Old-Style Meatballs

Old-Style Meatballs – The secret to making the perfect meatball revealed

Ready in 45 minutes, this easy “go-to” recipe is oftentimes a lifesaver when time is short!

Old-Style Meatballs

A traditional combination of fantastic flavours, downright delicious and so satisfying, that is the best description for this Old-Style Meatballs recipe.  Ready in 45 minutes, this easy “go-to” recipe is oftentimes a lifesaver when time is short!

The secret to getting these Old-Style Meatballs really tender is to mix the meatball mixture very gently with two forks. Over-mixing will affect the texture of the meatballs. Another important tip to keep in mind is that mincemeat with a higher fat content makes juicier meatballs. You can also mix beef and pork mincemeat for a piquant result.

Take note that some types of bread absorb the moisture from the meat, and it can dry out the meatball. Finally, if the meatballs fall apart while cooking, the chances are high that the ingredients were not chopped finely enough. 

Serve with creamy garlic mashed potatoes or a traditional spaghetti for a very enjoyable main meal.

The Perfect Meatball

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Recipe by Irene Muller Course: MainCuisine: South AfricanDifficulty: Easy


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  • 500 g mince meat

  • 2 medium onions (or 1 large onion), finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley (250 g)

  • 1 egg

  • 3 slices of bread soaked in 80 ml milk

  • toasted bread crumbs

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 80 ml milk

  • olive oil

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes with herbs

  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • Place the 3 slices of bread in the milk. Add the nutmeg and allow the bread to soak up the milk.
  • In a large bowl add the mince, finely chopped onions,  garlic, ½  a cup of chopped parsley and the seasoning.
  • Whisk the egg and add it to the mince.
  • Break up the soaked bread and add to the mixture as well as any leftover milk.
  • Carefully mix with two forks. 
  • Using a large spoon or by hand, form the meatballs.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs and leftover parsley over the meatballs.
  • Place a large skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. When heated up, add the meatballs to the skillet and brown them on both sides.
  • Add the tin of tomatoes, reduce the heat and cover.  Simmer until the meat is cooked.

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