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Mom’s secret tomato sauce Meatballs recipe
soft and tender meatballs swimming a long cooked tomato sauce

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Mom’s secret tomato sauce Meatballs recipe

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Adjust Servings:
1 kilo/ 2 pounds Ground Beef
1 grated zucchini
1 grated Potatoes
1 medium Onions
1 Egg
1 big slice bread bread is soaked in water
30g/ 1 oz Quick oats
few branches finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 litre/ 33 fl oz of tomato sauce">1 litre/ 33 fl oz of tomato sauce

Nutritional information

Serving size
Total Fat

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  • Paleo




When it comes to tomato sauce meatballs everyone has its favorite, I have mine, Mom’s meatballs.

How can meatballs be different? tasted one , tested them all you may say, so let me surprise you with a simple meatballs dish that has some surprises.

Getting the tomato sauce meatballs ready

The secret in tomato sauce meatballs is getting them soft, tender and chewy. I want every meatball to be firm on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, it’s not easy but I’ll show you how it’s done.

Meat becomes stiff when heated, it’s a scientific fact, the proteins in the meat lose their flexible bonds and become stiff (just as egg proteins when heated).

I want to add soft factors to the meatball that will add tenderness, it’s done with various ways.

First, I add potato and zucchini mash to the meat mix, it’s amazing how tender they make the meat not to mention the nutritional values added.

tomato sauce meatballs

I also add wet crushed bread and oats in order to create a meatball that will have a great texture and chewiness, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.

tomato sauce meatballs

The meat

I’m using ground ribs and neck with about 20% fat for this batch, i do use different variations from time to time and mix chicken or turkey and sometime also lamb in order to get a good and deep taste for the meat.

A good variation can include half of the meat made out beef ribs and half of turkey pork or lamb, however my mom’s recipe is 100% beef ribs meat and I’ll stick to it for now.

The tomato sauce

I’m always using a homemade tomato sauce that has been long cooked and reached its deep tomato flavors, however it’s also possible to use one of the bought tomato sauce if you don’t have any on hand.

Make sure the tomato sauce is not the industrial metallic flavor one because it will affect the entire dish taste

The tomato sauce meatballs go well with rice, in pasta or in a sandwich, coming to think of it, they go well with anything that can fit them.

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15 minutes

making the meatballs

Place the meat and quick oats in a large bowl
In a food processor fitted with the S shape blade, place the onion and pulse until finely sliced.
Squeeze the bread out of excess water and add to the food processor with the onion and pulse until combined into a paste, add to the meat
In the same food processor fitted with the fine processing disc, crush the potato and the zucchini and add to the meat.
Break the egg and add to the meat mix as well.
Add the parsley to the mixture, season with salt, pepper and cumin and mix well until all ingredients are combined.
Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour (the meat mix can stay in the fridge overnight).

1 hour

shaping and cooking the meatballs

Set a wide saucepan on medium heat and pour the tomato sauce into the saucepan.
Take the meat mix out of the fridge, wet your hands with water and shape the meat into a ping-pong size meatballs, place straight into the tomato sauce.
*** Note that there is no need to "close" (fry) the meatballs before we cook them in the tomato sauce, they will stay firm without pan fry as well.
Cook the meatballs covered on low heat for 1-2 hours.
Serve with rice, pasta or make a great sandwich!


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