Guest Blog: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Today you are in for a treat! I am very excited to invite my blogging friend, Jen Li, to write a wonderful meatball recipe! Her website is and she shares her passion for cooking, beauty care, traveling, and life in general. Her pictures and well written instructions are fabulous and inspire me to start cooking after I read her posts.  Please visit her blog GYPSYBUS28 and see for yourself.
For this meatball recipe, I actually got a preview and tried cooking it a couple of days ago. It looked wonderful in the photos, and after I cooked it, I realized it looked even more delicious (if that’s possible), smelled irresistible, and tasted like restaurant style meatballs. Her recipe was a hit in my household and we had no leftovers!
Without further ado, here is Jen Li with her marvelous recipe…thank you in advance Jen, for contributing to my blog and inspiring me to cook delicious meatballs! 🙂

Meatballs in tomato sauce

By Jen Li from

Meatball is probably the most cooked dish in our family. It’s so versatile. There are so many different ways to cook meatballs, with different sauces, in a steamer, roast in the oven or even just simply BBQ. It seems everyone like it, even the kids. I remember when we lived in New Zealand, my husband and his friends used to have meatball BBQ contest. They would compare whose meatballs were juicier, tenderer and shaped better. It was a lot of fun.

Over the years, we have cooked probably numerous number of meatballs in our kitchen, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey. You name it, and we would have cooked it. As a Chinese, I like to use ginger and rice wine in my meatballs. I also learned from my husband to mix beef and pork mince together for extra flavours. He also uses more spice and herbs in his cooking.

In this recipe, the meatballs have three key ingredients, pork mince, beef mince and short grain rice. The combination makes the meatballs tender, moist and juicy.


Certainly, I also added some freshly grated ginger and lemon zest to give it a little bit extra flavour and twist.


To ensure the juiciness and moisture, I would recommend to use the pork mince with some fat content. Let’s say about 20-30%. The lean pork mince with beef mince would make the meatballs too dry.


When cooking the sauce, beef stock could give it richer flavour. I use the olive oil for the sauce. However, we all know butter would make it tastier. I do intend to use olive oil more and more these days for my cooking. Just feel it’s healthier.


Try not to overcook the meatballs in the sauce. The meatballs can lose its juice over a long period of cooking. I hope you enjoy the recipe. 🙂


 Makes 30 meatballs


  • Pork mince – 400g
  • Beef mince – 200g
  • Onion – 1, finely diced
  • Grated ginger – 1 tsp
  • Egg – 1, slightly beaten
  • Lemon zest – 1 lemon
  • Parsley – 2 tbsps. chopped
  • Short grain rice – 2 tbsps.
  • Olive oil – 2tbsps.
  • Salt and pepper

Tomato sauce

  • Onion – 1, sliced
  • Garlic – 3 cloves, chopped
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsps.
  • Dry oregano – 1 tbsp.
  • Italian Can dice tomatoes – 1, 400ml
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley – 1 tbsp. chopped
  • Beef stock or hot water – 250ml



  1. Put the mince, onion, egg, rice, ginger, lemon zest, parsley, salt and freshly grounded black pepper in a food processor to mix well. It will form a smooth texture, which makes the meatballs bouncy and light.
  2. Use a spoon scoop out some of the mixture and form into balls.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the meatballs until the colour changes to brown.
  4. Once the meatballs are browned, remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the onion. When the onion slices are soft, add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, stock or water. Bring to boil.
  6. Lower the heat, add the meatballs. Season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked. The sauce should be thickened.
  7. Sprinkle some parsley and serve warm.

Thank you very much to Karen for inviting me to write a post on her blog, I am so excited and honoured that she asked me to contribute to her blog. Karen writes about hiking, gardening and healthy living. You can feel her passion through her posts and the photos she has taken. I hope you enjoy reading my post and hopefully you will have a chance to try and enjoy the recipe.

Thank you again for your wonderful post Jen! Please visit her blog at GYPSYBUS28


6 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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