Annabel Karmel, you’ve done it again with your meatballs….

(cover image is a stock image because my pic did not look that appetising and my beautiful boy ate most of it before I could snap a nice pic to share with you!  Just imagine it a little more burnt…sorry)

Having a dinner that your baby or toddler devours is similar to winning the lottery.  A freaking jackpot if it’s also healthy.

Stumbled upon this gem this week after having 500g of mince in the fridge, wondering what to do for dinner that wasn’t spaghetti bolognase and googling toddler meatball recipe. This popped up andI thought I’d try my luck.  It says 9 – 12 months but the entire family ate it so the bracket is suitable up to age 42. I had to switch it around a little bit because  there was no way I was going shopping to get an apple or parmesan cheese nearing crazy pre dinner hour.

So I used wholegrain bread and pear instead of apple and went without the cheese and parsley.  I also mixed in some brown rice.  I needed an extra egg to get it to stick but it worked – Thank goodness!  So really the recipe below is more of an inspirational guide to dinner!

I served it with Cauliflower Rice and sweet potato mash with a bit of tomato sauce.  I love the Harris farm tomato sauce – no epic amounts of added sugar or preservatives.

I’ll also admit, I was rubbish at rolling meatballs so the ended up more like a mini rissole, that got bigger and bigger as I got bored of cooking them all.  The excess is in the freezer, so he’ll have a full burger next time he has a growth spurt… or I’ll eat them!

Total hit!  My toddler smashed it AND had seconds! Loved it, Yahtzee, Whoo hoo!

Next round I’m going to try on pasta with the toddler tomato sauce with hidden veggies.

Here’s the recipe – without the on the fly changes.

Annabel Karmels Mini Meatballs



  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g lean minced beef
  • 45g fresh white breadcrumbs (2 medium slices of bread)
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 15g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • ½ small eating apple
  • ¼ unsalted stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix together the beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, Paremsan, tomato purée, apple and stock cube. Stir in the sautéed onion and garlic, and add the beaten egg to bind.
  3. Form the mixture into 25 mini meatballs. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and sauté, until browned and cooked inside. Drain on kitchen paper.

Let me know what you think?  Are meatballs (aka rissoles) in your house?