Mighty Mini Meat Balls

Mighty meat balls on a plate

These little mighty meat balls are so much better than anything store bought. Buy the best quality meat you can afford and make a batch of these – they will freeze well. We don’t eat a lot of meat at home – but when we do, I am pretty fussy about the quality (my husband would say!). Inspired by the River Cottage Toddler cook book, these meat balls are a firm favourite for kids everywhere!


500g Lean mince – beef or lamb

1 Small onion finely chopped

1 Garlic finely chopped

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil for frying

Makes approx. 6 – 8 kids portions/ 25 walnut sized balls


  • Mix all the ingredients together until evenly distributed.
  • With wet hands squeeze the mixture into walnut sized balls.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan – when hot add your meat balls – being careful not to over-crowd the pan. You will need to do this in batches. Drain off any liquid between batches and use a fresh drizzle of oil. Your pan needs to be hot for your meat balls to brown. Cook for several minutes on all sides to ensure even cooking.
  • Dry your meat balls on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil before serving.
  • If freezing your uncooked meat balls, space them out on a tray or plate and place in the freezer until outer layer is frozen – then place them in a sealed container and put back in the freezer. This stops them sticking together.
  • When defrosting, ensure they are fully defrosted in the fridge before cooking.

Options: Add a handful of tomato, spices or herbs. Make larger ones for adults too – it’s good for kids to see everyone eating the same food. 

How kids can help:

  • You kids will find the texture of raw meat interesting – try getting them to mix the ingredients together with their hands
  • Kids will love squeezing together the meat to make their meat balls

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