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One Pot Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
For the meatballs
- 1 kilo beef mince
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon or a generous pinch salt & pepper blend here.
- ½ teaspoon paprika
For the sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil (4 to 5 tablespoons) divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tbsps. tomato paste
- 410 grams canned chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup passata
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 tsps Italian meat seasoning
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tbsps chopped fresh Italian parsley or fresh basil
Make The Meatballs
- In a large mixing bowl add all the meatball ingredients: meat, breadcrumbs, egg, fresh herbs, spices and seasoning. Mix well using your hands to get a better combined meat.1 kilo beef mince, 1 egg, ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, ¾ cup breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon or a generous pinch salt & pepper blend here.
- Roll the meatballs by hand or use an ice cream scoop to roll our meat balls more or less the size of a golf ball. If rolling, roll between the palm of your hands and if the meat sticks to your hands, damp them slighty in cold water. Repeat until the meaball mixture is finished. The quantity will depend on the amount of meat that you are using, but it should make roughly 10 to 12 average.
Brown/Cook The Meatballs
- Preheat: Using a skillet or dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the meatballs by placing them a good distance apart from each other onto the skillet. Keep the heat on medium high leave the meatballs to brown (2 to 3 mintues) before turning them over to brown the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remember that if the meatballs stick when you try to move them, don't force them, leave them, when they are ready to turn, they wont stick. Cook them in batches rather than overcrowding the pan otherwise they will steam and not brown. If you need more oil add another tablespoon. Once all the meatballs are browned, move them onto a plate, cover with foil and set them aside.¼ cup olive oil (4 to 5 tablespoons) divided
- Same pan, don't wash it! If anything, use kitchen tissue paper to remove any excess fat you don't want in the sauce. Cook the onion in that oil (or add a tablespoon more if you need) on low to medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and shimmering. Add the garlic, stir it in and cook for a minute or 2. Add the tomato paste, stir it in, add the tomatoes and about a quarter cup of water. The same water that you will add into the empty tomato can and swirl it around then pour into the sauce.¼ cup olive oil (4 to 5 tablespoons) divided, 1 onion, diced, 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced, 2 tbsps. tomato paste, 410 grams canned chopped tomatoes, ¼ cup water
- Add the passata and season well with salt and pepper and for flavor add Italian meat seasoning. Mix and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Check at intervals and stir to prevent it from burning. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove it from the heat.½ cup passata, salt & pepper, to taste, 2 tsps Italian meat seasoning
One Pan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- Once the sauce is cooked and has thickened, bring the meatballs back and place them into the sauce. Cook the meatballs and sauce on low to medium heat (simmer) for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, chopped and taste for seasoning.2 tbsps chopped fresh Italian parsley or fresh basil