Hungarian-style meatballs

Chicken mince and mushrooms make succulent meatballs – delicious simmered in a sauce of smooth passata with red and green capsicums. Paprika warms the dish and new potatoes turn it into a complete one–pot meal.

Hungarian-style meatballs


  • 1½ tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 350 g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 350 g chicken mince
  • ⅔ cup (55 g) fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 500 g small new potatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 tablespoons low–fat natural yogurt to serve
  • fresh parsley to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green capsicum, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 litre passata
  • pinch caraway seeds


  1. Melt the butter in a heavy–based frying pan.
  2. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  3. The mushrooms give up their liquid initially, but this evaporates to leave the mixture greatly reduced, dark in colour and very thick.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
  5. Add the mince to the mushroom mixture and use a fork to break up the mince.
  6. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, parsley and a little salt and pepper.
  7. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  8. Wet your hands to prevent the mixture from sticking to them, then shape it into 20 walnut–sized balls.
  9. Set aside.
  10. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish.
  11. Add the onion and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned.
  12. Add the garlic and capsicums, then continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2–3 minutes.
  13. Stir in the paprika and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the passata and bring to the boil over a high heat.
  14. Stir in the caraway seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Add the meatballs and the potatoes to the simmering sauce, taking care not to break up the meatballs.
  16. Bring the sauce back to simmering point, then cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  17. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  18. Ladle the meatballs, potatoes and sauce into bowls and swirl a little yogurt into each portion.
  19. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Serves 4
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: about 55 minutes



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