Beef meatballs in tomato sauce

Beef meatballs in tomato sauce
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Takes 20 minutes to make, 40 minutes to cook, plus chilling

You can’t beat proper homemade meatballs cooked in a rich tomato sauce. This is our go-to recipe; it may look simple but it tastes incredible. It’s a perfect dinner party recipe for everyone to tuck in to.

Once you’ve mastered this simple recipe, try our Italian baked meatballs with garlic baguettes.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 400g beef mince
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • Handful plain flour, for dusting
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée


  1. Put 1 tbsp of the oil into a pan, add the spring onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Put the beef mince and half the onion into a large bowl. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg with a fork, then add to the meat and onion. Season and mix everything together with your hands – you can use a fork but it is more fun using your hands.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly into 8 balls. Sprinkle the flour onto a plate, then roll each meatball in the flour. Chill for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes without moving them. Using tongs, carefully turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Mix the tomatoes, cumin and tomato purée and remaining spring onion together, then add to the pan. Cover and cook gently for 25 minutes until the meatballs are cooked.


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