pesto meatballs

Baked Pesto Meatballs (Perfect in sauce or as Canapé)

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


Delicious Italian meatballs with a twist – these ones are zinged up with pesto!



The Meatballs

  • 500g (1.1 lb) minced beef
  • 100g (3.5 oz) pesto, preferably home made
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 80g (2.5 oz) white breadcrumbs, about 3 slices of bread
  • 60g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 12 Tbsp olive oil, depending on how fatty your meat is

The Sauce

  • 400g (14 oz) can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • half each, green and red capsicum, sliced, fresh or chargrilled
  • 2 tomatoes, in rounds, or handful roasted
  • 2 Tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, if needed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients (apart from the oil) in a large bowl.
  2. Make medium sized balls, you should get about 2 dozen.
  3. Heat the oil on medium high heat and brown the meatballs, turning them, for about 2 minutes each side. Do this in batches, no overcrowding as you want the meatballs to fry not stew.
  4. Place all the meatballs, in a single layer, in a large, oven proof dish and turn the oven on to 180˚C (350˚F).
  5. We’ll be using the same pan for the sauce. If there is much fat left, tip all but 1 tbsp of it out. Add the 1 tbsp of olive oil if not. Heat this on medium heat.
  6. Fry the onions for about 5 minutes until soft.
  7. Add everything else in and bring to a simmer. Check seasoning.
  8. Pour this sauce all over the meatballs and bake in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes, at which point the sauce will be bubbling at the edges.
  9. Serve with pasta, bread or rice.
  10. Some mozzarella will go very nicely if serving the Baked Pesto Meatballs with pasta or bread.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 4-6