Oct 25 2011

Garlic Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce

Hi BodyRockers,

I couldn’t wait to share with you what I had today for lunch (and dinner). One thing that I enjoy very much is to cook for someone who appreciates my efforts. I used to love to cook for Freddy but since we don’t live together anymore, I have had a hard time to force myself to get creative again in the kitchen. Luckily for me I have good friends who agreed to eat whatever I cook and praise me afterwards :) It’s a win win situation, so if you are a single girl who loves to cook, find a friend who loves to eat.


8 tomatos, 1 large red onion, fresh basil, parmesan, paprika, cumin, garlic salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, honey, chicken broth (1 cup), lots of garlic,

sour cream, 4lbs of ground extra lean beaf (I made enough food for a regiment).

I used about 21 cloves of garlic (they were really small). Use a garlic press and mix it well into the ground lean beef. Add about 4 tsp of garlic salt and 2 tsp of pepper.

Make small balls out of the ground beef – you will have tons of them out of the 4lbs.

Preheat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat and add about 2tblsp of olive oil. Saute the meatballs in batches until they turn brown and are cooked inside. I always covered the frying pan with a lid just for a few minutes.

This pot is full of golden meat balls! Cover them and set aside.

Chop roughly the onion.

Use about 8 small garlic cloves, 1tsp of cumin, 1tsp of paprika.

Preheat a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onion until lightly browned. Add the cumin, paprika and thinly chopped garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.

Chop all of the tomatos.

Add the tomatos into the sauce pan and mix it well with the onions.

Add 1 cup of chicken broth into the pot with the tomatos.

Add about 2 tbsp of honey. Cook the tomatos until they get completely soft and turn into a sauce.

Grade the parmesan cheese (about 2 handfuls) and add it to the pot.

Add 2 full tbsp of sour cream.

The last thing to add is the fresh basil. Add as much as you like – I love basil so I went crazy :) You should also taste it and eventually you might want to add an extra garlic, salt, or pepper.

Put some meat balls on your plate and pour the tomato sause over the top. Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and basil leave if you feel fancy.




Around The Web
  • Anonymous

    How many do you eat for one meal? doesn’t look really good for fat loss? :D

  • http://kenjibankhead.posterous.com/ ashtromanius

    Making this deliciousness tonight!!! I love zuzanas recipes

  • Tami Berthome

    just made it…..came out amazingly….!!! yummy

  • Anonymous

    I tried this, but stayed with the Italian herbs.  I left off the Cumin and Paprika as well as the sour cream, but I made a LOT of tomato sauce, and browned the meat balls, and finished cooking them in the sauce for about 4 hours.  It was awesome!!  My husband actually asked for seconds, which is a first for me, because he is the cook in our house, and his cooking is delicious, but not exactly Bodyrocker cooking. 
    Good job Zuzana, keep these recipes coming!  I love them.  They really support my training and my goals.

  • Melissa Conway

    I made this recipe tonight and could not believe how good it was!! I will definitely make this time and again. I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing all of the new recipes you’ll post! 

    P.S. I also made the shrimp with the spicy peanut sauce a couple nights ago….SO GOOD! Love it!!

  • Lvette #1

    I finally made this tonight….it was tasty. The three of us enjoyed it; and my hubby went for seconds. Next time I’ll cut back on the garlic. I think the garlic gave heartburn, but I’m not too sure.

  • Bodyrocker_Audra

    Hey Zuzka! Thx we loved it sooooooo much!

  • http://twitter.com/gabitagabiux Gaby Mendoza

    I saw this recipe after you published it, but right now that I read it again.. OMG!! It sounds sooooo delicious that I would like to eat it today!… but I will try it next weekend!…. :) Cheers Zuzka!

  • http://twitter.com/Mbkonline Leah Estella Luzano

    Zuzka, what lens are you using for your camera, they are such beautiful pictures. Is it a regular zoom lens or a Macro lens?

  • Margot

    Made this yesterday with ground turkey, and it was absolutely delicious!  Thanks so much!

  • Alethiaitzel

    That looks so so good! Me and my husban are vegetarian ,but i recently found vegeterian ground beef! I will give it a try.

  • Carrie

    I roughly halved everything and this was still really tasty – and let’s just say that the Halloween vampires will be keeping well away from me tonight! The only thing I would suggest is to perhaps not cook the meatballs completely at the beginning, as mine were a bit dry at the end – maybe let them finish off in the sauce at the end. Looking forward to stinking out the office tomorrow when I take leftovers in for lunch! Yum yum

    • Carrie

      Oh, and I only had the powdery form of Parmesan, creme fraiche rather than sour cream (should’ve added a bit of lemon juice, thinking about it) and ready minced basil, but it still worked, so don’t be afraid to experiment

  • MariaBjørgJepsen

    Okay… I am having it for dinner in this very moment. I tell you….. I enjoy every single bite with the greatest pleasure – eyes closed and all :) And I didn’t even have any garlic. I added chili, cayenne pepper and tomato concentrate and finished off with LOTS of basil, like you, Zuz. I am in heaven!!! 
    Thanks for sharing, sweet Zuzka!

  • MariaBjørgJepsen

    I am making this mouthwatering meal today :) Thanks for sharing, dear Zuzka!
    By the way, I LOVE that you turn to the delicious full fat ingredients. It tastes so much more filling, than the lousy low-fat alternatives.
    Love, Maria

    • MariaBjørgJepsen

      Simmering right now, Uhmmmmm :) I can’t wait to dig in!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Zuzka,

    How big were your balls?  I made this with about 1.25 pounds of ground beef and it made about 24 1.5 inch in diameter ball. I also love lots of basil! This was a very tasty recipe.  5 out of 5 burpees!!!


  • Gerrilee Schafer

    I’m in the middle of cooking this right now…..used a can of diced tomatoes, skipped the chicken broth (too salty for me), used dried basil….let the sauce simmer for about 45 minutes….cooked the meatballs and added them to the sauce for the last 30 minutes…gonna serve it over some basmati rice…hubby looked like he was going to faint when I asked if he needed pasta or something else…oh well…it smells wonderful

  • Gerrilee Schafer

    I’m in the middle of cooking this right now…..used a can of diced tomatoes, skipped the chicken broth (too salty for me), used dried basil….let the sauce simmer for about 45 minutes….cooked the meatballs and added them to the sauce for the last 30 minutes…gonna serve it over some basmati rice…hubby looked like he was going to faint when I asked if he needed pasta or something else…oh well…it smells wonderful

  • rybka

    wow Zuzi, this is amazing, mnam!!! another food from you that my b/f likes. yeah:)it is delicious, I just made some pasta with the sauce. thank you

  • mystrina

    Thank you it looks so delicious, I have such a problems coming up with new ideas for meals this is a hugh help in my life.  Hugs coming your way,

  • krtechic17

    Made this last night!!! So yum!! Did substitute lean ground turkey instead of the beef but still amazing! thanks!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3DCFKGUKBNGUX5ML3WS5KJIIAI bethm

    Oh my goodness, this looks so yummy!!! I will be making this tonight. Thanks Zuzka!!

  • Anonymous

    I was curious over the sour cream…..is it a regular full fat sour cream???  Again….I was reading labels….and I only found one in the grocery store that was pure sour cream….no filler.  I can’t believe how many products contain fillers….and that we are all lead to believe that what we’re eating/drinking is what the label suggests….but, when you get right down to it and read the ingredient list…..it begs to differ!
    I’ve gradually been making my own….such as homemade greek-style yogurt…..then I know what’s in it…and it’s way less expensive! 
    Does anybody else do this???

    • Anonymous

      how do you make greek joghurt??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Davleeva/100001702041662 Мария Давлеева

    I cooked these meat balls today. the sauce is wonderful!!!!!!! my family loved it!!! gonna cook it again and again. thank you, Zuzka for sharing it with us!!!

  • Lacey

    This is why I love you. :)

  • Anonymous

    making this for dinner right now…

  • Christine McG

    And now I’m convinced to head to the store and make this!! My hubby will drool over it! Would go great over spaghetti squash!

  • Christine McG

    So very true!! The low-fat movement has contributed more to the obesity and diabetes epidemic than any good ole natural saturated fat ever has. Ever noticed how many ingredients a low fat product have?

  • Nae

    I made this last night. Turned out really delicious! Maybe next time I will use less garlic. I didn’t use as much as was reccommended, but it was still very strong. Good thing I like garlic! Make sure you have plenty of prep time, it takes a while to make. (Totally worth it though!) Thanks Zuzanna!

  • Isi

    Haha funny…this is the receipe I picked out yesterday and I just wanted to make it today….so,I will!;-)

  • tee

    what is a whole foods store?  is it some kind of grocery store, health food, or specialty store?

  • Running Girl

    I love all the recipes you post-the peanut butter ice cream was a huge hit!  Especially for us vegans.  I also made the shrimp in spicy peanut sauce and the garbanzo cookies-yuuuum!  Keep the recipes coming-they’re great!

  • Ursula Lopez Ramirez

    hooo my gooooD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it looks delicious, i just love the garlick !!!! 

  • Lvette #1

    Zuzana, you tend to use honey in most of your cooking, I’m just wondering if honey is really needed and if not why do you use it? I personally skip it  and have not notice any difference in the food; I’m guessing is your personal taste to use honey.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Single Girl,

    4 Pounds of Ground Beef?  How many friends did you have over? :-)  I will try my spin on this sometime this week with a few pounds less meat.


  • Mghnhrnr

    This is going on the menu plan for next week!   I miss you Zuzka!  It makes me sad not to see your face on here almost everyday, talking to us :(  It’s something I always look forward to: checking Bodyrock for new updates everyday (okay, two or three times a day)  I hope you are in a good place right now!  Sending you positive thoughts and lots of love! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mily-Miguel/592457099 Mily Miguel

    awwww the sweet bear is gettin empty.

    I am so eager to try this one, yummy, everything, everything!!!!! 

  • Bodyrocker_Audra

    I agree Juliette, plenty of good fats in a diet is a must.  And of course Zuzana doesn’t have to worry she looks amazing!  It was just a suggestion and my opinion as far as how my body reacts to certain foods :) 

  • Jenn

    This looks delicious!  I have some meat in the freezer, but need to buy the garlic, tomatoes, and fresh basil.

  • Katie

    I am definitely going to try this recipe ( I accidentally typed workout first!) I guess I am a creature of habit! I still miss your workouts though–and I am stubborn! When I saw this I started thinking of all the feelings I had regarding your hosting and your separation, then I saw the wonderful pictures and could only think of making this recipe! I hope that you are having fun in your own kitchen making creations!  It snowed all night here so some hot yummy meatballs are just what I need! Thanks.


  • Anonymous

    I hear you Zuzana, I also like to cook, but I am single again after long time and it is hard to cook some real meals just for myself…
    and all my friends are living in pairs,or have children,and don’t have time for my experiments..:)
    Luckily my parents are living very near,so almost every day my mom invites me for lunch or dinner,she knows that it isn’t easy for me being single…

  • JoannaKonieczna

    It was MNIAMMY ! Thank You Zuzi! :)

  • Anonymous

    That looks so good!  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706388249 Tori Larson Bradford

    That looks so good.  Good think I have meat balls on the menu for tonight.

  • http://delightfultastebuds.com Jos

    Looks yummy..I wanna make something like this next…will try to substitute sour cream with coconut cream instead :D

  • Anonymous

    Looks awesome Zuzana…Think I’ll make that for super tonight…although I’m more of a ground turkey girl!!  Missing you :O(

  • Gerrilee Schafer

    mmmmm…I love garlic

  • Bodyrocker_Audra

    Hi Zuzka, try using lean turkey meat instead of ground beef.  You’ll save in fat and calories by swapping it out and you won’t tell the difference I promise.  Looks great by the way, but if I ate like that I gain weight really easy so I’d have to leave out the sour cream and parmesan lol! 

  • J J Fitzgerald

     You are quite a woman!
    I’d be at your place all the time eating all of your food if I could :-)
    You and I would be best friends, you love to cook+I love to eat = we were meant to be
    haha too bad I’m in Ontario

  • mag

    omg!! this looks so tasty!! I will try ir soon!! :), I am in college and I love to cook for me and my brother :), and when I am in my house (in other city) where are my parents and my other brother, my mon love to cook with me and we cook for all of us! I love it!!!!, thanks Zu this is perfect that everyday it’s a new recipe!! because it’s very important the diet part too.
     Hey Zu talkin about fruit, how many fruit do you eat durin the day?? (I am a huge fan of them and maybe I eat too much :(   )

  • SandraSS

    ohhh gosh..that is a fattening recipe… i’d rather go with turkey mince and prepare the sauce without the sour cream, instead i’d go for a drop of a low fat milk.. less mixing better for your body…i’d make nice turkey mince meatballs with a lovely mild sauce and have them with fresh salad…your stuff is soaked in oil and cheese and sour cream. ;( a little dissapointed.

    • Christine Bastien

      The recipe itself is not fattening. It’s the quantity that you eat that influence your weight gain. If you want to make changes in the ingredients it’s up to you. And then you say Thank you Zuzana for sharing this!

      • Anonymous

        I think that 2 tablespoons of oil is not soaked.  I would maybe use greek yogurt instead of sour cream only because I hardly ever buy sour cream.  I like to bake my meatballs in the oven on a broiling pan so any fat will drain away.  Otherwise, in small portions this is an extremely healthy meal.  Yum!!!

  • Cool_chick_14_23

    I am so making this for dinner tonight :)

  • KristieBeeler

    Beautiful tomatoes!!  I think I’d sub Greek yogurt for the sour cream, but I’ll definately be trying your recipe.  Thanks, for sharing.   :)

  • Anonymous

    Mmmmmmm…..yummy!!!!!  I can’t wait to try this one!  Wow, you weren’t kidding about the potful of meatballs.  I bet this would freeze well in individual portions….maybe without the cheese though….and then just add it on top just before you eat it.  Yum, yum, yum!!!!
    I had no idea that Zuz was so into cooking….glad she is though!  It’s hard to find healthy & tasty recipes that support our workouts on here!  Hooray for Zuz!

  • tee

    that looks so good!  Wish I was there for dinner!

    I have a question – you used some sort of chicken stock concentrate,  did you add water to it?  as I have never seen a product like this.   we just have liquid or powder here.  would I add 1 cup of the liquid, or would that be too runny?

    thanks zuzka!

    by the way, you can take the most awesome pictures of food!  you have a way of making the boxes and cans look good!  maybe you should try to be a photographer for a food magazine!
    and I would buy a cookbook by you, if you had all these pictures in it!

    • Anonymous

      I was wondering the same about the chicken stock concentrate.  In canada, we don’t have a Trader Joe’s…..not that I’m aware of anyways.  The only sort of stock concentrate that may be similar is I know that one the name brand company’s around here has cubes that are supposed to be ‘fresh’…..packaged like oversized pats of butter…..but stock.  I haven’t tried them….think I read the label and seemed like it had all those extra preservatives…the ones that you have trouble pronouncing….so, I just left it on the shelf.

      • Sabrina

        Try Whole Foods, or just make your own but as a general rule you want the stock (in cube, paste or liquid form) without MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate). 

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for the tip Sabrina!  I live in Canada….is there a Whole Foods here….and where would I find one?  What about a health food supply store? 

          I find it hard trying to locate good ‘clean’ foods.  For instance….I was shopping yesterday was in the juice aisle (which btw…I don’t drink juice….well, maybe a small little taste every once in awhile)…anyways, I was reading the label on some Cranberry Juice…..turns out that all the labels read something to the effect of….fruit juice (apple and/or grape and/or….etc.) and then at the end of the long list in brackets it had cranberry.  I was appalled!  The bottle was supposed to be JUST Cranberry….not a blend of Cranberry and something else.  How many people read the labels on the juice they buy???

          • tee

            Hi linda, 
            I thought the cubes were compressed powder,  I have bought beef stock or veggie stock that way in the past but they are gross!  I also live in canada and have never heard of trader joes or whole foods  until I come on line and people talk about them,  but I still don’t know what they are!  ha ha!   small town canada, at least 4 hours from a “major” smallish city!  ha ha!  It’s big enough to have a costco and IHOP!  but nothing where I live.   we have safeway and tommy’s no frills!  ha ha!   going to health food store tommorrow, maybe they have something there.

            I am “allergic?”  to apple juice(makes me vomit!)  so I have always looked at every juice label  or anythng I think may have juice in it.  almost every combination juice can have apple in it.  companies use apple and pear juice as they are the cheapest.  also if you look at those tetra juice boxes that are marketed for kid’s lunches,  usually first ingredient is sugar and water, colours and a splash of juice!

            I wouldn’t mind making this for next weeks lunches for work!

            • Anonymous

              Wow…4 hours from a major city!  I live about an hour away from London…thought that was long enough….I feel for you!  Especially in instances where the availability of certain things are not at your disposal.  I too live in a VERY small town. 
              Oh….about the Cranberry juice….I had the chance yesterday to ‘pop’ out for a bit….happened across the juice aisle….but, this time in the aisle where you find the orange juice and the ‘cartons’ of juice.  I was reading the Tropican Cranberry Juice label….and what do you know…it’s ALL cranberries.  However, in the meantime…..just because it’s who I am…hehehe…..I grabbed cranberries from the produce aisle….and I’m just going to make some….can’t be that hard….and then I know exactly what’s in it!  Also, since I don’t like things super sweet….I’ll just sweeten it a bit with some stevia.  Another note on the cranberry juice thing…..what if someone was told that they should drink cranberry juice to help with their urinary tract/bladder issues???….meanwhile, they’re not consuming what they think they are……companies need to stop deceiving the public!!!!  Shame on them!
              I’ll let you know how the homemade cranberry juice turns out!!!

              • tee

                I actually buy cranberry juice, or several others at the health food store,  you can buy a concentrate, and then you add water,  and if you need sweetener then you add what you want.  I actually just add a tiny splash to water

                • Anonymous

                  Wow, really!???  I never thought to look there.  I like the fact that it’s obviously unsweetened.  Thanks for the info!!!!   Now I just need to find a good Health Food store….the one that I’ve gone to previously…well, let’s just say that I’ve been there a couple times and the owner (lady) is not very warm and fuzzy!
                  Thanks again!
                  Have you made this recipe yet?  I was going to yesterday….but, didn’t have the time….but, I definitely will today!  Although, instead of using 4lbs. of meat like Zuz….I’m doing 2lbs.  I should still have lots!

          • Sabrina

            You can google Whole Foods to find one in your area. They are in most major cities. And yes any health food supply store should carry them just go ask. Im not sure where you are in Canada but I find it can be easy to locate clean food. In fact when I lived there I purchased all my meat and eggs from the Mennonite farmers but there are many farmers that produce organic foods. Your not really going to find those in you local Grocery store though. Google it and find out what sort of services are available in you area.
            And dont drink Juice!! Juice is terrible because your just getting sugar and when you have natural sugar its only good because you get the fibre in it as well, That is what makes it healthy. Fibre is removed from juice (and all processed foods) and normally they add fructose corn syrup for added sweetness which is the most horrible thing to put in your body (unless you want to be fat and riddled with health problems). I wont even drink juice with alcohol!
            Good luck,

  • Anonymous

    This looks gorgeous and is the perfect inspiration for my dinner today. 

    The eating alone part was the hardest for me when I first lived alone. The first weeks were full of dry bread and sweats. It took me a while to get to the point, that I enjoy cooking for myself. But thats mainly because I always enjoyed cooking :) And at some time I figured for myself, that cooking and enjoying a good meal was something I could learn. Today I cook nearly on a daily basis and not only because I have to, but because it’s my way to calm down and relax. While eating I really enjoy a good book as company or even sometimes (don’t tell my parents ;) a movie. Sure, I try to have friends over for meals whenever I can, cause every meal tastes better when you can share it with somebody, but I learned to enjoy my alone time as well. 

  • Anonymous

    Hey Zuzana
    the food looks so yummy. I just want to wish you to have a wonderful day. much hugs and love from here.

  • Anonymous

    I love to eat :) I definately try this recepy. Yestarday I made gazpacho with chiken and it was wonderful.

  • Anonymous

    Yum! I’m a vegetarian, but I reckon I could substitute lentils and various beans (pulverised in a food processor) for the meat and maybe use an egg (or vegans could use a ‘flax egg’) to bind it all – I’ve made lentil balls that were similar before and they were delicious. Oh, and of course veggie stock instead of chicken.

    Thanks for the recipe Zuzka, much love!

    • Anonymous

      Miss_dot, if you try the vegetarian version, please share it. My mom makes these delicious veggie balls , but I can never make them as she does and have been looking for a “replacement” for those.

    • Courtney

      I’ve made lentil meatballs before from the recipe link below. I substituted ground oatmeal for the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan because I didn’t have any ricotta. I also added some extra spices, like cayenne pepper and cumin, for additional flavor. This recipe is a really good base for experimenting. 


  • Elle

    These pictures are so vibrant I could almost smell and taste these meatballs!!! I can’t wait to try it this weekend. Thank you Zuzka!

  • rybka

    Hi guys any idea what to use instead of meatballs?something like vegeballs:)any good recipe? Im vegetarian:(
    Thanks, sauce looks yummy!!!!

    • ZoeRocker

      Hi rybka, I am veggie also… actually vegan. Anyway, I found that lentils are a great replacement for the meat. You can put whatever veggies you like in them but you have to saute them first. Then put everything in a bowl and mush it together. If you eat eggs, add a couple eggs (or egg whites) and fry them in olive oil or bake them. If you do not eat aggs, I suggest using some type of flour to hold them together, but you’ll need a little water. I made “quinoa lentil peanut” burgers for dinner the other night (all my meat devouring family had on hand) and they were delicious. I just used peanut butter to hold it all together. It worked like a charm. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I would also suggest that once you have it on the pan, let it crisp up a bit on the bottom before you rotate/flip them because they could fall apart. Hope this was helpful:)

      • rybka

        Thanks you all guys, I’ll try to mix some ingredience and we will see:)) thx again, have a great day

        • ZoeRocker

          Glad I could help :)

    • Carolina

      Maybe a mix of beans with quinoa and veggies?? You can look for a bean burger recipe and use it but instead of patties you will make “beanballs”

      • ZoeRocker

        Yes beans work very well also. You just have to mush them :)

      • ZoeRocker

        Yes beans work very well also. You just have to mush them :)

    • Anonymous

      Me too, Ive made a similar thing ‘lentil balls’, you can just use canned lentils either whole or pulverised, and a binding agent like an egg, or if you don’t eat eggs, then a ‘flax egg’ or some egg replacer. You could also bake the lentil balls too, rather than shallow fry.

  • ZoeRocker

    I’m glad you have some friends to share your wonderful recipes with :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1395292098 Sherice Potter

    looks delicious.. have you ever thought about putting the meatballs into the oven and baking them? that’s what I do because I hate the mess they make on the stove top and it’s just easier for me!

    • tee

      I have a cookbook by this lady who advocates dropping the meatballs into boiling water as you form them and giving them a boil before you add them to the sauce to get out the fat.

      I personally find them dry and kind of gross,  hamburgers and meatballs need just a litte fat to be good.  even when I make chicken burgers (or meatballs)  I grind up more thighs than breast for a little extra fat,  taste so much better!  (Use my vitamix)

      I’m not as keen on the oven as I can forget them!  ha ha  and it then makes the mess in the oven!