Toddler recipe: Batch-cook mini pork & veg balls

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only

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

PREP 15 mins
COOK 45 mins


  • calories 145
  • carbs 8
  • saturated fat 1
  • sugar 6
  • protein 16
  • fat 5
  • fibre 2
  • salt 0.28


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
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


  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.