Saucy Asian Hidden Vegetable Beef Meatballs - you will love these tender juicy meatballs with hidden vegetables in a flavour-packed sauce.
Asian Hidden Vegetable Beef Meatballs
Being a parent of two young children, I am constantly looking for ways to sneak healthy vegetables into their diet, plus it's a great way to get some additional vegetables into a meal.
The bonus of adding some vegetables into your meatballs mix is that it helps keep the meatballs lovely and tender too and makes a smaller amount of ground meat (beef mince) go further.
Sneaking Vegetables into Meals
When it comes to sneaking vegetables into meals, the best way to do this is just by grating them. I use the coarser thicker grating side rather than the really fine side, as I just find the texture is better. Finely chopping or pulsing in a food processor is another great way to add some vegetables into a meal, especially things like chilli or bolognese.
Just be sure to squeeze all excess moisture from the vegetables once you have grated them, otherwise, it will make your meat mixture too wet and the meatballs will not hold together.
Can I use different ground meat (mince)?
Sure, if you don't want to use beef or have some other mince on hand, then either chicken, turkey or pork mince will work perfectly for these meatballs too.
I often use chicken or turkey mince as it's generally a much leaner option. So got for what you prefer.
Cooking meatballs for sauces
When it comes to cooking the meatballs, I usually like to part cook them in the oven, just to lightly brown them, this helps them firm up to ensure they hold together in your sauce, especially as we are not using breadcrumbs.
Skipping this stage can sometimes result in the meatballs just falling apart in the sauce and that's you want meatballs right? not ground meat in sauce.
Sides for these Saucy Asian Hidden Vegetable Beef Meatballs
Whenever we have any kind of Asian inspired meatballs, you can pretty much guarantee rice will be a must for aside, it's just a great way to mop up all that sauce and Jasmine rice is our favourite. It's slightly sticky and is just perfect for any dish like this.
If you struggle to cook perfect rice, remember my simple method of 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice. So for example, for 1 cup of rice you want two cups of liquid. Rinse your rice first, add to a pan with the liquid, bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is pretty much all absorbed, turned off the heat, add a lid and leave for about 12-15 minutes, you will have perfectly cooked rice every time. Just remember to not be tempted to stir the rice in the cooking time.
Along with rice with always go for some additional vegetables and for this we like stir fried broccoli florets, sliced red bell pepper, sliced spring onions and some edamame beans. You can cook these in spray oil to keep them syn free or use a little sesame oil for flavour and don't forget seasoning (salt and black pepper is a must).
More Meatball Recipes
Love meatballs? Check out some of these other recipes:
- SWEET CHILLI CHICKEN MEATBALLS (OVEN OR ACTIFRY)
- SLOW COOKER ITALIAN CHICKEN MEATBALLS
- CHICKEN AND MANGO MEATBALLS WITH A SPICY MANGO SAUCE
- PORK MEATBALLS WITH SPICY PINEAPPLE SAUCE
- CRANBERRY ALMOND CHICKEN MEATBALLS
- LAMB AND MINT MEATBALLS IN A SWEET AND SPICY SAUCE
- SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
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For the Meatballs
- 455g (1lb) of extra lean ground beef (beef mince)
- 100g of grated carrot, squeeze out excess moisture
- 100g of grated zucchini, squeeze out excess moisture
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
For the Sauce
- 1 cup (240ml) Passata,
- 1 cup (240ml) of water
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoon of maple syrup (or can use honey)
- 2 chopped spring onions
- pinch of sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200c/180c FAN/400f or (gas mark 6)
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl.
- Form into meatballs (I made 12 biggish ones - so 3 per person)
- Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 mins.
- Add the ingredients to a deep frying pan, whisk to fully combine and then bring to a boil, once sauce has come to a boil reduce heat to medium (sauce should still bubble slightly), drop in the meatballs, spooning over the top of the meatballs some of the sauce and continue to heat until sauce has reduced down into a thick sauce and the meatballs are cooked through. (Should take no more than 10 minutes, if it is taking too long to reduce down, you heat is too low).
- Sprinkle with chopped spring onions (I also add a pinch of sesame seeds but this is optional.
- Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy!!
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 2 syns per serving
- WW Green Smart Points - 7 per serving
- WW Blue Smart Points - 7 per serving
- WW Purple Smart Points - 7 per serving
- Gluten Free - use a gluten soy sauce (sauce will appear slightly lighter in colour)
NOTE: Ensure soy sauce states "Dark Soy Sauce" on the bottle or sauce will not be as rich /dark in colour.
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 258Total Fat 5.5gSaturated Fat 1.9gCholesterol 112mgSodium 918mgCarbohydrates 24.6gFiber 2.2gSugar 17.4gProtein 28.5g