THE EASIEST AND HEALTHIEST VEGGIE PACKED MEAT BALLS

Veggie packed meat balls (or burgers!)

These meatballs are fantastic to have with spaghetti but also a great lunch or dinner option with salad or extra veggies. You can also flatten them out and they become delicious burgers. The best thing is they taste great, and are packed with more than meets the eye- 2 or more hidden veggies! You can also adapt this recipe to suit any taste by substituting beef mince for chicken, turkey, pork, lamb or even a meat substitute mince. They’re also great to freeze and perfect for entertaining. What more could you ask for?

Ingredients:

  • 1kg extra lean ground beef mince
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated (think Parmesan cheese small if possible)
  • 1 zucchini, finely grated
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Optional additions:

  • Dijon mustard
  • Mint, finely cut
  • Garlic clove, crushed
  • Chilli flakes or Cajun spices
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 capsicum, finely grated
  • Oregano (to taste)
  • Parsley (to taste)
  • 3 sprigs of shallot

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare baking trays for meatballs NB: You can also pan fry these burgers if you’re running short of time.
  2. Wash zucchini and carrot and finely grate, then finely chop an onion. Remember the smaller you can get the veggies for this one the better you’ll be at disguising them!
  3. Prepare a bowl and add breadcrumbs; prepare a second bowl with 1 egg lightly beaten as a dipping area.
  4. Next, combine mince, carrot, zucchini, onion and 1 egg in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper along with any other optional ingredients, remembering to finely chop everything you’re adding.
  5. Using your fingers combine all ingredients together and roll the meatballs into even sizes – for bite sized meatballs aim for 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture; if you’re after something a bit bigger, or want to flatten them out to burger patties, use 3-4 tablespoons per ball. Place meatballs on pre-prepared baking trays.
  6. Once you have roughly even sizes of meatballs start the coating process – dip a meatball into the egg mixture then into the breadcrumbs, repeat process on all meatballs – NB: you don’t have to coat your meatballs with breadcrumbs – this step just adds a crunchy outside. If you’re after a smoother texture, add the breadcrumbs and both eggs to the mixture in step 5.
  7. Once all meatballs balls have been prepared, place back on baking trays and bake in the oven for 30 minutes before checking.

These meatballs can be served immediately or frozen for easy dinners during the week.

You can also use this mixture to create a yummy veggie packed meatloaf; if you’re interested in this we suggest combining all ingredients into a loaf baking container (or for a less perfect shape, roll it into a cylinder shape on a baking tray). Bake for 45 mins before removing from the oven and adding a glaze (pre-purchased or you could try the one below)

Optional meatloaf glaze:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. mustard

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and brush onto meatloaf.
  2. Place meatloaf back into the oven for a further 15 minutes before serving.

Makes: 20 Meatballs (approx.) or 10 burgers

Why not try another of our delicious recipes containing vegetables in disguise!