Toddler recipe: Batch-cook mini pork & veg balls

A bowl of food on a table Toddler Recipes

Preparation and cooking time

  • Prep:15 mins
  • Cook:45 mins
  • Easy
  • Makes 6-8 toddler portions or 2 adults’ + 1-2 kids’ portions

Try these toddler-friendly meatballs with tasty tomato sauce for your little one. Batch-cook and freeze them for easy, healthy dinners when you’re busy

Nutrient Unit
kcal 145
fat 5g
saturates 1g
carbs 8g
sugars 6g
fibre 2g
protein 16g
salt 0.28g
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For the meatballs

  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread , torn into chunks
  • 1 carrot , cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stick, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper , cut into chunks
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 1 egg

For the sauce

  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 x 390g cartons passata
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • fresh basil or parsley, chopped (optional)
  • cooked spaghetti and grated cheese, to serve
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  • STEP 1

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat 2 tsp rapeseed oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 5-10 mins until softened. Blitz the bread in a food processor until you have breadcrumbs. Add the cooked onion, carrot, celery and peppers and pulse until finely chopped. You may need to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the pork, egg and a little black pepper, then pulse to combine.

  • STEP 2
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Divide the mixture in half. Shape half into small meatballs about the size of large marbles and arrange on a baking tray lined with foil. Shape the rest into golf-ball-sized meatballs. Arrange on a lined tray and open freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and save for another meal. Now bake the mini meatballs for 25 mins or until browned and cooked through.

  • STEP 3
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Meanwhile, make the sauce. Using the same pan that you cooked the onion in, heat the 1 tsp oil, add the garlic and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the passata, add the thyme and sugar. Simmer for 5-10 mins. Gently stir the meatballs and any juices into the sauce and heat through for a few mins. Stir the meatballs through the spaghetti and serve with grated cheese.

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