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Gourmet Meat Ball or Burger Patty Recipe. Delicious and Loaded with Healthy Ingredients. Even kids love em!

Updated on October 6, 2014

Squash Spaghetti Kids Family Meal

Mom Where's The Green Stuff?

Kids will have trouble finding the broccoli in these babies...and adults love them too.

A favorite on our spit roast catering BBQ menu!

These meatballs are loaded with every kind of food group your child (and you for that matter) need in a healthy diet. And it's all in one power packed little ball (or burger patty).

Budget Friendly

They are also a very cost effective way to feed your family a balanced meal! You can add leftovers like:

  • almond flour
  • beans
  • ground oats
  • polenta
  • potato
  • pumpkin
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • sweet potato
  • soaked chopped chickpeas

I add spinach and cooked rice which give them a delicious crunchy texture.

Another option is to add fish or shrimp with a little fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce and fresh coriander with a little lemon or lime juice and a pitch of salt and sugar. You can make Italian meatballs by using italian herbs and freshly chopped basil.

The list is endless when you use your imagination.


You'll want to double the recipe - these get eaten cold in the fridge and are also great for lunchboxes too! Make mini balls with a melon baller for gourmet cocktail balls with toothpicks inserted.

My niece and nephew love my spaghetti and meatballs recipe using spaghetti squash pasta. I use squash shredded to look like pasta using a saladacco machine then blanched for a minute to two in boiling water and tossed in a little parmesan cheese. YUM! And they have no idea they are healthy (I love teasing them with the - yes if you put your dirty cups on the bench you can have the meatballs dinner at my house).

Meat Balls Meal In One

This recipe is super easy and if your child is fussy you can hide all kinds of nourishing food inside. These are full of nutrition and are quite filling. For very fine textured meatballs for the "food inspectors" in your family, I either add veggies juice or blend green veggies in a food processor until finely chopped or pureed then add to meat mix.

For adults, leave the ingredients chunky with chopped herbs like basil, and coriander. You can also add a pinch of fresh ginger and thai seasoning to chicken mince based patties and a pinch of lemon zest for a zingy alternative. Delish!

What You'll Need

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of minced/ground beef/pork or chicken or a combination of meats
  • 1/4 cup coconut, almond or wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (optional but helps them stick together better)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
  • ½ cup cooked rice or cooked couscous, *quinoa or polenta that has been left to cool (makes these nice and crunchy)
  • ½ cup mixed grated carrot, zucchini, pumpkin or finely chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • ½ tsp finely chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped or minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • generous pinch of natural salt

* Quinoa is actually a see. Its packed with protein, antioxidants and vitamins. Its fine texture makes it easy to hide in meals.


Mix together well and combine into balls or patties. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes then bake in the oven until brown or fry in a frying pan/barbeque until brown. For fat free patties or meatballs oven roast on grease proof paper and cost very lightly with olive oil.

See the next paragraph for more different flavor alternatives

Meatball Mix

Saladacco Spiral Slicer, White

Joyce Chen 51-0662, Saladacco Spiral Slicer, White
Joyce Chen 51-0662, Saladacco Spiral Slicer, White

You can make all kinds of vegetable "spaghetti".


Taste Alternatives For Your Patties/Meatballs

For the recipe above I used moroccan couscous with some moroccan spice. These are spicy and have a very middle eastern flavor.

You can add different sauces to this recipe for different flavors.

If making chicken patties, use a tablespoon of fresh coriander (cilantro), 1/2 tsp fish sauce or Thai shrimp paste, pinch of crushed ginger, a squirt of lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon of lemongrass. Serve on buns with fresh cilantro and chili sauce. You can also add BBQ sauce to pork mince for bbq meatballs - they are scrumptious!

Try adding herbs like basil and oregano and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese for a tasty italian taste.

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

What You'll Need

  • 5 fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 a chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese and Italian herb
  • optional, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper


Fry the onion, garlic and tomatoes in some olive oil. Next add vinegar and lastly parmesan. Allow to sit for half an hour then serve (can serve right off the stove but leaving it to set for a while allows the flavors to mingle). Always return to heat before serving and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

Sauce And Ingredient Options:

Chilli Sauce: Serve with sweet chili sauce, or chutney.

Cilantro: Can add chili, chopped coriander for extra flavor.

Barbeque Sauce: Try barbeque rib sauce flavor, in and on burger patties.

Note About Rice: Rice makes the edges nice and crunchy. Using brown rice makes this super healthy. I used to work for a catering spit roast company, we called the patty version of this recipe Gourmet Burgers served in fresh buns and always had to double the recipe because they were so popular. Even the food snobs who only ate top cuisine loved them straight off the barbeque!

Vege Version: Sometimes I make Salmon or vegetable version of these by omitting the meat or using tofu. You can try lots of different versions.

Give these a go and they'll soon be part of your tried and true 10 minute meal favorites!

Last Nights Dinner (Cous Cous Moroccan Meatballs)

Hidden Goodness Healthy Recipes For Kids

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals
The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals

Parents will do almost anything to get their kids to eat healthier, but unfortunately, they’ve found that begging, pleading, threatening, and bribing don’t work. Now in The Sneaky Chef, Lapine presents over 75 recipes that ingeniously disguise the most important superfoods inside kids’ favorite meals. With the addition of a few simple make-ahead purees or clever replacements, (some may surprise you!) parents can pack more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in their kids’ foods. Examples of “Sneaky” recipes include: No Harm Chicken Parm Power Pizza Incognito Burritos Guerilla Grilled Cheese Brainy Brownies Health-by-Chocolate Cookies Quick fixes for Jell-O(R)


201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids: Fresh, Wholesome, No-Sugar-Added Drinks Your Child Will Love

Other Sneaky Meals For Kids

Main Meals
Add carrot juice to mixture
Substitute Almond Flour For Standard Flour
Add carrot juice to mashed potato
Kids love green? Add spinach juice to pancakes and cupcakes
Use mashed cooked dates and applesauce to sweeten
Use spaghetti squash
Make pancakes with fruit "sprinkles" (dried fruit pieces)
Make pancakes with fruit "sprinkles" (dried fruit pieces)
Make veggie spirals for dinner

Vegetable Garden Spaghetti Recipe Made With Spaghetti Squash


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